Did the moon doom the Titanic?

By: Nicholas Gerbis

Author's Note

Will we ever get over our morbid fascination with the Titanic? I hope not. It seems to me that morbid fascination -- with sinkings, disappearing airplanes, strange sightings -- has inspired more kids to go into careers in science and history than a thousand dry lectures. Give me "In Search of ... " any day.

That's why I find poking holes in pet theories, especially bizarre ones, a bit dispiriting. They make us feel connected to the mysterious, ineffable world that surrounds us as children, a realm that sadly shrinks as we grow older -- unless we're science geeks, in which case it expands exponentially. Pascal's triangle, in its own way, is as haunting and wondrous as the Bermuda Triangle.


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  • Cottam, Harold Thomas. "Titanic's 'C.Q.D.' Caught by a Lucky Fluke." The New York Times. April 19, 1912. (March 14, 2012)
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Titanic." (March 12, 2012)
  • Lorenzi, Rossella. "Steering Error Sank the Titanic, Says Author." Discovery News. Sept. 22, 2010. (March 14, 2012)
  • Maltin, Tim. "Did the Titanic Sink Because of an Optical Illusion?" Smithsonian. March 2012. (March 14, 2012)
  • The New York Times. "The Weak Link of the Titanic." April 14, 2008. (March 13, 2012)
  • Reuters. "Did the Moon Sink the Titanic? Tides May Have Played Role." MSNBC. March 7, 2012. (March 12, 2012)
  • University of Texas News Service. "The Iceberg's Accomplice: Did the Moon Sink the Titanic?" March 5, 2012. (March 12, 2012)
  • Wallace, Lane. "No, the Moon Did Not Sink the Titanic." The Atlantic. March 12, 2012. (March 14, 2012)