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An actor playing Nostradamus alongside the words 'The predictions that came true in 2023'

The predictions that came true in 2023

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As we hurtle with terrifying velocity towards the end of 2023 (seriously, how did that happen so fast?), it’s a good time to pause and look back at predictions made about what would happen this year.

From the long-standing, enigmatic prophecies of controversial soothsayers, to the much more down-to-earth predictions of industry commentators, let’s see who got what right.

Baba Vanga

A blind, Bulgarian mystic who was sought out by world leaders eager to know what lay in their future, Baba Vanga was commonly regarded as the 20th century’s answer to Nostradamus. Although she died back in 1996, many still look to the prophecies attributed to her – some of which are more than a little alarming.

Take one prediction that was frequently linked to 2023: her warning that the Earth was due to be hit by an immense solar storm. This led some to worry that we were in for something on the scale of the Carrington Event of 1859, which played havoc with telegraph systems and even sparked fires.

The impact of such an event on contemporary civilisation, which depends on electricity to function, would be incalculably worse. Of course, this didn’t come to pass in 2023, but the Sun did display the most intense magnetic activity in almost 21 years, with a startlingly high number of sunspots observed in June. This led to the epic eruption of an X-class solar flare (the highest category), causing a radio blackout in the Pacific Ocean and some of the United States for half an hour.

While it didn’t lead to disaster, this disruption was an ominous reminder of just what the Sun is capable of when it’s in one of its moods.


We now move from an esoteric mystic from the mountains of Bulgaria to the eagle-eyed analysts of the corporate world. Specifically, the big-brained experts at global research firm Forrester, who made some eye-catching accurate predictions back in 2022.

One was about the rise of artificial intelligence. Forrester put out a statement saying that AI would constitute a ‘revolution’ in 2023, with ‘rapid progress in areas of fundamental AI research’ making ‘AI an intrinsic part of what makes a successful enterprise’. The statement singled out generative AI as becoming ‘an intrinsic part of daily workflows’.

Bear in mind that this statement was made before the release of ChatGPT, and when there was little mainstream chatter about the prospect of being able to instantly conjure up text, images and music out of nothing. Cut to today, and generative AI is fast becoming integral to businesses all over the world.

Forrester’s analysts also foresaw that cash would make a comeback after the mass switchover to digital payments during the pandemic and its immediate aftermath. This pendulum swing did indeed take place, with banking industry body UK Finance stating that the number of payments made with cash in the UK has risen for the first time in a decade. It seems that rumours of a totally cashless society have been exaggerated.


What did history’s most famous soothsayer have to say about 2023? It’s a tricky one, since Nostradamus wrote all his visions down in the form of cryptic quatrains – basically, poems written in a kind of code, which are open to multiple interpretations. Nevertheless, as 2023 approached, some pointed to his warning that ‘the dry earth will grow more parched, and there will be great floods when it is seen’, as well as other messages that raised the alarm over an imminent climate catastrophe.

Sure enough, 2023 has seen some bleak milestones in climate chaos. These include Storm Daniel, the deadliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone in recorded history, which experts believe was exacerbated by man-made climate change and severe heatwaves around the world. In fact, the global average temperature for July was officially declared the highest on record, and likely the highest the planet has seen for 120,000 years.

What’s more, a recent UN report has said the world is on track for a temperature of 2.9 degrees over pre-industrial levels – and that’s even with current climate pledges. Did Nostradamus see it all coming?

Old Moore’s Almanac

Published consistently for more than 250 years, Old Moore’s Almanac is a much-loved annual Irish magazine which features a cornucopia of articles, most famously a series of predictions for the year ahead.

The 2023 edition boasted a long list of predictions, many of which have, admittedly, not come to pass (we’re still waiting for the arrival of aliens, and the Pope is, at the time of writing, still Francis). However, there’s some gold in there as well, as the list touches on the radically disruptive rise of AI, and – most strikingly – some kind of ‘submarine drama’ unfolding in 2023.

This is an uncannily prescient tidbit, given that 2023 did indeed witness the most notorious submarine-related incident since the sinking of the Kursk. Namely, the shocking implosion of OceanGate’s Titan vessel while en route to view the wreck of the Titanic, which caused the deaths of all five passengers.

The saga of the Titan held the world’s attention in June, with much controversy swirling around the safety measures undertaken by the company. All credit to the Almanac for putting Nostradamus to shame with that one.