Titanic Physics Lesson: Jack And Rose Couldn’t Have Both Floated On The Plank

By  | 

Titanic Jack Rose plank sunk physics RedditOne of our most enduring problems with Titanic — made ever clearer when I saw Titanic 3D a few weeks ago — is how Rose happily clambered up on that wooden plank while poor Jack literally froze to death in the Atlantic. After everything Jack does for her in the movie, including tracking her down on the ship after she decides to jump out of the lifeboat, the least Rose could do for her poor third-class counterpart is to let him get out of the water and huddle with her til the lifeboats came. Right?

Surprisingly, it took fifteen years for someone to illustrate what a titanic (heh) act of selfishness this seemed to be; not surprisingly, the debate took place on Reddit. User Hitlerwasrighthanded posted this photo of two people sitting comfortably — and even reenacting Rose's nude pose — on a piece of wood with the same dimensions as the plank from the movie.

Titanic door would have sunk Rose Jack physics Reddit

During the ensuing debate, some Redditors decided that they didn't give a fuck about whether the plank could actually have supported Jack and Rose's combined weight; others suggested sending the problem over to Mythbusters. But it was Redditor Khromatic who weighed in with the proper physics. In short, the Force of Buoyancy (the plank's ability to stay afloat) was less than the Force of Gravity (Jack and Rose's combined weights), so the two of them would have sunk.

It's debatable whether this revelation makes Rose appear less selfish. After all, if she had really loved Jack, wanted to run away with him, and believed that no one was coming back for the Titanic survivors, then wouldn't it have made sense for both of them to go into the water and die together? Maybe Rose is more self-preserving than selfish, but I'm still pissed that she threw the Heart of the Ocean into the water. Eighty years later. After learning that Bill Paxton‘s character had spent his entire career searching for it. No math can redeem that.


Photos: MSNBC, Imgur