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A new study suggests that the Titanic sank because of an optical illusion creating a false horizon. This hid the massive ice berg which eventually created one of the most memorable disasters in modern history.

According to the new theory, Titanic was sailing from Gulf Stream waters into the frigid Labrador Current, where the air column was cooling from the bottom up, creating a thermal inversion with layers of cold air below layers of warmer air creating a superior mirage.

It could also offer a new explanation for another mystery, why a ship later condemned for refusing to help Titanic survivors did not react to distress calls. The Californian had previously come to stop along the outskirts of the fatal ice field and spotted a ship. However, due to the atmospheric conditions creating the visual illusion, this new theory states is possible the crew didn’t believe the incoming ship was the Titanic because it looked far smaller than an ocean liner.

It could have also affected visibility of the morse lamp.