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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
Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.Do you want to be infected with Ebola without having to leave your own home ordeal with other peopleé Well, you might be in luck. You canalready download an Ebola virus genome. Right here on the Internet, right now.And if you're willing to wait a few years for 3D bioprintingtechnology to progress a little bit, you can just acquire onethen, submit the genome to it and ta da! All you can print Ebola.
Or anthrax or whatever it is you wish tomassproduce at home to wipe out humanity. Are humans going to go extinct sooné Will human extinction be anthropogenicé That is the result of human action. Or will it be one of the good oldfashioned kinds of extinction Earth's history knows pretty wellé The Global Catastrophic Risks Survey,issued by Oxford University's
Future of Humanity Institute placed our risk of extinction before the year 2100 at 19%. Now, you might be thinking quot;whatever, blahblah blah armageddonquot;. quot;It'll be okay, humans are too smart to go extinct.quot; Maybe you're right. But it's difficult to predict the distant future with a lot of certainty. What's really cool though is that if you embrace that uncertainty,a simple argument
can show that human extinction soon is actually more probable. It's called the Doomsday argument. Imagine a giant urn that contains either 10 balls numbered 1 to 10, or a million balls numbered 1 to a million. Now, you don't know which is the case, but you are allowed to pull out one ball. You go ahead and do that
and it is ball number 4. That's pretty strong evidence in favourof the 10 ball condition because drawing a four from a set of 1 through 10 is a one in 10 chance. But drawing fourfrom a million different numbers is a one in a million chance. By analogy you are also a numbered ball. You are a human who knows approximately what your birth number is.
It's probably somewhere around 100 billion. That's how many other humans were most likely born before you were. Importantly, you didn't get to decide which birth number you would have. So, just like the number for a ball, you are a random sample from the set of all humans who will ever live. The Doomsday argument points out that from 200 billion people there's a50 percent chance that a randomly chosen