End of the World theories, apocalyptic scenarios and bizarre situations that will bring the rule of mankind to an end have always been fascinating. In fact, Hollywood has made a steady business of churning out movies on this theme and minting money by putting the fear of God in man. They would have us believe the end is not too far off.
In light of the esoteric prediction made by the Mayans that the world shall come to an end in December 2012, here are some of the more popular end of the world theories that are doing the rounds of the media and Internet. If you had to choose, how would you prefer to become extinct?
Mysterious Planet X Takes a Swipe at Earth
Mayans, for some reason, seem to be obsessed with the apocalypse and have spun one yarn after the other hastening the death of the entire planet. Among their other bizarre notions is the idea that a mysterious planet, 4 times the size of Earth, will pass close to us knocking our planet off its axis. This will cause a series of tsunamis all around the world, wreaking untold havoc and death on the human civilization. Leading scientists have assured us there is no probability of that happening for a planet that size would be detected long before it had a chance to sideswipe earth.
Reversal of Earth’s Magnetic Pole
In the previous scenario scientists may have been helpful in debunking a ridiculous notion, but this learned community has made contributions of its own towards apocalyptic scenarios. In the 1950s geologists put forward a theory that once every million years or so, Earth’s magnetic poles undergo a reversal. It is believed that such an event will rob us of the protective magnetic cover that keeps us safe from sun’s direct radiation. When that happens…well, you only need look at popcorns in the microwave to understand how you will end up.
The Global Pandemic
Movies like “The Outbreak” or “Contagion” might be really scary as they force us to question the possibility of surviving (or not surviving) a global pandemic. However, a true global pandemic that can seriously threaten the population statistics of the entire planet is really rare. We might be confronted with the occasional swine flu or avian flu but the last truly threatening outbreak was the Black Death which was nearly 7 centuries ago. A similar recurrence anytime soon is not likely.
Geologically speaking, meteor strikes are not that unusual a phenomenon. Over 180 craters scattered around different parts of the globe stand testament to the fact that meteors have crashed into the planet, leaving behind a huge impact on its surface. That said, believing that there is bound to be a meteor large enough to wipe out all life on earth is stretching the truth a little too much.
In the end, it is a rather humbling thought that actual danger to the integrity of this planet comes from human interference in the form of climate change, depletion of non-renewable source of energy and nuclear weapons. As Carl Jung rightly pointed out it is “Not nature, but the ‘genius of mankind,’ (that) has knotted the hangman’s noose with which it can execute itself at any moment.”