“Why didn’t they ever haul up the Titanic?”

Marine artist Robert Lloyd's depiction of the sinking of the Titanic on April 12, 1912. (Courtesy of Frank)

Marine artist Robert G. Lloyd’s depiction of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. (Courtesy of Frank Trumbour)

The Eight-Year-Old, like most of us, is fascinated on some level with the Titanic. After last week’s discussion of the differences between flotsam, jetsam, lagan, and derelicts, she naturally wanted to know why no one has ever tried to haul up the Titanic.

The answer, seems to be simply that the Titanic is too big and too deep. According to this March 2012 Smithsonian article “Why the Titanic Still Fascinates Us”, the once-unsinkable ship is now lying beneath nearly two and a half miles of water.

“Many people assumed that, after 50 years, the liner, and the myths surrounding it, would finally be allowed to rest in peace. But in the early hours of September 1, 1985, oceanographer and underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution—together with French explorer Jean-Louis Michel from the French organization Ifremer—discovered the wreck of the Titanic lying at a depth of roughly two and half miles, and around 370 miles southeast of Mistaken Point, Newfoundland. “The Titanic lies now in 13,000 feet of water on a gently sloping Alpine-looking countryside overlooking a small canyon below,” said Ballard, on returning to America a number of days later. “Its bow faces north. The ship sits upright on its bottom with its mighty stacks pointed upward. There is no light at this great depth and little life can be found. It is a quiet and peaceful place—and a fitting place for the remains of this greatest of sea tragedies to rest. Forever may it remain that way. And may God bless these now-found souls.”

For a while, apparently, you could pay thousands of dollars to dive down to the Titanic wreck and see it for yourself.

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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3 Responses to “Why didn’t they ever haul up the Titanic?”

  1. rayworth1973 says:

    Hey, Dirk Pitt did in Raise the Titanic and so did a bunch of ghosts in Ghostbusters. I’ve had a lifelong fascination with not only the Titanic but the Lusitania. In fact I wrote an adventure/thriller novel called Lusitania Gold along those lines. Hopefully, it’ll see print one day. The first photo of an ocean liner I ever saw was the Lusitania sinking in an encyclopedia when I was about 3. It left quite an impression.

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