Hilariously bleak visions of the future, as predicted by schoolchildren in 1976

To commemorate the American Bicentennial in 1976, the oil company ARCO asked schoolchildren across the nation to illustrate what they thought the United States would look like in the year 2076.

ARCO received hundreds of letters and drawings from students. And in a potentially unforeseen twist, some of these Tricentennial visions predicted a future ripped from a Cormac McCarthy novel.

Hilariously bleak visions of the future, as predicted by schoolchildren in 1976S

Courtesy of Matt Novak of the Paleofuture Blog, here's a group of illustrations by Dr. Harriet Eisenberg's pupils at New York's John F. Kennedy High School. In the first drawing, student Joanne Connaire predicts a future where we will all don elephantine gas masks.

Hilariously bleak visions of the future, as predicted by schoolchildren in 1976S

Student Robert Berman depicted a future where the Lost in Space robot is the executive-in-chief...

Hilariously bleak visions of the future, as predicted by schoolchildren in 1976S

...and Tina Kambitsis drew a nuclear apocalypse, followed by a radioactive Garden of Eden scenario that has blessed avians with the gift of gab.

Hilariously bleak visions of the future, as predicted by schoolchildren in 1976S

Hilariously bleak visions of the future, as predicted by schoolchildren in 1976S

Finally, a fourth grader in Mary Ellen Caesar's class at Sacred Heart School in Massachusetts seemingly took a cue from global food and energy scarcities of the Seventies. This student predicted a return to small agrarian communities.

(On an unrelated note, I sort of wish The Hunger Games came out in the 1970s, so it was a disco musical not unlike The Apple.)

You can check out more Tricentennial weirdness from the 1976 youth of America right here.