Scientists have recently disclosed that the "killer" iceberg that sank the Titanic after the latter collided with it on its maiden voyage most likely originated and drifted from south-west Greenland and was as old as 100,000 years. Experts combined findings collected back in 1912 and employed modern data on ocean currents as well as wind to determine the magnitude of the 1,700-feet-long floating giant.
According to scientists, the 100,000-year-old Mega-Iceberg may have once weighed a staggering 75 million tonnes after having emerged from snow building up continuously for thousands of years. However, they suspect that it may have weighed nearly 1.5 million tonnes when it was struck by the legendary vessel. It however only emerged into actual prominence when the Titanic crashed against it, triggering a catastrophic succession of events that led to the loss of more than 1,500 lives on the fateful night of April 15, 1912.
According to Professor Grant Bigg from the University of Sheffield, modern-day computer modelling simulation made it possible to calculate the size and structure of the mega-iceberg.
"We have a computer model for calculating the paths of icebergs in any given year. We take what we know about ocean currents, then add meteorological readings for that year to calculate prevailing winds. Applying those techniques to 1912 points to the iceberg coming from around Qassimiut on Greenland's south-west coast".
In 2012, an eerie snapshot of the iceberg was exhibited during the 100th anniversary of the ocean liner's sinking. The haunting image was originally captured by the chief steward on board the Prinze Adelbert liner which on April 15, 1912, was sailing through the North Atlantic some distance away from where the Titanic had sunk the previous night. Ironically, it was only established days after the steward had actually spotted the ill-fated vessel's marks on the body of the iceberg that the same iceberg had in fact struck the doomed ocean liner.
The Titanic was among the three largest ocean liners the world had even seen, the other two being Olympic and the Britannic which later sank in the Mediterranean during the first World War. The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of April 15, 1912, after colliding with the monster iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton, U.K., to New York City, US. Even prior to hitting the seas on its maiden voyage, the vessel was being heralded as the safest ship ever built. However, merely four days into its journey, at 11:40 p.m. on the night of April 14, disaster struck.
Some modern experts believe that the ship's construction could well have contributed to the disaster that ensued in the aftermath of the collision. They maintain that inconsistencies in the ship's "rivets" could have made that part of the ship weaker and more susceptible to serious damage in the event of collision.
According to findings, the iceberg that sank the doomed carrier reportedly lay at latitude 41-46N, longitude 50-14W, off the coast of Newfoundland. On April 15, 1912, the iceberg was some 5,000 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
Icebergs are edges emanating from glaciers that separate themselves and make their way into the ocean. These glaciers form on land as a result of snow over thousands of years. According to facts, almost 90 percent of an iceberg actually lies concealed under water, with maximum width considerably larger than what is visibly evident on the surface. The popular glaciers of western Greenland flow at speeds of up to seven kilometers a year and are among the fastest moving in the world.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the largest iceberg on record was encountered in 1882 near Baffin Island. It was 13 km long, 6 km wide, and was about 20 m above water. It weighed over 9 billion tonnes.
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