Since time immemorial, people have always been fascinated by predictions. It gives us some sort of security and also a little excitement to be aware of what the future holds for us. We try to look everywhere for the future and turn to anyone, from charlatans like fortune tellers to prophets like Nostradamus, hoping to be given a glimpse of what awaits us.
Although it is never wise to rely on predictions, as they are almost always inaccurate in their interpretation of what is to come, there were times when some people accurately predicted the future. What is even more amazing is that most of these predictions were not done by prophets who rely on the supernatural but by intellectuals who rely on science.
1. Robert Boyle predicted organ transplantation.
In the 1660s, Robert Boyle foresaw that diseases would be cured by replacing unhealthy organs with healthy ones. A really impressive prediction considering that this man lived in an era dominated by magic and superstition.
2. Ezra Stiles predicted the population growth of the United States.
Ezra Stiles, while serving as the president of Yale University in 1783, correctly predicted that the United State’s population would reach 300 million in the next two centuries. His prediction was based on his analysis of the population growth of Europe.
3. Alexis De Tocqueville predicted the Cold War.
In 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his book entitled “Democracy in America” : “There are now two great nations in the world which, starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo Americans. Their point of departure is different and their paths diverse; nevertheless, each seems called by some secret desire of providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world.”
4. Dmitri Mendeleev predicted the weights and properties of more than 40 other elements in the Periodic Table.
The Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev precisely predicted the properties and weights of more than 40 elements that now comprises the modern-day periodic table of elements. There were just about 60 elements known before Mendeleev’s prediction.
5. Jules Verne predicted the moon landing.
More than a hundred years before Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Jules Verne has already written about the moon landing in his book entitled “From the Earth to the Moon”. Verne wrote that a rocket would launch from Florida and fly to the moon. In his book, he predicted the name of the ship (Apollo) and the number of astronauts on board as well as the weightlessness that is felt on the moon.
6. Nostradamus predicted the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Nostradamus, the famous prophet who was dubbed as “the man who saw tomorrow”, wrote in his book that a man named “Napaulon Roy” would rise in power and become one of the most important men in history. Nostradamus wrote that this man would deny the Piuses’ entry. True enough, Pope Pius VI and VII were locked up during Napoleon’s time.
7. Nostradamus predicted Louis Pasteur’s success.
In his book, Nostradamus wrote that a certain “Pastor” would be praised like a demigod. Centuries after this prediction, a man named Louis Pasteur made several scientific breakthroughs and is considered as one of the greatest scientists of all time.
8. Nostradamus predicted the death of Princess Diana.
In his writings, Nostradamus predicted the death of Princess Diana. He wrote: “The last son of the man with the Prophet’s name will bring Diana to her day of rest. At a distance they wander in frenetic grief. Delivering a great people from ruin.” The father of Dodi al-Fayed, Diana’s rumored boyfriend wo died with her that fateful night, is named Mohammed, the name of the Islamic prophet.
9. Nostradamus also predicted the great fire of London.
Nostradamus also spoke how a “fire will burn the blood of the just in London in the year 66”. on September 5, 1966, the Great Fire of London swept through the city which claimed the lives of thousands.
10. Nostradamus predicted the French Revolution.
Nostradamus predicted in his book that the people in France would rebel against the princes and lords. He wrote:
“From the enslaved people, songs, chants and demands,
The princes and lords are held captive in prisons:
In the future by such headless idiots
These will be taken as divine utterances.”
“Before the war comes,
The great wall will fall,
The King will be executed, his death coming too soon will be lamented.
(The guards) will swim in blood,
Near the River Seine the soil will be bloodied.”
11. The sinking of the Titanic was predicted by a short story.
Writer Morgan Robertson wrote a short story entitled “Futility or The Wreck of The Titan” in 1898. It tells the tragic story of the largest ship ever made that sank after crashing into an iceberg. More than a decade later, the RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage, met its tragic end under exactly the same circumstances.
12. Wireless devices were predicted by Nikola Tesla.
In 1909, Nikola Tesla gave a statement to The New York Times in which he predicted that in the future, it we would be able to transmit messages through personal devices.
13. H.G. Wells foresaw the atom bomb.
H.G. Wells foresaw the coming of the atom bomb in his book entitled, “The World Set Free”. The book predicted that an atomic bomb that is capable of destroying a city would claim thousands of lives in the future. A pretty impressive prediction considering that very little was known about the power of radioactive elements at that time.
14. Robert Heinlein predicted the coming of The Cold War
In his short story entitled “Solution Unsatisfactory” Robert Heinlein depicted the United States as the first nation in the world to develop a nuclear weapon and become the only superpower., which ignites a race among the other nations to develop a similar weapon. Heinlen’s story came out before the US had conceived the possibility of a nuclear weapon.
15. He also predicted the water bed.
Robert Heinlen’s 1961 novel entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land”, describes in detail such a bed. The inventor of the water bed even had trouble patenting his invention due to its uncanny resemblance to Robert Heinlen’s bed.
16. John Elfreth Watkins Jr. predicted the T.V.
Mr. Watkins, a civil engineer turned curator at the Smithsonian Institute, predicted the advent of television in his article entitled, “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years” in 1900. He wrote: “Man will see around the world. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span.”
17. He also predicted high-speed trains.
In the same article, John Elfreth Watkins Jr. wrote that high-speed trains will be introduced in the 21st century. His startling predictions at that time actually made people think that he was insane.
18. Edward Bellamy predicted credit cards.
Edward Bellamy predicted the use of credit cards in his 1887 novel entitled, “Looking Backward”.
19. Jonathan Swift predicted that there are two moons on Mars.
142 years before this fact was discovered, Jonathan Swift claimed that Mars actually has two moons in his popular novel entitled “Gulliver’s Travels”.
20. The Oklahoma City Bombing was predicted by Tana Hoy.
During an interview with radio station WSQM in the morning of August 19, 1995, Tana Hoy predicted that there would be a terrorist attack in the U.S. that same year and that a federal building will be the target. Hoy also said that this terrorist act will be worse than the 1993 World Trade Center bombin.