In Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift described the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, giving their exact size and speeds of rotation. He did this more than 100 years before either moon was discovered!

Gulliver’s Travels famously written by Jonathan Swift in 1726 is just not a Japanese space animated feature. It is touted to be much more than that.
Jonathan Swift in his book described the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, giving their exact size and speeds of rotation.  What is a revelation is that these very moons were discovered 100 years after Jonathan Swift mentioned the exact statistics of Phobos and Deimos.
The two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, were eventually found, by Asaph Hall at the US Naval Observatory. In this discovery, their orbits proved to be quite similar to those described in Swift’s novel. Phobos is actually 6,000 km from the surface of Mars and revolves around Mars in 7.7 hours, whereas Swift gave the values 13,600 km and 10 hours, respectively. Deimos averages 20,100 km from Mars and orbits in 30.3 hours and Jonathan Swift provided the figures; 27,200 km and 21.5 hours, respectively.
Naturally a theory from the cult literature had to spring which indicated specifically to address how Swift could have “known” about the Martian moons and has arrived at some spectacular solutions, including the remarkable one that Swift himself was a Martian!  In fact, the idea that Mars might have two satellites goes back to Johannes Kepler and a memoir he published in 1610.
Although, no previous connection to either of the routes has been established, it certainly seems like a coincidence that borders on the supernatural. But then again, as they say- truth is stranger than fiction.




4 Comments

  1. […] additional detaisl concerning near matching orbital periods and size of the moons….read here…Jonathan Swift described the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos The second was Jules Verne, famous for writing the world famous science fiction novel "From […]

  2. Walter wrote:

    All you do is give it a shake for 15-30 seconds, and it will provide up to 5 minutes of continuous bright light.
    Night vision devices, the vast majority of people are aware of night vision goggles.

    The most dangerous moment for any spy is when they are entering a room.

  3. [...] Did You Know Archive » In Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift described the two moons of Mars, Pho… Jonathan Swift in his book described the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, giving their exact size and speeds of rotation. What is a revelation is that these very moons were discovered 100 years after Jonathan Swift mentioned the exact statistics of Phobos and Deimos. The two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, were eventually found, by Asaph Hall at the US Naval Observatory. In this discovery, their orbits proved to be quite similar to those described in Swift’s novel. Phobos is actually 6,000 km from the surface of Mars and revolves around Mars in 7.7 hours, whereas Swift gave the values 13,600 km and 10 hours, respectively. [...]

  4. Codlios wrote:

    Voltaire referenced it too in 1750. It was probably because of Johannes Kepler’s prediction in the late 1500’s. Swift actually refers to Kepler’s third law in the story.