With a bit of effort it is possible to list at least 60 “End of the World as we Know It” predictions. Some of them are pretty unlikely – even bizarre – but some are definitely more realistic and therefore, frightening. Not all of these predictions will destroy the planet but most will remove humanity once and for all. We’ve listed the top 25 predictions based on Likelihood and Impact (a classic risk analysis predictions matrix.)
It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
The famous chorus from the REM song of the same title and published as part of their 1987 Album “Document”.
Scientists pretty much know how the actual planet we live on will end and so their end of the world predictions are likely to be accurate. Even in the few centuries that mankind has studied the universe, the science of astronomy has repeatedly shown that eventually the Sun will expand and consume the first three planets of this solar system. Even if it stops short of the Earth the intense heat will destroy every living thing on this little blue world. The good news is that this won’t (or shouldn’t) happen for another several billion years. In geological time humans haven’t even been on this planet for a single second in the 24 hour lifespan of the Earth.
However, the bad news is there are many ways in which the planet could change so radically that the vast majority of people would be unable to survive. There are even some events that could end all life long before our several billion year window closes. According to many respected scientists – some of these predictions will definitely occur it’s just a matter of when. In short, the only way that humanity will survive in the very long-term is get off this planet and spread across the universe (a bit like a virus moving from cell-to-cell). This page examines the predictions for the way in which humanity (and on occasions the whole world) is likely to end. We’ve ranked these predictions in order of diminishing likelihood. We reserve the right to change the order as and when we feel like it.
1. TOTAL NUCLEAR WAR
This is still Number One and is a well known prediction for the end of the world (certainly for Humanity) that is both likely and feasible. There are nine countries in the world that admit having atomic weapons and they are often referred to as the Nuclear Club. Five of these countries are classed as Nuclear Weapons States which is a title and status conferred on them by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. In order of nuclear acquisition they are USA, Russia, Britain, France and China. India, Pakistan and North Korea, none of who are current signatories to the Treaty have all undertaken recent nuclear weapons tests. It is widely believed that Israel has nuclear weapons as may South Africa. Israel refuses to comment and South Africa states that it manufactured six atomic bombs (probably at Valindaba) but has now decommissioned them. There may well be more countries that secretly developed nuclear weapons or acquired them on the black market.