When the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg on April 14, 1912, chaos surely ensued aboard the massive ocean liner. But the actual sinking of the ship was a gradual, almost lethargic process, spanning nearly three hours. Those of us familiar with James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) might think of rapidly flooding ballrooms and furniture sliding across the deck—but most of those moments only occurred in the final minutes before the ship disappeared. In reality, the sinking of the Titanic was more incremental, if no less unstoppable.
In “Titanic Sinks in Real Time,” the developers behind the upcoming video game Titanic: Honor and Glory have created an animation of the capsizing of the Titanic, which plays in real time over the course of two hours and 40 minutes. Focusing on the ship rather than its passengers, the video shows how the impact from the iceberg caused the Titanic to take on water. Though the lengthy video includes periodic subtitles, explaining what was happening on board, most of the animation shows the boat from a distance, giving the video an air of quiet tragedy. Created to promote Titanic: Honor and Glory, the video is a fascinating resource for anyone curious about how the Titanic actually sank.
A version of this story ran in 2016; it has been updated for 2021.