Have you ever stayed up till 3AM lying on your bed trying to sleep but your mind is in a different mood? Your mind finds things to worry about and makes you stay up the entire night going through your most dreaded moments. It’s like your mind is making you practice something it thinks is important.
Well, my mind is a pro in that. It has made me experience so many things I know will never happen in my life. And yet I have thought about each possible scenario in great depth.
Lately, I have been using those late-night mind blabbering as creative fodder for my fictional stories and articles.
Last year was a historic year in so many ways. I found myself thinking a lot about doomsday. Social media and news were of not much help. It seemed like everyone is busy overthinking everything that’s currently wrong or that can go wrong.
It was depressing.
So naturally, I too started thinking about different ways our world might come to an end. Since this is not something I can discuss with my friends and family without getting them worried, I thought of writing it here on my blog. In case any of my friends or family member is reading this – please don’t get worried about me. I am actually having fun writing up this list.
So let’s get started with everything I think might end the world –
This should not come as a surprise to anyone. After all, as I am writing this article, we are currently in midst of a global pandemic. And the current pandemic did a damn good job at showing us how fragile our health care system is. Rather how fragile the entire world order is. I mean if there are people saying they won’t wear masks because it invades their freedom, I don’t think we deserve to survive a pandemic.
There are so many different types of contagious diseases that can wipe out the entire human population in no time. And new diseases keep coming out like new tech devices.
Some or the other kind of pandemic can very easily end the world.
Now, when I think about Natural disaster, I usually think about earthquakes, tsunami, floods, forest fires, storms and maybe all of them happening all at once.
That will be a fun ending to the world.
As humans, we love controlling the nature. It’s too cold? Let’s get a heater. Too hot? The air conditioner is at your service. Lake where you want to build a mall? Let’s fill up that lake and build that mall.
Humans are physically very weak as compared to most of the animal kingdom. We don’t have claws or horns. We cant fly. We cant run like many other animals. We do not even have fur on our body to protect us from harsh natural conditions. Well, I guess humans evolved in a way to not need any of those physical attributes.
So, we have perfected a way to challenge nature in every possible way. And yet we can not really control nature.
We can not control earthquakes. We can barely predict storms and try to evacuate in time. We are actively causing many of the floods and forest fires that have happened recently.
We are destroying Nature and at the same time helping Nature to destroy us.
I have seen way too many movies showing this disaster. Although in all those movies, some stupid hero manages to destroy the asteroid and valiantly save the world (mostly all by himself).
But when I actually think about asteroid collision, it seems like a good way to end the world. After all, it was good enough to destroy the dinosaurs. So why not Humans.
Now, we have the technology to notice if a huge asteroid is actually on a collision course with us. Some effort will still be made to actually destroy the asteroid and save the world (mostly my large teams and not individuals). But what if the asteroid still strikes our planet. What will happen then?
As I can think, if the asteroid strikes land, the impact might cause the tectonic plates to shift causing earthquakes. The impact might also cause a lot of dust to cover our atmosphere. On the other hand, if the asteroid strikes our oceans (after all they cover almost 70% of the surface), it might cause huge tsunami waves in all the directions.
There are a lot of possibilities with an asteroid collision. And that’s why there are so many movies about it.
Aliens are another movie popular way to end the world. Although there are a lot of movies which show a peaceful co-existence of humans and Aliens. But I would strongly object stating the fact that humans can’t even live peacefully with other humans. There is simply no way we can live peacefully with Aliens.
If we don’t attack them first, I am pretty sure they will attack us once they see the mess we have created on Earth. Either way, the war will surely end the world no matter who started it or who won.
World War – Nuclear annihilation
While we are talking about wars, let’s not forget the possible destruction of the world when the next world war starts. We have had two world wars so far. The next world war might be the last as most of the countries have nuclear weapons.
It doesn’t matter how the war starts or who launches the first nuclear weapon. Nuclear destruction can not be retained within the political maps we have so proudly drawn on the surface of Earth.
Nuclear annihilation will end the world. There would be no survivors.
Machines taking over
Everyone who has seen Matrix movies can skip this section. You already know how machines can take over.
Right now Artificial Intelligence is probably the most sought after job skill. I know so many people personally who are either working or learning about AI.
AI has already started to manipulate our lives. Every advertisement we see is shown to us based on some elaborate algorithm. Right now these algorithms are controlled by humans. And these algorithms are controlling us in such a subtle way that we barely notice its impact.
Now imagine how easy it will be for machines to control us just by modifying some algorithms. Riots can be started anywhere by showing just a few videos. Countries can go on war if Deep Fake is used to alter videos of world leaders.
Radicalization, Brain Washing, Fake News – Humans are already using different technologies to manipulate humans. And we are teaching machines using the same data set.
Will we be really surprised if machines take over and decide to get rid of humans? I mean I am more surprised that it hasn’t already happened.
I don’t understand why we are still arguing if Climate Change is real or not. So I am not going to argue about that. I am not even going to pretend that there is something that can be done. With the current state of affairs, I am pessimistically accepting the fact that we are doomed.
Climate change is showing its effect everywhere. Some places are experiencing droughts while other places are struggling with yearly floods. Both of these scenarios are impacting crops and leading to food shortages. There are so many places where freshwater has already become a luxury.
Climate change is a depressing reality. And the thing is it’s not going to end the world in an instant. Because its effect is not seen everywhere yet its ignored by masses.
Everyone thinks that it is someone else’s problem.
Global warming might not be glamorous enough to have movies made but it is currently ending the world slowly.
Earth losing its magnetic poles/protection
Another slow way for the world to end is Earth losing its magnetic protection. Earth’s magnetic poles are not just useful to operate a compass. Rather the magnetic fields are the invisible shields that protect us from various radiations hitting us from every direction.
Mars is very similar to Earth. But it has no magnetic field protecting it. Scientists have even suggested that maybe that’s the reason why Mars lost all its water and maybe all its life forms as well.
If Earth loses its magnetic fields, the radiations will end the world and we won’t be able to do anything to stop it.
Talking about things that might end the world which we can not stop, we have to think about Volcanic eruptions. Volcano eruptions can eject so much ash in the atmosphere that we might not see the sun for a long period.
No sun means no life.
And this is when we are not thinking about the destruction caused by the lava that will accompany the ash.
Volcanoes are a natural phenomenon but I find them scary enough to put them in a separate category.
So, after listing everything that I believe can end the world, I want to keep one section exclusively for things that I didn’t mention above.
These are the risks that we don’t know yet. But I am pretty sure there are many other forces that can end the world which I am not yet aware of.
In case you know of any such way, then do let me know. I promise I’ll stay up all night staring at the ceiling thinking and overthinking about those new ways too.