Do You Believe in Psychics? Because after reading this, you just might. You may or may not have heard about Isaac Asimov, a writer, and professor at Boston University. A visionary, he wrote and edited over 500 science fiction books. But fiction wasn’t all that his work was focused on. He also had strong predictions of the future. Specifically of the year 2019.
Isaac Asimov was born in 1920 in Russia and while growing up, his family immigrated to the United States. People were amazed by the sheer extent of his mind and his ability to predict the future. He died in 1992, but he left behind prevailing ideas that are still being discussed today.
In 1983, the Toronto Star asked Asimov to predict the world of 2019. He had many visions of the future, and many came true. For example, he predicted the ability to use what he called sight-sound communication to connect with anyone on Earth. Aside from Asimov’s prophecies, we will reveal predictions by other great minds of the past who predicted what their future, our today, would be like. And they actually came true.
It Was 1983 When He Looked Our World Today
The Toronto Star asked Asimov this question: “What will the world look like in 2019?” Why then? Because the newspaper’s editors figured that since it was 35 years after George Orwell wrote 1984, it would be perfect timing.
Asimov wrote that there was no point in imagining the future if the US and the Soviet Union were going to engage in a nuclear war, so he just assumed that wouldn’t happen. And then he went on to make his predictions…
His Eerily Correct Predictions
Asimov broke down his predictions into two main themes: computerization and space utilization. Here are the forecasts that he got right.
He wrote that “Computerization will undoubtedly continue onward inevitably.” He also wrote that the “mobile computerized object” will “penetrate the home,” and the increasingly complex society will make it impossible to live without it. Can you argue with that? We take our phones to every room and even monitor our homes with them!
And there’s even more that he knew would happen!
Robots Will Take Our Jobs
Asimov was clearly onto something back in the 1980s. He knew that computers were going to revolutionize the entire world. He had an idea about robots…
Asimov also knew that computers will disrupt work habits and replace old jobs with ones that are radically different. And when it comes to robots, they will kill “routine clerical and assembly-line jobs.”
The High-Tech World of Education
Considering how pivotal computers were going to be, he had some predictions about education as well. And it’s basically exactly what is happening today.
He wrote that a “vast change in the nature of education must take place, and entire populations must be made “computer-literate” and must be taught to deal with a “high-tech” world.” And he figured the education transition will be difficult as world population grows at unprecedented rates.
But Asimov was wrong about a few things regarding computers. Wanna know what they were?
Here’s Something That Didn’t Come True
Asimov was a little off when it came to some of his predictions about the future of computerization. For instance, although he expected that technology will revolutionize education (that’s true), he thought traditional schooling would become outdated as kids will be able to learn everything they need to know from computers at home.
That’s definitely possible, but no, we still have traditional schools and they’re important as ever. But Asimov’s concept is very achievable. And many professionals today are self-taught thanks to the internet.
He Was Right About Entering Space
Asimov claimed in his article: “We will enter space to stay.” And he’s pretty much right about that. The International Space Station (NASA’s satellite) has been continuously occupied and is floating in space for more than 20 years.
But Asimov was a bit too optimistic when it came to space activities, guessing that humans would be “back on the moon in force” with mining operations, factories that “use of the special properties of space,” observatories, and a solar power station that would beam microwaves back to Earth.
Yeah, NASA isn’t there yet. He had more interesting ideas of humans in space…
Human Settlements on the Moon
Asimov thought that by now, in 2019, humans would be establishing settlements on the moon.
“By 2019, the first space settlement should be on the drawing boards; and may perhaps be under actual construction,” he wrote. “It would be the first of many in which human beings could live by the tens of thousands, and in which they could build small societies of all kinds, lending humanity a further twist of variety.”
He Had a Point
The truth is, NASA is actually planning on sending astronauts to the moon in about 10 years or so from now, but it’ll likely take a very long time for any nation to establish a permanent settlement on the moon.
As you can see, Asimov knew what he was talking about. And while a few predictions were a little far-fetched, he got the others spot on.
Wanna know some other historical predictions that actually came true? Read on…
Nikola Tesla Predicted Wi-Fi and Mobile Phones Back in 1909
More than 60 years before the first cell phone was introduced and 90 years before to the introduction of “wi-fi,” Nikola Tesla predicted that these two massive technologies would take place.
Nikola Tesla was a genius electrical engineer and former assistant to Thomas Edison. He told the New York Times: “It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can carry and operate his own apparatus.”
Jules Verne Imagined a Man on the Moon in 1865
More than 100 years before Neil Armstrong took “one giant step for mankind,” Jules Verne, a science fiction author wrote about two men heading for the moon on a projectile fired from a cannon.
This was written in his novel “From Earth to the Moon.” He even set the story with the rocket launch happening in Florida, which is now the site of the Kennedy Space Center.
The debit card you use every day was predicted back in 1888.
Edward Bellamy Foresaw the Debit Card in 1888
Debit cards only started being used in the late 1980s, but way back in 1888, science fiction writer Edward Bellamy described a very similar concept in his utopian novel “Looking Backward, 2000-1887.”
In chapter IX, Dr. Leete explains to Mr. West that in the new world “A credit corresponding to his share of the annual product of the nation is given to every citizen…and a credit card issued him with which he procures at the public storehouses, whatever he desires.”
Mark Twain Predicted his Own Death in 1909
In 1909, Mark Twain, the famous writer, said “I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t.”
Twain died on April 21, 1910, the day after the comet returned.
Next, an astrologer’s prediction of a huge disaster!
Nostradamus Predicted the Great Fire of London in 1666
French astrologer and physician Nostradamus published several collections of prophecies in his lifetime, predicting world events. He foresaw the death of Henry II as well as Hitler’s reign.
One of his most overt predictions involved the Great Fire of London in 1666 that destroyed the city. Nostradamus wrote: “The blood of the just will be lacking in London,/Burnt up in the fire of ’66:/The ancient Lady will topple from her high place,/Many of the same sect will be killed.”
Ray Bradbury Predicted Earbuds in 1953
Author Ray Bradbury wrote in a poetic passage in “Fahrenheit 451” a description of miniature headphones: “And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.”
Considering the book was published in 1953, it’s quite a spot on forecast of the little earbuds we use today!
Next, a historical forecast from the 1660s!
Robert Boyle Predicted Organ Transplants in the 1660s
300 years before the first major organ transplant was conducted in 1954, Robert Boyle, also known as the father of modern chemistry, had a vision.
Written in a note in his personal journal were the words: “the cure of diseases by… transplantation.” Experts also credit Boyle for his insights about LSD, aspirin, and sleeping pills.
Arthur C. Clark Imagined the iPad in 1968
Clark was the author behind the iconic futuristic novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” preceded the iPad by 42 years, and his description of the “newspad” was accurate.
“[Floyd] would plug his foolscap-size Newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. The postage-stamp-size rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen. When he had finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination.” Yup, that’s pretty much what the iPad does!
Next, a writer’s prediction of an American president came true!
John Brunner Knew Who the 2010 American President Would Be Back in 1968
John Brunner’s 1969 novel “Stand on Zanzibar” was a strange piece of science fiction that didn’t get enough credit for predicting the future.
The story was set in 2010, in which a world with a vast social network and media organizations uses to put out news in short bursts and receive real-time feedback from their fans. That’s basically Twitter. And then he mentioned a major world leader named President Obomi. Creepy!
In 1783: A Prediction of the U.S. Population Reaching 300 Million by 1983.
The president of Yale University back in 1783 had some predictions about the world’s population.
He foresaw that America’s population would reach 300 million in 200 years. 200 years later, we get to 1983 and guess what, the American population hit 300 million.
Next, a prediction of the Cold War from 1840!
In 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville Predicted the Cold War.
In 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this in “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.”
He basically said that the two biggest societies craved power and would eventually go at war to obtain it. And also that the fight would affect everyone. Yeah, that’s pretty much what the Cold War was.
A Russian Chemist Predicted the Full Periodic Table in 1863
Dmitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist from the 1800s, predicted the modern-day periodic table perfectly. When he began his research, there were only 60 elements.
But Mendeleev guessed the missing 40 elements. He noted the gaps in the table and predicted elements that would fill them. For example, he foresaw the addition of germanium, which was discovered in 1886. He named it “ekasilicon.”
The Titanic’s sinking was foreseen in a book! See the next photo.
A Short Story Predicted the Sinking of the Titanic
In 1898, a prolific writer named Morgan Robertson wrote a short novel called “Futility, Or The Wreck of the Titan.” The book described how the largest ship ever made crashed into an iceberg and sank.
As we all know, the RMS Titanic sank under those exact circumstances 14 years later.
H.G. Wells Predicted the Atomic Bomb in 1914
H.G. Wells’ wrote in his 1914 novel “The World Set Free” about a city-destroying “atomic bomb.” Wells didn’t know about nuclear detonation back then. But the Manhattan Project, which designed the atomic bomb, didn’t begin until 1942.
But what Wells did know was that if humans figured out how to do it, it would be really bad news.
See who predicted Netflix and Hulu?
In 1987, Roger Ebert Saw the Future of Video-on-Demand
“We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it,” Roger Ebert said in an interview in 1987.
What he described was basically what we call Netflix and Hulu or any other system you use to watch whatever you want wherever you want!
1997: Chris Rock predicted O.J. Simpson’s “If I Did It” murder plan.
Comedian Chris Rock had a special in 1997 on HBO. In it, he has a skit about various celebrities who had dropped by the studio to promote their products.
He joked about O.J. Simpson who came by to talk about his new video called “I Didn’t Kill My Wife! But If I DID, Here’s How I’d Do It.” Funnily (or ironically) enough, O.J. Simpson published his hypothetical plan for murder in November 2006.
The next man told many news shows about the 2008 housing market crash.
The President of Euro Pacific Capital Predicted the Housing Market Crash
Peter Schiff, the president of Euro Pacific Capital, predicted the financial crisis in 2008 and told everyone about it many times on numerous prime-time news shows.
“The basic problem with the U.S. economy is that we have too much consumption and borrowing and not enough production and savings. And what’s going to happen is the American consumer is basically going to stop consuming,” he said in 2005 – three years before the crash.
An Italian’s Tweet of the Pope Came True
On February 11, 2013, an Italian woman tweeted that her boyfriend had a dream where Pope Benedict resigned and a man named Francesco replaced him. Seventeen days later, Pope Benedict announced his retirement.
A translation of her tweet reads: “My boyfriend woke up last night at 4 a.m. saying he had dreamed of a new pope called ‘Francis I’ and that today Benedict will resign.”
See what the next researcher predicted would happen to an Italian city that came true.
Italian Researcher Announced an Earthquake Before it Happened
In the beginning of 2009, researcher Giampaolo Giuliani announced that an earthquake will hit Italian city L’Aquila on Sunday, March 29th of the same year. Nothing happened on the day, but one week later on April 6th, the city was destroyed by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.
But the scientific community holds that it’s not possible to predict earthquakes in the short term. Giampaolo Giuliani insists that radon 222 gas emissions can indicate when an earthquake will occur. But he’s the only person who believes this.
The Simpsons Predicted Siegried and Roy’s Tiger Attack
An episode of The Simpsons predicted a major event before it occurred. In 1993, an episode featured an attack against tiger tamers, Gunther and Ernst, who are caricatures of the illusionists Siegfried and Roy.
The duo Siegried and Roy were very famous and popular in Las Vegas for their shows where tigers would disappear before the audience. Then in 2003, a tiger attacked Roy, and thus put an end to the pair’s career.
Bill Gates Predicted the Future Too
Bill Gates, as you know, is the visionary behind the most popular operating system on Earth and one of the richest individuals ever. And in 1999, he also made a series of predictions for the future. Some of them were very accurate.
Decades before you bought your Google Mini and Amazon Alexa, Bill Gates predicted the inventions in his book “The Road Ahead.”
He Knew About Smart Homes
Gates had a vision for what we now call Smart Homes. His idea of a home in the future was one in which you could adjust it your preferences automatically as you entered.
You could dim lights, change music, or even change a digital picture frame. Meanwhile, this was all inspiration for the technology he was building for his own home. But he assumed that it would become faster, better, and cheap enough to make it a common part of daily life.
But Gates had even more accurate predictions. See what they were next!
The Man Got It Right
Gates had a list of other notable predictions. Some of which were the price comparison websites, tablets, smartphones, facial recognition made to unlock devices, medical consultations through the Internet, and social media.
The man clearly knew his stuff! All of those things not only came true but are a huge part of society and technology.
American Engineer Foresees Air Conditioning
In December 1900, John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., an American engineer, published an article in the women’s magazine of the Saturday Evening Post. His article was called “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years.”
He discussed the idea that his great-grandchildren from the late 1900s would be able to cool off with air conditioning. He said air conditioning would be available in houses through taps filled with cold air.
Watkins Had More Predictions
Watkins also predicted commercial exchanges and how they would increase dramatically by the end of the 20th century.
He also described refrigerated vehicles that would be able to transport fruit from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. And then consumers from northern countries would be able to eat fruit all year round.
Russia’s Prince Vladimir Odoevsky wrote a book in 1835 called ‘Year 4338’ where he described a world quite familiar to ours now. The book details a time where humans are able to partake in instant messaging, among other things.
He also described the ability to update people on their status instantaneously and write about their lives and thoughts – what we call blogging.
There’s a reason why this was so impressive!
This Was Before the Telegraph!
What’s more impressive is that he wrote of this form of communication more than a decade before the telegraph was invented.
Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
He clearly was far from the invention of modern day technology. He may have gotten the year wrong, but we’ll forgive him for that since the rest was pretty much on the ball.
Philco-Ford Predicted Online Shopping and Email in 1967
In a video called “1999 AD” the company Philco-Ford gave us an accurate glimpse of modern technology. It shows a married couple using very real current-day technology like online shopping, e-mail, and paying bills on the internet.
When discovered recently, it was so accurate that people figured that it must be a hoax, but the video really exists and was made in 1967!
A Woman Predicted 100% of the 2013 Golden Globe Winners.
Elena Sheppard got all 25 out of 25 winners correct in her prediction. Even if you have tons of industry knowledge and complex algorithms, the odds of correctly predicting every category are the same as winning the lottery twice.
But Elena Sheppard did exactly that, and nobody else has been able to since.
The Simpsons Predicted a Trump Presidency in 2000
In an episode when Bart flashes forward into adulthood, Lisa not only becomes president but inherits “quite a budget crunch” from the former president, Donald Trump. “The country is broke?,” she asks in one scene. “How can that be?”
Image_38 Source: cloudinary.com
At the time, Trump was 16 years away from becoming the president. Simpsons writer Dan Greaney said the joke was meant as a warning to the country. “That just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom,” he said. “It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane.”