Definiton of “apocalypse”: any universal or widespread destruction or disaster. I present you the ten most likely Apocalypses of the XXIst Century.
10. Meteor Strike – 65,500,000 B.C.
The Chicxulub Impact. A space rock 9 miles (15 km) wide landed on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula 65.5 millions years ago, releasing over a billion times the energy of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The impact generated a dust cloud that blocked sunlight for an entire year, killing almost all plant life on Earth. If China had no rice and the Americans were out of grain… dam, there would be hell to pay.
9. Maya Calendar – 500 B.C
This calendar has an end date: December 21, 2012. While the true reason is shrouded in mystery, there are many possible scenarios. Astrologist argue that it marks the beginning of some big changes in the galaxy and cosmos. Hollywood predicts radical climate changes and possible floods. Descendants of the mayans joke saying the inventor of the calendar ran out of stone to carve. My personal favorite is an alien visit to planet Earth.
8. St. John´s Apocalypse – 100 A.D
Written almost 2000 years ago, this is still the most widely believed version of the end of the world. The effects: No more sunlight, the moon turning red, meteors showers, granite rain, the ocean turning to blood, the river water becoming poisoned, millions of giant lobsters prowling the land, four horseman of the Apocalypse, giant earthquake, a Satanic dragon and two demon beasts. Personally, I just can´t imagine technology stopping the wrath of God.
7. Pandemic – 700 A.D
The first pandemic mankind suffered was at the hands of a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. More commonly known as the Black Death, this bacteria arrived in Europe during the 8th century and killed 50% of its population. Now a days, an outbreak of an evolved or weaponized virus could easily wipe out more than 70% of the world population. Many of these killer viruses are capable of being transmitted through the air: such as ¨Anthrax¨, ¨Smallpox¨, ¨Ebola¨ and ¨Marburg¨ viruses.
6. Nuclear War – 1949
Originally conceived to be the weapon that would give United States undisputed power over all countries, instead it turned into a nightmare for a whole generation of Americans. Through espionage, the Soviet Union got their own atomic bomb by 1949. Since then, eight other countries have adquired nuclear arsenals. And with the US trying to stop Iran and North Korea from developing their own nuclear weapons, today the nuclear threat is as real as ever.
5. Solar Flare – Future
If a large solar flare manages to sprout exactly towards Earth´s direction, the results would be catastrophic. All human satellites would be damaged, all electric grids would be severely disrupted and the atmosphere temperature would increase a couple degrees. Without satellites, human communications would be severely disrupted for months. Several days without electricity would mean the death of millions and multiple nuclear leaks. And a sudden rise in temperatures would disrupt most sea life, sea currents and spawn violent climate changes.
4. Grey Goo Theory – Future
A nanobot is extremely tiny robot capable of repairing and creating any type of molecule out of raw matter. While still going through medical tests, these tiny robots might be able to one day cure cancer and repair internal organs. Seems pretty harmless, right? Well, the problem lies in the fact that nanobots deconstruct matter and can be programmed to build anything; including other nanobots. Thus, if a self-replicating nanobot were to be unleashed it would only take 72 hours before the surface of the Earth (and everything on top of it) would transform into a grey goo. (nanobots)
3. Machine Takeover (A.I) – Future
While still under development, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is dream of many robotic scientists out there. At this exponential rate of digital growth, by 2029 desktop computers will have the same processing power as the human brain. It is also predicted that by 1950, A.I. will reach a point where it is able to improve itself with unprecedented speed. This ability of computers to improve themselves and future advances in robotics will one day make Hollywood´s wildest fantasies look… not so wild.
2. Justin Bieber Internet Takeover – Near Future
As Justin Bieber´s musicvideo ¨Baby¨ nears the 500 million views on Youtube.com, there is only one question on everyone´s head: When will this Bieber madness stop? Soon, Justin´s takeover of the Internet will be inevitable. All websites will forced to display his face in at least four places or face the risk of being forgotten. If children worldwide are worshipping this prepubescent kid, the future of music (and of the entire human race) looks bleak.
1. Sarah Palin becomes President – Near Future
The worts and most likely Apocalypse of all: Sarah Palin gets elected president of the USA in 2012. Palin is truly the biggest threat to world peace America has known since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Normally, I would think the American voters are too smart to vote for such candidate, but since the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush… heck, anything is possible.
Don´t miss next week´s ¨10 Reasons NOT to vote for Palin¨