A slew of users of the online prediction marketplace Polymarket are betting tens of thousands of dollars on whether the missing Titanic tourist submersible, named the Titan, will be found by midnight ET on June 23, at which point it is likely the five passengers onboard will have run out of oxygen.
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As of Thursday morning, users had bet more than $120,000 on the event, with the majority placing their money on “no,” which had garnered roughly $107,000 in bets. The Titanic exploration submersible initiated its journey with a four-day supply of oxygen, or 96 hours, this past Sunday. While some estimate that the passengers will run out of oxygen this morning, there are ways they could have saved on air, such as breathing less deeply and frequently. Overall, there’s no way to know how much oxygen is left onboard.
Yet, in a disgusting twist, whether the passengers of the Titan are found alive doesn’t matter when it comes to the bet, according to Polymarket. Polymarket is a platform that allows people to place bets in crypto, via buying or selling “shares,” on the outcomes of certain events. Shares can be redeemed for $1 if the chosen outcome is correct but are worthless if it’s incorrect.
“For the purposes of this market, the vessel need not have been rescued or physically recovered to be considered ‘found,’” the market description page reads. “If pieces are located, but not the cabin which contains the vessel’s passengers, that will not suffice for this market to resolve to ‘Yes.’” Gizmodo reached out to Polymarket for comment on Thursday morning but did not immediately receive a response.
Polymarket’s submersible bet marketplace was spotted on social media by Dexerto Wednesday night and appears to have been created only hours earlier. The company’s official Twitter account promoted the bet, stating that there was “only a 15% chance the missing submarine is found by Friday,” and retweeted users who bragged about how much money they had spent on the bet.
“just slammed $500 on the submarine not being found, easy 💯💯,” the user @FearedBuck stated.
Other users, like Kick streamer Citrus, bet that the submarine would be found and told others to send “PRAYERS THEY FIND IT.” Citrus also used the opportunity to encourage people to sign up for Polymarket and use his signup code.
Betting on whether the missing Titanic submersible will be found isn’t the only disgusting thing that’s happened on the internet this week, though. People on social media have also been joking about the fact that there are billionaires on the submersible, seemingly ignoring the fact that the situation still involves human lives. Passengers include 58-year-old Hamish Harding, who made his fortune selling private jets, and 48-year-old Shahzada Dawood, who is a member of one of Pakistan’s richest families. Dawood made the trip on the Titan with his 19-year-old son, Suleman.
On Thursday morning, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger was asked about the amount of oxygen on the Titan and whether it could be extended. While Mauger didn’t comment on the amount of air left, he said the Coast Guard frequently encounters complex cases in search and rescue efforts that define expectations.
“People’s will to live really needs to be accounted for, as well,” Mauger said.