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Titanic: What Really Happened - Exclusive New Photos of the Wreck

The April 2012 issue of the National Geographic returns to the story of the most infamous ship ever built -- the Titanic of the White Star Line. This edition focuses on the crash scene and recreates the events on 14-15 April 1912 thanks to new technology.

Titanic: What Really Happened - Exclusive New Photos of the Wreck

On the Cover

To create this image of the splitting of the Titanic's bow and stern, our artist drew upon a roundtable discussion among experts. Art by Nick Kaloterakis

National Geographic Magazine - April 2012

The Unseen Titanic. When the "Unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic sank at 2:20 a.m. 15 April 1912 along with 1,500 passengers and crew members, new technology offers intimate images of this famous vessel of the White Star Line.


April 2012 Contents

  • Climb of Her Life
    Her husband turned back. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner plunged ahead in a risky effort to conquer K2.
    By Chip Brown Photographs by Tommy Heinrich
  • Masks That Make Magic
    In Africa and its diaspora a mask can turn you into a god—or send a message to the pooh-bahs.
    By Cathy Newman Photographs by Phyllis Galembo
  • The Titanic, Illuminated
    One hundred years after the ship sent its SOS: "Now we know where everything is."
    By Hampton Sides
    Poster: How It Sank and Where It Rests
  • Walking With Ghosts
    With the aid of robotic avatars, the filmmaker has spent nearly 500 hours exploring the Titanic.
    By James Cameron
  • Flocking Flamingos
    They really do stick together—and that may increase their odds of survival in a perilous world.
    By Nancy Shute Photographs by Klaus Nigge
  • Where Slaves Ruled
    In Brazil they escaped plantations, created secret societies, and today fight for legal rights.
    By Charles C. Mann and Susanna Hecht
    Photographs by Tyrone Turner


  • Editor's Note
  • Letters
  • National Geographic on TV
  • Explorers Journal


  • Your Shot


  • The Better to Hear With -
    Copper loops help hearing aid users screen out the background noise.
  • It's a Grand New Flag -
    Libya has revived its pre-Qaddafi banner, putting a spotlight on flag design.
  • Bubbling Up
    A sea snail has an unusual way of sailing to the top of the water.
  • Breaking the Ice
    Long-separated bowhead whales get together as the Arctic melts.


  • Gemstone DNA
    New science can help determine if a gem was mined in a war zone.
  • Shade Shifters
    In 700 milliseconds a squid can change skin color and pattern.
  • Multigun Salute
    The Prez gets 21. Who gets 17? 11?
  • 80 Billion Photos a Year -
    Camera phones help drive an increase in consumer photography.
  • NG Connect
  • The Moment
  • Flashback


  • Here are the coolest extras in our electronic editions.
    Tapping Into the Titanic
    • Spin our exclusive model of the wreck.
    • Watch how the ship broke up after it hit the iceberg.
    • Tap on a map of the debris field for more info. iPad Exclusive
    Mountain Woman
    • See Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner at the summit of K2.
    • Explore a 3-D animation of the "Savage Mountain."
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