This Is The Book That Foresaw The Sinking Of The Titanic

Morgan Robertson was an American merchant marine officer, he was also a writer and credited by some as the inventor of the periscope. But he is more popularly known as the man who in 1898, wrote a novel called “The Wreck of the Titan or Futility”, in which a liner called Titan sank in the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg. It is a story that few have actually heard of, fewer have actually read the book, that according to many, anticipated the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic.

The Titan disconcertingly resembled the famous ocean liner Titanic.

This novel tells the story of an “unsinkable” Ship, the largest and most luxurious ever built, and its passengers were the most distinguished members of the world bourgeoisie. It was described as an unsinkable ship but was destined to never reach its destination, as the Titan would crack open after colliding with an iceberg and sinking, leaving only a few survivors. The cruise existed only on paper, in the imagination of the novelist Morgan Robertson, or so it seemed.

In addition to the similarities between the names of the ships, the dates and time of the accident, the “Titan” by Robertson, was a ship that also belonged to an English company just like the Titanic did.

Also, incredible similarities can be seen in the design of the ships, the number of engines and masts liners, which had a nearly identical length and a nearly identical power, and struck the fatal iceberg at a nearly identical speed.  The small number of lifeboats in relation to the number of people traveling on boats is another similar fact, though Robertson could not predict the death toll, which stood at 3,000, double that of the actual.


Beyond the obviously very similar name, other similarities between the Titanic and the fictional Titan are the following:

  • Both of the ships were triple screw (propeller) ships.
  • Both the Titan and the Titanic were described as being “unsinkable” The Titan was the largest craft afloat and the greatest ship ever built to date, having 800 feet, displacing 75,000 tons, up from 45,000 in the 1898 edition…
  • Both the fictional ship the Titan and the Titanic had a shortage of lifeboats
    • The Titanic carried 16 lifeboats, plus 4 Engelhardt folding lifeboats, which was less than the required for the crew and passenger capacity of 3000.
    • According to the book, the Titan carried “as few as the law allowed”, 24 lifeboats, which could carry less than half of her total complement of 3000.
  • Both ships struck an iceberg
    • The Titanic struck the iceberg moving at 22½ knots on the starboard side on the night of April 14, 1912, in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) away from Newfoundland.
    • The titan also struck an iceberg moving at 25 knots, curiously also on the starboard side on an April night in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) from Newfoundland.
  • Both ships sank, even though they were described as unsinkable.
    • The Titanic sank, and more than half of her 2200 passengers and crew died.
    • The Titan also sank, and more than half of her 2500 passengers drowned.

The Titan and the Titanic were both 400 miles from Newfoundland! Creepy or what? Well, it is a true story.

 1898 Version














 Horse Power









 Watertight compartments



 Number of Lifeboats



 Passenger Capacity



 Passengers on board



 Speed at Impact

 25 knots

 22.5 knots

 Time of Impact

 near midnight


 Point of Impact






 Number of Survivors



Apparently Robertson did have a talent of predicting the future as he also predicted another real-life event. Robertson is also credited with predicting the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II in his novel 1914 “Beyond the spectrum.”

Featured image credit: Shutterstock.

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