AN INCREDIBLY rare photograph of the iceberg believed to have sunk the Titanic in April 1912 has caused a stir among history buffs as it emerged online.
In the early 20th century, the 'unsinkable' Titanic was built by labourers in Belfast and made its final stop in Cobh, County Cork, and still holds a deep connection with the Emerald Isle today.
Now, well over 100 years later, people from Ireland and further afield are in awe after a photograph of the iceberg that "most likely" sunk the ship emerged online-- and one lucky history buff could be its new owner.
The photograph was taken by Mr W Wood, a photographer and captain of the SS Etonian just two days before the Titanic came across it on its fateful journey.
Captain Wood made a note of the geographical location of the iceberg once he had taken the photograph, and it was confirmed to be in almost the exact same location as where the Titanic struck an iceberg just 40 hours later.
Capt Wood developed the photograph once his ship docked in New York-- after news had spread of the Titanic's disaster-- and sent it to his grandfather along with a letter which stated "I am sending you a sea picture, the Etonian running before a gale and the iceberg that sank the Titanic".
"We crossed the ice tracks 40 hours before her and in daylight, so saw the ice easily and I got a picture."
A caption written on the eerie photograph describes the image as "iceberg taken by Captain Wood SS Etonian in 41°50N 49°50W April 12th at 4pm", and while the date on the photo states 1913, auctioneers say the letter corroborates the image.
The photograph and attached letter is being auctioned off by Henry Aldridge and Son in the UK for an estimated £8,000 - £12,000, with auctioneer Andrew Aldrige saying the image's existence is down to "pure luck".
“There were never any photographs taken on board the Titanic of the iceberg, only images of ones in the same area in the days before and after," he told The Independent.
“But Captain Wood’s photograph must be the most likely of all of these images.
“Fredrick Fleet was the lookout who first spotted the iceberg and he later drew a sketch of it, as did crew member and eye-witness Joseph Scarrott.
“Their sketches both appear similar to the iceberg in this photo and have the same distinctive odd shape at the top.
“But the letter from Captain Wood adds far more weight to this iceberg being the one. He seems unequivocal that this one was the iceberg that sank the Titanic.
“It was pure luck that Captain Wood took the photo when he did.”
To read more about the letter and images taken by Captain Wood, or to make a bid on the extremely rare items, you can visit Henry Aldridge and Son's auctioneer website here.