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Titanic Iceberg

The iceberg that hit Titanic

Above: A possible photograph of the iceberg that hit Titanic, photographed from the liner Prinze Adelbertby a few miles south of the disaster scene.

85% - the amount of all icebergs in the North Atlantic that originate from the west coast of Greenland.

40,000 - the approximate number of icebergs born each year along the coast of Greenland

Did You Know?

According to experts the Ilulissat ice shelf on the west coast of Greenland is now believed to be the most likely place from which the Titanic iceberg originated. At it's mouth, the seaward ice wall of Ilulissat is around 6 kilometers wide and rises 80 metres above see level.

1909 - the year in which the Titanic iceberg is believed to have been 'born'.

1 - 2 - the likely number of icebergs that the Ilulissat ice-shelf would have produced in 1909.

1 - 4% - the proportion of those icebergs that survive to reach shipping waters. They initially float north along Greenland's west coast before beginning their southward journey past the coastlines of Baffin Island, Labrador and Newfoundland, before passing through the gulf stream into the Atlantic past. Most do not make it this far, either getting caught en route or finally melting in the warm waters of the gulf stream.

1 - the likely original length of the Titanic iceberg, in miles. The year it would have taken to move along the 40 mile long fjord would have left the iceberg at around a half of it's original size.

1,000,000,000 - the amount of sea water displaced by the iceberg, in tonnes, at it's original size (one billion tonnes!).

View of the iceberg from aboard the Carpathia

Above: A view of the iceberg believed to be the one the Titanic hit, taken from aboard the Carpathia.

300 - the approximate number of icebergs reaching the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic in April 1912, the largest number for around 50 years. The appearance of icebergs this far south can be highly erratic; for example in 2006 the International Ice Patrol (the monitoring team set up after the Titanic disaster) recorded no icebergs crossing south of latitude 48°N; in 2007 they recorded 324.

We do not care anything for the heaviest storms in these big ships. It is fog that we fear. The big icebergs that drift into warmer water melt much more rapidly under water than on the surface, and sometimes a sharp, low reef extending two or three hundred feet beneath the sea is formed. If a vessel should run on one of these reefs half her bottom might be torn away.

- Captain Edward John Smith, Commander of Titanic

15,000 years - the approximate age of the first snowflakes that made up the glacier that produced the Titanic iceberg.

2 years - the approximate time that the Titanic iceberg will have taken since its creation to reach the point of collision.

8 miles - the approximate distance the iceberg would have been traveling per day.

Iceberg photographed by Stephen Rehorek from aboard the MS Bremen, 20 April 1912. Believed to be the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

Above: A photograph of what was believed to be the iceberg that sank the Titanic, captured by Czech sailor Stephen Rehorek from aboard the German cruise ship MS Bremen, on 20 April 1912.

5 - the number of days after the sinking when Rehorek took his photograph of the iceberg.

50 - 100 feet - the estimated height of the iceberg above water, as recounted by Titanic survivors.

200 - 400 feet - the estimated length of the iceberg.

1/10th - the amount of an iceberg's total mass that is typically visible above water.

30 seconds - the amount of time from the first sighting of the iceberg to the impact. See more on the timeline.

Icebergs loomed up and fell astern and we never slackened. It was an anxious time with the Titanic's fateful experience very close in our minds. There were 700 souls on Carpathia and those lives as well as the survivors of the Titanic herself depended on the sudden turn of the wheel.

- Captain Arthur H Rostron, Commander of the Carpathia

14 - the approximate number of days after the collision that the Titanic iceberg would probably have disappeared, melting in the gulf stream's warmer water.


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