The current headline-grabbing situation around the missing submarine that was exploring the Titanic wreckage has taken on an unexpected—and arguably unsettling—crypto degen angle: Gamblers on betting site Polymarket have now wagered over $170,000 on whether the manned submarine will be located.

The OceanGate Titan submarine went missing on June 18 during an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic, with five people onboard. It had only 96 hours of oxygen, meaning it is likely that the passengers have already run out of air to breathe.

While the search continues in the Atlantic Ocean, crypto degens have taken it upon themselves to place bets on whether the submarine will be found by midnight on June 23, as first reported by Gizmodo.


According to the Polymarket website, the cabin vessel does not need to be rescued or physically recovered, but simply found. If "pieces are located" but the cabin which contains the vessel's passengers is not, this does not count as the submarine being found.

As of this writing, 62% of the wagers are betting “no,” that the submarine won’t be found in a manner that meets the description above, while less than half of wagers are keeping an optimistic view of the increasingly fraught emergency situation.

As news of crypto traders gambling on people's lives spread, online reception has been decidedly mixed. One Twitter user called it, "the most dystopian thing I've seen on the [timeline] in a while," while others said (perhaps jokingly), "I’m thinking about dumping my bonus into this.”

“Gambling on lives is actually insane,” tweeted video game publication Dexerto after sharing odds from the site.


Polymarket, the crypto platform hosting the betting, took the buzz and backlash as an opportunity for promotion and started replying to viral tweets about the Titan search.

"Still a 15% chance they find them by Friday,” Polymarket responded to musician Rico Nasty.

An official statement by OceanGate, the U.S. Coast Guard, or "another credible government agency" is required for the settlement of this bet. In the case of no such statement, "a consensus of credible reporting" will suffice.

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