Did a Mirage Sink the Titanic?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bow railing of R.M.S. Titanic illuminated by Mir 1 submersible behind the forward anchor crane. Rustcicles' slant shows the direction of the current. (© Emory Kristof/National Geographic)

The sinking of the Titanic has long been considered a colossal human failure — a preventable disaster caused largely by ineptitude and misjudgement.  A new theory from one British Titanic historian, however, suggests that highly unusual weather conditions are to blame instead. Tim Matlin is the author of three books about the Titanic. His latest, "Titanic: A Very Deceiving Night," argues that icy waters created ideal conditions for a rare type of oceanic mirage that hid icebergs from lookouts and confused would-be rescuers observing from a nearby ship.

Guests:

Tim Matlin

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

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