Times People Predicted The Future And Were Eerily Spot-On

Staring into our metaphorical crystal balls to imagine what the future will hold is one of humanity’s most enduring pastimes. But none of us can really ever predict what’s going to happen years from now... or can we? There have been many attempts over the years, some more outlandish than others. Sometimes, though, it’s the craziest prophecies that turn out to be true. Let’s look at the times humans have made predictions about the future than turned out to be eerily accurate.

1. Nikola Tesla predicted cell phones, the internet, and WiFi in the early 1900s

There are futurists, and then there are people like Nikola Tesla, the famed inventor who foresaw wireless internet technology and personal cell phones in the early 1900s! In 1909 the electricity pioneer told The New York Times, “It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can own and operate his own apparatus.”

Then, in 1929 he claimed, “When wireless technology is perfectly applied, the whole Earth will be converted into a huge brain. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance.”

2. Roger Ebert predicted Video on Demand technology in the late ‘80s

In 1987 legendary movie critic Roger Ebert predicted the future of film distribution while speaking with OMNI magazine: he pretty much nailed it! He theorized, “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.”

The respected reviewer continued, “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 pre-recorded movies and for recording movies.”

3. Alec Guinness predicted James Dean’s death a week before it happened

In 1955 future Star Wars icon Alec Guinness had an impromptu dinner with teen idol James Dean. The young star showed Guinness his new Porsche 550 race car; as Guinness later revealed, “Some strange thing came over me.” He begged Dean not to drive it because he had a terrible feeling he’d be dead within a week if he did.

Hauntingly, Dean did die the following week when the car crashed on California’s Route 46. Guinness later lamented, “It was a very, very odd, spooky experience… I would have loved to have known him more.”

4. Bill Gates predicted smartphones way back in 1995

Microsoft’s genius co-founder Bill Gates wrote The Road Ahead in 1995. In it, he predicted smartphones almost to a tee. Dubbed the “Wallet PC,” he claimed, “It will be about the same size as a wallet, which means you’ll… carry it in your pocket or purse. It will display messages and schedules and let you read or send electronic mail and faxes… and play both simple and sophisticated games.”

The tech genius continued, “At a meeting, you might take notes, check your appointments, browse information if you're bored, or choose from among thousands of easy-to-call-up photos of your kids.” Yep, that is exactly how we use our smartphones!