Paige Tillinghast – Special to the Southern News
Throughout time it has been predicted that the world would end at some point in our future. Predictions have involved extreme weather, technology malfunctions, religious beings, zombie-like creatures, and several other bizarre occurrences but none have actually taken place just yet.
Our planet is constantly changing and so we might be experiencing certain weather events we’re not used to, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the world is coming to an end. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, etc. are all naturally occurring things that happen in nature, but of course they have absolutely devastating effects. We got a sense of an apocalypse in the 2004 movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal that involved various weather elements destroying different parts of the world. In this case it probably seems like the most realistic thing to happen to our planet, and yet to have multiple weather extremes occur around the same time all over the world doesn’t seem too likely.
On January 1, 2000 it was thought that the world would end due to a computer bug that would crash all computer systems, which would in turn cause major catastrophes and not allow society to properly function. Also known as Y2K, people prepared several months in advance for this event to happen and yet on that day, besides a few power failures here and there, nothing took place. And this kind of pattern seems typical of these ‘end-of-the-world’ prophecies.
Way back when, the ancient civilization of the Mayans thought the world would end on December 21, 2012. “A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 21 December 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe.” Either way it was thought that something would occur on this day and it would be detrimental to our planet. A movie was even produced about this very prophecy and was rightfully named ‘2012.’ Nevertheless, the day came and went and nothing cataclysmic took place.
In addition, there are also more science fiction-y predictions of what could lead to an ‘end-of-the-world’ situation. A zombie apocalypse is probably one of the most common ones that we’ve heard of within the past five or ten years. Popular movies and television shows such as ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Warm Bodies,’ and ‘World War Z’ tend to illustrate and maybe even encourage this kind of thinking, but also add a hint of supernatural. It sounds so crazy that something like a zombie apocalypse could happen, but is it really so impossible? In the past, plagues and various kinds of disease have broken out, so who’s to say something we haven’t heard of or faced yet will hit us in the future?
These kinds of predictions have been made since the beginning of time and I think that it makes sense for us to worry considering how old our planet actually is and the fact that we have no idea what it’s capable of or why we’re here exactly. There are always theories and everyone has their beliefs, but it’s overall very difficult to stick with one specific reason. So will the human race be faced with an apocalypse near in the future? That’s even more difficult to say. Our whole lives and existence are based around discovering and understanding, but there are many parts of our universe we don’t quite comprehend just yet. It’s that sense of not knowing that makes everyone so worried and anxious, but I like to think that everything truly does happen for a reason and we can only focus on our lives day by day.