Recently, there was this news that the world was going to end in 21st December 2012, the reason being this day was the end of the Mayan Calendar. Well according to the Mayans, they did believe that at this day would be a ‘spiritual rebirth’.
However, scientists have put forward various theories on how the world probably would end. Here are some theories:-
1. The end of Earth can be due to mankind itself. Global warming conditions are due to pollution, cutting down of trees etc. Due to Global Warming, the Earth’s surface temperature is increasing, leading to melting of the polar caps. If the polar caps has entirely melted, the cities would find themselves under water. (See pictures below)
2. Nowadays, scientists carry out experiments which would explain the Big Bang theory, like the LHC. The LHC is generally a huge machine which collides particles, or can be also called a particle accelerator. However, this experiment could be the threat to Earth itself. The collision of particles could lead to microscopic black holes, which would engulf the entire surface of the Earth.
Also, the collision of particles could also lead to formation of strange matter.
Strange matter is a form of matter, associated with dark matter (the same matter which helps in the expansion of the universe). They grow to form strangelets. The stability of a strangelet depends on it’s size. If this is true then the strangelet would be in contact with regular matter and that matter too turns into a strangelet. This would keep on growing till Earth becomes a hot, large lump of strange matter. However, scientists dismiss this fear when questioned about the LHC operation at CERN. However, the strange matter hypothesis remains unproven. Scientists has convinced the world that these experiments are safe, but one can’t be too sure……
This picture shows two dimensions; the dark part shows Earth in stranglet form
3. Super volcanoes are similar to volcanoes, only that an eruption would engulf an entire area in lava, ash and dust. The result of the eruption would block out the Sun and would decrease (in some cases, increase) the Earth’s surface temperature. There are currently 6 known volcanoes:-
- Yellowstone (USA)
- Long Valley, (USA)
- Valles Caldera (USA)
- Lake Toba (Indonesia)
- Taupo Volcano (New Zealand)
- Aira Caldera (Japan).
Super volcanoes have the capability to start a new ice age in Earth, thereby risking the existence of other species. Geologists are recording the six volcanoes in case of eruption. Also, Yellowstone erupts once every 600,000 years and the last eruption being 630,000 years ago. It is not long before Yellowstone could blow up……
Yellowstone’s geysers…or hidden volcanoes.
4. However, if you managed to survive everything mentioned above, then you would perhaps never escape the Sun. Scientists naturally believe that billions of years in the future, the Sun will run out of fuel. The Sun would grow hundred times its original size. Mercury, Venus and possibly Earth would be engulfed by the Sun. If not, then the water surface will boil away and the atmosphere would escape into space. The Sun would then turn into a black dwarf. The Sun’s rays would be too weak to warm the cold, barren Earth’s landscape. However, this would take 5 billion more years, so scientists think that space colonization (living in planets) is necessary.
The Sun’s Life Cycle
5. In April 13, 2029 and 2036, scientists had discovered an asteroid known as 99942 Apophis which would strike the Earth. However, there is very little chance (up to 2.7%) that it would hit. If did hit, NASA initially estimated the energy that Apophis would have released if it struck Earth as the equivalent of 1480 megatons of TNT. This amount is equal to 20 hydrogen bombs! Since our technology is not enough to space colonize, scientists think of deflection methods.