The Doomsday Clock is maintained by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, which includes 18 Nobel laureates. Its sole purpose is to represent how close the world is to global catastrophe, which is symbolized by midnight. Basically, The Doomsday Clock is the scientific equivalent of that bum who terrorizes the citizens of every city by holding a sign that reads, “The end is nigh.” Right now, said bum may have a very good point…
The clock is the closest to midnight it has been in 64 years, just 2 ½ minutes to midnight. That could change tomorrow, but the fact remains that there is a real fear that one of the following 15 catastrophes could wipe out most, if not all, of the people on earth. If the world’s governments are able to solve some of the more terrifying issues facing humanity, the clock would wind back some; unfortunately, there’s no simple solution to stop polar ice caps from melting or bees from disappearing…
Although the clock is just a symbol of the disasters that threaten humanity, scientists expect the government to pay attention to it. In 2016, scientists moved the ticker ahead 30-seconds because governments around the world failed to address threats. “The global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity’s most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons, and climate change.” That’s not a message from Lex Luthor either; that’s a message from our scientific community begging the world’s governments to take these threats seriously.
15. A Gamma-ray Burst Cooks The Atmosphere And Kills Us All
Gamma-rays are frequently spotted in the universe tearing sh-t up. It’s the universe’s way of telling us that we’re nothing but a big marble suspended in space, and we can be flicked into nothingness in mere seconds. Their explosive energy has the power to fry the atmosphere, searing through the ozone layer, and killing everyone and everything. Nothing would survive.
Gamma-rays are the most powerful thing in the known universe, and it’s entirely possible that they’re the byproduct of faraway alien warfare. Intent not to let us have any fun, astrologists predict they’re most likely caused by two collapsed stars bumping into each other. Or, maybe it’s just god flicking his marbles (that theory doesn’t show up in any scientific research papers); either way, a gamma-ray burst could kill us at any moment.
And, there’d be no preparing for a gamma-ray burst. If you’re hoping for a final goodbye, a chance to right a wrong, or tell your family how much you love them, you’re not going to get it. Double stars aren’t undetectable, and there wouldn’t be a moment’s notice before the gamma-ray lay waste to the earth’s surface.