That sound you just heard after reading the headline was James Cameron's wallet bursting open because a sequel to the 1998 film may be in order. A new documentary suggests that fire, not ice, was ultimately responsible for the ship's demise.
In a new documentary released by Irish journalist Senan Molony, suggests that a fire that burned unnoticed for up to three weeks was responsible for weakening the structure of the Titanic before its infamous collision with an iceberg halfway across the Atlantic.
Molony says he's spent more than 30 years studying the sinking of Titanic and believes he has identified the true cause of the 1912 shipwreck - 30-foot-long black marks along the front right-hand side of the hull seen in newly unearthed photographs.
"We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg struck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place before she even left Belfast," Molony says.
“It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence.”
Molony's theory says that the marks are likely because of a fire that started in a fuel storage spot behind one of the ship's boiler rooms. According to the documentary, twelve men attempted (and failed) to fight the fire, while officials were ordered not to inform passengers about the flames.
Because the fire weakened the steel on the structure of the boat, when the Titanic hit the iceberg, the steel lining was unable to absorb the damage and tore open, causing the ship to take on water. According to the experts in the documentary, when steel gets to that level of temperature, it becomes brittle and can be reduced in strength by up to 75%.
The later sank in the North Atlantic on April 15th, 1912 during one of the most infamous maritime disasters in history. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard the vessel, over 1,500 of them died. The disaster led to many new modern safety requirements for ships of that size.