Humans have always been obsessed with the future. The great question of “What will happen next…?” sits on the mind of everybody from a man living on the street to the richest of billionaires. Most occupy their time trying to shape current events to meet their future ideals. But others examine what is happening now and attempt to predict what will happen as a result. The results are mixed, but sometimes (and often unintentionally or unexpectedly) people get it right. Here are 25 more mind blowing future predictions that came true.
Idea courtesy of Youtube viewer Jay Dupree.
In 1993, Michael Lee predicted the Cubs would win the 2016 World Series.
Batting 1.000 as a psychic, Lee says he had a dream way back in 1983 that prompted him to write as his senior yearbook quote, “Chicago Cubs. 2016 World Champions. You heard it here first.” As you probably know, that’s exactly what happened this year.
An Anime predicted the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
In 1999, Cowboy Bebop, a popular Anime based in the future, aired episodes with a plot involving an “antique” spacecraft named Columbia (that looks a lot like current space shuttles) being used in a rescue mission. The mission almost fails because the “heat resistant tiles” peeled off during the mission.
Then, in 2003, the real Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated after its heat resistant tiles peeled off during launch.
Back to the Future, Part II predicted some key future technologies.
As a definitive pop-culture source in regards to future progress, Back to the Future II nailed a few futuristic technologies. We don’t have functional flying cars yet, or hover boards that work universally, but we definitely have the video calling, biometric scanners (including door locks shown in the movie) and digital payment via Apple/Android Pay and Square. They were also only a year off on predicting the Cubs winning a world series.
Ray Kurzweil has predicted pretty much every modern technology.
Granted it’s his job, but when you’re right almost 90% of the time, that’s pretty darn impressive. Ray Kurzwell is a professional futurist who has a stunning 89/108 technology predictions completely correct. In his books, he has accurately predicted the rise and use of eBooks, Nano machines, the (internet) cloud, and wireless Internet in general. But it doesn’t stop with technology. He’s also predicted the timing of events such as the fall of the Soviet Union and when a computer bested a human at chess.
Apple predicted touchscreen devices, Siri, and Skype/Facetime down to the year.
Back in 1987, Apple released a video about the future of computing called “Knowledge Navigator.” It features a touchscreen device, digital personal assistant (the knowledge navigator – a “Bill Nye” style man) and video calling. Amazingly, the date is depicted as September 16th, 2011, which is only about 18 days off from all of those features having been available in phone/tablet format.
AT&T (and Tom Selleck) predict GPS, tablets, and video calling.
In 1993, AT&T put out a series of commercials called “you will,” highlighting a number of technologies that did indeed come true. Most notably integrated GPS a year before the satellite network was even activated, and a good ten years before phones were able to utilize it. They also feature a pretty similar Android-style tablet with pen and broadband video calling in a style typically used today.
H.G. Wells predicted tanks thirteen years before the first tanks ever were deployed.
In 1903, the famous author of “War of the Worlds” published a short story called “The Land Ironclads.” Wells essentially took the concept of naval ironclad ships and adapted them to land use as huge metal vehicles with eight pairs of wheels allowing a great range of motion. It wasn’t until 1916 – 13 years later – that the military first deployed the earliest tanks.
Rey Bradbuy predicted personal audio/earbuds.
In 1953, Rey Bradbury published Fahrenheit 541, a dystopian novel (maybe we should worry a bit that these are coming true…) that describes the outlaw/burning of all books. Instead, people digest mass media via “tiny seashells” that are placed in their ears and receive radio signals. Especially now that we have wireless “earpods,” the description is startlingly accurate.
“2001 A Space Odyssey “ is written in 1968 and describes tablets and online newspapers.
Arthur C. Clark’s ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’ describes the “NewsPad,” its interface, and its access to electronic newspapers from Earth in “2001.” The description from 1968 is so spot-on that it’s been effectively used by Samsung to defend against patent lawsuits from Apple. Samsung claims that the concept for the device existed well before even Apple did.
What other movies have made accurate predictions? Take a look in our list 25 Movies That Predicted The Future With Creepy Accuracy.
Philco-Ford predicted online shopping and Email in 1967.
In a video called “1999 AD,” Philco-Ford paints an impressively accurate picture of modern technology. It highlights a married couple (with cringe-worthy and prehistoric gender roles) utilizing very real current-day technology such as online shopping, e-mail, and bill pay via internet. When unearthed, it was so accurate that people claimed that it must be a hoax, but it has been proven several times over.
EM Forrester wrote a short story predicting the internet…in 1909.
Edward Morgan Forrester wrote, “The Machine Stops,” a short story in which people primarily communicate using digital screens, and the rarity of face-to-face interactions makes it increasingly awkward. Further, he described knowledge and ideas as being shared by a system that links every home. All this before radio was even a mass medium.
Wait until you see number 8!
George Orwell predicted modern surveillance.
On June 8th, 1949, George Orwell published his would-be iconic vision of a dystopian future in which three “super-states” were constantly at war, and the general population was highly regulated and controlled. A large part of that frightening reality is one that actually hits close to reality now: State surveillance. “Big Brother” was always watching in the book, and with satellite cameras, public cameras, and (very likely) the secret service actively listening, the modern reality is strikingly close to how Orwell described it.
The Simpsons predicted motion controlled video games, credit card vending machines, and soy based snacks for the year 2010.
The Simpsons own a large number of predictions that came to pass. But another future episode titled “Lisa’s Wedding” aired in 1995 and made some extrememly accurate projections about future developments including vending machines accepting credit cards, motion-controlled video games, and the health-food industry’s obsession with soy-based snacks!
John Brunner comes eerily close to predicting President Obama, in 1968.
Brunner’s Book “Stand on Zanzibar” features a popular American leader named “President Obomi” in 2010 who happens to be African. The book also features homosexuality as mainstream and terrorism as a major theme, among other things.
US Army Air Serviceman predicted the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1925.
Gen. Billy Mitchell gained notoriety for the success of his flight programs against the Germans in WWI, after which he went on record predicting a future aerial attack: “Attack will be launched as follows: Bombardment, attack to be made on Ford Island (in Pearl Harbor) at 7:30 AM. Attack to be made on Clark Field (Philippines) at 10:40 AM.”
Frank Zappa proposes the rise of File Sharing and Music Streaming Services…in 1989.
In “The Real Frank Zappa Book,” he lays out a plan detailing how to both deliver and charge for music in a digital medium and very accurately lays out the cultural shift in music consumption that wouldn’t occur for another decade. Even after the rise of Napster and iTunes, it took another decade for companies to figure out the exact sort of payment system he proposed.
Prince Vladimir Odoevsky essentially predicted social media in 1835.
French Marshall predicted the Second World War, just as the first one ended.
French Marshal Ferdinand Foch played a major role in many of World War I’s campaigns. When the war came to an end, he didn’t believe it was truly the end, being quoted as saying, “This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” It turns out he was almost exactly right as the second world war officially began twenty years and sixty-eight days later.
The TV show “Laugh-In” correctly predicted the Ronald Reagan presidency and fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 1969, the show had a segment called “News of the Future,” which was supposed to be comedy but got a couple of things dead on. They did stories about Ronald Reagan as President in 1988 and another about the Berlin Wall coming down the Exact Year it actually did in 1989.
Aldous Huxley predicted antidepressants 20 years before studies began on them.
In his 1931 novel Brave New World, Huxley describes a mind-altering drug the people of London take in 2540 to retain their sanity. “Soma” is described as having “raised quite the impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds.” It wasn’t until the early 1950’s that research into the reality of these sorts of drugs caught on.
Roger Ebert predicts HDTV Flat screens, On Demand Video, and DVD's…in 1987.
Omni magazine interviewed the famed movie critic and asked him about the future of television and movie competition. His reply was impressively accurate: “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… People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology.”
Twitter post from 2014 predicts the 2016 World Series, game 7 in detail.
In 2014, a Twitter user named “Gio” tweeted:
“2016 World Series. Cubs vs Indians. And then the world will end with the score tied in game seven in extra innings #apocalypse”
Fortunately the #apocalypse was a joke, but everything else played out exactly as he predicted. Unfortunately he’s an Indians fan (maybe that’s what he meant by apocalypse!)
The Simpsons predicted a Trump presidency way back in 2000.
The Episode titled “Bart to the Future” depicts Lisa dressed a lot like Hillary Clinton, having become the President of the United States after President Trump and inheriting “quite the budget crunch” from him having bankrupted the nation. Let’s hope that part doesn’t come true.
Photos: 23. JMortonPhoto.com & OtoGodfrey.com via wikimedia commons, 22. Ed Schipul via Flickr, 21. KenwoodSF via wikimedia commons, 18. Maurizio Pesce via Flickr, 17. Per-Olof Forsberg via Flickr, 16. SenseiAlan via Flickr, 14. Sstrobeck23 via wikimedia commons, 13. Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr, 12. Wonderlane via Flickr, 11. Book cover (fair use) via intergalacticrobot.blogspot.com, 9. Jean-Luc Ourlin via Flickr, 5. Garzfoth via wikimedia commons, 4. Sound Opinions via Flickr, 3. GIO via Twitter , 2. Austin Kirk via Flickr, 1. Gage Skidmore via wikimedia commons