It’s the summer, it’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s when most people are bright and chipper and when everything is great and shiny. But I have some bad news: The world is going to end, you guys. Soon, probably. We seem to be obsessed with the end times, to the point where we’re acting like it’s going to happen any day now. But, if it does happen, what would it look like? How will humanity meet its ultimate demise? All I have to go on are movies, books, and TV shows, because I’m a man child who’s afraid of everything, so here are the ways our world COULD end and the likelihood of this happening. Like most people who believe the end is nigh, I’m basing this on having done no research at all and all the figures I mention will be made up or partially remembered. Why? Don’t worry about it. It’s the Apocalypse!!!
ZOMBIES – We love our zombies these days and people seem ready to go when it comes to “surviving” in a world overrun by carnivorous, rotting corpses. Guide books have been written to prepare us and companies have even started making tools and weapons for to use when the dead rise. Here’s the problem, though: even with whacko face-eaters in Florida, there’s no scientific proof that zombies could exist. Dead things don’t get reanimated, least of all for no reason like in most zombie fiction. The only way this could happen, barring some kind of meteor or satellite falling to Earth and bringing with it some kind of necrotic bacteria, is if scientists decide to make it happen. How many things that have appeared on Star Trek now exist because science caught up with fiction? Like, several surely. So, what’ll have to happen, is a scientist will try to reverse aging or slow death and something horrible will go wrong and it’ll speed it up to the point where the body will die but the brain will survive. And they’ll be cannibals for no real reason.
Likelihood – Quite small.
ALIENS – Beings from another world are always flying here in their massive spaceships, blowing up all the major cities, then getting beaten because of a cold or a computer virus or Randy Quaid flying a plane into a thing. In reality, for a society on another planet to be advanced enough not only to send a single ship, but a fleet of incredibly massive, weapons-capable vessels, the civilization would have to be millennia ahead of us technologically. Look how excited we got when we sent a robot the size of a car to Mars; anything on a par with us would not even know we existed because we’re too damned far away. Let’s say for a moment there is an alien civilization with technology and resources enough to travel space, conquering planets; such an advanced culture would do one of two things with us: Either they’d ignore us completely/look at us as a cute little dumb group of animals; or they’d completely wipe us out within seconds and not bother with enslavement/subjugation at all. Whichever it is, we’re not gonna be bothered for long. Will Smith won’t even need to smoke a cigar about it.
Likelihood – Pretty Small.
ROBOTS – This is the Terminator and Matrix future where the machines we’ve created have become sentient and decide we’re a plague on the planet. Frankly, I don’t really blame them. This one’s scary because it actually has a pretty good chance of happening. Remember when Google asked you if you meant “vagina” instead of “vachina?” Yeah, that’s the machines thinking they’re better than us. And they are, because even an idiot should know how to spell vagina. With us making more and more advanced artificial intelligences and Japan making more and more realistic-looking automatons, the chances of them combining and Cylon-ing us out of existence is growing nearer and nearer to fruition. There’s really nothing we can do. We can’t outthink them because we’ve spent the last two decades making them smarter than us so we can sit back and be stupid, and we can’t out-fight them because robots are strong and made of metal, and we can’t outlast them because we get old and they don’t. Maybe we could turn the power off, but they’d probably find some automated way to turn it back on. I’d say in probably 15 years, AI will be good enough to where we have robot butlers and then it’ll only be like a day before we get proper dead and used for batteries.
Likelihood – Better Than You’d Hope
NUCLEAR/CHEMICAL WAR – We have big, giant nuclear missiles, capable of doing untold destruction to people and structures. China, North Korea, and Pakistan also have these things and they hate our fucking guts. If even one nutjob decides the US is awful enough to warrant the destruction of the world, then the world will be destroyed. All the major cities will get wiped the fuck out, and only the super rich and powerful will go underground and plan to repopulate the planet. Those who didn’t die in the blast will either starve or mutate into light-sensitive, technology-fearing Berzerkos™ or return to a feudal, barbaric exisitence where gasoline is the only real currency and racing and gladiatorial deathmatches rule the day. Elsewhere, apes will become super smart and rise up against human, using their superior speed and strength to gain true dominance over the planet, leaving the human race as mere dumb, mute slaves, doing the dirty work for their ape masters. But, for realsies, everyone will just die.
Likelihood – Fair to Middling
ECONOMIC COLLAPSE – You know how every nation on Earth that has an economy is pretty much tanking right now, us especially? Well, that could get much, much worse if nothing positive happens to change it, if companies put profits ahead of their country and planet’s survival, and if inflation keeps going up, up, up. If this happens, and all world economy takes a nosedive, it’ll be like after the Roman Empire fell. After Rome was kaputsky, Europe went into a delightful period lasting roughly five centuries which we like to call “The Dark Ages,” a time known for its almost total lack of forward movement in art, technology, medicine, health, agriculture, fun, enjoyment, etc. 500 years of shit is basically what happened, and that’s something we’d have to look forward to but on a global scale. It may not be the end of all life on Earth, but it would certainly be the end of all life “as we know it.” So that’s fun, yeah?
Likelihood – Quite High
So there’s that. Lots of ways we can get decimated and our existence can stop existing. Let’s hope it’s zombies; that’s the one everyone’s the most prepared for.