The Washington Post

No Mayan apocalypse after all — some backup world-ending prophecies

Well, this is a let-down.

Recent archaeological discoveries suggest that the Mayans didn’t cut off the calendar on December 23, 2012, as we had so long believed.

This certainly throws a wrench into all my plans.

It is generally handy to have an apocalypse just around the corner. “Can’t hang out Thursday,” you say. “The world is ending.”

Instead, it looks like we’ll have to go on, in spite of ourselves, like Samuel Beckett characters. I guess I’ll have to do my laundry after all.

But the Mayans weren’t the only one who saw an apocalypse coming. For people who are still hoping the world will end soon, here are a few other things that could go wrong.

--Yellowstone Volcano: As soon as the Mayan Apocalypse of 2012 started to lose steam, the Yellowstone Volcano has blossomed as a possible source of World-Ending Events. This thing is due to blow at any time! Or, as the National Park Service would have you believe, “There is no evidence that a catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is imminent. Current geologic activity at Yellowstone has remained relatively constant since earth scientists first started monitoring some 30 years ago. Though another caldera-forming eruption is theoretically possible, it is very unlikely to occur in the next thousand or even 10,000 years.”

--Spawn of Snooki: Snooki is due this year! In all probability, it is a totally normal child who will be a contributing member of society. But it might just be the Antichrist!

--99942 Apophis, a dangerous asteroid, might just get close enough in 2036 to whack the earth and DESTROY LIFE AS WE KNOW IT!

--Singularity in 2045 when we are uploaded into a communal hive-mind, according to Raymond Kurzweil. It won’t end the world, but, boy, a hive-mind! That’ll be something!

--If we fail to elect Newt Gingrich one more time, he’ll unleash the Moon Men.

--Someone, somewhere, accidentally pushes the wrong button.

--We use too much Lysol, accidentally spawn super-resistant strain of bacteria that wipes out all life.

--Grass turns on us.

--Earth overheats, as Al Gore has been saying all this time.

--Internet turns on us.

And no matter what, the sun will definitely burn out in about 5 billion years.

So cheer up! There are plenty of things that could still go wrong! Just not this year.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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