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My Psychic Prediction for 2012 Came True within Minutes!

by Brian Dunning

January 1, 2012

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Donate Like so many other scientific skeptics, I made a handful of joke predictions for 2012, predicting things that are bound to happen. It's just an easy way to poke fun at people who make their livings by lying and claiming to have real psychic powers, then make predictions, often of things that are so vague that it's a virtual certainty they'll be able to claim success. One of my predictions, made while hanging around waiting to ring in the New Year at midnight, was this:

And then, five minutes later, look what was reported:

And since Japan is on the other side of the International Date Line, it was already 2012 when the quake occurred. An impressive record for any psychic: Correctly predicting the magnitude of a major earthquake! I haven't seen any of the "real" psychics doing that.

My first thought was that I'd rather have had my prediction come true in any other way. Strong earthquakes are no laughing matter, particularly those in Japan in recent memory, and especially those with the potential to cause deadly tsunamis. Fortunately, this quake did not cause a significant tsunami, and no damage or injuries have been reported (as of yet).

And, of course, like all "psychic" predictions, this one falls apart under scrutiny. First, the USGS later downgraded the quake to a 6.8, so my number was wrong. Second, I never said anything about an earthquake at all, just about "important events" which can apply to just about anything. Third, my prediction was obviously a joke, saying that the number 7 will be associated with things that happen on the 7th day of the month or the 7th month of the year. That's not even a prediction.


by Brian Dunning

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