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Walking out of my first screening of Titanic more than a decade ago, I doubt I was alone in wondering two things as I dried my eyes and tried not to look as wrecked as I felt. The first, how could she toss the diamond like that?! And the second question, could Rose and Jack both have fit on that board together? Discovery's MythBusters' set out to explore the second question in a recent episode of the series. They also presented their findings to director James Cameron.
To refresh your memory, near the end of Titanic, after the boat sinks, Jack and Rose come across a floating board, which proves to be life-saving to one of them. Jack helps Rose climb on top of it to get her out of the icy-cold water. Jack then makes an attempt to get on top of it also, but when the board starts to sink, he gives up and settles for floating in the water while holding onto it. Spoiler alert: Jack freezes to death and Rose manages to survive the ordeal when one of the life boats returns. Even though we see the board nearly capsize when Jack tries to get on it, you would've thought they might have made a better effort to share the thing. It's not like they had anything else to do.
Chalk it up to being too cold and too tired, I guess. Either way, MythBusters' experimented with the situation recently by performing their own board-floating experiment. Watch the video below to see how it worked out for them.
As the results show, the movie got it right as far as the hypothermia goes. Rose surviving out of the water holds up. But the board situation is another matter, as both men managed to get on top of it, with the help of Rose's life preserver.
Granted, they have the advantage of presumably (much) warmer water and the suits and boots they're wearing, not to mention the advantage of preparation and not having just gone through a horrific ordeal, which may have helped in keeping their wits about them. That said, unless there are other factors it seems like the board holds two people just fine (and two people who appear to be at least a little bit bigger than Rose and Jack). So next time, Rose, maybe you could shove over and give your boyfriend a chance to survive.
In the end, it all comes down to Cameron's response to the reveal that the Jack's death was for naught. "The script says Jack dies, he has to die. So maybe we screwed up and the board should've been a little tiny-bit smaller but, the dude's going down!" We have to accept that Jack was never meant to survive Titanic. Still, it's fun to know he could have… technically. Now, about that diamond…