Do you know about scientists who predicted their own deaths using science? One knew his death date by sleeping 15 minutes extra. Another feared the number 13 all his life and met his fate because of it. One even used math and stars to calculate his death date. We’ll also discuss a few other famous individuals who predicted their own deaths. Let’s dive in.

Number 5: Abraham de Moivre’s Sleepy Prediction

Number 5 on our list is a brilliant scientist who figured out when he would die using his sleep time. Abraham de Moivre was born on May 26, 1667, in a place called Vitry-le-François in France. He was a renowned mathematician known for his work in the development of the normal distribution. De Moivre’s theorem, which is related to complex numbers, is widely recognized. But there’s a cool story about how he guessed when he would die. When he got older, he saw he was sleeping 15 minutes more every night. He calculated that he would die on the day when all those extra minutes added up to a full day, which was November 27, 1754. And guess what? He was right! He died on that exact day. Doctors said he died because of too much sleepiness. He passed away in London and was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

Number 4: Gerolamo Cardano’s Stellar Calculation

Number 4 on our list is a brilliant scientist who figured out when he would die using math and stars? His name was Gerolamo Cardano, and he was from Italy. He was good at lots of subjects like math, physics, chemistry, and biology. He introduced Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and negative numbers. He even invented Combination Locks! Cardano was the first European to research typhoid fever, even without a medical license. In his autobiography, he wrote that his calculations showed he would die on September 21, 1576, and he indeed passed away on that exact day. He used math and stars to predict his death. Even today, Researchers are fascinated by his calculations. After he died, they named a big crater on the moon after him. It’s called the Cardanus lunar crater, and it’s about 50 kilometers wide!

Number 3: Arnold Schoenberg’s Fear of Thirteen

Number 3 on our list is a brilliant artist who feared the number 13. Arnold Schoenberg was born on September 13, 1874, and always felt uneasy about anything related to that number. Whenever his age added up to 13 or if there was a Friday the 13th, he became anxious. He even changed the spelling of names to avoid getting the number 13. For example, when he wrote his opera “Moses und Aron,” he intentionally misspelled Aaron’s name to avoid having the letters add up to 13. In 1951, when he was 76 years old (7+6=13), on Friday the 13th, he felt very sick and stayed in bed all day. Sadly, that night, he passed away. His wife got a call from the doctor, saying that Arnold had died peacefully in his sleep.

Number 2: Mark Twain’s Comet Connection

Number 2 on our list is a brilliant writer who figured out when he would die using a comet. In 1909, he mentioned something interesting about Halley’s Comet. This comet had last been seen from Earth the same year Mark Twain was born. He said, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet.” Mark Twain believed that since he and the comet arrived on Earth together, they should leave together too. Then, on April 20, 1910, Halley’s Comet returned… and just a day later, Mark Twain passed away. He suffered a heart attack on April 21st, fulfilling his strange but seemingly accurate prediction.

Number 1: Abraham Lincoln’s Premonition

Number 1 on our list is a famous politician who figured out when he would die through his dream. Abraham Lincoln, the famous President of the United States, had a remarkable connection with dreams. While some debate the accuracy of this story, Lincoln’s close friend and former law partner, Ward Hill Lamon, claimed that Lincoln had a premonition about his own death. Lincoln was interested in dreams and often discussed their meanings in letters to his wife and conversations with members of his cabinet. Just a few days before his assassination, Lincoln shared a vivid dream with Lamon. In the dream, Lincoln walked into the East Room of the White House and saw a solemn scene: a corpse surrounded by soldiers and mourners. Confused, Lincoln asked who had passed away. A soldier solemnly replied, “The president. He was killed by an assassin.” Though some doubt the accuracy of this tale, it adds an intriguing layer to the complex legacy of Abraham Lincoln and his untimely demise.

That wraps up our discussion on scientists who predicted their own death, but before you go, make sure not to miss our story on the top 5 scientific blunders that rocked the world in the last hundred years? We will talk about “Bad Blood Study on African Americans”, “the Radium Girls tale”, “Fake Breast Implants”, “Fake Vaccine Claims blunder” and “Super-Humans Built by Chinese Scientists in Labs”.

Next: Top 5 Scientific Blunders which Scared the Humanity


  • Schrager, Cynthia D. “American Eye: Mark Twain and Heaven’s Gate.” The North American Review 282, no. 5 (1997): 4-9. [Article]

By The Research Mind

We, researchers from the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, are dedicated to sharing the latest updates, breakthroughs, and even the occasional blunders in Science & Technology. Stay tuned for some truly mind-blowing science experiments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *