The fate of five people on board a submersible that vanished near the Titanic wreck site is uncertain as the search operation enters a critical phase amid dwindling oxygen levels.
The Titan, a 21-foot vessel operated by OceanGate Expeditions, was on a mission to explore the remains of the Titanic, the legendary ship that sank in 1912 in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The submersible lost contact with its mother ship on Sunday and has not been seen or heard from since. The crew has an estimated 96-hour supply of oxygen, which means it could run out by Thursday morning.
The search area is vast and challenging, covering a surface area twice the size of Connecticut and a depth of 2.5 miles. Canadian aircraft have detected “underwater noises” in the area on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it is unclear if they are from the Titan or something else.
The U.S. Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy and other agencies are involved in the search effort, using sonar, remotely operated vehicles and other advanced equipment. The U.S. Navy is also sending a lift system that can retrieve heavy objects from up to 20,000 feet deep.
The passengers on board the Titan are Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions; Hamish Harding, a British billionaire and owner of Action Aviation; Paul Henry Nargeolet, a French dive expert; and Shahzada Dawood and Suleman Dawood, a prominent Pakistani father-and-son duo.
Some social media users have noticed a bizarre coincidence between the Titan’s disappearance and an episode of The Simpsons cartoon from 2006. In the episode, titled “Simpsons Tids”, Homer Simpson goes on an underwater adventure with a man who claims to be his biological father.
They use submersibles to look for a sunken treasure of a ship called “Piso Mojado”. Homer’s submersible gets trapped in a coral cave and he loses consciousness as his oxygen runs low. He is later rescued and wakes up in a hospital three days later.
The Simpsons really predicted the titanic submarine situation .. and that they would completely run out of oxygen (watch till the end) this is actually scary. pic.twitter.com/xOWtE6DTQq
— Qura (@Qurandale) June 22, 2023
Originally airing in 2006, Season 17’s 10th episode, titled “Homer’s Paternity Coot,” features Homer Simpson’s long-lost father, Mason Fairbanks, giving a rather chilling speech before going under the sea with his son.
“Today I am filled with joy. Searching for treasure with my long-lost son. My dream for each of you is that you find the happiness I feel today,” declared Fairbanks.
After exploring for a bit, the duo comes across the remains of a massive ship filled to the brim with treasure.
Simpson, after radioing his friends to tell them of the find, manages to accidentally get the submersible stuck within a portion of the barrier reef.
Starting to panic, Simpson attempts to wrench himself free only for the sub’s “low oxygen” light to begin flashing before he descends into a coma.
Thankfully, it’s a happy ending for the character as he awakens three days later surrounded by his family.
The episode is not an exact match for the Titan’s situation, but some fans find it eerily similar. “The Simpsons had already warned us,” one user tweeted. “Crazy how the Simpsons already predicted about the missing submarine,” another user wrote.
The Simpsons is known for its uncanny ability to foresee real-life events years before they happen, such as Donald Trump’s presidency, the Ebola outbreak and the discovery of the Higgs boson particle.
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