COVID-19 next to Nostradamus

Wikipedia Cassiopeia_Arts/Pxhere Mikael Thalen

Viral meme claims Nostradamus predicted the coronavirus

The meme alleges Nostradamus warned of such a calamity in 1551.

 

Mikael Thalen

Internet Culture

Published Mar 21, 2020   Updated Mar 23, 2020, 10:27 am CDT

A viral meme is claiming that French astrologer Nostradamus accurately predicted the current coronavirus pandemic. But is it true?

The meme has been making the rounds on social media and alleges that Nostradamus warned of such a calamity all the way back in 1551.

The Daily Dot is committed to filtering the noise every day as COVID-19 seizes the internet’s attention worldwide. We bring you stories on everything related to the viral pandemic, from the state response to social media fallout, and all the technical flubsemerging social trends, and disinformation in between. READ MORE ->

The 16th-century figure, according to the meme, is said to have predicted that during a “twin year” a “queen” would come from “the east” and spread a plague “on a country with 7 hills.”

The twin year is alleged to refer to 2020, while the country on 7 hills is said to be Italy. China, of course, is a country on the Eastern end of the world.

The claim is unsurprising given that Nostradamus, most famous for his book of poetic quatrains from 1555 called Les Prophéties, has long been heralded as a prophetic figure.

Nostradamus has been linked online to everything from 9/11 to World War II. But did the poet actually predict COVID-19? No.

It turns out, as noted by Snopes, that the text in the viral meme doesn’t appear anywhere in Nostradamus’ writings.

“This particular viral prediction was not expressed in quatrain form, nor could we find anything like it published in ‘Les Prophéties,'” Snopes says. “We also found no mention of this supposed prophecy prior to the events of early 2020, which generally indicates it is a modern hoax.”

Nostradamus isn’t the only one online conspiracy theorists have pointed to amid the coronavirus outbreak. Even pop singer Madonna has been accused of predicting or being involved with the pandemic after users found a 2019 performance in which her backup dancers wore gas masks.

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H/T Snopes


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*First Published: Mar 21, 2020, 4:10 pm CDT