Nostradamus' Predictions For 2021 Sound Pretty Bad

So we all know that, as far as years go, 2020 was pretty bad, right? A global pandemic that's currently killed nearly 2 million people worldwide; record-breaking natural disasters such as the Australian wildfires leaving 1 billion animals without homes, as USA Today says; murder hornets sweeping across North America; the death of Chadwick Boseman: Yeah, it was pretty bad. But we've got high hopes for 2021, right? Well, not if you're 16th-century professional doomsayer, occultist, and black-hat enthusiast Nostradamus.

In the centuries since he lived, Nostradamus has become synonymous with seeing the future and occult prophecy. He was born Michel de Nostradame in France in 1503, per History, one of nine children of a wealthy grain dealer living in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Though few details exist concerning his childhood, researchers believe that he exhibited a high degree of intelligence from an early age, and mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew, mathematics through the tutelage of his doting maternal grandfather, Jean de St. Remy.

It is also believed that it was through his grandfather that Nostradamus was introduced to the science of celestial astrology, as well as the ancient divination rites of Jewish mysticism (Nostradamus had Jewish heritage, but his paternal grandfather, Guy Gassonet, had taken the name Nostradame having converted to Catholicism to avoid persecution during the Inquisition).

Per Biography, the young Nostradamus was bright enough to enter the University of Avignon at the tender age of 14, where he was to study medicine, though was forced to abandon his studies with the outbreak of plague.

Asteroids, zombies, and famine: Oh my

Dedicated student that he was, Nostradamus wasn't going to let a little thing like plague get in his way. After resuming his studies at the University of Montpellier in 1522, Nostradamus traveled France as a plague doctor. Accused of heresy after a controversial "remark about a religious statue," Nostradamus left France for the Mediterranean, where it is believed he experienced a "religious awakening." He eventually returned to his hometown in 1547, where he embraced the occult and composed many written works including his book of predictions, for which he is best remembered today.

Nostradamus gets cited a lot for predictions that haven't actually come true, such as 1999's "great king of terror" coming from the sky to destroy the world (per The Guardian), or 2008's global famine (per Live Science). In other cases, people just hear what they want, such as the "two steel birds will fall from the sky on the Metropolis" prophecy referring to the World Trade Center attacks on 9-11. Or the very least, if Nostradamus's prophecies haven't come true, then his fans can keep their favorite soothsayer off the hook by claiming that they misinterpreted things.

As the Saturday Evening Post tells us, all of Nostradamus' prophecies come from his 1555 book, Les Prophéties. The book contains 942 quatrains (four-line poems) that have been interpreted and re-interpreted over the centuries. Most recently, some believe that he predicted the outbreak of COVID-19, as Express outlines. And his predictions for 2021? They definitely up the apocalyptic ante.

Coronavirus, or zombie apocalypse?

First on the list for 2021? Why, nothing less than a zombie apocalypse, of course, as the NY Post outlines. But don't go running for your machete just yet — the line merely reads, "Few young people: half-dead to give a start," which sounds more like a high school Social Studies class than anything.

After that we've got the usual Biblical disaster stuff: "The Great Mover renews the ages: / Rain, blood, milk, famine, steel, and plague," which some think refers to coronavirus-related food shortages. (Bear in mind, of course, that a lot of people don't think that at all.) Following this is a line that believers ascribe to asteroid 2020 VT4, which back in November, 2020, per the NY Post, squeaked by at a distance of 250 miles: "In the sky, one sees fire and a long trail of sparks."

Remember, though, that Nostradamus was more of a middling-tier poet than he was a luminary visionary. As History tells, even back in his day he was regarded by his peers as being all loosey-goosey with his prognostication. Apparently, he was a better doctor than he was a prophet, as he routinely prescribed the very sensible regiment of a low-fat diet and lots of fresh air. He even created a vitamin C lozenge from rose hips for plague victims.

And his visions? He meditated at night while staring into a bowl of water filled with herbs. Not quite an ayahuasca trip, but hey, it helped him write a book curious enough for history to remember him.