Titanic Mystery: A Prophecy of the Tragedy?

Morgan Robertson's novella titled Futility is an engaging fictional account of the ill-fated voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic.

Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan recounts many of the elements that makes Titanic a truly epic story -- the iceberg, the lack of lifeboats, the number that perished. But the most spectacular detail of Robertson's retelling of the Titanic story is that it was written in 1898, a full fourteen years before the actual event!

Here are some of the strange similarities between the novella and the real event:

  • Titanic was 882 ft. long, Robertson's Titan was 800 ft. long.
  • Both ships carried too few lifeboats: Titanic had 20, Titan had 24.
  • Both struck an iceberg and sank because of a gash in the starboard side of the ship.
  • Titanic and Titan both met their doom in April.
  • Titanic carried approx. 2200 passengers, Titan carried 2500.
  • Both ships were exceeding recommended speeds when they struck the icebergs.
  • Titanic and Titan both sank bow first.
  • Each vessel was touted as 'unsinkable'.

And of course, the greatest disparity between the two is that Titanic really existed while Titan is a fictitious ship created by a writer many years before the tragedy. Read up on some of the other eerie coincidences here

Okay, if you're as obsessed as we are about Titanic's 100th anniversary, check out this cool page that the Denver Post launched on all things Titanic. Fresh City Life has a few Titanic tricks up our sleeve, too. On Sunday, April 15, we are hosting a Titanic Survivors Brunch and one of our guests will be Tom Martin, who's grandmother and great-grandmother both survived the Titanic!

And our bi-annual fashion show, Frock Out: Come Undone draws inspiration from the story of Titanic's maiden voyage. Tickets for both events benefit Fresh City Life -- adult cultural programming at Denver Public Library -- and are an excellent way to mark Titanic's 'night to remember'. Details here.

Written by Chris on April 3, 2012


Baluga on June 18, 2014


The book with the pic of the ship and life boats ( the wreck of the titan ) is that the original copy ?

ChrisL on June 18, 2014


Hi Baluga, I believe that is a reproduction of the original book cover, thought I'm not sure. Would you like me to try and find it for you?

Anonymous on February 2, 2016


As far as I know that is not the original cover. I have been looking for an open source picture of the cover for a good long while now.

Do you guys have a picture of the original cover that can be used elsewhere (like goodreads)?

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