Mayan Apocalypse: On Doomsday, Just How Will the World Come to an End?

Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 04:18 PM

By Megan Anderle

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Even if the world doesn't end Friday, what could spell the ultimate demise of life on Earth? Whether it's doomsday, the Mayan apocalypse or any other term, scientists aren't afraid to predict what would cause an end to the planet as we know it.

In light of Friday's looming Mayan apocalypse, thousands of people around the word are booking it to other places in the word that they consider safe havens, like a pyramid-shaped mountain in Serbia.

Scientists, being people of science, of course say these believers are being foolish. NASA even released a video explaining why the Mayan apocalypse prediction is false. But that hasn’t stopped these same experts from flirting with ideas of how the world could end.

Comets, famine, super-volcanoes, catastrophic climate change, the sun sucking in the Earth, or a plague of cancers are just a few of their guesses of what could cause the world’s demise.

Astrophysicist Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell told The Daily Mail she believes the most likely cause will be a black comet. Unlike regular comets that have ice and snow, black comets have dust that would cause the Earth’s population a slow death, bringing an “eternal winter” that would block the sun.

This is the same kind of end that got the dinosaurs that roamed 165 million years ago. They were killed off by an asteroid or comet that struck the planet.

Dave Rothery, a British volcanologist, sees a similar doomsday. A super-volcano that brings on a mass amount of dust, creating the same effect. A super-volcano would put up so much ash and sulfur dioxide that photosynthesis would break down, he reasons. In 1816, a volcano that erupted in Indonesia prevented a summer season.

Another pet theory? The sun will slowly expand, pulling the Earth toward it until the planet is eventually swallowed by the fiery ball.

"The drag caused by this low-density gas is enough to cause the Earth to drift inwards, and finally to be captured and vaporized by the sun," astronomer Robert Smith of the University of Sussex in southern England told Fox News.

Vivienne Parry, a former presenter of Tomorrow's World, suggested it will be a cancer that starts in foxes but can be transmitted to humans from dogs. Foxes would bite dogs which would then bite their owners.

Climate change is another favorite. Bryan Lovell, a former president of the Geological Society, says methane caused by an undersea landslide will likely cause the world to perish.

Methane is a greenhouse gas but it is about 20 times more powerful in warming the world than is carbon dioxide, according to The Daily Mail. Lovell thinks a huge release of sub-sea methane deposits would accelerate man-made climate change, leading to “catastrophic climate change not too many Fridays from now.”

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