One of the many ways people throughout history have chosen to enjoy their time on earth is trying to figure out when and how it will end. Some of these accounts are infuriatingly vague, and some are pretty explicit, giving the date and time that New York will be destroyed or that Jesus will show up on TV (but never a channel guide).
If you’re someone who is anxiously waiting for the end of the world (and maybe needs a hug), don’t be sad that none of these have happened. Arguably the coolest end of the world prediction is Ragnarök, from Norse mythology meaning, “The doom of the gods,” and there’s no set date for that. So while we sit and wait for the final battle between the Odin, Loki, Thor, and the Frost Giants, here’s a list of 25 Times The World Was Predicted To End But Didn’t.
January 1st, 1000 AD
Pope Sylvester II predicted, along with many other Clerics in Europe, that on January 1st, 1000 AD, the world would end. Riots occurred in parts of Europe and people made pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Apparently, they thought Christianity only had a shelf life of 1000 years.
February 1st, 1524
German Astrologer Johannes Stöffler told everyone the world was going to end on February 1st, 1524 in a great flood due to where the constellation of Pisces was in the sky. Despite many people moving to higher ground, general panic, and possibly an ark being built, there was no great flood, only a slight rain. Still about as accurate as current weather forecasters, then.
Due to completely understandable confusion between real life and mythical eagles (creatures, not the band), most Romans thought that the city would end in 634 BCE, 120 years after it was founded. This turned out not to be true, and the Romans ended up doing pretty well for themselves.
One of the Innocent Popes (the 3rd), who was generally not a great person, decided that adding 666 to the year Islam was founded would give us the date of the end of the world. Since no one knows when Islam was founded, and Pope-ironically-named-Innocent was sending crusades to wreck most of the Islamic world at the time, some liberties were taken with dates, but what he came up with was 1284. He was wrong about a lot of things, and that was one of them.
1656 or 1658
Christopher Columbus – you know, who sailed the ocean blue in 1492 – wrote a book of prophecies titled “Book of Prophecies” that was…weird. It included a list of things that must happen before the second coming of Christ, such as “The Garden Of Eden Must Be Found,” and “A Last World Emperor Must Be Chosen.” Despite neither of those things having happened yet, Columbus then went on to predict the end of the world in 1656 or 1658.