NOSTRADAMUS is believed by many to have predicted historic world events – but did the 16th-century mystic predict the coronavirus pandemic?
Nostradamus’ followers believe the French physician and writer accurately predicted the future nearly 500 years ago. Conspiracy theorists credit Nostradamus with predicting the outbreak of World War II, the assassination of President John F Kennedy, and now the coronavirus pandemic.
Michele de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus, penned his supposed predictions in the form of four-lined poems called quatrains, which were compiled in the 1555 book Les Propheties.
As the coronavirus has infected more than 2.7 million people since November, many have looked to the mystic’s quatrains for answers.
One Twitter user in particular claims to have found mention of the coronavirus in a passage attributed to Nostradamus.
The Twitter user, under the handle of @poetreehive, said: “#COVID19 is a prophecy captured by Nostradamus, Stargazer Annees Kareem in the year 1246, and Davenci Partheus.
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“Nostradamus wrote in the year 1551 that: ‘There will be a twin year (2020) from which will rise a Queen (Corona) and will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, in a country with seven hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world.’
“Note: My interpretation in bracket.
“This prophecy connotes the end of the world’s economy.”
However, Nostradamus never penned the above passage and it does not feature anywhere in Les Propheties.
According to online sleuths at Snopes, the passage is most likely a hoax designed to go viral during the pandemic.
Nostradamus’ writings are exploited in a number of fallacious ways
The passage has been shared on social media by thousands of people, often accompanied by a photo of the French mystic.
Snopes said: “We also found no mention of this supposed prophecy prior to the events of early 2020, which generally indicates it is a modern hoax.”
But many are still convinced Nostradamus was the real deal.
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One Twitter user said: “Coronavirus was indeed predicted by Nostradamus in 1551 but no one paid attention. Please read the main book for clarity.”
Another person said: “Anyone realise that Nostradamus and Baba Vanga predicted this.. century old prophet’s predicted all of this.
“#coronavirus #pandemic #COVID19 #StateOfEmergency”
A third person tweeted: “Nostradamus predicted the Corona virus in 1551!
“‘It will be the end of the world economy as you know it'”
Nostradamus’ naysayers, however, are certain the French mystic was not a real clairvoyant.
Brian Dunning, host of the Skeptoid podcast, discussed Nostradamus on his show.
According to Mr Dunning, no one has ever predicted a world event from Nostradamus’ cryptic writings before it happened.
He said: “Nostradamus’ writings are exploited in a number of fallacious ways.
“Ambiguous and wrong translations, ‘creative’ interpretations, hoax writings, fictional accounts, and the breaking of non-existent codes within his quatrains all contribute to a vast body of work, all of it wrong, and many times the size of everything Nostradamus ever actually wrote.”