There have always been - and there likely will always be - predictions that give us mere transient mortals an idea of what our future holds. From modern day psychics to biblical prophets, it seems that we're naturally curious folk who can't help but seek clues about what's in store for us, for our society and for the earth as a whole. Perhaps out curiosity is down to our awareness that the world could end in an instant or the comfortable and familiar life that we know could change in a single moment. To help remedy this anxiety, numerous people have turned to those with a professed sixth sense in the hope of being provided with answers or at least guarantees. One of the most popular figures to be consulted is a historical figure by the name of Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus.
There have been numerous documentaries about this elusive figure, and academic scholars have extensively analyzed his writings. What we do know for certain is that Nostradamus was born in 1503 and he has been credited for predicting numerous significant world events that expanded well beyond the century in which he lived. The majority of his predictions can be found in the text called Les Propheties, which have 4 lined poems (otherwise known as quatrains) grouped into sets of 100 (known as Centuries). From presidential assassinations to the September 11th attacks, experts believe that Nostradamus could see it all centuries before it occurred.
Skeptics and debunkers have said that these predictions ring true because we grant them a certain significance after the fact, but many believe the accuracy of the majority of these predictions seems too precise to be coincidental. Here, we present you with 10 of Nostradamus' predictions along with the events they are believed to have predicted; coincidence or prescience? We'll let our readers be the judges.
10 London Fire
"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."
The great fire that took place in London in 1666 was believed to have started in a baker’s shop and continued to burn for three days, destroying most of medieval London. There were six people who were killed in total, and depending on what translation you look at in the quatrain, the second line can also read “Burnt through lighting of twenty threes the six”, thus referring to the lives lost. Either way, giving the specific naming of the city as well as correlating numbers, it is believed that Nostradamus properly predicted the fire.
"Pau, Nay, Loron, more fire than blood, Swimming in praise, the great man hurries to the confluence.He will refuse entry to the magpies, Pampon and Durrance will confine them. "
If you don’t know what an anagram is, now’s the time to learn, as Nostradamus seemed to have used them often. If you put together Pau, Nap, and Loron together, they make “Napoleon Roy”, which actually means “Napoleon the King” in French. Also, “Loron” should technically be called Oloron if the names are referring to three French towns. This particular prediction is also one of the rare instances where a name is actually mentioned.
8 French Revolution
"She who was proscribed will return to the kingdom,Her enemies will be treated as conspirators;More than ever her time (or empire) will triumph;Seventy-three years its deathly domination is assured.”
"From the enslaved populace, songs, Chants and demandsWhile princes and lords are held captive in prisons.These will in the future by headless idiotsBe received as divine prayers"
If you know your French history, then the two quatrains mentioned could be very well referring to the French Revolution when the poorer peasants took over the aristocracy and beheaded them. The economic classes literally switched to where the rich and royal were now being kept in prisons. Perhaps it might be a stretch to even consider that the “headless idiots” were the aristocrats making poor decisions on the state of France, or literally headless after they took a trip to the guillotine.
"From the depths of the West of Europe,A young child will be born of poor people,He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop;His fame will increase towards the realm of the East."
Even without picking this particular quatrain apart, the first person many will think about is Adolf Hitler, who was well known and regarded for his passionate speeches and skills in public speaking. With these abilities, he was able to lead a movement in Germany that included near genocide of the Jewish people, contributing to the rise of fascism, and nearly taking over Europe. There’s no need to stretch the words of this quatrain as it seems to be clear who Nostradamus may have been referring to.
6 Hiroshima and Nagasaki
“Near the harbors & within two cities,There will be two catastrophes & the like of which never seen;Intense in torment, by a bomb (incalculable) human lives are ended,Cries for help from the great God immortal.”
August of 1945 saw tragedy in the country of Japan as World War II was beginning to see a conclusion. After Japan got the United States involved in the war with the attack of Pearl Harbor, there was almost a guarantee of things not ending well for Japan. The United States sent the plane Enola Gay to drop two atomic bombs. One named “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima, and a few days later, the atomic bomb “Fat Man” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Over 200,000 civilian lives were lost, forcing Japan to surrender.
5 JFK Assassination
“The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt,The evil deed predicted by the bearer of a petitionAccording to the prediction another falls at night time.Conflict in Reims, London, and pestilence in Tuscany.”
The assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 certainly shocked the world and sent the United States into mourning. He was considered to be one of the greatest presidents in American history set to change the way things worked and his death sparked thousands of conspiracy theories from the government having a hand in his death to aliens abducting him. There was another prophet in the sixties by the name of Jeane Dixon who predicted the assassination, who was believed to be “the bearer of a petition”. And after JFK’s death, there were riots in France (Reims) and London, as well as flooding in Florence.
4 Moon Landing/Space Shuttle Disasters
“He will come to travel to the corner of Luna,Where he will be captured and put in a strange land,The unripe fruits to be subject of great scandal,Great blame, to one, great praise.”
This particular quatrain is a bit general, which is why it’s probably used for many different scenarios in regards to space programs around the world. Discussion of the quatrain started after the moon landing in 1969. Specific parts of correlation include “Luna” referring to the moon, and “strange land” meaning outer space. The last two lines seem to indicate some sort of disaster or tragedy, which many will say refers to disasters such as the Challenger tragedy or the Space Shuttle Columbia.
3 Princess Diana
“The last son of the man with the Prophet's nameWill bring Diana to her day of rest.At a distance they wander in frenetic griefDelivering a great people from ruin.”
The day that the world lost the people’s princess affected people around the world. Princess Diana’s funeral was televised world-wide and it seemed that almost all of the globe’s population was grieving and in mourning. With Princess Diana’s passing having such an impact, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Nostradamus experts and enthusiasts started going to the books to see if he had anything to say. Diana’s boyfriend, Dodi al-Fayed, who was also in the car with her and died as well, has a father named Mohammed (the name of the Islamic prophet).
2 September 11th
"The sky will burn at forty-five degrees.Fire approaches the great new city.By fire, he will destroy their city,A cold and cruel heart, blood will pour.Mercy to none."
Upon first glance, this quatrain may seem obscure and at first glance, it could be considered a stretch to get New York City out of it. But, Nostradamus experts have taken into consideration New York City’s proximity to the 45th latitude. Given the vast tragedy of the attacks, it seems that on September 11th, 2001, the evil behind the actions really did show no mercy to the lives lost. Call it a stretch, call it a hit, but certainly Nostradamus had a gift of foreseeing events that would cause the world pain.
1 Hurricane Katrina
“The cities of Tours, Orleans, Blois, Angers, Reims and NantesAre troubled by sudden change.Tents will be pitched by (people) of foreign tongues;rivers, darts at Rennes, shaking of land and sea”
“Near the great river, great ditch, earth drawn out,In fifteen parts will the water be divided:The city taken, fire, blood, cries, sad conflict,And the greatest part involving the colosseum.”
Based on these two little sections, many believe that Nostradamus was predicting Hurricane Katrina and the relief failure that followed. Specifically the reference to “Orleans” is interpreted to be the famed New Orleans, but historians quickly swooped in to correct the fact that Orleans is also a little French town. So, this prediction may be a bit of a stretch, but between these two quatrains, there just might be something to it given how Katrina played out and how survivors dealt with the disaster.