The apocalypse is a weird obsession of the human race. Ever since our existence evolved into being able to predict the near future when it comes to things like weather, economy, space,… we’ve been wondering what and when will finally be the undoing of us. It’s a bit nihilistic to say the least, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating.
It’s not like we’d want to know to prevent it, either. The Mayas had us believing the world would end in 2012, only to have scientists make a statement in 2011 or 2012 that the Mayan calendar was “probably” misread. Crisis averted, right? Apparently it was, because we’re all still here.
There’s other things that could end our existence – or at least a huge portion of it – in little to no time, however.
Let’s start off with the obvious one. Greenhouse emissions have been slowly but surely heating up our planet and changing its climate – as anyone currently living under the pressure of Europe’s biggest heat wave since whenever will be able to tell you. This can cause multiple species of animals on our planet to go extinct in a matter of generations, and there’s no reason to believe that at some point, mankind will be the next species on that list.
The Large Hadron Collider
Look, whenever you build something that’s made to learn more about how black holes work, you kind of run the risk of creating a black hole. One of the more spectacular doomsday scenarios concerning the LHC claims that it could malfunction and suck up our entire planet into a miniature black hole. That probably sounds like something we should try to avoid.
The superpowers of this world aren’t being led by the most diplomatic and level-headed people you can find in politics. Whether it’s Russia, the United States, Iran or North Korea, each of these nations has an arsenal at its disposal that can easily ruin our planet.
Scientists are mainly 50/50 on this one: many claim that finding other intelligent life is a matter of decades, where others believe that even finding some form of life on other planets is going to be a long shot. What we do know is that if we’d run into some other form of intelligent life, odds are they don’t want us to be friends. Realistically speaking, if they can get to us first, they probably have the technology needed to destroy us as quickly as they please.
A Big Solar Flare
While a huge solar flare would need to be a really big one to actually cause an extinction event on Earth, even a “small” big solar flare could hit us hard enough that it would essentially wipe out all our electrical devices. Considering how the world works these days, that scenario is bound to have some catastrophe tied to it.
Underneath Naples, we have a dormant supervolcano that’s pretty much due for another proper eruption. The last supervolcano eruption that we have data on claims that the results were nothing short of devastating – even going so far as to causing a part of the world to get stuck in a volcanic winter, where the ashes blocked out light from the sun. There’s other supervolcanoes on our planet but the Naples one is probably closest to an actual eruption event.