This Apocalypse Sucks! Why the Blood Moon Didn't Kill Us, and 6 Other Failed Doomsdays
Created by Chris Lane
Once again, the world has failed to end, despite predictions by some soothsayers who claimed that the supermoon eclipse wasn't just a rare and awe-inspiring astronomic event but instead a dreadful "Blood Moon" that would usher in the apocalypse. Since the world still seems to be here, isn't overrun with demons and hasn't been obliterated by a meteor the size of Texas, I'll assume that the folks forecasting a cataclysmic end to everything were wrong. Again. Because that's the thing about the types of people who are in the "End Of The World Prophesy" game — they just never seem to be right. Keeping up with the nut bags who tend to make these kinds of predictions is a daunting task, with a whole bunch of different characters getting in on the action. Depending on whom one is prepared to believe (or hopefully not believe), we should've experienced a massive asteroid strike by now, or "The Rapture," or a number of other events that would've either doomed most of us or at least made survival here on Earth a whole lot more difficult. In honor of us not all being vaporized by a colliding object from outer space or being left behind after all the righteous people are called to heaven, leaving us to listen to AC/DC as Satan rules the planet for 1,000 years, I thought it might be interesting to look back upon other modern apocalypses that failed to happen.
6. The End of the Mayan Calendar.
In 2012, quite a few people were alarmed that the ancient Mayan calendar was about to reach the end of its 5125-year cycle, and they feared that it signaled an impending doomsday. The source of most of that anxiety was a single stone tablet found at a Mayan site that seemed to indicate that an Aztec god might descend to Earth once the calendar cycle ended, and a whole bunch of New Age websites began running with a prediction that we were collectively in deep shit when that happened. It turns out that most Mayan scholars interpreted things differently, and think that the calendar is meant to reset, not doom, the world when it abruptly "ended." This event did make it clear that people probably would be better off listening to actual scientists and researchers instead of taking advice from goofy New Age websites, but some people will always believe stupid things.
5. The House of Yahweh Nuclear War Prediction.
Proving that Texas has been a welcoming home to various bizarre religious cults over the years is the House Of Yahweh religious movement, based in the north central city of Clyde. The group meets enough criteria to have certain watchdog organizations categorize it as a cult, and members, including its leader, Yisrayl Hawkins, have had serious legal problems in recent years. For purposes of this article, though, the important thing is that Hawkins keeps issuing doomsday predictions, and none of them have come to pass. In fact, Hawkins is so terrible at these prophecies that he's issued at least four warnings predicting the world would be largely destroyed by massive nuclear strikes, and every single one of the dates he settled on arrived without any incident at all. Yisrayl seems to suck at these predictions, and while we can collectively be happy about that, he should just knock it off already.
Despite an almost comically awful name for an apocalyptic event, LOTS of people were uptight about what might happen when the year 1999 gave way to 2000 and computers suddenly went haywire because they were unable to discern what year we were experiencing. For reasons that were probably lost on most people (including myself) without a huge background in how computers worked, this was supposed to cause complete failure of many systems dependent on them. Maybe. At the time, it seemed like no one really knew what was going to happen for sure, but many predictions were dire, and they affected stuff not directly associated with computers. The types of individuals who tend to think that civilization is barely kept in place and could topple into complete chaos at any time were busy stockpiling food and weapons, as they usually do, and there seemed to be a higher level of anxiety among a lot of less radical folks, too. Fear of the unknown is definitely scary, but the new year came without a robot uprising or massive breakdowns in infrastructure, making Y2K another predicted disaster that didn't lead to the destruction of human civilization.
3. Pat Robertson's 1982 Prediction.
Televangelist buffoon Pat Robertson has made a lot of wacky statements over his long career, but way back in the late '70s, he went on the record claiming that he knew the world would end in the final part of 1982. He kept up with that prediction until the date passed without incident, and then a few years later, predicted we would all be destroyed in 2007. One has to wonder why people continue to follow religious figures who are so eager to prophesy doomsdays but who never seem to get it right. Robertson is unfortunately not the only spiritual leader prone to these sorts of predictions, and since the world is still here and doing fine, it's a solid bet that none of them are any good at this stuff.
2. Halley's Comet Scares the Hell Out of People In 1910.
Going back a little more than a century, many people panicked after a small group of scientists declared that the tail of the approaching Halley's Comet would bathe parts of the planet with a poisonous gas, and could lead to a mass extinction of life on the planet. Although most scientists tried to calm the public, maintaining that the danger wasn't real, people rushed out to buy gas masks and bogus medicines to counteract the effects of the comet's poison. It's remarkable looking back through history to see just how often large numbers of people believed the world was likely to end. This panic of more than 100 years ago isn't that different from some of the deadly comet scares of recent decades.
1. Nancy Lieder Speaks to Aliens About Planet X.
Nancy Lieder is a woman who is either delusional or a master of manipulative bullshit, and is the founder of an alien enthusiast website. She claims she's been contacted by an alien race and receives messages via a brain implant from beings who live in the Zeta Reticuli star system. Back in 1995, she began to spread the word that an enormous planetary object called Nibiru or "Planet X" would move through our solar system in 2003, resulting in a polar shift that would kill off most life on Earth. Unfortunately, this science fiction gobbledygook was embraced by large numbers of Internet doomsday aficionados, and has been going strong ever since, despite the lack of the predicted apocalypse and a complete scientific rejection of Planet X's existence. True believers in alien doomsday warnings tend to explain away the scientific community's cold reaction as being a massive coverup, which probably explains a lot about the types of people who believe in garbage like this. It's also notable that the groups who believe in this sci-fi fantasy are also among those who rallied behind the idea that our world was going to end sometime over the past few days. It's important to remember that power-hungry individuals and cults have been predicting mankind's doom for thousands of years, and so far none of them have been right. Those are odds that I can live with, and should give all of us reason to trust that the planet will still be going strong in the near future.
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