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14 years before the Titanic sank, a novel oddly but accurately predicted how the tragedy would unfold

Morgan Robertson wrote a novel called 'Futility' which eerily had similarities with the events of the Titanic disaster.

14 years before the Titanic sank, a novel oddly but accurately predicted how the tragedy would unfold
Cover Image Source: German artist Willy Stoewer depicts the sinking of the Titanic, the proud British luxury liner that struck an iceberg off New Foundland, April 14, 1912. (Photo by Bettmann / Getty Images)

The tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic was one of the most significant events of the 20th century, marking a pivotal moment in maritime history. The sinking of the luxury liner was eerily predicted by Morgan Robertson in his short novel, "Futility: The Wreck of the Titan," written 14 years before the actual tragedy. The 1898 novel tells the story of the world's largest passenger ship, the 'Titan,' which sank after hitting an iceberg, according to Royal Museums Greenwich

Image source: The White Star Line passenger liner R.M.S. Titanic embarking on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Representative Image source: The White Star Line passenger liner R.M.S. Titanic embarking on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

The plot of Robertson's novel bears an uncanny resemblance to the real-world tragedy. He accurately predicted the dimensions and key details of the ship, noting that the fictional "Titan" carried the minimum number of lifeboats required by regulations and could travel as swiftly as any ship in service. Given these similarities, it's unsurprising that the Titan also met a fatal encounter with an iceberg, claiming the lives of nearly all 3,000 people on board.



 

While James Cameron's fictional take on the "Titanic" showed the romance of Jack and Rose, the story of this short novel was not tragically romantic in any way. The central character of this novel is a troubled member of the Titan’s crew, a lookout named Rowland, who is caught up in an on-board conspiracy after the Titan runs down and destroys a smaller sailing vessel.

Image source: Survivors watch from the lifeboats as the ill-fated White Star liner, the 'Titanic', plunges beneath the waves. Original Publication: Illustrated London News - pub. 1912 Original Publication: From a special supplement of 'Graphic'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Image source: Survivors watch from the lifeboats as the ill-fated White Star liner, the 'Titanic', plunges beneath the waves. Original Publication: Illustrated London News - pub. 1912 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Rowland survives the Titan’s demise and lands on the iceberg with a small girl. The story's most dramatic moment comes when Rowland fights a ferocious polar bear on the iceberg, redeeming himself and earning the chance to care for the child, who is the daughter of a former love interest.



 

Over a century has passed since the Titanic, a luxury ship built for long-distance travel, tragically sank on its maiden voyage. Numerous expeditions have since located the wreckage, which now lies at the bottom of the Atlantic.

Unlike the film “Titanic,” Robertson's novel concludes on a happier note, with Rowland and the little girl being rescued by a passing ship and brought back to England. Rowland secures a lucrative government job and leads a contented life in America. Morgan Robertson's eerie vision continues to remind readers of the real Titanic saga.

Image source: It is the actual iceberg which caused the British luxury liner Titanic to sink. The 46,000-ton vessel was still going at a speed of 25 mph when she hit the iceberg. Two hours and forty minutes later the magnificent ship was under, with the loss of 1,517 lives.
Image source: It is the actual iceberg that caused the British luxury liner Titanic to sink. The 46,000-ton vessel was still going at a speed of 25 mph when she hit the iceberg. 

 

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