The world is about to end, according to news websites. But it’s almost certainly not.
Multiple news reports are claiming that the end of the world might be about to arrive. “End Of The World ‘Weeks Away’ After Biblical Plagues Start On Earth”, one reads, while another claims that “End of World ‘IN WEEKS’ as signs ’10 Bible plagues to destroy Earth have started’”.
One of them begins “THE end of the world is coming in weeks and the first of the Biblical 10 plagues have already been seen, according to extraordinary claims”. But those extraordinary claims should come with extraordinary evidence – and while there are some strange things going on, the apocalypse simply isn’t about to arrive.
All of those reports are a little confused, not saying exactly how or why the world is about to end. But they mostly point to a claim made by David Meade, who wrote a book called ‘Planet X – The 2017 Arrival’, and says that the end of the world is coming in October.
Mr Meade has reportedly suggested that Planet X or Nibiru – a huge planet that apparently inhabits our solar system – will come smashing into the Earth soon, and destroy everything here. The trouble is that there’s no such thing as the rogue planet Nibiru, and it’s certainly not arriving to wipe us out any time soon.
Now the Daily Star suggests people think this time is different because the supposed impending arrival of Nibiru has been presaged by some of the ten Biblical plagues that will accompany it. (It’s not clear why a rogue planet would be controlled by God, or how a distant rock would be able to provoke such specific events on Earth.)
One of those plagues is supposed to be the swarm of locusts that has arrived in southern Russia, and has been depicted in horrifying videos. But that happens annually – and the world hasn’t ended anytime lately, as far as we can tell.
(Those swarms of locusts are becoming more common and prevalent because of climate change. Some might argue that’s a more important way that the world could potentially come to an end.)
The other is the upcoming solar eclipse, which really will arrive on 21 August and sweep across the whole of the US. Eclipses have long been feared in some culture as negative signs – but there appears to be little basis for that worry, and as far as we know the world has never ended because of one.
Of course, the world might be about to come to an end – it’s simply impossible to know with absolute certainty. But the advantage of choosing to be doubtful is that nobody will be around to say you were wrong.