Certainly, we’ve all had moments when we realize we will die someday. The existential void is hard to escape, but when all of society is genuinely afraid that we might die all at once, the panic is immeasurable. check out these Top 10 Events That Almost Ended The World.
Top 10 Times the World Almost Ended
It hasn’t just happened once or twice, either. The world has been convinced of its absolute doom many a time, but today we’ve gathered the Top 10 Times The World Almost Ended for your viewing pleasure.
Watch, as past societies panic and you eat snacks in front of your computer.
10. The NORAD Computer Chip Malfunction
If you know anyone who grew up between 1945 and 1990, you know that they’re not normal.
They were learning how to be an adult while the world seemed to crumble around them, trying desperately to come back from one of the worst periods in history.
The world was so fragile that any amount of tension often led to a nuclear scare like the one in 1980.
On a June morning at 3 a.m., the US national security advisor received a call with a warning that a nuclear strike was coming.
The Air Force bombers were prepared for take-off, missiles were readied for launch, but it was all a false alarm.
Luckily it was all called off in time. So, why did these times the world almost ended? There was a tiny malfunctioning computer chip at the pentagon.
9. The Eruption of Thera
It’s not all missiles and disease resulting in zombies in the end. Just look at how the dinosaurs met their maker.
Natural disasters are what’s going to get us, mark my words. Not that it would matter in the end whether or not I called it.
Around 1600 BCE, the world saw the largest volcanic eruption in history near the Aegean island of Thera.
It was as strong as 40 atomic bombs and 100 times more powerful than the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which we hear about much more often.
It took out the city of Akrotiri (now Santorini)and caused earthquakes and tsunamis destroying many more islands, including the famous Crete.
For years, people in Europe were reminded of the time they almost died, and the many did, by the ash that rained on them for years and years.
8. Asteroid 2018 GE3
Speaking of dinosaurs, here’s the time we almost got wiped out just like them. When? Not long ago at all.
On April 14th, 2018, this asteroid came as close as 192,317 kilometres to Earth, about half the distance between the Earth and the moon, and the asteroid was bigger than a football field.
Something that big coming towards us that fast could have ended everything, at least for a lot of people.
It’s the largest object to have passed so close to us in recorded history. The craziest part? Many of us didn’t even realize that these times the world almost ended.
I know, much less exciting than a flying football-field-sized rock coming at us full speed.
Although, it’s just as likely to kill us, that bacteria. Why? Well, let’s take a look at 1990 when we genetically modified bacteria in Germany.
It was meant to convert dead plant matter to ethanol which could power our cars and even make alcohol for us to drink. Too good to be true? That’s right.
Though the experiment was successful, in 1994, when they felt ready to field test, something odd was found. The bacteria didn’t wait until the plant had died to ferment them.
It was also made using bacteria present in the decomposition of every living plant on earth.
So if released, it could cause a mass extinction of everything we hold dear. Luckily, the release was put on hold and we didn’t all die from starvation.
6. The Black Death
What kind of list would this be without the plague? The Black Death broke out in Europe and Asia in the middle of the 14th century.
It’s said to have started in China and travelled via fleas and rats to Europe.
They weren’t caught off guard, having heard of the so-called “great pestilence” for years before it arrived, but they weren’t ready at all for what it meant.
This may be when people learned the importance of quarantine. In 1347, ships arrived in Sicily with most sailors dead on board. The others were covered in oozing boils and dying.
Even though the ships were turned around and refused, it was already too late.
The plague took over the continent and wiped out more people than we even know, the range is somewhere between 75 and 200 million people.
5. Soviet Nuclear Close-Call
More nuclear false alarms, hooray! We’ve often worried about who knows the nuclear codes and whether or not there is a big red button that could end it all for one nation, and then shortly after for us all.
This is almost what happened back in 1983 in the Soviet Union. Soviet officer Stanislav Petrov was in charge of a command centre when he received a warning that five American missiles were coming at them.
His responsibility was to inform his bosses if anything of this sort happened, so they could counter-attack, but he didn’t listen to those instructions.
Why? Who knows, maybe he figured it was a false alarm that would save us all because that exactly what happened. The warning was a system malfunction, just like we saw before.
4. Rookie Mistake
This false alarm came in 1979 at the US Missile Warning Command Center. They faced a warning of full-scale nuclear close calls coming from, who else? The Soviet Union.
Air Command received the warning and got to prepping for what could be the end of the day the US stopped incoming missiles and become heroes.
At least 10 Fighter interception planes were launched, the president’s air command went up, just… without him, accidentally. Hey, not everything can go according to plan in a crisis.
Quickly, it was discovered that the alert was sent mistakenly by a training tape inserted into the mainframe. I think this is where, in modern days, we’d use the facepalm emoji.
3. Spanish Flu
Do you know what else almost killed everyone at one point? A disease called Spanish Flu Deadliest Pandemics that nobody ever seems to talk about.
One hundred years ago, this disease was travelling quickly through populations and within a year had lowered the life expecting Americans by 12 years!
So, what was it anyway? Well, it was the first H1N1 influenza virus spread, the second making its way to us not too long ago.
During that time, 3-5% of the world’s population died, killing more people than World War itself. Almost people start thinking that this times the world almost ended but fortunately not happen.
2. Mount Tambora Eruption
More eruptions! Tambora is located on an island in Indonesia and has acted up more than a few times.
It’s kind of like that kid for whom “time-outs” just don’t do the trick. And this second times the world almost ended.
Back in 1815, it erupted violently and took out a ton of people. Want me to get more specific? Well, it blasted 36 cubic miles of gas, rock, dust and debris into the atmosphere.
That’s a blast as big as 60,000 Pyramids of Giza! Because of this, 10,000 people died right off the bat.
And 80,000 died as a result of the colder temperatures that resulted after the earth was clouded for months. 1816 was dubbed the “year without summer”.
1. Marine Isotope Stage 6
And at number one in our list of 10 times the world almost ended is Marine Isotope Stage 6. This could either be the world’s worst-named disaster or a great Sci-Fi book! No fiction here though.
This natural phenomenon with a strange name happened around 100,000 years ago. They went through a crazy climate change that proved deadly.
Everything turned to cold, desert and life stopped… well, almost. Homo Sapiens were dying by the hundreds of thousands. Their land was uninhabitable.
It’s said that everyone today is related to the people in the single region that survived, the Southern Coast of Africa.
Why did they survive? The ocean offered them shellfish and edible plants. We almost didn’t make it as a species (Creepiest sea creatures), but the ocean came through.