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April 21, 2016

VIDEO: Watch the RMS Titanic sink in real time

One hundred and four years ago this month, the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and took around 1,500 souls with her.

Now, an organization called Titanic Honor & Glory has released a life-like video that recreates the entire 2 hours and 40 minutes it took for the massive oceanliner to slip below the surface of those icy water so long ago.

The ship struck the fateful iceberg at 11:40 p.m., and even though the crew shut the watertight doors, by 11:49 p.m., over 1 million gallons of water had come into the ship. Over the subsequent two hours, the video depicts the engines turning down, steam from the boilers escaping, and the ship slipping beneath the waves. The video also reveals water streaming into and decimating the stylishly furnished rooms of the luxurious steamship.

Showcasing how the Titanic went under

The video highlights a number of missed communications and engineering problems, as well as insufficient safety and rescue methods that led to the tragedy. Two more hours passed before the RMS Carpathia arrived to take the approximately 700 survivors to safety. The wreck was seen at the bottom of the ocean in 1985, around 12,500 feet below the water's surface in the North Atlantic.

During its voyage, the Titanic was transporting a number of the world's most prosperous people, including John Jacob Astor IV, ostensibly the richest man on the planet, along with hordes of poorer European immigrants coming to America. All told, 2,224 people were onboard at the time of the tragedy.

The catastrophe, which ultimately claimed about 1,500 lives, sparked several safety initiatives. After the tragedy, ships were mandated to hold many more lifeboats as the Titanic had only enough aboard for half of its riders. The nearest ship missed calls from the Titanic because the radio operator was asleep, so ships now must have round-the-clock radio watches.

The tragedy also sparked the passage of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the world's very first international treaty to guarantee minimum standards of safety at sea; however the outbreak of World War I kept its enforcement from happening for decades.

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Image credit: Titanic Honor and Glory/YouTube Screenshot