Among the most widely shared texts in the first hours and days following the 9/11 attacks was a "prophetic" quatrain attributed to 16th-century astrologer Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus:
"In the City of God there will be a great thunder,
Two brothers torn apart by Chaos,
while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb,
The third big war will begin when the big city is burning"
- Nostradamus 1654
Clue number one to its inauthenticity was the date: 1654. Nostradamus died in 1566. Nor was this simply a typo. A quick web search determined that the verse had actually been authored in 1996 430 years after Nostradamus's death by a college student named Neil Marshall.