Guessing game

35 bold predictions on Elon Musk, vaccines, and aliens from Inverse Daily readers

Ira L. Black - Corbis/Corbis News/Getty Images

“As much as I dread saying it, I think 2021 will bring previously unimaginable chaos to the streets of America.”

Gene Olson

2020 was a year unlike any other, and 2021 is already giving it a run for its money.

As January comes to an end, we are taking a critical eye on what the rest of the year could have in store. At the end of 2020, we asked Inverse Daily readers for their future forecasts.

Many of you shared your hopes and dreams for the future, but these 35 reader responses really stood out for their bold, predictive power — and for their common themes.

Some of you were optimistic: Certain readers predict the end of Covid-19, reaching a turning point in the fight against climate change. Others, less so — some of you even predict a coming civil war. Incredibly, a few of you predict volatile stock market behavior — and with GameStop stocks on a rollercoaster, it seems you are right.

These are the 35 most-compelling predictions for 2021 from Inverse Daily readers, lightly edited only for readability:

35. “The rise of science, reasonableness, and sanity.” — Carl Grant

34. “DJTrump arrested, his followers go to prison.” — Michael Ponto

33. “Covid runs rampant through all of 2021. U.S. hit by major depression mid-year, stocks slide, civil unrest as government unresponsive to evictions, hunger, the massive gap between wealthy and poverty-stricken. Biden health failure puts Harris in charge. Ranks of homeless overwhelm large cities, L.A. threatened with martial law. Harris puts a National Guard on alert in larger cities. Chicago and N.Y. nearly unlivable.” — George Mitchell

32. “The Covid vaccines will provide us herd immunity by the end of 2021, however, the ease of following mask and distancing guidelines will generate nearly as many deaths, if not more, than 2020.” — William Wipff

Covid vaccines factor heavily intro predictions.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

31. “My prediction for 2021 is that America and the world will begin waking up to the actual threats that face us in our future. It won’t come from each other and our political ideologies, the threats won’t come from a place that we think of in terms of 'our current momentary culture-war opponents,' but it will come from the rise of artificial intelligence and the domination of algorithms in our lives.

Algorithms already have led to 74 million Americans believing in the wild conspiracy theories and unfounded and untruthful misinformation claims from despotic charlatans in positions of leadership. Cyber warfare is the true place we need to focus on and dedicate our energies. This means investing like we’ve never invested before in public education, to arm the minds a future generations with the defenses that they will need to protect their sanity from artificial algorithms that demand their irrational insanity.” — Eric Eberhardt

30. “In one sentence: Sudden financial collapse initiated by a stock market crash will be followed by electric grids going down which will precipitate problems with nuclear power plant safety and serious panic will ensue, necessitating the federal and state governments to call for martial law in futile attempts to maintain control over the population but such efforts will be too little and too late so that the full scale disaster we, with our schadenfreude views, have anticipated will take place.” — Robert Gregory

29. “My one word is: Same. It will be the same virus, same conflicts, same climate damage, and same political dysfunction... and those are just the beginning of the SAME list.” — Nancy Moynihan

28. “Donald J Trump will be forcefully escorted out of the White House.” — Robert Allen

27. “There will be an optional Covid vaccination, but many will refuse it due to vaccination fears and conspiracies, which will cause the pandemic to persist into 2022.” — Staci H.

26. “As much as I dread saying it, I think 2021 will bring previously unimaginable chaos to the streets of America.” — Gene Olson

25. “Face masks will be necessary nearly till the end of 2021.” — J. Leo Sadauskas

24. "We have a 50/50 chance of 2021 being better." — Misty

23. “Quote for the coming year: 'Trump has gone and sanity has won.'” — Elizabeth Shannon

22. “I predict we become friends with aliens and they lead us into exploring space further than we can imagine.” — Jessica Queen

Could this be the year???Shutterstock

21. “It just has to be better than 2020, doesn't it?... DOESN'T IT????” — Ronni Buntain

20. “My expectation is that Trump has so embedded a skepticism of Covid-19 and so delayed the vaccines, that the U.S. will hit a grand total of one million Covid deaths between 2020 and 2021.” — Steve Levy

19. “My prediction for 2021 is that everyone will begin the transition process back to normal.” — Annetha Williams

18. “Wake me up when it's 2022.” — J Brauh

17. “I predict that the world will know that intelligent life from other planets have lived among us for centuries — even millennia — and world leaders have always known it but kept it secret from the masses to keep the world from panicking. It will all be made known very soon.” — myheartwalks

16. “I think 2021 will be like the year after WWII ended. The history books will look at 2021 as the year of recovery, hope and resilience. 2020 was the year we had to take a journey into the dark to find out who we are and what we value. In 2021, I believe we will start building on those values. We will use our newly founded resilience to make the world a better place.” — Shweta Navani

Celebrations of V-J Day after World War 2. Could good times be here again?Bill Meurer / NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

15. “Ongoing, but less scary, shit show.” — Halsey Blake-Scott

14. “We'll be trying to get ‘back to normal,’ but what was normal won't be there ever again.” — Jann Becker

13. “2021 will be better... but only if you try.” — Keith McAdams

14. “Bags of potato chips will darken the skies over England.” — Richard Buck

13. "Smiles you can see and jobs to go to." — Joyce Stewart

12. "Since global warming and the loss of rainforests, glaciers, and food production have failed to move the population and their governments towards action, I predict environmentalists such as myself, in our exasperation, will try to get the conversation to include the very real threat that ocean current patterns may suddenly change and oxygen-supplying flora in the oceans could die off as a result, causing oxygen levels to dramatically drop around the planet. Threats of running out of oxygen are not far fetched. Disruptions of the great currents have already occurred and we have seen with our own eyes how the Sahara keeps expanding because of the currents changing over time.” — Anita Miller

11. “In the year 2021 the world began to exhale.” — Karen Florio

10. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” — Dayne Burns

9. “In 2021, we will be introduced to a super-intelligent form countering the human race.” — Johnny Lucchesi

8. “2021 will see the mass vaccinations taking longer than expected to reduce the Covid-19 pandemic as idiots still refuse to mask up and distance themselves socially.” — Samuel Donovan

7. “A new virus, worse than coronavirus, will hit the world, originating again from China. The United States will take the lead in containing the virus & developing a vaccine to contain it.” — Joyce Reed

6. “I predict there will be a major accident with SpaceX, the virus will continue in 2022, Trump will be indicted, North Korea will launch an intercontinental missile and 2021 will be the warmest year on record.” — Ken Eberly

SpaceX is on the minds of many for the coming year.PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images

5. “My prediction for 2021 in one sentence is: A slow journey to a different normal” — Phil Reilly

4. “As drought continues in the West and Southwest and an increasing number of hurricanes hit the U.S., the year 2021 will make it clearer than ever before that climate-change deniers have been totally wrong and that we are in serious climate trouble that has no foreseeable solution.” — George Clarke

3. “2021 will be the year of cleansing the American 'palate' pertaining to health, news, good government, and unity. These changes will be reflected in all the ways our national 'mood' is observable, from the T.V. shows & movies we make and watch, to the clothing styles we wear, to the foods we popularize, to the elected officials we put in office to represent us. It will be a year in which anyone living in the U.S. who wants to make a (career, health, familial) change for the better will have the opportunities, tools, and resources to do so.” — Ben M.

2. “If you think you know what is going to happen, you will be proven wrong!” — Kathy Murray

1. “THE END!” — Ken