Ripley’s: Titanic exhibit moves into sinking ship

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 02:16 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Modeled after the R.M.S. Titanic, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! on Front Beach Road recently opened an interactive Titanic exhibit inside of its Odditorium.

“We have a lot of interactive facts on the type of passengers and famous passengers,” said Drew Morales, general manager of the Panama City Beach Ripley’s.

The 2,000-square-foot exhibit, which took almost two weeks to set up, opened March 6 in place of the pirate exhibit. It is filled with interactive learning experiences, such as getting behind the wheel for a game of Titanic Trivia! and lifting panels inside R.M.S. Titanic life floats to reveal answers to questions. Look inside two different windows to see views from the Titanic on April 14, 1912. From the crow’s view, only stars and darkness are on the horizon, but in the deck view, the iceberg is visible.

A 4-foot scale model of the Titanic, made from thousands of matchsticks, is encased in glass attached to an iceberg, which plays footage on the other side.

“These are some of my favorite: the replicas out of matchsticks or toothpicks,” Morales said.

The R.M.S. Titanic was 882 feet, 9 inches long, 94 feet wide and 180 feet tall. At 11:50 p.m., 10 minutes after impact, 4,000 tons of water entered the Titanic’s five watertight compartments. See water pour out of the walls in the exhibit, then spin the Wheel of Misfortune to see if you will survive. A case shows Titanic coal later recovered from the engine room.

There are tales of heroism as a video plays in the background, as well as darker truths. Women and children were ordered off the ship first, but there also are accounts of men grabbing children and claiming to be the sole parent. See Michel and Edmond Navratil, ages 4 and 2, the only two children rescued without a parent or guardian. Their father, who died, had kidnapped them after their mother was awarded full custody. Marcelle of Nice, France, was reunited with her children in New York City after seeing their picture in the newspaper.

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