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Fantasy becomes reality – Works of fiction that eerily predicted the future

Posted by mandyf on January 11, 2012

People have claimed to see into the future for as long as man could speak. Some may be able to actually do so, but most are charlatans. Sometimes however, people predict the future in such an eerily accurate manner it is hard to no believe it’s possible – even just a little bit. What really gets creepy is when the predictions are unintentional – or so we think – and describe everything that is going to happen years in advance in such vivid detail there is simply no explanation.

There are two instances in which an author has penned a work of fiction that winds up playing out in real life. This has happened many times over, but in most cases it is a matter of intentionally recreating fictional events so they really don’t count. In the cases of Edgar Allen Poe and Morgan Robertson however, the events they predicted are the types of things nobody would ever want to willingly recreate.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote many things over the course of his life, but only one novel – “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.” It never had much success while Poe was alive, but it did actually inspire Herman Melville and Jules Verne so something in it was pretty good. As interesting as that is, the story was about a whaling ship that winds up lost at sea. Only four of the crew survive condemned to endlessly drift. Eventually the food runs out and the crew turns to the one option left for nourishment – each other. They draw straws and the short straw goes to Richard Parker, the cabin boy.

Fast forward 46 years into the future and a whaling ship, The Mignorette goes missing. Big deal, right? Actually it kind of is. The Mignorette was famous because the men on board drew straws or something similar in a random fashion, and wound up eating the cabin boy as their source of nourishment until they were rescued. Things like that happen, and it’s mere coincidence, right? Yes, except that the cabin boy’s name was Richard Parker.

As weird as that is, there is an even more detailed example of life imitating fiction. Morgan Robertson penned a novel called “Futility, or the Wreck if the Titan.” The premise of the story is that an unsinkable ship on its maiden voyage somehow or another sinks. From that description it is obvious the connection is to the Titanic – but just how close is freaky spooky.

Robertson’s novel described the future Titanic to a tee before it was even built. Both ships were about 800 feet in length, both were British built, both were considered the ultimate luxury liner, and both were of course unsinkable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. The Titanic and Titan both go down in on an April night in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg. That isn’t even the weird part though.

Both the real and fictional ship hit an iceberg about 400 miles from Newfoundland, except the Titan hit at 22.5 knots while the Titanic impacted at 25 knots. Neither had enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and both were starboard impacts. Now keep in mind Robertson wrote it all down 14 years before the Titanic took that fateful trip.

Perhaps it is mere coincidence, or maybe they saw into the future. It’s hard to say, but the way things played out it’s hard to not wonder just a little – to have that moment of doubt where you really are convinced X-Files type things are at play. Read each book, and then read the history of the real life events and decide for yourself.



4 Responses to “Fantasy becomes reality – Works of fiction that eerily predicted the future”

  1. Emma said

    Could be coincidence but I like to think there’s something else out there beyond the rational. Then again I’ve always been more of a Mulder than a Scully

  2. mandyf said

    Me too! Sometimes when you look through literature that was fiction at the time of writing to see how much of it became reality – often in great detail – you have to believe that there is at least the possibility of something bigger at work.

  3. Outstanding article and I presently believe there are no coincidences in the Universe. 🙂

  4. mandyf said

    Thanks a lot! I really dig finding these oddities and trying to connect the dots.

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