Titan and Titanic

As this year is the 100th anniversary of its sinking, here in the UK, the subject of The Titanic has been in the public mind quite a bit. We have had documentaries and TV dramas, there is a stage musical of the disaster (can you believe it?) and, of course, the blockbuster movie has just been re-released in 3D. However, in this post I wanted to bring something to your attention that just may have escaped your notice.

In 1898, fourteen years before the Titanic disaster, the well-known American author, Morgan Andrew Robertson wrote his novella, Futility or the Wreck of the Titan. The story describes how the ‘unsinkable’ passenger liner, Titan, sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. Carrying only the number of lifeboats required by law, the ship sinks and half of the passengers are killed.

Just take a look at this remarkable list of similarities:

The Titanic was the world’s largest luxury liner (882 feet, displacing 63,000 long tons), and was once described as being practically “unsinkable”.

The Titan was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men (800 feet, displacing 75,000 tons), and was considered “unsinkable”.

The Titanic carried only 16 lifeboats, plus 4 Engelhardt folding lifeboats, less than half the number required for her passenger capacity of 3000.

The Titan carried “as few as the law allowed”, 24 lifeboats, less than half needed for her 3000 capacity.

Moving too fast at 22½ knots the Titanic struck an iceberg on the starboard side on the night of April 14, 1912 in the North Atlantic 400 miles away from Newfoundland.

Also on an April night, in the North Atlantic 400 miles from Newfoundland (Terranova), the Titan hit an iceberg while travelling at 25 knots, also on the starboard side.

The unsinkable Titanic sank, and more than half of her 2200 passengers died.

The indestructible Titan also sank, more than half of her 2500 passengers drowning. Went down bow first, the Titan actually capsizing before it sank

Source Wikipedia: The Wreck of the Titan

I will be adding the story of The Titan to my stock of examples that illustrate the fact that remarkable coincidences do actually happen; a stock that includes the stories of Newton and Leibnitz who independently invented calculus, and Darwin and Wallace who independently conceived theories of Natural Selection.

As you can see, The Titan story contains quite an amazing number of details that were actually played out in reality when the Titanic sank on ‘that fateful night’ in April 1912 and there is no plausible explanation except for coincidence. Life teaches us that coincidences do indeed happen – quite astonishing and hardly believable coincidences too – something that is always worth bearing in mind.

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