The sinking of the Titanic a century ago could have been the result of the Moon moving unusually close to the Earth, causing Greenland icebergs to drift into shipping lanes, scientists claim.
Donald Olson, a physicist at Texas State University, led a team of forensic astronomers in examining the theory of late oceanographer Fergus Wood, who suggested that exceptionally high tides just before the ship’s maiden voyage caused more icebergs than usual to separate from Greenland.
“The lunar connection may explain how an unusually large number of icebergs got into the path of the Titanic,” said Olson said in a report by The Independent.
Olson said that the gravitational pulls of the Sun and the Moon were enhanced on 4th January 1912, when they lined up in a certain formation. The moon was also closer to the Earth on this date than it had been for 1,400 years.
On top of all that, the point of the Moon’s closest approach to Earth came within six minutes of the full moon, and, the previous day, the Earth had made its closest approach to the Sun in a year.
The scientists concluded that such unusual astrological events would have caused very high tides, which in turn could have dislodged a large number of icebergs from Greenland. These icebergs, one of which collided with the famous transatlantic liner, would have made their way into shipping lanes by April.
The Titanic sunk in the early hours of 15th April 1912, killing 1,517 people.