There is a fast growing fanaticism with the concept of the World as we know it meeting its end. There are thousands upon thousands of theories and even more subpar b-movies all voicing an opinion. The way I see it, nothing can truly be out-ruled due to the (presumably) sheer magnitude of the event in question- theoretically, it is beyond human perception. No member of our species has seen the likes and so no member of our species can predict accurately how we’ll all be wiped out, right? Wrong. Scientists can obviously take a guess at it…
10. Asteroid Impact
Certainly a common theory, asteroid impacts have affected humankind in the past- they’re even highly believed to have wiped out the Dinosaurs, but just how likely are they to wipe us all out? Well, in the 15th Century an asteroid impact is recorded to have claimed some 10,000 lives in the Chinese city of Chi’’ing-yang and more recently in 1908 a 200-foot wide fragment entered the atmosphere above Tunguska, Siberia causing an explosion around 1,000 times more powerful than the one that floored Hiroshima in 1945. So, fairly likely then.
9. Disease Epidemic
Epidemics have been picking humans off since the dawn of our time on this planet. Though I like to think of organisms and germs as our friends, helping to maintain the balance and all that, sometimes the odds can just tip out of our favour. In the middle ages, the Plague (or ‘Black Death’) wiped out around one quarter of Europe’s population, flu claimed around 20million of us in 1918/19 and AIDS is still killing. Just because we’ve got iPhones doesn’t mean we can’t contract disease both grim and highly contagious.
8. Flood-Basalt Volcanism
Now I may not be a science buff, but this concept is extremely interesting. Basically, it is just a volcanic eruption of such scale that it causes adverse effects on the environment not just nearby, but for hundreds or even thousands of miles in every direction. In the 1700’s a particularly powerful explosion in Iceland caused the direct death of some 9,000 people- as well as most of the nation’s livestock, leading to further death (and lots of it) as a result of starvation. The ash cloud caused by the eruption also caused a 9 degree plunge in the temperature in the US. How many volcanoes are there on Earth?
7. Global Warming
I know, since that South Park episode with Al Gore you can take the concept of Global Warming seriously, right? This is a relatively new theory and as a result can receive some flak owing to the fact that…it isn’t a fact. The Earth is definitely getting hotter though, that is a fact- and supporters of this explanation believe humankind may have something to do with it. By way of industrial pollution and the like, which emit ‘greenhouse gasses’ into the atmosphere –it is believed a hole will eventually form in the planet’s atmosphere leading to a deadly rise in our climate.
6. Collapse of Ecosystem
Think of the Earth as a huge tapestry in which each living organism is a specific piece of a unique pattern which constitutes a larger, more beautiful image. Now imagine taking a pair of scissors and hacking bits of said tapestry out in the name of human convenience. This theory promotes the belief that there is a delicate balance which must be maintained in order for the Earth to carry on as it began. Human interference with this balance (destroying the rainforests, forcing certain species into extinction) is messing all of this up and will eventually lead to the end of days.