• April 15, 2012, marks the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

    The R.M.S. Titanic, an ocean liner commissioned in England in 1910, was one of the most luxurious, state-of-the-art ships of its day. At nearly 269 meters (882 feet) long, the ship was thought to be unsinkable.

    However, on April 15, 1912, the unthinkable happened. During the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, New York, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada and sank, tragically taking the lives of more than 1,500 passengers and crew. It was, and remains, one of the greatest nautical disasters in history.

    The Titanic lay undiscovered at the bottom of the ocean for another 73 years, until oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Robert Ballard, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, co-discovered it in 1985. Since then, there have been many expeditions to see the Titanic, some for scavenging, others for research. Some expeditions are conducted by people who simply continue to be fascinated by the ship and its icy fate. The story of the Titanic continues to captivate people, inspiring films, clubs, museums, websites, and historic reenactments.

    • The ocean current that pushed the iceberg into the path of the Titanic is the Labrador Current.
    • There are 150 victims of the Titanic buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the largest number anywhere in the world.
    • After the Titanic sank, the International Ice Patrol was created to monitor icebergs in the North Atlantic.
    • The Titanic had two sister ships, the Olympic and the Britannic.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    anniversary Noun

    remembrance of a past event, usually recognized on the day the event happened every year.

    archaeology Noun

    study of human history, based on material remains.

    Encyclopedic Entry: archaeology
    Arctic Noun

    region at Earth's extreme north, encompassed by the Arctic Circle.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Arctic
    bathymetry Noun

    measurement of depths of bodies of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: bathymetry
    captivate Verb

    to hold the attention of.

    coast Noun

    edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: coast
    commission Verb

    to formally order or give permission to work.

    disaster Noun

    terrible and damaging event.

    expedition Noun

    journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.

    Explorer-in-Residence Noun

    pre-eminent explorers and scientists collaborating with the National Geographic Society to make groundbreaking discoveries that generate critical scientific information, conservation-related initiatives and compelling stories.

    fascinate Verb

    to cause an interest in.

    field work Noun

    scientific studies done outside of a lab, classroom, or office.

    Encyclopedic Entry: field work
    iceberg Noun

    large chunks of ice that break off from glaciers and float in the ocean.

    Encyclopedic Entry: iceberg
    luxurious Adjective

    rich or self-indulgent.

    nautical Adjective

    having to do with oceans and sailing or navigation.

    ocean Noun

    large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.

    Encyclopedic Entry: ocean
    ocean liner Noun

    large ship used to transport people or goods to and from ocean ports on established routes, or lines.

    oceanographer Noun

    person who studies the ocean.

    Titanic Noun

    luxury cruise ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912.

    voyage Noun

    long journey or trip.

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