The steam-powered giant tarantula from “Wild Wild West” (1999)
Artemus Gordon: We have the element of surprise. What does Loveless have?
[They look down into a canyon]
Artemus Gordon: He has his own city.
[Loveless’ mechanical spider walks up over the edge of the cliff on which they are standing]
Capt. James West: He has an 80-foot tarantula.
Artemus Gordon: I was just coming to that.
You know the story. A large, “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg while crossing the icy Atlantic; the hull was pierced, water flooded in unchecked, the ship sank, and thousands of people suffered a cold, watery death. What most don’t know is that this particular tale is not only the story of the RMS Titanic, but the much earlier story of the Titan, a fictional vessel created by Morgan Robertson and told of in his 1898 tale of disaster-at-sea, Futility. Amazingly, what was originally a fictional tale of human nature, water, and death became a thing of terrible reality when the RMS Titanic (pictured above, in drydock) disappeared beneath frigid Atlantic waves on the night of April 14, 1912. Later that same year, avarice overruled decency and Robertson’s Futility was renamed The Wreck of the Titan in an attempt to capitalize on the morbid popularity of all things Titanic.