Armageddon is what the Bible calls the end of the world. In this site I use the term to describe any Extinction Level Event (ELE), or any event that could cause casualties in the millions. Don't think it can't happen - 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. We are no different - none of our technology can resist the most extreme forces threatening our planet.
The most famous example of an event that could cause Armageddon - possibly due to the movie - is a Near Earth Object (NEO). This term describes asteroids and comets passing close to Earth. There are millions of these capable of hitting the Earth with apocalyptic force. Impact would cause vast fireballs, huge earthquakes to ripple round the globe and towering dust clouds that would cause a nuclear winter.
However there are many forms of extinction you may not have heard of. For example super-volcanoes, the most destructive force on this planet. An eruption would destroy a vast area of land and trigger a nuclear winter. The whole of Yellowstone is a massive super volcano - and it is 40,000 years late in its cycle of eruptions. Scientists have been noticing some strange tectonic activity in the park…
Mega-tsunamis are almost as terrifying. The sizes of these waves are incredible - moving at supersonic speeds and thousands of feet high they would devastate all land within 20km of a coast they strike. Scientists predict that sooner or later an eruption will cause an island in the Canaries to collapse, sending 500,000 billion tonnes of rock into the ocean. Every coastline in the North Atlantic would be hit, with cities like Boston, Miami and New York facing destruction.
These are not the only ways. The combined nuclear capacity of the US and USSR is more than enough to kill every human on this planet. Nuclear Holocaust is the stuff of nightmares but the Cuban Missile Crisis showed us how close we can come so easily. But there are little known incidents in which nuclear submarines have been shockingly close to launching, with no crisis elsewhere.
There is also the threat from bacteria and viruses. Bacteria are becoming immune to our antibiotics at a much faster rate than we are discovering new ones. Eventually we will have nothing left to fight them with. Terrorists and leaders of rogue states have long been trying to produce large quantities of tropical viruses, such as Ebola and Lassa Fever. New technology allows these viruses to be engineered to be more contagious, stronger and harder to kill. Their effect on the human body is already terrifying.
Many people believe that a small brown dwarf star, called Planet X, orbits our solar system. When it passes at its closest to Earth, in June 2003, its magnetic force will stop the world rotating for several days, with cataclysmic consequences. People believe that many ancient tribes recorded this event when Planet X last passed, and give descriptions that seem to fit exactly what would be expected.
The Bible prophesises the end of the world in the Battle of Armageddon. Many scriptures in the Bible describe this event, and give clues to how and when it may happen. Several of them seem to point to a date of 2007 for the return of the Antichrist and the beginning of the Battle. They depict in detail how the Battle will be fought - it starts with an alliance of Arab nations invading Israel.
Millions could also die with rising sea levels. If the Antarctic ice sheet were to melt then sea levels around the world would rise by 55 meters, completely flooding hundreds of large cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo. Now there is a large amount of evidence that the ice sheet is thinning and global sea levels are starting to rise. With the predicted rise in global temperatures over the next century the rate of melting can only increase.
Aliens invasions are the stuff of science-fiction, but could soon become very real. Of all the trillions of other stars in the universe, surely we cannot be the only ones with life. There are numerous ways that aliens could break the light speed barrier; such as worm holes, folding space and 'hyper-space'. There are numerous reasons why an alien race might wish to invade Earth, such as needing new land or resources, or simply doing what we call 'ethnic cleansing'.
New experiments being carried out at a particle accelerator called the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) could have unthinkable consequences. There, and at other such places, scientists are attempting to recreate the big bang - the event that formed the universe. Some predict that they could cause a black hole which would consume the Earth, others that it could turn Earth into a planet of 'strange' matter, leaving it with no substance, and another possibility is that an explosion would be released from the lab with infinite energy.
On a lighter note…
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