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Home News The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend

The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend

The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend

Everyone is waiting for word on the fate of five people on a missing submarine that went to investigate the Titanic debris. The story has taken over news websites’ front pages and TikTok feeds. For example, the hashtag #submersible has received almost 118 million views.

But why are we so preoccupied? No one can turn away from a wild, dramatic narrative, even if it contains tragedy, just as no one can look away from the Titanic’s sinking.

“At its core, the missing Titanic submersible vessel contains all the essential elements of an addictive, alluring media spectacle,” says Melvin Williams, associate professor of communication and media studies at Pace University.

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The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend

The missing submersible taps into ‘most people’s biggest fear’

The story reads like a movie plot. There are just a few hours of oxygen left, and it will be gone by Thursday.Wealthy travellers who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. As the hours pass, more countries join the search effort.

“The idea of ‘time running out’ is most people’s biggest fear,” says Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and host of the Mentally Stronger podcast. “A lot of people are envisioning what it would be like to be on the sub knowing that you have less than 24 hours of oxygen if you aren’t rescued. We’re also intrigued by adventurers and what risks they’ll take in life.”

But intrigued doesn’t always mean “sign me up” too. “For people who dislike taking risks, they see this as proof they shouldn’t do anything dangerous,” Morin adds.

The Titanic connection

We’ve all heard the account of the Titanic’s tragic journey in 1912: The invincibility. The tip of the iceberg. There aren’t enough lifeboats. It has captivated the globe for more than a century.

This occurrence is sure to make many people want to read (and re-read and watch) everything and everything about the Titanic. “The name of the tourist submarine immediately conjures up memories of the ill-fated voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic and the subsequent blockbuster 1997 ‘Titanic’ film,” Williams explains.

This handout image taken during the historical 1986 dive, courtesy of WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and released February 15, 2023 shows the Titanic bow. - In July 1986, nine months after the discovery, a team from WHOI returned to the wreck site, this time using three-person research submersible Alvin and the newly developed remotely operated vehicle Jason Jr. The trip marked the first time that humans laid eyes on the vessel since its ill-fated voyage in 1912.

You consider: What would you do? “People want to know how some people survived, and what it was like to be in that situation where the ship was sinking and decisions about how to get into a lifeboat were made,” adds Morin. “We often wonder what we’d do if we were in a similar situation.”

And this was before the advent of social media. “Regardless of the outcome, live coverage of this tragedy inspires news and social media commentary, documentaries, fictional and nonfictional film and television programming, and public enthrallment with the Titanic sub’s rescue efforts,” Williams says.

‘Emotions are contagious’

As of now, we don’t know if these people will come out alive.

“The one thing this holds, that so many of us have to deal with, is holding hope, along with the inevitable that something will happen to us someday,” David Kessler, grief expert and founder of Grief.com, says. “It’s a little microcosm of everything I deal with in end-of-life care and in grief, that there’s a moment, and at some point, optimism becomes denial. And none of us know when that moment is.”

Until we know for sure, hope is a powerful, poignant emotion.

“We love stories where people somehow beat the odds,” Morin says. “Any story that evokes such strong emotions, like sadness and fear, is likely to cause us to keep reading. It gives us an opportunity to feel those emotions from a safe distance. We aren’t actually on the sub and most of us don’t know anyone who is, but it gives us an opportunity to imagine what it must be like to be there from a safe distance.”

Having said that, terror engages individuals more than anything else.”Readers may share articles about the sub with friends or family so they can talk to someone about the sadness, anxiety and fear that gets stirred up by the articles,” Morin adds. “Emotions are contagious and sometimes we want other people to share in our uncomfortable emotions.”

 

 

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The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend »…
The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend »…
The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend »…
The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend »…
The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend »…
The missing Titanic submarine and the sudden trend »…


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