What REALLY happened to the Titanic? Conspiracy theories about why the famous ship sank, from on-board fires to ancient Egyptian curses

24 October 2018, 17:11 | Updated: 24 October 2018, 17:14

Illustration of the Titanic
Illustration of the Titanic. Picture: Getty

Titanic sunk in 1912 on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Since the tragedy, conspiracy theorists have complied a long list of why the vessel's journey ended in disaster.

The Titanic struck an iceberg during its maiden voyage on April 15th 1912, causing over 1,500 people to lose their lives in the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean.

With Titanic II expected to set sail in 2022, theories surrounding the tragic sinking are still rife.

Here are the most famous conspiracies, from Egyptian curses to pre-meditated planning.

Titanic was doomed by a mummy's curse

One of the most out-there theories revolves around an ancient Egyptian curse, left by a mummified princess who caused a trail of death and devastation across England in the early 1900s, having been excavated and removed from Egypt.

The haunted mummy was sold by a British art collector to an American archaeologist, despite the warnings of his colleagues, and he took his new item back with him on the Titanic.

READ MORE: Titanic 2 expected to set sail in 2022, and here's a sneak peak inside

Thus, believers of this theory argue that it was the curse of the mummy that caused the ship to sink.

However, this story has been labelled as purely fictional, after it was revealed that there was actually no Egyptian mummy (haunted or otherwise) on board the vessel.

The Titanic museum, Belfast
The Titanic museum, Belfast. Picture: PA Images

Titanic never actually sank at all

A popular theory is that it was actually Titanic's oldest sister, the Olympic, that sunk to the bottom of the North Atlantic.

It was discovered that the Olympic had been in an accident a few months before Titanic's departure, but owners White Star Line didn't have the funds to complete Titanic and fix the damage to Olympic.

Olympic's accident was also at the fault of the ship itself, so White Star Line were unable to claim insurance on the damage.

Instead of having to delay Titanic's journey, it is believed by some that White Star Line switched her with Olympic, which was repaired quickly and renovated to look exactly like her younger sister.

By allowing the wounded ship to sail as Titanic, the company could then collect the insurance payment when it struck the iceberg and sank.

Theorists believed that it was never the intention to hurt anyone on board, but to slowly sink the ship and get everyone to safety before real danger arose.

JP Morgan planned for Titanic to sink

One of the most powerful bankers of his time, JP Morgan has been linked to the sinking of the ship, after cancelling his journey on board in the eleventh hour.

His motive to down the vessel would have come from the fact that rival millionaires John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim and Isidor Straus were all passengers on board.

JP Morgan owned the IMM, which in turned owned the White Star line, but decided to skip Titanic's maiden voyage at the very last second and instead chose to stay in Europe and buy tapestries for his art collection.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Titanic museum, Belfast
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Titanic museum, Belfast. Picture: PA Images

Titanic was on fire

Approximately ten days before Titanic's departure, a fire break out in one of her coal bunkers, and reportedly continued to burn for several days into the maiden voyage.

Whilst fires were frequent occurrences in the bunkers due to spontaneous combustion of coal, some theorists believe that this larger outbreak of flames impacted the strength of Titanic structure, so that when the iceberg struck, it caused more damage that it normally would have.