15 Predictions That Didn’t Come True in 2019
As long as humans have been around, we've been trying to predict what will happen in our future, but not everyone has a reliable crystal ball.
The Ancient Maya famously made predictions about when civilization would end; many thought it would be December 21, 2012, but, as other scholars pointed out, they actually said that we'd be around for another 7,000 years and 2012 signified a rebirth, National Geographic reported. There were also plenty of predictions made for 2019, in terms of what would happen to the environment, economy, medicine, the entertainment industry, and the political world. Here are 15 things people thought would happen but didn't. Movies and books predicted these inventions well before their time.
New York City's West Side Highway would be underwater
In an interview with a reporter from the Washington Post back in 1988, climate scientist Jim Hansen said that he thought that New York City's West Side Highway would be underwater by 2019. "And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won't be there. The trees in the median strip will change," he added. While this hasn't happened yet, some parts of New York City were flooded during 2012's Hurricane Sandy. And it's not just Manhattan: here are 13 other islands predicted to disappear in the next 80 years.
5G would be the new normal
Back at the beginning of the year, tech professionals like Reuben Yonatan, the founder and CEO of GetVOIP were all excited by the predictions that 5G would soon be taking the world by storm. "5G makes a great difference in the delivery of our Voice over Internet Protocol services, and you can imagine how the thought of millions and millions of users having access to 5G would thrill us," he tells Reader's Digest. However, Yonatan explains that 5G is running into regulatory snags in places like France and Belgium, as well as infrastructure and geographical issues in rural parts of the United States. As a result, the service has not taken over the world as was predicted. "Once again, articles are touting the number of users and amount of area 5G will cover in 2020, and many of them look very similar to the places and figures named last year," Yonatan notes.
The real estate market would crash
Ever since the Great Recession, there has been an even closer eye on the housing market, and 2019 was no exception. And according to Benjamin Ross, a real estate expert and realtor, many predicted that the real estate market would crash in 2019, but that didn't happen. "Instead, all we saw was a slight slow down, but nothing more than a small blip on the radar," he tells Reader's Digest. "At this point, there is no real estate crash predicted for the rest of 2019." Find out how much the average home costs in each state.
People would no longer buy tablets
Back in 2013, Blackberry's former CEO Thorsten Heins said that tablets are no longer profitable, and their popularity will decrease with time. Specifically, he noted that their sales will drop dramatically in a matter of a few years and that within five years, people would not be interested in buying one. But here we are, six years later and tablets are still everywhere. In fact, according to Aqsa Tabassam, a senior growth marketer at Brandnic.com, sales of tablets have increased year by year, reaching $136.8 million in global sales in 2019. "I do not see this business flopping soon," she tells Reader's Digest.
Amazon would take over New York City
In November 2018, Amazon made its long-awaited announcement about which cities would host its new headquarters. After many smaller and medium-sized cities courted the corporate giant in the hopes of boosting their economies, Amazon selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia as their new homes. At that point, it looked like the corporation's move into the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City was all but inevitable, despite opposition from local politicians, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Some of that must have worked, because in February 2019, Amazon pulled out of its Queens location. On the other hand, these historical predictions actually came true.
We'd all be eating bugs
For years we've been told that eating different bugs and insects would be the new dietary norm. After all, other countries around the world already do it, they're environmentally friendly and a great source of protein. In an interview with LinkedIn for their 2019 Big Ideas report, futurist QuHarrison Terry predicted that the edible insect market in the United States would be significant in 2019. "If I had half a billion dollars to invest right now, mark my words, a large portion would be allocated to this emerging field," he said in the interview. "Currently, over 2 billion people worldwide consume insects on a regular basis for a source of protein. Yet, the industry is only estimated at $406 million. We're one hit product away from seeing it become a multi-billion-dollar industry." As it turns out, he was partially right; we may already be accidentally eating more insects than we realize: here are 13 common foods that could secretly contain insects.
Space tourism would be up and running
We've been hearing about space tourism from people like Richard Branson and Elon Musk for years, and some thought that 2019 would be the year that it actually happened. For example, Jonathan O'Callaghan at Wired predicted that after many broken promises from those responsible for this emerging form of tourism, 2019 is when it would really take off. "No space tourist has flown since 2009," he wrote. "This year, however, we are expecting several private companies in the United States to start taking humans to space, most for the first time. And, if all goes to plan, this could be a vital step towards making space more accessible—where paid trips and privately funded astronauts become the norm." Even though you probably won't be taking your next vacation to Mars, there are still some exciting developments happening for professional astronauts. Here are 13 things you didn't know about space travel.
The United Kingdom would no longer be part of the European Union
In July 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum to determine whether or not the country should leave the European Union. It passed by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent, according to BBC News. Known as "Brexit," this break from the EU was supposed to happen on March 29, 2019, but former Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for leaving was delayed twice after being rejected by members of Parliament. This pushed the date to October 31, 2019, but since current Prime Minister Boris Johnson missed the deadline, it has now been pushed to January 31, 2020, the BBC reports. Though Queen Elizabeth II doesn't have any say over Brexit, here are 9 things she actually has the power to do.
Amazon would accept Bitcoin
There was a lot of hype around cryptocurrency in 2018, to the point where it was predicted that Amazon would accept Bitcoin in 2019. So far, though, that has not been the case. However, there are ways around this if you really, really want to pay for your two-day shipment of toilet paper using cryptocurrency. For example, you can use Bitcoin to purchase Amazon gift cards and shop that way, according to Investopedia. Find out 13 more predictions about the future that were dead wrong.