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11 Ways The World Could End
Since the 1500s, there have been more than150 documented predictions of when the world is going to end. Luckily for us, none of themhave come trueâ€¦yet. However, you'll be surprised that not allof them are destructive. Here are some terrifyingly amazing ways theworld, genuinely could end. When you think of scientists working on superviruses, you probably picture Hazmat workers, deep in a mountain bunker, studying vats fullof insidious green liquid. But these labs do actually exist! Maybe notworking for some shady Bondstyle villain looking to ransom the world away to the highestbidder, but for pharmaceutical companies and
government agencies studying ways to curedangerous pathogens. But what happens when a vial full of an extremely dangerous virusbreaks out of containment, or is misplacedé Over the years, there have been numerous documentedcases of dangerous viruses escaping from laboratories around the world. One of these happened asrecently as 2009. A group of scientists based in Europe, workingwith Baxter Pharmaceuticals, were conducting lab tests on a seasonal flu strain.Without realizing it, Baxter had sent them live supplies of the H5N1 virus, better knownas â€œbird flu,â€� which has a mortality rate higher than 60%. One of the world's deadliestviruses was handled and distributed to three
other labs without any pathogen safety protocolsin place. The grave error was only realized when onelab worker in the Czech Republic inoculated a group of ferrets with samples of the â€œseasonfluâ€� batch, and was horrified when they all died.The scientists were immediately placed under quarantine and monitored for signs of thedeadly virus. Luckily, none of them were infected and all the scientists were freed with a cleanbill of health. Two years later, these same strains of avianand human flu were combined in a laboratory, successfully creating â€œthe most dangerousvirus in history.â€� The virus was highly
pathogenic, while retaining its dangerouslyhigh fatality rate. If it got loose, it could kill 60% of the world's population in afreakishly short amount of time â€“ a truly apocalyptic notion.Some say it's only a matter of time before this kind of virus escapes containment andwreaks havoc on mankind. After going through two world wars, you wouldthink that the world would have learned to get along by now. But unfortunately for thesurvival of humanity, we are constantly under threat of triggering the final war â€“ NuclearArmageddon. Mutually Assured Destruction, like its acronymsuggests, is one of the maddest doctrines
ever devised. It ensures that if a countrywere to ever use a nuclear weapon on another state with the same capability, both sideswould unleash their entire nuclear arsenal, bringing about the complete annihilation ofboth countries. With the resulting nuclear winter, and the likely participation of othercountries in the exchange, this would almost certainly lead to destruction and death onan apocalyptic scale. There are over 15,000 nuclear warheads inthe world, with more than 4000 ready to fire at any one time. That would make one hellof a firework show, but probably not one you'd want to be around to watch.There have been a few â€œclose callsâ€� since
we first developed nuclear weapons. A surprisingnumber of these were technical glitches that nearly started World War 3, on both sidesof the Cold War. The average yield of a modern nuclear weaponis around 500 kilotons of TNT, that's 25 times more powerful than the bomb droppedon Nagasaki. Each one of these 500 kiloton bombs are powerful enough to flatten hugeparts of a large modern city such as New York, or London.And there exists some truly unimaginably powerful weapons, like the Tsar Bomba, which had ayield of more than 50 megatonnes. That's two and a half THOUSAND times more powerfulthan the one dropped on Nagasaki. Thankfully
ScienceCasts Why the World Didnt End Yesterday
music Why the World Didn't End Yesterday, presented by Science@NASA Dec. 22, 2012: If you're watching this tutorial, it means one thing: The World Didn't End Yesterday. According to media reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, the world was supposed to be destroyed on Dec. 21, 2012. But look around you. 'The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning,'
says John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy. 'The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date.' The truth, he says, is more interesting than fiction. Carlson is a hardnosed scientist a radio astronomer who earned his degree studying distant galaxies. He became interested in the 2012 phenomenon 35 years ago when he attended a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
and learned about the Maya. Where the rain forests of Mesoamerica now stand, a great civilization once flourished. The people of Maya society built vast cities with a population density comparable to modern Los Angeles County. They mastered astronomy and developed an elaborate written language. Most impressive, to Carlson, was their expansive sense of time.
'The times Mayas used dwarf those currently used by modern astronomers,' he explains. 'According to our science, the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago. There are dates in Mayan ruins that stretch back a billion billion times farther than that.' The Maya Long Count Calendar was designed to keep track of such long intervals. 'It is the most complex calendar system ever developed.' Written using modern typography,
the Long Count Calendar resembles the odometer in a car. Because the digits rotate, the calendar can 'roll over' and repeat itself; this repetition is key to the 2012 phenomenon. According to Maya theology, the world was created 5125 years ago, on a date we would write 'August 11, 3114 BC.' At the time, the Maya calendar looked like this: 18.104.22.168.0
On Dec. 21, 2012, it is exactly the same: 22.214.171.124.0 In the language of Maya scholars, '13 Bak'tuns' elapsed between the two dates. This was a significant interval in Maya theology, but, stresses Carlson, not a destructive one. None of the thousands of ruins, tablets, and standing stones that archeologists have examined