Whether it be we finally overcrowd our planet with people, or an overcrowding of the undead, we came up with errr…some possibilities.
Here are 6 possible ways the world could end…
1. Climate Change
It’s been a controversial topic in the last few years, hotly debated and scrutinised. However as a society we’ve come to a general consensus that the climate of our planet is changing.
It’s still questionable as to whether this is due to the Earth’s normal cycle, yet to be understood, or whether it’s due to human impact. Most people now agree that our constant use of fossil fuels and the releasing of gases into the Earth’s atmosphere can’t be helping.
Increasing temperatures may cause several dangerous weather scenarios to develop: erratic meteorological patterns, flood or drought, leading to potential economic catastrophe, or even another Ice Age.
2. Massive Asteroid Impact
As a planet we are struck by asteroids every single day, although most are small and therefore harmless, occasionally we are hit by larger, more notable asteroids.
Scientist have estimated it would take an asteroid about a kilometre in diameter to significantly impact the planet and potentially end us all. That might seem unlikely, but the same scientists also suggest such an asteroid collides with earth once every 10 million years. Historically, asteroids weren’t kind to the dinosaurs, thus may not be so forgiving towards humans either. This may therefore be a likely scenario, however not necessarily likely in our own lifetime.
3. Zombie Attack
A scenario favoured by Hollywood Apocalyptic Films and loved by cult-followers of popular Zombie-themed TV shows, the notion that the “Living Dead” will plague our planet and turn on humanity is entertaining, although not very viable.
Whether it be due to a super-virus that attacks people’s brains, a medication gone wrong, or a mass-spread of rabies, the idea that people will start attacking each other to eat their brains or cause a wide-spread infection is really unlikely, however it’s fun to think about!
4. Nuclear War
The Cold War may have ended over half a decade ago, yet despite that stockpiles of hydrogen bombs are still held by several countries around the globe, including the United States and Russia. A topic closely addressed by scientists (and analysed and projected in the form of the “Doomsday Clock”, a tool developed in 1947 to warn about the dangers of nuclear weapons) a classic Nuclear End of Days scenario is up there in terms of how we meet our demise.
The lack of countries reducing their nuclear weapons in recent years has positioned the “Doomsday Clock” in a “Five minutes ’til midnight” scenario, and just one nuke going off in one city could negatively affect humanity as a whole: in addition to the immediate radiation, a Nuclear Winter could set in. The planet could cool dramatically, rainfall would reduce and crops would struggle to grow, leading to a shortage of resources.
5. Disease That Wipes Out the World
With the arrival of the Ebola, SARS, Bird Flu spreading so quickly now that we can travel so easily and distance isn’t a problem for these diseases any more. Even with the Bio Security so strict, it only takes one person, animal or insect to reach the shores without being detected and we then have a huge problem on our hands.
Diseases becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and new ones popping up everyday that suddenly have the world in a huge panic. It only seems that it is a matter of time before we see and epidemic that could potentially wipe out the population on a global scale.
As a planet we’ve hit 7 billion people and counting! And more people generally leads to more procreating. Fears of overpopulation have been suggested since the 18th Century, and as the Earth’s population grows at a logarithmic scale, if we don’t appropriately and conservatively allocate our resources this could be a way we collapse as a system. However it has also been suggested that things should even out over the next 50 years, so provided we use our resources appropriately, we could survive despite our gross population. If we don’t, we could potentially see a case of widespread starvation and dying from lack of food and fuels, as well as corruption and an all-in-brawl as we fight over the world’s last Tim Tam!
From a scientific perspective, it’s likely that it will be a combination of factors or a “snowball effect” that ultimately end us: for example our population increases so dramatically, and we don’t address our consumption or change our habits, leading to increased global warming, which instigates an economic collapse, all out Nuclear War over resources and the wiping out of countries, or eventual starvation or even pandemic.
We’re not likely to end in the blink of an eye, rather slowly and over time from collective factors. If you think of it as our planet being slowly pecked away at by hens, instead of devoured angrily swiftly by a lion.
Whatever the cause, best be on the safe side and have an emergency packet of Tim Tams, and a Zombie Survival Plan, just in case! 😉