Everything is temporary and eventually everything will come to an end. That's the reality that we cannot escape from. Our planet, as well as the whole human civilization, will cease to exist. But what are the events that will lead to our extinction? How will the world end? Doomsday countdown has started and these ELE's or Extinction-Level Events are nothing short of cataclysmic. Sure, you can prepare for the zombie apocalype or nuclear fall-out, but how prepared are you for a robot insurrection?
Doomsday Countdown Has Started. How Will It End?
There are numbers of possibilities and perilous instances that can lead to total annihilation of life and the world we know. Some of these factors are the effects of our human behavior and how we treat our habitat, yet there are some that are beyond our capabilities to stop it from happening. Regardless if it's a natural disaster or willful acts of self-destruction, the effect of these will cause mass extinction. As I'm writing this article, that song from the band R.E.M is constantly playing in my head “it's the end of the world and we know it”. We are certain that this planet and everything in it will cease to exist. But how? Below is a list of possible and plausible events that will lead to humanity's extinction. So read on and brace yourselves as we enter this doomsday countdown.
1. Killer Asteroid
This is a planet killer. Millions of years ago, the dinosaurs ceased to exist thanks to a 10-kilometer wide asteroid. Some researchers said that just 1 kilometer in size is enough to fill out atmosphere with light-blocking dust. An asteroid impact can cause mass extinction for a number of reasons. Apart from the impact, there will be firestorms, followed by global cooling due to the dust kicked up by the impact. There's an asteroid discovered by NASA as Near Earth Asteroid 1999 FN53 and it measures at half a kilometer to one kilometer in diameter. And if this asteroid will collide with Earth with a speed of 15 kilometers per second, the impact is enough to vaporize any major city on this planet.
2. Earth Spins Off Its Axis
Our planet is held in its axis by balanced forces and our axis remains tilted. But when an asteroid collision happens, Earth will suffer from the massive impact. The orbit of our planet will change from elliptical to circular to hyperbolic. The said collision will destroy the Earth's fabric and will cause destruction on a global scale. Our planet will be hurled towards the sun and it will make North pole and Antartica boil. Consequently, ice caps will melt creating floods. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will be inevitable and will tear our planet apart.
3. Gamma Ray Burst
These gamma rays came from distant galaxies and are undeniably powerful. The sun's energy are nothing compared to gamma rays if we're gonna talk about its power. Earth's atmosphere protects us from its deadly burst but it comes with a cost. Its potent radiation will fry our atmosphere creating nitrogen oxide that will damage our ozone layer. Without our ozone layer, the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays will reach the surface with a large amount of force. It will cause skin cancer and worst of all, it will kill planktons in the ocean that provide oxygen to the atmosphere, and before you know it, a series of catastrophes will happen.
4. Super Volcano Eruption
A massive eruption of a super volcano can potentially end humanity, and there are quite a few supervolcanoes lying dormant. One example is the Yellowstone Volcano. A supervolcano's magnitude can release 1,000 cubic kilometers of ash into our atmosphere. It has the capacity to block the sun for decades. Because there will be no access to sunlight, our world will be cold, thus triggering an ice age and environmental catastrophe on a global scale.
5. Nuclear Warfare
There is a strong possibility that through nuclear warfare human civilization will be completely annihilated. This nuclear holocaust can leave our planet uninhabitable. As of today, there are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world and out of 196 countries, only 9 owns nuclear weapons. It only takes one to launch a nuclear missile on one country and start a domino effect, leading to a possible short-lived World War. The human race will not only get burnt, roasted or suffocated but it will also lead to genetic abnormalities thus making humans look like mythical orcs. Even the minor nuclear exchange will disrupt the global climate and put billions of lives at risk. A hundred nuclear detonation can produce 5 teragrams of black smoke that would rise up to the Earth's stratosphere and block the sunlight. This would result in a sudden drop of temperature and destroy a large portion of the protective ozone layer.
6. Global Warming
Climate change is one of the biggest threats that our planet is facing. Our global temperature is changing and is causing severe weather conditions, like superstorms and droughts. The frequency of these weather conditions also increase by the day. The effect of climate change is too dramatic that it will displace millions of people all in one instance. All it takes is one strong weather condition to alter everything and it will lead to water shortage and crop failure and because of this, we will not be able to sustain ourselves.
7. Solar Storm
This disruptive phenomenon could induce electric fluctuation that can mess around with power grids and transformers. Coronal mass ejections can also affect satellite systems. With everyone relying on technology, all it takes is one strong surge of solar flares to knock off electricity permanently. And if that happens, we are going back to the stone age. Scientists from NASA give information to electric companies, spacecraft operators, and airline pilots to take the necessary precautions before CME reaches the Earth. Other than that, if these solar flares get too strong it can fry the Earth and disintegrate our ozone layer.
8. Global Pandemics
The threat of global pandemics shouldn't be overlooked. Every year, scientists are discovering new strains of viruses that could wipe out humanity. As of now, we can always resolve this problem with the use of vaccines and quarantine. However, with our ever-growing population coupled with increasing number of international travel, there is a strong chance that there will be a bacterial strain or a deadly virus which can't be contained. It will spread so fast and so strong that the entire world would be contaminated long before we would know about it. The idea of a zombie apocalypse will always come into consideration when we're talking of doomsday countdown.
9. Black Holes
There are countless black holes surrounding our galaxy. We obviously cannot see them but they are out there. Because of their immense gravity, they can swallow everything – from asteroids to small planets. Its gravity is so strong that not even light can escape from it. Imagine a vacuum cleaner sucking small pieces of dirt and lint in one quick gulp. That's how a black hole works. A black hole can also change the orbit of the planet. Because of its huge gravitational forces, it could send a myriad of comets and debris into the Earth's path. Also, the gravitational pull will alter the landscape, thus making Earth uninhabitable.
10. Robots Insurrection
Have you ever watched the movie Terminator? If you did, then you know that it only takes one capable AI or artifical intelligence to design the extinction of humanity. Imagine a robot designed with the intelligence and capacity to learn, and imagine these robots in thousands. We won't stand a chance against them because they could turn our weapons against us. With this in mind, they could even decide that humans are a threat to them. Some scientists believe that artificial intelligence or A.I will supersede or overtake human intelligence. Stephen Hawking even admits that a super-intelligent AI will cause the end of humanity. Skynet, anyone?
Watch this video for more scary yet possible ways the world might end!
Science isn't exactly sure when and how will the world end. It might not even happen in this lifetime or the next. But there are still ways on how we can save our existence and our habitat. We need maximum awareness of what is exactly going on in the world today. We need to be prepared for this inevitable and nerve-racking circumstance that will decide the fate of all humanity. There is always something that we can do. We can raise our voice on the top of our lungs and let those people in power know that we are against anything that can obliterate this world. We can be a witness to change and we have the ability to counteract. Penny for your thoughts? We would like to know your opinion about this list.
You can drop your two cents in the comments below.
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