An image accompanied by text claiming French astrologer and physician, Michel de Nostradame, or Nostradamus predicted a ‘plague’ in 2020 has gone viral. The image claims that Nostradamus predicted it in the year 1551, in his famous book ‘Les Prophéties’, a collection of his prophecies.
Claim: “Nostradamus in the year 1551 wrote this! There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the East (China) and who will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with 7 hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it.”
Some posts of Facebook posts did not attach the astrologer’s image, but carried the same text.
Performing a basic keyword search yielded multiple results of this text being shared globally across websites. Searching with a time frame showed no matching result before March 2020, which would be unlikely for Nostradamus’ work if it was true.
Further, all of Nostradamus’ ‘predictions’ can be found on nostradamus.org which has a search bar on the page.
Entering keywords did not return in any results.
Due to the false information being shared widely, Facebook on some posts has now started alerting the reader that the information is incorrect, as told by multiple, independent fact-checkers, if the user tries to share it.
Reuters also fact-checked these claims in an article, which was debunked. Stephane Gerson, Professor of French, French Studies and History at New York University spoke to Reuters, where he said that the rest did neither came from Nostradamus’s “prophecies” nor from any other prognostications made by Nostradamus.
Therefore, the information being shared is false and Nostradamus made no prediction of the coronavirus outbreak.