Did The Simpsons predict the Titan tragedy?

We came across several posts circulating on Twitter, claiming that The Simpsons, an American animated sitcom, had predicted the recent Titan tragedy.

One post, which had garnered 2.7 million views at the time of this fact-check, contained the caption “The Simpson did it again!!!”, presumably referring to the phenomenon that the popular television show has predicted a future event yet again.


The titan tragedy

The Titan refers to a deep-sea submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions, a U.S. based company, that offers interested parties an opportunity to visit the sunken wreck of the Titanic ship.

In a recent expedition, about 1 hour and 45 minutes into the 2-hour descent towards the Titanic wreck, the Titan’s communications system failed. With rapidly declining oxygen levels in the submersible, a rescue expedition was launched to find the submersible. However, days into the rescue expedition, debris from the submersible was discovered. This suggested that the submersible had imploded, leaving no survivors.


Did the Simpsons share a glimpse of the future?

The short clips, that have been shared on Twitter, are extracted from an episode from 2006 titled “Homer’s Paternity Coot”. In these clips, Homer Simpson and a man who is supposedly his long-lost biological dad descend into the ocean in submarines, in search of lost treasure.

After successfully discovering a sunken shipwreck with treasure, Homer, and his dad attempt to return to the surface with treasure chests. However, during the ascend, Homer gets lost, and his submarine gets stuck on the ocean floor. As he is faced with declining oxygen levels, Homer faints.

Many have drawn parallels between The Simpsons episode from 2006 and the journey of the Titan with its 5 passengers as it lost contact with its surface support ship shortly after its descent into the ocean and faced the risk of running out of oxygen in a short period of time.

Mike Reiss, an executive producer of The Simpsons shared that he was once a part of the Titan’s expedition to the Titanic wreck site. However, he stated that the inspiration for including deep-sea exploration in episodes came from a 1995 movie called Crimson Tide. In 1998, an episode titled “Simpson Tide” depicted Homer in a nuclear-powered submarine navigating through Russian waters. Similarly, the 2006 episode followed a deep-sea exploration theme.

Image credit: IMDB

The Simpsons show has long had a reputation for predicting future events such as Donald Trump’s presidency. Hence, it is not entirely surprising that social media users are drawing parallels between the Titan event and an episode from The Simpsons.

However, we had also recently debunked a claim that The Simpsons had predicted the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank. What appears as Silicon Valley Bank in clips shared on social media turned out to be digitally altered.

Although there are some similarities between the episode from The Simpsons and the Titan tragedy, Homer was rescued and managed to survive his dive into the ocean. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Titan, which imploded. Hence, it is false that The Simpsons predicted the Titan tragedy.

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