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Top 5 Disastrous Shipwrecks In History

by AaronAhmadi   June 12, 2012 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 23,281
The ocean floor is filled with strange creatures we have yet to discover, but there's also something else down there - shipwrecks. From stories as recent as the Costa Concordia to the legendary Titanic, the depths of the sea have many tales to tell when it comes to sinking ships.

5. Costa Concordia

Life on Giglio Island was very peaceful until a fateful day: January 13, 2012. When the Costa Concordia got too close to a reef and struck a submerged rock, this 114,500-ton luxury liner capsized like a plastic ship in a bathtub. There were 3,206 passengers and 1,203 crew and personnel on board, of which 32 were found to be dead, 2 missing, and 64 injured. On top of that, the ship's Captain, Captain Francesco Schettino, fled during evacuation. So much for the honorable captain being last to leave the ship.

Photo: Laura Lezza/Getty Images

4. Lusitania

The horrific story of the British ocean liner named RMS Lusitania is not one to be forgotten because of its horrific death toll and its historical significance. This great ship was torpedoed by a German submarine on May 7, 1915, and when it sunk into the ocean it took 1,198 people with it, of which 123 were Americans. Here's the real kicker, though: the sinking of the Lusitania was a major influence on the United States deciding to enter World War I.

Image: SuperStock/Getty Images

3. Andrea Doria

One of the absolute worst maritime disasters to take place in United States waters, the SS Andrea Doria suffered its ill fate not by an enemy attack or at the hands of Mother Nature, but by colliding with another ship. While approaching the coast of Massachusetts on July 25, 1956, the MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line smacked right into the side of the Andrea Doria. After it capsized and sank, the Andrea Doria claimed 52 lives and proved that no matter how up-to-date and high-tech a ship was, it was never invincible.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images

2. USS Arizona

Perhaps one of the biggest symbols of sacrifice during a time of war, the USS Arizona was one of the targets of the dreaded Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Weighing nearly 32,000 tons, this American battleship was hit with an armor piercing bomb that exploded and caused it to drift into the depths of the ocean – killing 1,177 men aboard. Like the Lusitania¸ the sinking of the USS Arizona is a very important point in history – this tragedy was a major catalyst that propelled the United States into World War II.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1. Titanic

The world's most famous shipwreck no doubt had to be number one on this list. Heck, it's been exactly 100 years since this seemingly "unsinkable" ship plunged into the dark sea, and what a disaster it was. At the time, the RMS Titanic was the cream of the crop when it came to luxury liners, and as a result it attracted some of the wealthiest passengers from all around the globe. The ship was en route from England to New York City when it came in contact with an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and 1,514 lives were tragically lost when it sank. The Titanic's story, although tragic, has been kept alive by many memorials, books, and movies, and so the ship that once was will never be forgotten.

Image: AFP/Getty Images


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