If you were to check out the success of most Hollywood blockbusters, you would conclude that mankind has an inexplicable attraction towards apocalyptic scenarios. While we cannot explain why we are so fascinated with the end of days, it is impossible to overlook the number of people who have tried to speculate on how and when the world will end.
Considering that we’re currently in 2012, a year which most doomsday prophets have associated to the end of days, we thought it was a good idea to review the apocalyptic theories involving this moment as well as the ones further in the future.
1. World War III
Over the past decades, each international conflict brought to the public’s opinion more and more information about the military capabilities of the most powerful countries in the world. Currently, a great number of theorists strongly believe that a conflict between two super-powers will inevitably mean the start of WWIII and the utilization of nuclear force, which will make the planet inhabitable. However, while a nuclear war is highly unlikely, WWIII is actually a possibility because of several factors: the scarcity of fresh water supply across the globe, the reduced crop production due to harsh meteorological conditions, the economic depression and the limited supply of resources (oil and other fossil fuels).
2. Galactic alignment
The theory of the galactic alignment that will bring forth the end of the world has its roots in the Mayan cosmology interpretation. To summarize, this prediction states that at the winter solstice on 21st of December 2012 the crossing point of the ecliptic (the location of your solar system) will align with the dark center of the galaxy. While this phenomenon takes place once every 36 years, this time it is special as the sun will appear in front of the center of the galaxy. Supporters of the theory claim that the alignment will cause several disturbances on Earth, the most fearsome being that the planet will be sucked in by the black hole located at the center of the Milky Way.
3. Geomagnetic reversal
As geologists observed a dramatic change in the Earth’s magnetic field (it dropped by 6% each century), some believe that the geomagnetic reversal of the poles is inevitable. However, the supporters of this theory cannot calculate the time when this will occur given the fact that the reversals tend to vary from a few thousand years to millions of years. While the effect cannot be predicted, one thing is for sure: if the process were to occur, the planet will be completely exposed to the charged particles emitted by the sun.
4. Solar storms
Once every 11 years, the Sun experiences changes in the magnetic field resulting in massive coronal ejections, solar flares and spots, which combined will send charged particles towards the Earth. As NASA announced in 2012, the solar storms will reach a peak, which can cause severe disturbances on our planet. Currently, the planet is protected by the magnetic field and hence, the solar storms will not make the Earth burst into flames or anything. However, NASA warns that power grids and electric devices can be seriously affected.
5. The super volcano threat
With the help of various sophisticated calculations, scientists have been able to determine an eruption pattern of the planet’s super-volcanoes. Essentially, the eruption of such a volcano will destroy all life on Earth (as it is estimated the sunlight will be blocked out for several years) and will cause the earth to enter a nuclear winter. Among the four super-volcanoes on the planet, Yellowstone has been showing several signs on unrest and, according to calculations, it can erupt at any point.