In Brief

Did Nostradamus predict the coronavirus?

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Nostradamus nuts are claiming that the prophet predicted the coronavirus. They point to one of his writings, Century 2:53, which warns: “The great plague of the maritime city. Will not cease until there be avenged the death. Of the just blood, condemned for a price without crime.” Although landlocked Wuhan is not a “maritime city,” the disease was traced to a seafood market, which they believe is enough to prove a link.

Asteroid ‘to destroy Earth within 10 years’

In another prophetic prediction, a pastor and conspiracy theorist says the texts of Revelation 8 prove Earth will end in a fiery death when an asteroid strikes the planet at the end of the decade. Thomas Thorn says one of the signs of the plagues of Exodus is “scorching and setting ablaze fields and forests”, which he has linked to the spate of wildfires. These will be followed, he says, by a “great star from heaven, burning like a torch” falling on Earth.

Expert says Beethoven was not deaf

Popular opinion has it that Ludwig van Beethoven composed some of music’s greatest masterpieces while completely deaf. However, according to an expert, the composer still had hearing in his left ear until shortly before his death in 1827. “This is going to send everybody scurrying to revise biographical concepts about Beethoven,” said Theodore Albrecht, professor of musicology at Kent State University, Ohio.

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