When Will the World End? A Look at the Odds

We have all seen it a dozen times or more at the movies and doomsayers have been predicting it for literally centuries now. However, the end of the world hasn’t exactly come yet. That being said, the truth is that the apocalypse is not entirely a figment of our imaginations and it will happen eventually. The date of that fateful day is possibly a billion years away, but then again, according to the online poker site, 888Poker, there are some pretty good odds of the world ending tomorrow as well! Their fun infographic gives you the odds of every possible ‘end of the world’ scenario, so take your pick if you fancy placing a sneaky bet.

On that note, let us now take a look at some of the most likely and scientific reasons as to how the earth can come to meet its doom.

Cosmic Impact

One of the major theories behind the extinction of the dinosaurs is that the species was wiped out after the earth was hit by a giant asteroid, but do you know how big that “giant” asteroid was? It has been estimated that the asteroid was roughly 10 kilometres in diameter. Consider the fact that there are giant asteroids flying all around us as you read this and one of the potential reasons for the extinction of the earth should become clear as day. In 1998, the Spaceguard survey was launched by NASA and the organisation hopes to mark at least 90% of all giant Near Earth Objects (NEO) by 2020.

Nuclear War

We have enough nuclear arsenals to destroy all intelligent life on planet earth many times over and the chances of that happening are not really that low. There are extremists, megalomaniac leaders, and warmongers all around us and all it takes is one well-planned strategic nuke detonation in a populated area to start the third world war. After the initial catastrophe, then there is the question of the radiation fallout which will make sure that anything that survived will eventually die.


Some of the known locations of supervolcanoes include Long Valley, Yellowstone, Valles, Cerron Galan, Toba, Alra, and Taupo. All of these supervolcano hotspots can emit enough magma, ash, and smoke to blot out the sun from an entire continent, incinerate all human beings and other forms of life in the area, and make the earth infertile and unusable for multiple decades.

The Red Giant

The sun is known as the giver of all life and quite rightly so; however, it will eventually end all lives and the very planet itself. This is a guaranteed apocalypse so if you were looking for something concrete to look forward to, this would be it. The sun is continuously expanding to become hotter and brighter and there will be a time in the future when the sun will become the red giant; a phase that every dwarf star goes through at some point in their cosmic life. When it does reach this stage, it will shine about 3,000 times brighter than it shines today, which basically means everything will melt and vaporize on the surface of the earth and there’s a possibility that the earth itself will be dragged into the red sun and incinerated. As this is an event that cannot be stopped by any means, the only good thing about it is the fact that the event is still billions of years away.

While these four are maybe the top scientific reasons that pose major threats to humanity and all life on the planet, they are definitely not the only ones. A deadly and unstoppable virus, chemical and biological warfare, and massive earthquakes can also do the same. A zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion may not have the best odds of happening right now, but then again, they have not been entirely ruled out either.

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