Did a novelist predict the coronavirus in his 1981 thriller?

2030
Sharp-eyed Dean Koontz fans with good memories have dug up their dog-eared copies of Koontz’s 1981 novel, “The Eyes of Darkness,” and found passages, where he writes about a virus called Wuhan-400, developed in a biological weapons lab in Wuhan, China – a man-made virus dubbed the “perfect weapon.”

In today’s odd news feature, the internet is abuzz with posts that author Dean Koontz predicted the 2020 new coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 novel “The Eyes of Darkness.”

According to mysteriousworld.org founder Paul Seaburn, sharp-eyed Koontz fans with good memories have dug up their dog-eared copies of Koontz’s 1981 novel, “The Eyes of Darkness,” and found passages, where he writes about a virus called Wuhan-400, developed in a biological weapons lab in Wuhan, China – a man-made virus dubbed the “perfect weapon.”

“They call the stuff ‘Wuhan-400’ because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside of the city of Wuhan, and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made organisms created at that research center,” the book stated.

“The Eyes of Darkness” is about a mother searching to find out if her son really died a year before or if he’s still alive. During her quest, she learns about Wuhan-4000, called the “perfect weapon” because: “It afflicts only human beings. No other living creature can carry it. And like syphilis, Wuhan-400 can’t survive outside a living body for longer than a minute, which means it can’t permanently contaminate objects or entire places the way anthrax and other virulent microorganisms can.”

According to Seaburn, the passage was underlined and tweeted by @Darren of Plymouth and picked up by the South China Morning Post and the Taiwan News – which are looking for any clues or news on the deadly, puzzling and spreading virus.

The South China Morning Post points out that Wuhan has long been home for microbiology and virology labs, so a smart writer could use it to make a novel more realistic. Also, Japan did chemical weapons research in China during World War II, and rumors of the Chinese government conducting similar research and development run rampant today, Seaburn wrote.

However, the fact-checking site snopes.com was quick to dispel this trending post, pointing out that in Koontz’s novel, “Wuhan-400” is a human-made weapon. The coronavirus, on the other hand, was not.

In addition, in the novel, “Wuhan-400” has a 100% fatality rate. While researchers are still learning about the coronavirus, snopes.com pointed out that the current fatality rate sits at about 2%.

The fictional “Wuhan-400” also has an extremely quick incubation period of about four hours, compared to COVID-19 which has an incubation period of between two and 14 days.

In the end, “The Eyes of Darkness” is just a work of fiction written by a very imaginative writer.

##