In the center of our Solar System, there is a ticking bomb. And when it explodes, it will end all life on Earth. That ticking bomb is our Sun. Like all the stars in the Universe, it has an expiration date. And some five billion years from now, it will swell into a red giant, obliterating everything in its vicinity. Including you.
If you think that’s bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Here are 10 doomsday events that will end the world. Small asteroids are hitting Earth all the time. But once every few million years, it’s a massive, life-exterminating asteroid that smashes into our planet. Yeah, that has happened before, when dinosaurs got wiped out of existence.
Only now it would be you and all of humanity becoming extinct. The Earth’s core is a scorching ball of fire as hot as the Sun. And it’s slowly but surely losing its blazing heat. When the core cools down, it’ll stop generating Earth’s magnetic field. Without a magnetosphere, there would be nothing to protect us from hostile space radiation. And there would be nothing to hold our atmosphere in place, either.
Once our planet lost most of its breathable air, it would start looking a lot like Mars. If the Moon broke off its orbit and suddenly went spiraling down to Earth, it would cause devastating earthquakes all over our planet. Our Moon’s gravity would make Earth stretch and heat up on the inside. And this would trigger massive volcanic eruptions.
Add to that monstrous waves that would wipe out entire coastlines. All these disasters would last until the Moon reached the Roche limit. Then it will break into millions of small pieces, creating a magnificent ring around a lifeless rock we called Earth. The next doomsday event will start with a massive explosion on the Sun’s surface.
A solar flare so powerful that it will zap the Earth’s atmosphere. This would hit satellites and damage our electronics. Some 12 hours later, a cloud of scorching plasma would cause a serious geomagnetic storm down on Earth. A global power outage will plunge human civilization into darkness. Who knows how long we’ll last when all our power grids are destroyed.
Earth is slowly losing its atmosphere to space. And when there’s no breathable air left on our planet, humanity won’t stand a chance. Without the atmosphere, the sky will turn black. Oceans will start to boil away. Everything will be about to die as all the Earth’s oxygen vented into space. Life doesn’t do well in a vacuum.
Jupiter is made of the same elements as the Sun. And if the gas planet could initiate a fusion reaction in its core, we’d all be doomed. Jupiter-turned-star would make the Solar System go wild. Asteroids would smash into planets. Planets would smash into each other. This new star could pull Earth toward it and toast it like a marshmallow.
Or it could spit us out of the Solar System and send us drifting into the cold darkness of space. Magnetars are the most powerful spinning magnets in the Universe. They’re similar to neutron stars, only a lot denser. One tablespoon of a magnetar weighs in at one billion tons. If a magnetar entered our Solar System, it would wreak havoc with its immense gravity.
But that isn’t the worst. Magnetars experience starquakes. That’s when stars crack and let out tons of radiation into space. This much radiation would rip the Earth’s ozone layer to shreds and obliterate the planet’s surface. Along with all life on it, of course. Aliens visiting Earth could be a dream come true. But it can quickly turn into your worst nightmare.
If they just showed up on our doorstep, and we decided to throw our nukes at them, you know, as a defensive measure, this would get ugly quick. Alien intruders would likely have more advanced weapons to use against us. And even if they did turn out to be friendly, alien species could easily wipe us out by spreading the pathogens we’d have no natural immunity to.
There are two things you need to know about black holes. They are massive, and you don’t want Earth to end up in one. Because that would suck. If a black hole was going to swallow Earth, its monstrous gravity would stretch our planet. Earth’s closest side would get the most pull, and the opposite side would be pulled less.
This is what spaghettification looks like. And then we would get squished into the black hole’s singularity, becoming one with our devourer. There is no explosion in the Universe more violent than a gamma-ray burst. Just one direct hit to Earth would instantly incinerate the planet. Our ozone layer would go poof, and you’d be bathed in a lethal dose of radiation.
This would be a horrifying mass extinction event. And that’s why it made it to the top of our list of most devastating events that will end the world.