The End is Nigh
We've been predicting the end of the world for centuries; from the Mayans to Nostradamus. It seems as a society we’re obsessed with the potential time and method of the apocalypse. But what are the most likely scenarios for the end of the world? LifeQuotes4U looks at eight of the most talked about extinction events.
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High Risk Zones

The places most likely to be involved in a potential apocalypse:

USA, Long Valley, Yellowstone, Valles Caldera, Ring of Fire, Mid Atlantic Ridge, South America, Africa, India, Pakistan, Hadron Collider, Med Zone, Israel, Japan, Russia, Russia (Rouge), North Korea, Aira Caldera, Lake Toba, China.

The Red Giant

The sun continues to age, heating up as it does so. Eventually it will expand into a red giant and engulf the inner solar system. The world's oceans will be evaporated, then the hydrogen will be blasted away from the water, meaning Earth will never have oceans again.

Approximate Likelihood: 100%

There is no doubt that this will happen - a question of when, not if

Approximate Timeline: 8 Billion years is the closest estimate.

Asteroid Impact

If a large asteroid were to hit the earth, it could cause super tsunamis, major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, potentially killing everyone on Earth. This is exactly what happened 65 million years ago when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs and killed 70% of all life on the planet.

Approximate Likelihood: 90%

Almost certain to happen at some point, it's just a question of the impact size

Approximate Timeline: 2-3 Millenia - The closest estimate, but could be much sooner.

Super Volcano

There are six known super volcanoes on Earth, and a major eruption could potentially wipe out the human race. Researchers hypothesize that a super volcano in Indonesia almost eradicated the human race when it erupted 70,000 years ago, causing a 6-10 year volcanic winter.

Approximate Likelihood: 80%

Very likely to happen, it will come down to the size of the volcano/eruption

Approximate Timeline: 2-3 Millennia - The closest estimate, but could be much sooner.

Nuclear War

As global stability deteriorates, the potential of a nuclear war becomes more likely. It could come from any number of places, but the most likely appear to be North Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the US or Russia. If one nuke is fired, retaliation in kind could result in the eventual extinction of humans.

Approximate Likelihood: 70%

A reasonable possibility, particularly with rogue nations developing nuclear weapons.

Approximate Timeline: Next few centuries.

Epidemic

Global pandemics are nothing new - in the 1300s between 75 and 200 million people died from the black plague, and 3% of the world's population died from the 1918 flu. Now we have antibiotic resistant diseases and the potential of a man-made virus sweeping the planet.

Approximate Likelihood: 60%

A global viral or bacterial epidemic is a very real possibility.

Approximate Timeline: Possible anytime.

Global Warming

The climate continue to change, and in the worst case scenario we could see an increase of 7.2F in global temperatures and a 10-23 inch increase in sea levels. This could result in floods, droughts, tsunamis and if the climate runs out of control, our atmosphere could be uninhabitable.

Approximate Likelihood: 50%

The climate is certainly changing, but the severity depends on the actions we take.

Approximate Timeline: 2-3 Millennia - The closest estimate, but could be much sooner.

Black Hole

The Large Hadron Super Collider in Switzerland can accelerate protons towards each other at 99.999999% the speed of light and can recreate conditions similar to those of the big bang. However, there are concerns that the Collider could create a black hole and destroy the Earth

Approximate Likelihood: 1%

A man made black hole is pretty unlikely... but is theoretically possible.

Approximate Timeline: Possible anytime.

Alien Attack

If the Drake Equation is right, then it's very likely that somewhere in the Universe there is intelligent alien life. If they had the technological capability, it's possible that they could reach Earth with the intention of killing or enslaving the human race. They could be preparing right now...

Approximate Likelihood: Unknown.

Approximate Timeline: Possible anytime.

Sources:

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/list_of_apocalyptic_films / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_monkeys
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armageddon_(1998_film) / en.wikiepdia.org/wiki/deep_impact_(film)
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/end_of_days_(1999_film) / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_matrix_(film)
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/independence_day_(film) / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_(film)
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/28_weeks_later / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/children_of_men
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_core / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_day_after_tomorrow
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_day_the_earth_stood_still_(2008_film) / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/knowing_(film)
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_happening_(2008_film) / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_am_legend_(film)
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/shaun_of_the_dead / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_book_of_eli
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_divide_(film) / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/seeing_a_friend_for_the_end_of_the_word
  • shortlist.com/entertainment/films/the-10=greatest-apocalypse-movies/ apocalypticfilms.wordpress.com
  • rottentomatoes.com/m/1927274/news/1927272/total-recall-post-apocalyptical-movies
  • stuff.tv/news/life-etc/10-of-the-best/25-best-apocalypse-movies
  • joblo.com/movie-news/lists-the-ten-stop-best-post-apocalypse-movies
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