Did the Moon Sink the Titanic?

Scientist theorize a rare "supermoon" is to blame for putting an iceberg in the Titanic's path.


Some scientists are now theorizing that a "once-in-many-lifetimes," as Texas State University physicist Donald Olson put it, lunar-Earth alignment may have caused  the Titanic to sink a century ago. According to Olson’s team of forensic astronomers, the so-called “supermoon” would have raised ocean tides so much as to cause the type of large iceberg that sunk the Titanic to drift into the ship's path, far south of the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts where such an iceberg would normally have been stuck in the shallow waters. Usually this type of iceberg could not have floated south into the shipping lanes traveled by the Titanic without melting a bit, but a particularly high tide caused by the "supermoon" pulled it away from a Greenland glacier, so the theory goes. It would have taken three months for such an iceberg to travel from Greenland to the waters the Titanic traveled, according to Olsen’s research. He believes the phenomenon that brought the moon closest to Earth as it had been in 1,400 years occurred Jan. 4, 1912; the Titanic sank April 15 of that same year. This theory also could explain why the experienced Titanic captain Edward Smith seemed to brush off warnings of icebergs in the waters: He could not have expected an iceberg so large to have drifted so far south.  

[ Check out the U.S. News science blog At the Edge.]

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Previously: Should Newt Gingrich Drop Out of the 2012 Race?