(George Frey/Getty Images)

Look, it’s Planet X, again.

No, not the mythical dead star that’s supposed to appear in the sky in 2003 in 2012 on Sept. 23, 2017 last October in November on April 23 and herald the end of the world.

We mean Planet X, the headline that reappeared yet again this week on apocalyptic news stories, with a fresh 2018 doomsdate, despite the failure of every previous prophecy to come true.

Planet X’s imminent arrival has been predicted so many times before, in so many newspapers, and its existence has been debunked so thoroughly by NASA, that we are struggling to find anything interesting to say about the latest round of panic and hyperbole.

So we will resort to a gimmick instead and present this month’s edition of Planet X nonsense as a choose-your-own-adventure.

How would you like your apocalypse told?

By British tabloids, please.

I only trust Fox News.

What do Russian propagandists want me to know about Planet X?

I don’t read news; please direct me to a conspiracy theorist’s website.
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Good choice. Arguably no one is better than the British tabloids at mining the Internet’s dense, pseudoscientific, semi-biblical Planet X theories and turning them into big, screamy headlines.

“Is the world going to end THIS MONTH?” the Daily Mail asked on Wednesday, much as it asked last August, “Will the world end next MONTH?” — and same deal in October and November. Basically every month or so this fiscal year, the paper asks rhetorically if a magical Planet X, or Nibiru, is about to destroy Earth.

“On April 23, the sun, moon, and Jupiter will align in the constellation Virgo to bring on the start of the biblical Rapture, according to the latest claims,” the Mail wrote after the latest pushed deadline. “And, that night, it’s said the mysterious planet Nibiru will appear in the sky, followed by the onset of World War III, rise of the Antichrist, and seven years of Tribulation.”

The Sunday Express has pretty much the same story, except in their version April 23 will not herald war, but rather huge apocalyptic volcanoes as Planet X’s gravity rips up Earth’s core.

All the tabloids cite the same Bible passage as evidence — “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head,” which is apparently code for Virgo’s astronomical jamboree in a week and a half.

Slightly awkward: The tabloids ran virtually identical articles last year, speculating that the same Bible verse predicted Planet X would appear on Sept 23, and then multiple dates after that.

Didn’t happen, of course, but maybe the sixth time’s the charm. What do you think?

Wow that sounds pretty serious.

What did I even just read?

I need another perspective. Send me back to the beginning of this adventure.
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As everyone in the United States knows, Americans are far more skeptical than anyone in any other country.

So while the British tabloids are panicking their populations with all-caps headlines about the end of the world, Fox News simply reports with great restraint and sobriety:

“Biblical prophecy claims the Rapture is coming April 23, numerologist says.”

Then, basically, Fox aggregates a British tabloid story about how a certain constellation on April 23 will fulfill a certain biblical prophecy, and then Planet X will appear, and the world will shortly end in a hell-scape of volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes … according to a numerologist.

“NASA repeatedly has said Planet X is a hoax,” Fox also notes, for the record. And in the interest of balance, it quotes a creationist who disagrees with the numerologist and thinks Armageddon is unpredictable and could happen any time, even right now this very second look out! (Hat tip to Gizmodo, whose postmortem on the Fox story inspired this paragraph.)

What do you think? Should we believe the numerologist, the creationist or the government? We report; you decide:

Sounds like Planet X is on its way. So long, Earth.

Seriously, how is this news?

I need another perspective. Send me back to the beginning of this adventure.
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The Russian government reportedly loves to sow chaos, and what’s more chaotic than a mythical planet appearing out of nowhere and ripping Earth apart?

So it’s no surprise to see RT.com, which is funded by Russia and widely suspected of being its Western propaganda arm, picking up on the Planet X hype.

“The end of the world is nigh, folks, and no, not because of an impending World War III,” the outlet wrote Thursday (which might or might not be a joke about President Trump taunting Russia with the threat of a missile strike. Ha.).

“Instead, ‘death planet’ Nibiru and an unusual planetary alignment herald the end of days, according to doomsayers.”

Nibiru is the same thing as Planet X, in the sense that they both refer to prophesied astral bodies that don’t exist. In fairness to Russia, RT is notably more skeptical about the theory’s shoddy basis than some British or American outlets have been.

The outlet notes, like the tabloids, that conspiracy theorists are predicting a certain constellation on April 23 will fulfill a biblical prophecy and give rise to the end times.

But RT also makes clear that this constellation is a fairly regular thing and has never ended the world before — and that Planet X panic is even more frequent, dating from 2003, and it reliably never shows up.

“The sheer number of previously promised ‘end-of-the-world’ claims which never transpired suggest there’s no need to take to the underground bunker just yet,” the outlet concludes, before making a joke we don’t understand about a Lithuanian bomb shelter.

What do you think?

Russia can’t be trusted. Planet X is real.

What did I even just read?

I need another perspective. Send me back to the beginning of this adventure.
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Okay, enjoy PlanetXNews.com, where you can sift through endless essays by countless theorists with varying conflicting ideas of what Planet X or Nibiru is, when it’s coming and how the world will end after it does.

The biggest name in Planet X circles is David Meade, whose prediction that Planet X would pass Earth late last year, based on Bible prophecies, kicked off a wave of doomsday theories.

Meade has since pushed back his prediction, telling the Sunday Express that Planet X will appear in the sky on April 23 and pass Earth in October, which of course has generated a whole new wave of headlines.

The Washington Post’s own Kristine Phillips profiled Meade last year, noting that he has a long history of selling books about predictions that don’t come to pass. So you can read that, or you can go right to Meade’s website and read his 200-odd essays about Planet X and Antichrist.

Okay, did you read them all? What do you think?

I believe him.

Planet X isn’t real but the world probably deserves to end.

I need another perspective. Send me back to the beginning of this adventure.
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Okay, fair enough. You’re almost certainly wrong, but we respect your right to believe, and those tabloid headlines sure do have big font sizes.

However, before moving on, please note that a real NASA scientist has been explaining for an entire decade that not only is there no evidence Planet X or Nibiru exists, but if it really were in our solar system, it would have screwed up the outer planets long before it threatened Earth.

David Morrison even explained this on video in 2012, never mind April 23.

Any chance that’s convinced you?

Yes, Planet X is clearly ridiculous. Thank you please take me away now.

Sorry, I still think there might be something to this.
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I know right? NASA has literally been explaining this for a decade now — that there is no evidence Planet X exists and we know it doesn’t exist because if it did exist it would have screwed up the outer planets’ orbits long before it threatened Earth.

A NASA scientist made a whole video about it back before another fake doomsday in 2012. But you don’t need to watch it because don’t need any more convincing. Right?

Yes, thanks for nothing. Take me away from here now.

On second thought, I think there might actually be something to this Planet X business.

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Cool, thanks for reading! Hopefully Planet X goes away forever after April 23, or at least actually shows up and ends the world so we can stop writing about it.

In the more likely event that neither of these things happen, we’ll probably be back with another installment of pseudoscientific nonsense in a few weeks, when yet another Planet X prophecy makes international news. In the meantime, enjoy our archives:

The man whose biblical doomsday claim has some nervously eyeing Sept. 23

The man who had people worried about a Sept. 23 apocalypse is peddling a new doomsday date

The world as we know it is about to end — again — if you believe this biblical doomsday claim

Will the mysterious shadow planet Nibiru obliterate Earth in October? No.

Armageddon via imaginary planet has been pushed back — yet again — to November

Please stop annoying this NASA scientist with your ridiculous Planet X doomsday theories