What will the world look like 10 years down the line? For that matter, what will the world look like long after you and I are gone?
Glimpse into the future with these sites that chart timelines of mankind as well as the world at large.
This isn’t about horoscopes though. It’s an educated “guesstimate” of where the world is heading, based on current scientific research and available data. For example, these sites depict a realistic outcome of climate change, and how mankind might fight it.
The bottom line is that instead of relying on flights of fancy and science fiction, this is how our universe is probably going to progress.
1. Wikipedia’s Timeline of the Near Future: The 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Centuries
The army of editors at Wikipedia maintains a few strange lists, like the official “unusual articles” page. Similarly, when any global event is known for certain, these editors add it to the Timeline of the Near Future.
You’ll find a breakdown by year, decade, and century, going from right now till the 23rd Century. The events in the next few years include items like the 2020 Olympics, the world’s new tallest building, and the expiration of Mickey Mouse’s copyrights. Scroll down and you’ll see some incredible future events, all of which include citations about why their date is known in advance.
As you keep going, the timeline obviously veers towards astronomy. Celestial routes can be spoken of with more authority since it’s unlikely that any events on Earth will alter those.
2. Future Timeline: All the Events We Know Will Happen
Future Timeline is an entire site dedicated to accurately guessing what the future holds. It includes most of the events in the Wikipedia timeline above, but it also adds a lot more based on emerging technologies changing the world.
Here are some things it estimates:
- A water shortage in the southwest U.S. in 2021.
- Gorillas going extinct in Central Africa by 2023.
- 3D printed electronic membranes to prevent heart attacks by 2026.
- Bangkok being largely abandoned due to flooding by 2031.
You can click any event on these timelines to go to an article that explains the reasoning behind the prediction. It’s data-based, so be prepared to go through significant charts and numbers.
3. Futurism’s Infographics: A Visual Way to Learn About the Future
As a website, Futurism tracks all the news and events about things that can affect how we live in the future. While it does a fine job of that, it excels with the infographics section. It’s a gorgeous way of learning about what lies ahead.
These don’t give you a chronological timeline. But it takes any topic, dives deep into it, and gives you educated predictions about it. For example, if you ever wondered if humans can make other habitable planets, there’s an infographic to explain it. Or if you want to know what we’ll be eating in a few years, here’s the menu of 2030.
A list of categories (e.g. future society, artificial intelligence, robots, and machines, etc.) makes it easy to navigate the huge selection of infographics. Remember, the future of transport will be like nothing you’ve imagined, so be prepared by checking what lies ahead.
4. NGC Year Million: Mind-Blowing Videos About Future Humans
We are still in the 21st Century. A year is still a four-digit number. What will humans be like when the year is a seven-digit number? National Geographic talked to futurists, scientists, scholars, and science fiction writers to understand and depict the year One Million CE.
Year Million is actually a six-part documentary series that you’ll need to watch through a subscription. But NatGeo has released several clips from the episodes as tiny shorts. Each episode also has its own theme, and NatGeo includes clips related to it. You can see how humans and machines become one, or watch the incredible self-aware robot, among other things.
The series itself is a bit dark though and might remind you of Black Mirror or other such shows. But don’t worry about that if you’re only relying on the clips from the site. Those are much more focused on science.
It seems strange to include a single article in this list, but that’s how good this piece from Mother Nature Network is. This one is all about way into the future, with no real regard for the near future. But again, every prediction has links to say why the author believes it will come true.
The timeline starts at 100 years from now and tracks humans, the planet Earth, and the universe at large. At 300 years later, the author believes humanity will exhaust all the available resources on Earth. And things get a bit wonky after that. A thousand years later, our descendants will be seven-foot giants who live up to 120 years. Then 100,000 years later, super-volcanoes erupt on earth while the Milky Way’s largest star explodes. And 250 million years later, all continents on the Earth unite!
The article keeps going until the end of the world as we know it. But right at the end, there’s something oddly comforting, and even hopeful. Read the last prediction, it’s worth it.
What Kind of Future Do You Want?
It’s hard to predict what will come next. While there are websites that guess your future, it’s not science and there’s plenty that can change. As the above video by Samsung shows, future living might be a lot different from what we think it will be.
If you had to guess the future, what would you want from it? And more importantly, what do you expect from it?