What the ‘SOS’ Distress Signal Really Stands For


(Modern Survival.org) – What does the ‘SOS’ emergency distress signal stand for?

  • Save Our Ship
  • Search Our Seas
  • Save Our Souls
  • None of the above

Answer: None of the Above. Here’s why…

For over a hundred years, SOS has been an accepted international signal for distress. During that time, the SOS sign has saved countless lives. But have you ever wondered what SOS actually stands for?

In the following video, Let’s TEACH provides a brief history of the SOS distress signal:

Many people believe SOS stands for “save our souls” or “save our ship” however, in truth, it isn’t an abbreviation for anything. SOS wasn’t even supposed to be used in letters originally, but rather in morse code (… – – – …).

During a radiotelegraph conference on November 3, 1906, SOS became the internationally recognized sign of distress. Before then, each country used its own emergency alert signals, which understandably led to some confusion. In 1927, SOS was replaced by the spoken word “mayday” due to advancements in technology and the phasing out of the telegram.

Despite being replaced, SOS is still a commonly used signal for help around the world. Knowing how to signal for help in an emergency situation — even when tapping out SOS in morse code is the only option — can lead to being rescued.

One such scenario that could require the use of SOS is in the aftermath of an earthquake. To see how you can reduce the risk of harm during one of these natural disasters, check out our article on how to survive an earthquake.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

Copyright 2023, ModernSurvival.org