It is with great sadness that we inform you – once again – it’s the end of the world soon.
The British tabloids and Fox News have been running stories this week about a conspiracy theorist who has predicted that an apocalyptic rapture will begin on April 23, 2018. Pencil that date into your diary now in case you forget.
According to this guy, Planet Earth is doomed because “on April 23, the Sun and Moon will be in Virgo, as will Jupiter, which represents the Messiah.” When this date occurs, a planetary system known as “Planet X” or “Nibiru” will appear in the sky. By October, the rogue planet will pass Earth and – BOOM – it will trigger a series of global volcanic eruptions “due to its gravitational force”.
So, should you stock up on non-perishable goods, board up your windows, and start repenting all your Earthly sins? No, not unless that’s usually how you spend your weekends.
In September 2017, there was a load of claims that "Nibiru" was coming to swallow up our little planet. NASA got so sick of this mass-circulating pseudoscience, they released a public statement about the claims to allay fears. In sum, they said the whole idea is a massive misinterpretation of Mayan mythology and planetary science.
“If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye,” NASA plainly explained.
“Obviously, it does not exist.”
Funnily enough, these claims in September 2017 were started by the same guy making these new claims, a self-proclaimed “Christian Numerologist” who self-publishes books about conspiracy theories under a pen name, David Meade. He caused quite a stir last year with his Nibiru predictions, much to the annoyance of many scientists. Christian Today, a Christian news company, also seemed pretty fed up with his antics, writing in September 2017: “It’s making Christians look silly. Again… There is no such thing as a Christian numerologist.”
Meade's track history might not be too hot, but just in case you're still a little nervous about the impending rapture, here’s a short – by no means exhaustive – list of other recent doomsday predictions that you have managed to survive:
When CERN started testing their Large Hadron Collider in 2008, many were convinced it would create Earth-swallowing black holes.
People predicted an apocalyptic event on December 21, 2012, because this was believed to be the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.
- In 1910, Halley's comet was supposed to poison the planet.
- Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult responsible for a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, said the world would end in 1996 or between 1999 and 2003 following a Third World War.
Media mogul and TV-evangelist Pat Robertson told his audience: “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.” After his prediction fell flat, he then said it would probably happen on April 29, 2007.
- During the Y2K bug scare, people thought global computer networks would crash when the clocks turned from December 31, 1999, to January 1, 2000, sending the world into chaos.
- Nostradamus, the king of apocalypse predictions, made a prophecy that the world would end in 1999.