Michel de Nostredame, commonly known as Nostradamus, was born on either 14 or 21 December 1503, and he passed away on 2 July 1566. He is probably the world’s most well-known seer of the future, sometimes called a soothsayer, or prophet, who from a young age supposedly had visions of future events. He wrote down his visions in the form of “quatrains”, which are four-line poems.

These can be difficult to decipher, and it is their very vague nature that skeptics say discount their meaningfulness. The French physician put down most of his quatrains in a book called “Les Propheties”, which has 942 of them in total – many of them predicting future despots, disasters and disputes. Did he really see the future, or are we vainly trying to find meaning in someone’s puzzling ramblings? That’s what we’ll look at today, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Prophecies of Nostradamus.

We will first give you the translation of the prophecy, and then give you the possible meaning.


“Earthshaking fire from the center of the Earth

Will cause tremors around the New City.

Two great rocks will war for a long time,

Then Arethusa will redden a new river.”

This is one we can all relate to, as many of the predictions happened a long time ago. Center of the Earth doesn’t make much sense unless you think 9/11 was an inside job, in that the explosions came from within the building. It might also mean that the USA is arguably the most powerful nation, the center of the Earth. The New City, New York, experiencing tremors makes sense as does two great rocks, The Twin Towers. But they don’t war for a long time, so was he talking about Islamic terrorism and the USA? Arethusa was a Greek nymph and we can’t relate that to the disaster but redden a new river could be a river of blood.

In another quatrain he supposedly wrote:

“Two steel birds will fall from the sky on the Metropolis,

The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude.”

We don’t need to explain steal birds, and New York lies at 40 degrees North. Although, there is evidence to suggest that the first part was made up, and the quatrain actually went like this:

“The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude,

Fire approaches the great new city.”

All those quatrains you might find talking about the ninth month are also fake, so really the main things we can take are two rocks, 40 degrees and the New City, as well as fire and blood, but Nostradamus wasn’t exactly sparing with his fire and blood prophecies.

The rise of Hitler

“From the depths of the West of Europe,

A young child will be born of poor people,

He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop;

His fame will increase towards the realm of the East.”

Two lines from another quatrain read:

“Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,

The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.”

By west Europe we can say Germany. Hitler wasn’t born poor but experienced poverty in his early life and was homeless for a while. His populist policies were also meant to support the downtrodden. He was a great orator who got most of the country behind him and certainly seduced a great troop. His fame, or infamy, did indeed increase. In the other lines the beasts that cross rivers could be Germany invading countries and of course Hister could be Hitler, although it’s thought Nostradamus was using it as a name for the Danube River.

The French Revolution

“From the enslaved populace, songs,

Chants and demands

While princes and lords are held captive in prisons.

These will in the future by headless idiots

Be received as divine prayers.”

We might look at the enslaved populace as what was known as the Third Estate, the common people of France who for the most part had been subjected to poverty and inequities. They banded together with chants and demands and stormed the Bastille. Indeed, many of the noble people were imprisoned by the tides of the mob. As for headless, we give you the guillotine.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing

“Near the gates and within two cities

There will be scourges the like of which was never seen,

Famine within plague, people put out by steel,

Crying to the great immortal God for relief.”

The two cities makes sense and a scourge never seen was the dropping of the first atomic bomb on a populace. Famine and plague could be radiation poisoning and those sufferers left crying for relief.

The Great Fire of London

“The blood of the just will commit a fault at London

Burnt through lightning of twenty threes the six:

The ancient lady will fall from her high place

Several of the same sect will be killed.”

The ‘fault’ was possibly a fire that started at a bakery owned by a man called Thomas Farriner. That was in London and the great fire happened in 1666. Three times 20 equals 60 and plus the 6 you have 66. London could be the ancient lady and indeed London was at that time in a very high place. The city didn’t fall, but the destruction was vast. The BBC reports that the city had to be virtually rebuilt. As for the same sect, was he talking about religious people or the mostly poor that died?

The Moon Landings

“He will come to travel to the corner of Luna,

where he will be captured and put in a strange land,

The unripe fruits to be subject of great scandal,

great blame, to one, great praise.”

He, the astronauts, will travel to Luna (Latin for moon or goddess of the moon). Captured could mean put on TV and of course space was a strange land. The unripe fruits some people think could be the beginnings of space travel and the cost, accidents, even moon-landing deniers, could all be scandal. Depending on where you stand on the space race, you might blame or praise it.

JFK and RFK being assassinated

“The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt,

An evil deed foretold by the bearer of a petition.

According to the prediction, another falls at night time.

Conflict at Reims, London and a pestilence in Tuscany.”

A great man in JFK is struck down not by thunderbolt but by gunshot. This deed was indeed forecasted as he had received many death threats (petitions). Another falls, could be RFK who at nighttime (he was killed at 12.15 am) was assassinated. And as for the last part it’s a long shot, but these murders reverberated around the world.


“PAU, NAY, LORON will be more of fire than of the blood,

To swim in praise,the great one to flee to the confluence.

He will refuse entry to the Piuses,

The depraved ones and the Durance will keep them imprisoned.”

Nostradamus doesn’t mention France explicitly, but Pau, Nay, Loron are three towns in the southern part of the country. Rearrange these words and you get Napaulon Roy. In French, roy (spelled Roi) means king, so you’ve Napoleon the King. He certainly swam in praise and perhaps by confluence it could mean how he battled throughout Europe. Some people think the mention of Pius relates to Popes Pius VI and Pius VII, who were both imprisoned by Napoleon as is said in the last line.

Louis Pasteur

“The lost thing is discovered, hidden for many centuries.

Pasteur will be celebrated almost as a God-like figure.

This is when the moon completes her great cycle,

But by other rumors he shall be dishonored.”

Pasteur was the great French biologist, microbiologist and chemist, and if you don’t already know it was he who created the pasteurization process – hence the name. He is also responsible for creating vaccines. He was in fact quite the demigod due to how many lives he has saved, he’s one of the most important people in history. It seems he did mention Pasteur by name as the French reads “Sera Pasteur demi-Dieu honore.”

The thing discovered may be the way to destroy bacteria by heating beverages and allowing them to cool, among other discoveries he made. But then it says after a while he will be dishonored, which Pasteur was many years later in 1995. That was when Gerald Lynn Geison published his biography of Pasteur “The Private Science of Louis Pasteur” that leaves him in a less heroic light. Even a reviewer said the book asks us to question our heroes, and so perhaps Pasteur did indeed become less God-like. Then again, that’s what happens to most of our mythical heroes when they are deconstructed.


We might add that there are a lot of dubious translations floating around the Internet and some outright lies and even the supposed valid facts are highly controversial. Scholars refute many of the claims and tell us many people are not able to understand the French that Nostradamus used. The debunked prophecies we have obviously left out, but you should also still be sceptical about the ones included.

Thanks for watching, and tell us what you think about these prophecies in the comments, and as always, please remember to like, share and subscribe.



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