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20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True

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While humankind has developed considerably, many things are out of our control, and of course, being unable to predict the future is one of them. An exciting facet of life, the future offers infinite possibilities, and we’ve all made our own predictions at times because it’s exciting and enjoyable to imagine a world of considerable difference. But the greatest minds have predicted many things that have actually come true.

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


From leading scientists and academics to unnaturally intelligent computer boffins, these awe-inspiring minds have managed to predict the future time and time again, so much so that some of their prophecies came true centuries after being made.

Here are 20 fascinating examples.

1. Roger Ebert

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: Movie streaming in 1987

It’s very unlikely that any movie critic will come close to matching the cultural legacy that Roger Ebert left behind when he passed away in 2013 after a prolific career as the Chicago-Sun Times chief film critic. Praised by the most prominent directors in the industry, Ebert’s encyclopedic knowledge of film and the history of the business itself allowed him a valuable insight into the future of Hollywood, which led to a series of stark predictions concerning the future of home entertainment. While many raised their eyebrows, Ebert was certain that on-demand services would eventually exist and allow anyone anywhere in the world to watch a movie.

“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. You’ll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it. Videocassette tapes as we know them now will be obsolete both for showing prerecorded movies and for recording movies. People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology . . . With this revolution in delivery and distribution, anyone, in any size town or hamlet, will see the movies he or she wants to see.”

2. Elena Sheppard

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: All of 2013’s Golden Globe winners

Elena Sheppard was the culture editor for a political news and culture website called Policymic when she was asked to live blog the event.  Part of the assignment was giving readers her take on the frontrunners and in a moment never seen before- or since- she predicted every winner.

Of course, Sheppard’s predictions were based on her own opinions rather than any psychic powers, but for every one of them to come true shows her knowledge in the entertainment world is up there with the best.

3. John Elfreth Watkins

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: Digital photography in 1900

In a fascinating article published in 1900 entitled, “What May Happen In The Next 100 Years” an American civil engineer called John Elfreth Watkins wrote on page 8 of a women’s magazine called Ladies’ Home Journal, many things that could come true by the year 2000. While many of his predictions failed to materialize (a world without mosquitos was perhaps wishful thinking), many came true- one prediction being digital photography.

While there is no explicit mention of the word ‘digital’, Watkins was onto something when he wrote, “Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence, snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later…. photographs will reproduce all of nature’s colours.”

4. Nikola Tesla

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: Wi-Fi and mobile phones in 1909 

Under Thoams Edison’s sage counsel and tutelage, Nikola Tesla became a visionary in his own right when the engineer prophesied in the New York Times that most citizens would own a handheld device capable of transmitting and receiving messages. “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.”

5. Colin Kaepernick

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: He would play pro footballer as a 9-year-old

Colin Kaepernick made headlines around the world for his defiant stand against his country’s societal issues, he remains a great quarterback, an ability Kaepernick can credit to his amazing self-belief as a child.

While many boy’s dreams are focused on the NFL Kaepernick predicted he would play for the San Fransisco 49ers, and grow between 6ft1 and 6ft4 inches- he now stands at 6ft3 and most recently played for the California outfit before becoming a free agent.

6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Arthur C. Clark)

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: Tablet computing and space tourism in 1968

Stanley Kubrick was one of Hollywood’s true visionaries, and it is perhaps, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, that cemented his acclaimed reputation. As well as receiving widespread acclaim, Kubrick also had a knack for predicting future trends- or at least depicting them on screen thanks to the brilliant book by Arthur C. Clark.

Examples in the film included the use of tablet computing and even space tourism. Thanks to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic programme, this looks likely to be a reality.

7. Jules Verne

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: A man on the moon in 1865

Long before Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind, science fiction author Jules Verne wrote about two men traveling to the moon in his book, From Earth to the Moon. Verne was accurate with his future prediction and even set the rocket launch in Florida, which now happens to be the site of Kennedy Space Center.

8. Ray Bradbury

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: Earphones in 1953

In a passage from his groundbreaking novel Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury foresaw the creation of an electronic device that is now ubiquitous across the world: “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.

9. Edward Bellamy

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: The debit card in 1888

Debit cards are now a staple part of most people’s monetary transactions, but science fiction writer Edward Bellamy detailed a similar system in his utopian novel Looking Backward, 2000-1887. In chapter IX, one of the characters explains that “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.”

10. John Brunner

20 Astonishing Predictions That Actually Came True


Predicted: Barack Obama would be in power by 2010 (well, sort of)

In a prediction of supernatural proportions, John Brunner’s novel Stand on Zanzibar predicted in 2010 that a politician called President Obomi is president.

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