When will the world end?
Human beings have been asking the same question for hundreds of years: when will the end of the world come? What will happen? Will the planet die, or will we go extinct?
Some claim to know the planet’s expiry date
Through millenarian visions or alleged scientific forecasts, some claim to know when the end will come.
The Apocalypse of Saint John
There were already various prophecies about the end times in the times of the Roman Empire. But the Apocalypse of Saint John is perhaps the most influential biblical text on the signs that will announce the world’s end.
The Bible says the end will come but fails to give a date
However, the Bible does not include a specific date when that particular Armageddon will occur.
The Mayans had an end date for the planet but…
According to the most widespread interpretation of the Mayan calendar, the world was going to end in December 2012.
…it was just the end of an era
But here we are still here! However, some scholars clarify that the Mayans spoke of the end of a cycle and the beginning of another era, not of the definitive end of the human race.
The end of the world (Ragnarök) according to the Vikings
Some interpreted the legends of the Viking civilization about Ragnarök (the battle of the end of the world), putting the planet’s end date in 2014. But that didn’t happen, either.
Halley’s Comet sparked panic in 1910
Halley’s Comet, whose passage lit up the sky in 1910, sparked a collective wave of hysteria and fear of the world’s end.
A gas that would end all life on Earth
As Wired recalls, the French astronomer Camille Flammarion argued in media such as The New York Times that when the comet passed by, “cyanogen gas would permeate the atmosphere and possibly extinguish all life on the planet.”
And other times, a round figure was enough to unleash a certain amount of fear. It happened in the year 1999, everyone was worried about “The Year 2000” problem.
The year 2000 came without any problems
However the collapse of computers and cybernetic material that some experts claimed would occur never happened. And both machines and humans quietly entered the 21st century without any “Y2K” disasters.
A best-seller that predicted a failed end of the world
And another 20th-century prophecy: was made in the book ’88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988′ by NASA engineer and biblical researcher Edgar C. Whisenant.
The author sold 5 million books but the rapture never came
According to the book (an evangelical metaphor for the end times), the rapture would occur in 1988. Edgar C. Whisenant sold almost five million books, and the world did not end.
The coming end of the world: Newton’s prediction
Not only visionaries or prophets have predicted the end of the world. There are also scientists who have spoken about this matter.
Newton believed the world would end in 2060
Isaac Newton (in the illustration) set a date for the world’s end: 2060. But, according to an article in the Daily Mail, it was not a scientific calculation but based on religious texts.
A science-based apocalyptic prediction with a very specific date
But there have been scientific studies that have tried to calculate when the final outcome will come.
Scientists thought overpopulation would cause the end of the world
In 1960 an article in Science magazine headlined: ‘Doomsday: Friday, November 13, 2026’. It was explained like this: “On this date, the human population will approach infinity if it grows as it has done in the last two millennia.”
The technological collapse of the year 2038
Another calculation predicts a technological collapse in the year 2038. On that date (supposedly), the programming of many devices will be obsolete, and they will not be able to be restarted; they will not work.
Just about as likely as Y2K
Of course, it does not seem like a real danger after the “Y2K” fiasco, which should technology isn’t so finicky about dates as we think it is.
The asteroid that could collide with Earth in 2068
Then there is the fear that a giant asteroid will destroy our planet. The possibility exists, and some scientific calculations suggested that the asteroid Apophis could hit Earth on three possible dates: 2029, 2036 or 2068.
Safe for the next 100 years at least…
As reported by the BBC, NASA corrected these calculations: in the next 100 years, Apophis will not be a threat. What about after 100 years? That remains a mystery.
The end of the world will be between 3797 and 4011
Some have revealed prophecies about a distant end of the world. That is what Nostradamus did in his intricate writings, which gave rise to diverse interpretations. The 17th-century visionary was not optimistic, and everything was a misfortune in his predictions.
Da Vinci included an apocalyptic prophecy in one of his paintings
Leonardo Da Vinci also wanted to predict the date of the end of the world. And he did it his way, including an encrypted message in the middle of one of his most famous paintings
Specific date of the Apocalypse hidden in ‘The Last Supper’
According to Da Vinci, the world will end on March 21, 4006, and we will perish in a new universal flood. Vatican researcher Sabrina Sforza Galitzia declared to the British newspaper Express: “There is a Da Vinci code, but it is not the one popularized by Dan Brown.” The date was deduced from various symbols on the painting translated into numbers.
5478-5480: the end according to Baba Vanga
Baba Vanga, a Bulgarian visionary from the 20th century, is another classic regarding prophecies. According to Baba Vanga, the world will end between 5478 and 5480.
Faith in the future
Millenarianism and apocalyptic theories are typical of troubled and challenging times. And yet, humans have demonstrated time and time again their ability to survive. For now, here we are, standing on this planet and trusting that the future exists.