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Nostradamus And His Bleak Predictions For The World To Come

By: Lindsey Charleston | Published: May 23, 2022

Although they were composed in the 1500s, Nostradamus’s prophecies have been seemingly quite similar to unfolding historical events all over the world. After centuries, they still ring true.

Nostradamus’ prophecies speak of dark futures—mass exterminations, famines, wars of epic proportions, and scientific disasters—all things which have come true over the centuries. They were predicted by a man who claims he saw it coming hundreds of years ago. If Nostradamus truly did know the future, what else could we learn from his foreseeing? 

A Bleak Outlook

It can be challenging to remain optimistic after all the events shared by the world in recent years. Civilization as we know it has become a playground for destruction and greed. It’s sometimes hard to imagine things will ever be better again—but we must have hope.

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If the French seer’s insights from centuries ago are true, they would mark a descending path leading, ultimately, to the end of the world. But who was this infamous seer? Let’s learn more about the man who saw all the tomorrows of the world yet to come. 

Michel de Nostredame (AKA Nostradamus)

Michel de Nostredame was born in Southern France in December 1503. Remarkably, his birthplace still exists to this day. However, this old stone structure in Saint-Rémy-De-Provence underwent reconstruction after an earthquake hit the town in 1909.

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Back in those days, it was not uncommon for poets or academics to latinize their names—and so, Michel de Nostredame became Nostradamus. For many years, he worked as an apothecary—a pharmacist or chemist by today’s standards. He studied at the University of Montpellier but was later expelled for partaking in activities that the institution had banned. 

Curious About the Occult

Not long after his enrollment as an apothecary, he was accused of smearing the reputation of local doctors and was banned from the practice. But some of those who knew Nostradamus still occasionally referred to him as “doctor,” and the nickname stuck. 

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Like many curious minds of his time, he also became fascinated by the occult and supernatural. Following his short time at the University, he moved to Agen. He got married there in 1531 and had two children. Unfortunately, his entire family fell victim to the plague and passed away.

Nostradamus Writes Les Prophéties

Nostradamus continued practicing as an apothecary, perhaps to find the cure for the plague, which had taken the lives of those he loved. But his interest in the mystical and supernatural continued to grow. He studied several subjects and published his first almanac in 1550.

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In 1555 he began writing Les Prophéties, a book composed nearly of a thousand quatrains, or four-line poems, which he started publishing in installments. Its success would become known for generations all over the world—in fact, it continues to be his most popular work to this day.  

Writing in Code

The predictions made in Les Prophéties are not straightforward, direct statements about the future. They require a little interpretation. But why did he write his predictions this way? Was it an attempt to cover himself if events didn’t quite unfold in a specific way?

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Following the success of his work, Nostradamus feared being accused of heresy. To circumvent the wrath of the powers of the Inquisition, he wrote in coded language. He placed hidden messages using obscure wording in his poetry, leaving room for doubt in the minds of his potential enemies. 

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General Reception of His Work 

His work did not go without its fair share of criticism. After all, Nostradamus dared to predict major events in the future, an act that some might consider an act of blasphemy or witchcraft. Many accused him of communicating with the devil and doing evil work to stir up fear.  

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While Nostradamus had critics, he also had his fair share of fans. Counted among his supporters was King Henry II’s wife, Catherine de Medici. After asking to meet with him, she later made him an official counselor, as well as physician-in-ordinary to her child—who would go on to become King Charles IX of France in 1560. 

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How His Predictions Were Made 

How Nostradamus came upon his predictions became a subject of controversy. The seer claimed that his predictions were made through astrological assessments by comparing future planetary alignments with past events in relation to the earth’s position in the universe.

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This kind of practice is called “judicial astrology,” but even back then, the practice was not widely accepted as legitimate. It was for this reason that professional astrologers like Laurens Videl charged Nostradamus with gross incompetence. 

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Nostradamus' Accuracy Rate

Academics and open-minded thinkers alike continue to look through data about Nostradamus’s prophecies. Many continue to wonder how his oracle work still holds up. It’s as if Nostradamus had a window to the modern world from his study back in the 1500s. 

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But just how accurate are his prophecies? Like the work itself, some historical interpretation is required to find an answer. Charitable estimates put Nostradamus’ work at seventy percent accurate. It’s not just the rate at which Nostradamus seems to hit the mark. However—it’s the uncanny level of detail.

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Predicting King Henry II’s Passing

One of the seer’s most chilling predictions is King Henry II’s last day. Written as if he were present in the room, Nostradamus describes in his usual poetic style how the king of France would breathe his last breath. He speaks of an older lion being conquered by a youthful one, of his eyes being pierced through a “golden cage.”

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As a matter of fact, King Henry II accidentally passed away during a joust. While practicing with a young knight, he was struck by a lance that split upon initial impact, driving two holes through his golden helmet—puncturing both his eyes. He lost his life slowly and painfully from infection.

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The Invention of Airplanes

Before any of the technology we take for granted today came around—such as the thermometer, camera, or flushing toilet—Nostradamus was writing about things that were far beyond anyone’s imagination. Through isolation, studying stellar bodies, the popular writer predicted the world’s future mode of travel. 

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Nostradamus predicted that one day, people would travel like birds to different places. In his time, this concept of moving through the sky must have been considered ridiculous, a weird notion that would become fact centuries later—in 1903, to be exact, when the first airplane took flight. 

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The Great War & Spanish Flu

Triggered by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, nations all over the world were plunged into turmoil during the Great War in 1914. As hard as it is to believe, it seems that Nostradamus had already seen this coming, as evidenced by this passage: “The Dreadful War Which Prepared in the West…”

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In addition to this, he further claimed that sickness would come in the following year that would be so grave, claiming the young and old that even animals wouldn’t survive. This could have been in reference to the Spanish Flu, which started in the United States and claimed millions of lives. 

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Adolf Hitler’s Arrival

In a poetic way, the French seer told of the birth of the German dictator Adolf Hitler. At least, that’s what many believe. He said that a child of a poor background should be born from the “depths of Western Europe,” attributing to him the name “Hisler,” whose rise to power and ambition to rule the world would take the lives of millions. 

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He also predicted that this child’s tongue should seduce a great mass of troops. This description bears a striking resemblance to Hitler’s tendency for populism and his ability to win over crowds with his powerful and sinister charisma. 

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The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 

From within the confines of his study, Nostradamus looked up to the planets and the earth’s position and somehow correctly assessed that one day two cities (presumably Hiroshima and Nagasaki) will experience a blow so severe that the whole world would be shocked. 

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These Japanese cities disappeared in a flash of atomic fire, a product of the Manhattan Project carried out by the US forces after the Japanese government disregarded an ultimatum to surrender in 1945. This is the only time a nuclear weapon has been used in a military campaign. 

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Details Surrounding JFK's Death

For generations, researchers have been baffled by Nostradamus’ predictions as they continue to describe modern world events. Not only do many of his writings correctly predict future occurrences, like JFK’s assassination, but they also accurately describe certain details surrounding them too. 

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Some claim that he accurately predicted that JFK would be shot from higher ground, analyzing Nostradamus’s words that say evil will fall “from on high… on the great man.” He also added that a “dead innocent” will be blamed for the crime, which could be in reference to Lee Harvey Oswald, who was made the lead suspect. Paraphrasing Nostradamus, the case shall remain unsolved, forever “in the mist.”

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World Trade Centers Attacks

The concept of air travel was mentioned in Nostradamus’s prophecies, which shows how far ahead the French diviner could see. But this takes it another step further as some scholars believe that one poem points to the September 11th World Trade Center attacks.

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Adherents believe that Nostradamus’s reference to two steel birds falling on the metropolis (New York City), where the “sky burns at forty-five degrees latitude.” This is followed by a foretelling of flames and rivers filled with blood.

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Revelation About a Great Fire

In one of his poems, there is a reference to “the blood of the just that commits a fault in London.” Scholars have interpreted this to be a prediction of 1666, the year The Great Fire of London took place. However, the poem reveals details that are quite different from the historical record.

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The origin of the fire was a small bakery located on Pudding Lane—it was not started by lightning, as Nostradamus describes. Nostradamus wrote about “an ancient lady’s fall,” too, but researchers can’t place her relevance to the Great Fire of London. 

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Did Nostradamus Predict Covid19 Outbreak?

It seems that Nostradamus’s name appears someplace or another each time the world finds itself in trouble. People scour his work for a glint of evidence that might serve as a confirmation that indeed this seer had predicted each catastrophe. So when he wrote of the great plague that befell the maritime city, many were quick to link it to the most recent pandemic. 

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He prophesied a plague that would hit humanity in Les Propheties. But did he foresee Covid-19 happening? It is noteworthy that the 16th century was marred with many plagues. This particular entry in his book could have fit any number of them. 

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New Translation That May Shed Light

In a newer translation by Erika Cheetham on the prophecies, a line is highlighted as being exceptionally curious, raising the possibility that Nostradamus may have indeed predicted the Covid-19 pandemic. “In the feeble lists, great calamity through America and Lombardy.” 

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Nostradamus continues, “The fire in the ship, plague, and captivity; Mercury in Sagittarius, Saturn warning.” The countries mentioned were statistically the most negatively affected by the coronavirus. Many ships have been barred entry to avoid the infection from spreading further on dry land. 

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More Evidence on the Pandemic

Due to the mode in which his prophecies were written, mere translations are not enough to decode their true messages. Finding the truth encoded in his four-line poems can be a tricky business. Researchers believe that when Nostradamus spoke of Mercury in Sagittarius, he was referring to December 2019.

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This was when the earliest cases of Covid-19 were reported. Saturn’s entry on Aquarius points to the date March 21 when there was a considerable surge of coronavirus cases, prompting cities all over the world to enter a strict lockdown. 

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What Lies Ahead in the Near Future

Things would have been different had Nostradamus not been threatened by arrest or execution by the Inquisition, who kept accusing him of heresy. His writings could have been made clearer and his warnings more transparent. That would have made things easier, to say the least.

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As it is, some of his prophecies may need a touch of creativity to make them fit with the actual events as they are suggested to do, while others are more circumstantially convincing. Aside from the past, he has revealed much about our near future as well.

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The Rise of Zombies in Doomsday

The eventuality of a zombie apocalypse happening in our lifetime is unlikely. It’s an idea plucked from any number of Hollywood horror movies. This far-reaching idea of it might be too much to take for the practical-minded. But one poem mentions the “half-dead” and great evils to come in our collective future. 

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Translators say he is foretelling the arrival of a biological weapon made by a Russian scientist that will turn the living into zombies, signaling the end of the world, where a “Great One” shall be no more. Evil manifests itself in many places, but could the half-dead really mean zombies and not just the corrupt and depraved, or some other aspect of modern life?

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The Next Glacial Age

Doomsdayers are interested by another of Nostradamus’ end-of-the-world prophecies. This time he describes a world in which a great sea shall be frozen. It is the Ice Age repeated, where vast lands become unproductive and planted crops fail to grow. People will either die of cold or starvation. 

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The chance of the planet resetting itself from the impacts of human activities by freezing over—regressing to the state it was millions of years ago is not only plausible but something many scientists currently predict. It could happen, perhaps sooner than any of us expect.

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Fire From the Sky

If a solar flare were to affect the earth once again, as 1859’s Carrington Event did, its damage to our modern infrastructure would be huge. These geomagnetic storms will return one day. Nostradamus predicted it would light up the night sky as if it were day.  

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To get an idea of just how bad it could be, imagine the damage being worth trillions of dollars. Its power could be compared to not one but multiple nuclear bombs simultaneously exploding from the sun. The ominous poem describes the event with “trail of sparks raining down on us.”

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Global Hunger

The world is doomed. There is no hope—this must have been the message Nostradamus was trying to convey, albeit coded in his mysterious writing style. So we are left to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. With the great wars, solar flares, or the zombie apocalypse— the future doesn’t sound all that optimistic.

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But the French seer is far from finished. He mentions something that awaits the world after a great trouble. He talks about global hunger that shall claim millions of lives.

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The Last Pope & Collapse of the Catholic Church

Nostradamus claims to have forseen a bleak comet lighting up the future sky, making it as bright as the sun. Many believe this could be the Comet Ison. According to Nostradamus, this is a signal that the world is ending. 

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This prophecy involves the passing of the pope, who shall be the last “great one” of Rome. The fall of the last pope shall lead to unrest. Such disturbing times will be aggravated by the revelation of the church’s deep secrets, leading to its final collapse. 

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Islam Will Become Europe’s Dominant Religion 

According to Nostradamus, the catholic church will attempt to regain its influence on the world, but the passing of its last pope is something they won’t be able to overcome. The institution will possibly implode after its innermost secrets are revealed—secrets such as corruption and jealousy among its members in their desire for power.

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It seems obvious what would happen next if this came to pass. To fill in the religious void left by the Catholic Church, Islam shall take over Europe. Islam would take this opportunity to spread its influence, becoming the predominant religion of the continent. 

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Asteroid Collision With Earth

Gazing up in the sky, calculating how worldly events might unfold based on the influence of astronomical experience, Nostradamus also concluded that a rogue asteroid would skip from its belt and get on a collision course with our planet. Today’s scientists probably would not argue against the possibility of this happening either.

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The chance of a large asteroid smashing the Earth’s surface is estimated to happen once every twenty million years. If it did happen, it would be the end of all life on the planet. The impact would be so powerful that we would be disintegrated instantly.

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Disastrous Earthquake 

Nostradamus envisioned the mother of all earthquakes that would pulverize the west. The quake would fall on the month of May. Destruction will be inevitable at such a magnitude. Bridges would fall, and buildings would crumble to the ground. There will be a lingering stench of destruction in every corner of the area. Could this perhaps be in reference to California? 

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This exceptionally powerful earthquake was expected to happen in 2015, but fortunately, nothing out of the ordinary happened. So does this mean we are in the clear? That’s just the thing about his prophecies. They are deliberately obscure, thus difficult to interpret. Nostradamus didn’t have a habit of indicating an exact date in most of his work. 

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The Third Antichrist

Much speculation has been made over the identity of the third antichrist that Nostradamus forecasts will bring the apocalypse. Following the footsteps of the first two—whom scholars believe were Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler—the third will have studied and learned from the mistakes of their predecessors. 

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This makes the third universal “villain” much stronger than the last, impervious to low-grade slipups, and considerably on their guard. Their non-believers will suffer and be held captive, if not spared. The world will be painted with “red hail covering the earth.”

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What’s in Store for Humankind in 2022?

Even Nostradamus’ skeptics must be secretly praying that he was a phony who enjoyed making others fear the future. Perhaps he was a nobody who was hungry for attention and became addicted to this new power of using words to become the talk of the town. However, it is hard to dismiss all of his prophecies—from the death of King Henry II, whom he befriended, to the atomic disasters of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

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It is worth noting that Nostradamus had made specific predictions for 2022, and they are characteristically bleak, dealing with the end of all things. If his words are to be taken too seriously, don’t make plans for this coming Christmas—because he tells of an earthquake to follow a meteor shower that will destroy the earth.

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Cryptocurrency Will Be the Predominant Medium of Exchange

In the 1500s, it’s hard to imagine society thinking of things like data strings, cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, online investments, or cold wallets. But from a time when only the privileged few had flushing toilets, Nostradamus, some scholars say, predicted the collapse of the powerful US dollar.

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His writings point out that gold and silver will be affected by prolonged inflation. This will be made worse by corruption and national debt. That would potentially make cryptocurrency the predominant means of exchange, what Nostradamus must have viewed as what would follow gold and silver. 

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