Click on this link and you’ll be launched to Popular Science’s Archive gallery of doomsday predictions.
Since the idea first sprouted, who knows how long ago, people have been terrified for the day that the world will end. More specifically, they fear the end of the human race. Honestly, what majority of people truly care if cock roaches are the only living things one billion years from now? I’m sure they will keep robots of the future, like Disney’s Wall-E, company, but this thought probably does not comfort many people in today’s generation. Or even future generations for that matter.
So, why are doomsday ideas so popular? In the early twentieth century doomsday scenarios received an extra boost of the Oh-no-it’s-for-real factor by using science to support its claims. Science’s ability to render the impossible, plausible gave an extra zing that made the imminent day of doom seem more realistic. Early twentieth century ignorance of the technology behind phones, radios, and televisions was particularly disturbing to the public.
However, I must say that my favorite doomsday freak out is not included in this gallery. Of course, I’m talking about the 1938 Orson Welles broadcast of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds adapted for radio. Argumentativley, the best end-of-the-world story simply due to the mass hysteria that erupted. People were literally searching forests for the alien landing site, ready with their shot guns if the death-ray should appear.
Well, anyways this humorous collection of ten different end-of-the-world scenarios from Earth’s shrinking crust to the death of the Sun, certainly make me feel safer. When I am reassured that humans have survived every new doomsday scenario of the decade since the 1930’s, it makes me smile to think of the awesome birthday party I will be hosting on December 21, 2012.