Visions of a future that didn't exactly pan out

Serina Sandhu
Thursday 14 August 2014 09:40


3D Telly & buried cities

In 1964 biochemistry professor Isaac Asimov predicted 3D televisions, colonies on the moon and underground cities in 2014.

While many now own a hi-tech TV, the latter two are not expected this year.


Milk and honey

A 1935 interview with futurist and engineer Nikola Tesla saw him make many predictions for the 21st century such as robots working as labourers, and that milk, honey and wheat would suffice everyone’s appetites.

Both are yet to prove accurate.


End to disease

In 1952, science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein predicted that cancer and the common cold would be curable by 2000 and that we would be able to grow new limbs (stem cell research is now enabling us the growth of organs).


No use for C, X and Q

In 1900, American civil engineer John Watkins predicted we would have digital colour photography, mobile phones and ready meals by 2000.

Less successful was his suggestion that the letters C, X and Q would cease to exist.


Six feet tall

Dorothy Roe, an Associated Press writer, predicted that women would be 6ft tall and have size 11 feet by 2000.

The average height for British women is 5ft 3ins today, although women’s shoe sizes increased from four to six.


The Great Fire of 1666

The 16th-century French seer Michel de Nostradame published his predictions in The Prophecies.

Some now seem close to the mark, including the Great Fire of London, the discoveries of French chemist Louis Pasteur, and JFK’s assassination.