4 Ways the World Could End Tomorrow

Posted: February 8, 2017 in Fun Facts, Science, Things I Love
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You know the world’s going to end, right? It has a lifespan just like you and I do. It simply can’t spin on forever. No way, no how. Oh, it’ll probably happen long after we’re all dead and gone, so look at the bright side, it won’t be you but your great-great-great-great-great grandkids that witness the end of all things.

Hopefully.

Hell, it could happen tomorrow.

I know what you’re thinking, pleasant occurrences such as nuclear war, global warming or a large-scale pandemic disease. Nah, I’m talking about other cool stuff. Read on, loyal minions, to see how it could all end in a horrific ball of nastiness . . .

The Expanding Sunexpanding_sun

Scientists know for certain that our sun will end its life in 7.72 billion years, which is of no concern to us. Screw the future, amirite? Anyhoo, as the sun becomes older, it will become cooler and larger. By the time it becomes what they call a “stellar giant” it will be big enough to engulf both Mercury and Venus. Earth might seem safe at this point, but the sun will also create an extremely strong solar wind that will slow down the Earth. As a result, in about 7.59 billion years, our planet will spiral into the outer layers of the hugely expanded dying star, melt away forever, and be a distant memory in nobody’s mind because they’ll all be dead. Sad really.

solar-storm-616938A Solar Flare

That beautiful life-giving sun you see up there is not exactly as friendly as you might think. You see, the sun creates strong magnetic fields that generate impressive sunspots, sometimes many times larger than Earth. It also ejects a stream of particles and radiation called solar wind. If kept in check by Earth’s magnetic field, this wind can cause beautiful northern and southern lights. But when it becomes stronger, it can also influence radio communication or cause power outages. Back in 1859, the most powerful magnetic solar storm ever documented hit Earth. The incident was called the Carrington Event, and it caused huge interference with rather small scale electronic equipment. Such events must have happened several times in the past, too, with humans surviving obviously. However, in recent years have we become entirely dependent on electronic equipment. The truth is we would suffer tremendously if we underestimate the dangers of another Carrington Event or maybe even something more powerful. Even though this would not wipe out humanity instantly, it would represent one helluva challenge. There would be no electricity, heating, air conditioning, GPS or internet, food and medicines would go bad, and humans everywhere would have to, you know, talk to each other face-to-face. The horror!

Moving Starsfast-moving-stars-pose-a-dilemma-2

Sounds like a really bad reality show – “Watch as Tom Hanks moves from his swank digs in Bel Air to an upscale apartment in the Pacific Palisades!” Theoretically though, a wandering star on its path through the Milky Way might come so close to our sun that it would interact with the rocky “Oort cloud” at the edge of the solar system, which is the source of all of our comets. This might lead to an increased chance of a huge comet hurtling to Earth, which would lead to a not-so-fun time and an end to all that we hold dear. Which leads me to . . .

impactAn Asteroid Impact

We’re all aware of the dangers asteroids could pose to humanity – they are, after all, thought to have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Plus there’s the movie Armageddon, which made it clear we could all die unless Bruce Willis saves us all. And guess what? There are a bunch of big ol’ space rocks in our solar system that could be a serious threat to us.

We are just now starting to develop systems to protect us against some of the smaller asteroids that could strike us. But against the bigger ones we are basically helpless. And while they alone wouldn’t necessarily destroy Earth or even make it unlivable, they could wipe out humanity by causing enormous tsunamis, fires and other natural disasters. Good times!

So there you have my favorite ways humanity could be wiped out. Oh, there are other ways the world could end, stuff like Rogue Black Holes, the reversal of Earth’s magnetic field, a huge volcano, a Global Epidemic, Global Warming, the collapse of our Ecosystem, or some human-caused nuclear disaster. Maybe Trump will cause WWIII by attacking Liechtenstein or something, who knows?

Bottom line, don’t worry about it, kids. Live every single day as if it’s your last. Sounds like a bumper sticker but it’s true, man.

YOLO!

 

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