From day to day, most of us live in blissful ignorance about the dangers surrounding us. We get up, go to work, come home, spend time with family and friends, and repeat it all over again. Rarely do we think the world could end at any moment. Of course, thankfully, the apocalypse hasn’t happened yet. However, in years past, the world has come incredibly close to ending or at least significantly changing. From interstellar projectiles to microscopic menaces, these are 25 scary world events that could have ended life as we know it.
About 74,000 years ago humanity faced an extinction level event. The Toba Supervolcano erupted in what is now Indonesia spewing roughly 700 cubic miles (2,800 cubic kilometers) of magma. It also dispersed a huge volume of ash across the Indian Ocean, Indian Peninsula and South China Sea over 4,350 miles (7,000 kilometers). Genetic research shows that around the same time the eruption occurred, the amount of humans on Earth drastically decreased. As a note, there are some research to suggest that the decline was due to more than just the volcano. But scientists know that eruptions of supervolcanoes could potentially wipe humanity (and other forms of life) of the face of this planet.
In 1989, two astronomers discovered 4581 Asclepius, a 300-meter (.18 mile) space rock hurtling towards Earth. Luckily for us, it was estimated that Asclepius missed us by 430,000 miles when it passed through the exact position Earth stood 6 hours earlier. If it had actually struck the earth, it would have been twelve times more powerful than the most powerful nuclear bomb.
GMO Almost Destroyed All Plants
A genetically modified organism called Klebsiella Planticola was being developed by a European company to put in the soil. The company wanted to mass market the product until a group of independent scientists did their own tests on it. They were horrified to discover the bacteria, if released, would destroy all plant life. It was, of course, never commercialized and the world was saved from wide scale famine.
Traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt, smallpox has been a devastating disease for human civilization. In the 20th century alone, 500 million people died from Smallpox. Before that, it practically wiped out the entire Native American population with 90 to 95 percent of their people dead. Luckily, in 1980, the World Health Organization declared the disease eradicated, all thanks to vaccinations.
Solar Storm of 2012
In 2012, an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in 150 years, almost hit the Earth. Fortunately, it missed us by a week. Scientists stated if we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it would have devastated our electrical grid and cost upwards of $2 trillion to repair.
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