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Times Futurama Weirdly Predicted The Future

Updated November 11, 2019 2.3k votes 571 voters 50.6k views9 items

List RulesVote up the most uncanny cases of things happening on Futurama before they actually happened in real life.

Futurama is one of the most beloved shows (animated or otherwise) you'll find on television. Not only was it hysterical, it was an exceptionally intelligent show that looked deep into our future (all the way to the year 3000) and painted a picture of reality that eventually came true. Seriously, in addition to having jokes you need to be a genius to understand, Futurama predicted the future. Sure, we haven't colonized Pluto, fought a malevolent robot Santa, or mastered interstellar travel yet, but there are several pieces of technology present in the show that found their way into our lives. And really, we all know that an evil Santa robot is just a matter of time. 

The simple fact is, some Futurama jokes came true. The way humanity perceives the world, current events, and even video games all changed by the time Fry moved into the distant future... we just didn't realize how quickly those changes would come. While most people are aware of all the Simpsons jokes that predicted the future, they're probably not familiar with all of the insane Futurama predictions that really happened. 

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    Mundane Virtual Reality

    Video: YouTube

    Early on in the series, Futurama accurately predicted virtual reality tech. While not the first form of media (or even TV series) to play with the idea of VR, Futurama was the only one to get it right. When the Planet Express gang visit an amusement park on the moon, Amy straps on a VR headset. The joke is, of course, they use the astounding technology for super simple activities, like skeeball.

    This may have sounded laughable back then, but the Oculus Rift virtual reality games that we have now make the Futurama writers look downright prescient. Take Job Simulator, for instance. It's a "game" where you pretend to have a job. That's pretty much it. So, not only did Futurama totally call VR, they nailed exactly the kinds of things it would be used for. 

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    Drone Video Cameras

    Drone mounted cameras help us with everything from behind the scenes pictures of movie productions to capturing nature in all of its beautiful majesty. It's almost hard to think about a world with drones.

    But there was a time when the little flying robot cameras were merely a twinkle in the eye of the Futurama writing staff. You can see them floating around in press conferences starting in episodes going all the way back to 2000. Chances are you're only going to see more of them as time goes on, so enjoy floor-bound cameras while you still can. 

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  • 3

    For-Profit Euthanasia

    Video: YouTube

    One of the first things we learn about the year 3000 in Futurama is that society condoned for-profit euthanasia. Dubbed "suicide booths," they cost a quarter to use (which must be, like, nothing with inflation) and have several separate modes of death including "slow and horrible," "clumsy bludgeoning," and "quick and painless." They're on street corners everywhere in New New York, 

    Believe it or not, euthanasia you can pay for is totally a thing you can really pay for. Well, as long as you're in Switzerland. Even if you don't live in the land of knives and chocolate (they prefer that, right?) you can always just save up for a plane ticket. Apparently, there's a swiftly growing tourism market for assisted suicides over there. 

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    A Telescope For Smell

    Professor Farnsworth invents some insane stuff. Like, really just bonker-balls nuts. One of the more notable inventions was the Smell-o-Scope, a device that can smell odors over great distances. Well, lo and behold, some crazy bastard in our world came up with the same idea. Except, you know, for real. 

    The Nasal Ranger, a device that allows you to highlight smells by measuring particulate matter in the air, is designed to be used for several organizations including water treatment plants and police departments. No word yet on if it can be used to detect incoming trash asteroids. 

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