The Most Famous Shipwreck: Discover the World's Legendary Maritime Disaster

Choose the shipwreck you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 2, 2024 07:18
Dive into the depths of history and cast your vote in StrawPoll's latest gripping ranking - "Who is the most famous shipwreck?" From the haunting tales of the Titanic to the mysterious vanishing of the Mary Celeste, we've compiled a list of legendary shipwrecks that have captivated our imaginations for centuries. But it doesn't end there - you can also suggest any missing maritime marvels that deserve a spot on this list. So, come aboard and let your voice be heard as we navigate through the fascinating world of these sunken treasures. With thousands of polls waiting to be explored, StrawPoll is your ultimate destination for all things ranked. Cast your vote now and help us uncover the most famous shipwreck of all time!

Who Is the Most Famous Shipwreck?

  1. 1
    Titanic - perhaps the most infamous shipwreck in history, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, leading to the loss of over 1,500 lives. Its story has been immortalized in books, films, and popular culture.
    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.
    • Release date: December 19, 1997
    • Running time: 195 minutes
    • Budget: $200 million
    • Box office: $2.2 billion
    • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart
  2. 2
    Lusitania is a British passenger liner sunk by a German submarine during World War I, the Lusitania's sinking led to the loss of nearly 1,200 lives and contributed to the United States entering the war.
  3. 3
    Andrea Doria is a luxury liner that sank off the coast of Massachusetts in 1956 after colliding with another ship, the Andrea Doria is known for its dramatic rescue efforts and the subsequent legal battles over liability.
  4. 4
    Edmund Fitzgerald
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Edmund Fitzgerald is a Great Lakes freighter that sank in Lake Superior during a storm in 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald's story has been immortalized in song and is still the subject of speculation and debate among shipwreck enthusiasts.
  5. 5
    USS Arizona is one of the ships sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona is now a memorial site and symbol of the sacrifices made during World War II.
  6. 6
    HMS Bounty
    YasminaUploader: Georges Jansoone (JoJan) · CC BY 3.0
    HMS Bounty is a replica of the famous ship used in the film Mutiny on the Bounty, the HMS Bounty sank off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, leading to the loss of two lives.
    The HMS Bounty was a historic British ship known for its role in the 1789 mutiny led by Fletcher Christian against Captain William Bligh. Originally designed as a merchant vessel, it was later purchased by the Royal Navy for a scientific expedition to Tahiti.
    • Type: Merchant vessel/armed transport ship
    • Tonnage: 215 tons
    • Length: 90 feet
    • Beam: 24 feet
    • Draft: 11 feet
    HMS Bounty in other rankings
  7. 7
    Mary Celeste is a merchant ship found abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872, the Mary Celeste's mysterious disappearance and lack of any apparent explanation has made it a subject of fascination and speculation for over a century.
  8. 8
    Essex is a whaling ship that inspired the novel Moby-Dick, the Essex was sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean in 1820, leading to the loss of most of its crew.
  9. 9
    RMS Empress of Ireland
    HefePine23 · CC BY-SA 2.0
    RMS Empress of Ireland is a Canadian liner that sank in the Saint Lawrence River in 1914 after colliding with another ship, the Empress of Ireland's sinking led to the loss of over 1,000 lives and is still one of the deadliest shipwrecks in Canadian history.
  10. 10
    Vasa is a Swedish warship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628, the Vasa's well-preserved remains have been restored and are now on display in a museum in Stockholm, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sweden.

Missing your favorite shipwreck?


Ranking factors for famous shipwreck

  1. Historical Significance
    Consider the ship's historical significance and its impact on events, such as its involvement in famous battles, explorations, or other important moments in history.
  2. Cultural and Symbolic Importance
    Evaluate the ship's cultural or symbolic importance, such as its association with legends, myths, or famous literary works.
  3. Human Tragedy
    Assess the extent of human tragedy associated with the shipwreck, including the loss of life or any remarkable survival stories.
  4. Popularity and Public Awareness
    Consider the shipwreck's level of public awareness and popular interest. This can be measured through media coverage, public fascination, and references in popular culture.
  5. Archaeological and Preservation Value
    Evaluate the archaeological and preservation value of the shipwreck, including the state of preservation, significance in marine archaeology, or potential for scientific exploration.
  6. Salvage or Recovery Efforts
    Take into account any salvage or recovery efforts made on the shipwreck, resulting in the retrieval of valuable artifacts or important historical information.
  7. Tourism and Visitor Interest
    Consider the shipwreck's popularity as a tourist attraction and its ability to draw visitors and generate interest in travel or tourism.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous shipwreck. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or shipwreck is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 209 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each shipwreck once every 24 hours. The rank of each shipwreck is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous shipwreck

When it comes to famous shipwrecks, the options are plentiful. From historical vessels to modern-day cruise ships, there is no shortage of tragic tales and haunting remains. However, there is one shipwreck that stands out among the rest as the most famous: the RMS Titanic. The Titanic was a British passenger liner that famously sank on its maiden voyage in 1912 after colliding with an iceberg. The disaster claimed the lives of over 1,500 passengers and crew, making it one of the deadliest shipwrecks in history. The story of the Titanic has captivated people for over a century, spawning countless books, movies, and documentaries. Despite its tragic end, the Titanic remains a symbol of luxury and opulence. The ship was the largest and most luxurious of its time, with amenities like a swimming pool, squash court, and grand staircase. It was carrying some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world, including John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim. The wreck of the Titanic was not discovered until 1985, over 70 years after it sank. Since then, numerous expeditions have been launched to explore the site and recover artifacts. The Titanic continues to be a source of fascination and inspiration, a reminder of the power and fragility of human ambition.

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