For a significant chunk of human history, maritime domination was of utmost concern for the world’s leading powers. As the saying went, he who ruled the seas ruled the world. Given the constraints of existing technology, water was really the only viable method of covering long distances from one continent to another. Obviously, this led to many conflicts among nations, and more than a few ships found their ways to a watery grave. Some of these shipwrecks have since been recovered and transformed into spots for historical study or recreation.
For better or worse, everyone’s already heard of the Titanic, which is why it’s been left off the list. That’s not likely the case for its sister ship, the Britannic. This ship was actually built by the same company as the Titanic – the White Star Line. The Britannic was constructed after the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic so, obviously, some changes had to be made in order to make it stand up to its reputation. A few extra lifeboats plus a reinforced hull around the boiler room, engine room and other regions vulnerable to icebergs made for smart additions.
When it was finished, the Britannic was even larger than the Titanic and could have made for an excellent cruise ship. There was just one small problem – a world war had started and the Britannic was requisitioned by the government for use as a hospital ship. As opposed to the Titanic, the Britannic lasted for a year before it was sunk and, in its defense, was brought down by enemy fire. It’s probably not as well known today because most of its passengers made it out alive. Of the 1,000 people on board, only 30 or so died.
Jacques Cousteau discovered the wreck a few decades later and was rather surprised to find it in remarkable condition. During the 90s and 2000s, multiple expeditions went down to visit and film the wreck. The latest one was in 2012, when divers installed equipment to monitor bacteria growth on the ship and compare it to the Titanic.