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10 Mass Extinctions That Would Really Suck

The year 2012 is quickly approaching, that means, according to doomsday theorists, that the end is near. While it is incredibly unlikely that the world will end in 2012, the extinction events listed here potentially could happen and in some cases have happened in the past (think dinosaurs). Feel free to add your own to the list via the comments.


Sea-level falls


Basically, if the sea levels drop drastically (whether it be through Global Cooling – more on that soon – or sinking of the mid-ocean ridges), it could reduce the area around the Continental Shelf (the most productive part of the oceans) causing a “marine mass extinction” meaning all the little fishies, sharks, whales and almost all the life in the big blue dies. If that’s not bad enough weather patterns can change drastically leading to mass extinctions on land (That means us!).


Impact Events

Impact Event

Hey is that a big space rock heading for us? Yes it is and it’s also the next nugget on the list. An Impact event caused the massive K/T extinction. Basically the big rock hits us sending “dust and particulate aerosols” which is geek speak for a lot of nasty shit up into the atmosphere. This blocks out the light from the sun which causes not only plants to die but also lowers the temperature. It gets worse, if the pesky rock hits rocks rich in Sulfur not only do we get darkness at noon but a wash of acid rain too! And did I mention the mega-tsunamis and global forest fires?


Global Cooling


This was the plot of “The Day after Tomorrow”. For some reason the earth gets too cold too fast causing death for many polar and temperate region animals. This in turn would cause a mass migration to the equator, and make more of the earth a desert. Also good luck finding water as most of it is now ice and snow. This event humanity could probably survive though, so breath easy.


Global Warming

 44003643 Germany Afp416

There it is, basically the other side to Global Cooling. This time Temperate species will be in danger and other animals are forced to the poles. Melting snow and ice will make the ocean deeper and possibly cause Anoxic events (see further down).


Clathrate Gun

Picture 2-75

Simply put, there are these things called Clathrates forming on the Continental Shelf. Think of a “pig in a blanket” meaning a tiny sausage wrapped in a covering of bread. But instead of a delicious snack-food the clathrate is water covered methane. If these methane snacks break apart this would release the gas into the atmosphere causing  accelerated Global Warming.


Anoxic Events


Oceanic anoxic events  occur when the Earth’s oceans become completely depleted of oxygen below the surface levels. Although anoxic events have not happened for millions of years, the geological record shows that they have happened many times in the past. Anoxic events may have caused mass extinctions. The black lines in the image above are from the aptian anoxic event.


Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions

2045570636 Fb5E952117 B

This might have happened during the Permian-Triassic extinction event, in which a warming trend upset the balance between Plankton and bacteria that reduce Sulfate. Imagine that massive emissions of hydrogen sulfide “aka Rotten egg and fart stink” suddenly rise from the ocean poisoning anything and everything on land and sea. And if that wasn’t enough it weakens the Ozone Layer exposing what’s left to UV radiation.


Oceanic Overturn


The ocean is made of water but more importantly it’s salt water. But it’s more salty up top than down below. Oceanic Overturn is basically the deeper water replacing the water up top. “So what right?” Wrong! Remember Anoxic Events? The water down there has less oxygen meaning that the critters on the surface and middle depths are as good as dead.


Gamma Ray Bursts


This one is my favorite! Imagine that it’s a normal night. You’re stargazing with your girl (or guy), when a flash lights up the night sky, rather close by “galactically” speaking. A star has exploded. Before you can say “oh shit!” you and everyone on Earth is dead. That was a Gamma Ray Burst that just slammed into you, but instead of mutating into a rampaging green behemoth, you die instantly. You see that Gamma basically killed every cell in your body. But if it was weak only the half of the planet facing it died instantly. For the other half the Ozone was ripped away exposing Earth to UV radiation, dead anyway!


Human Cause


Man has become so powerful that nature can virtually do him no harm. But unfortunately he has developed his own methods for self-extinction. The most obvious is nuclear war. We have enough nukes on the planet to destroy all life – something which has seemed imminent in the past (think Cuban missile crisis). We can but hope that one day we become peaceful enough to not use these weapons on a global scale.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • astraya

    Are there any mass extinctions that wouldn’t really suck? Mass extinction is sucky by defintion, isn’t it?

    • diablo135

      thisl list is too solar system centric

  • caitlin

    first! no but good list. haha

  • Kaze

    So much of this is beyond our control :(

  • edu

    list is good but writing is poor.

  • steph00

    All of these are terrifying thoughts but why fear something you can neither control nor stop! Lets just hope it doesn’t happen in our lifetime!

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      If it happens in my lifetime
      I hope its addleast a strong gamma ray burst.

      • Veyron

        haha right? I rather get swallowed by a hlack hole tho

  • Tom

    Most likely, human cause will be the end of us. Other potentially disastrous events include polar shift where north and south poles swap, and super volcanos, there’s at least two of them that are big enough to wipe us all out.

  • liamd95

    Great list mate well done, lets hope 2012 and all these will never happen.

  • astraya

    2012 will happen whether we like it or not.

    • domdayta

      Actually, it will never happen. 2012 is nothing more than the May 5, 2000 Grand Conjunction event and Ron Reese's June 10, 2000 massive flood event.

      • alex

        haha i think she may be saying the year 2012 is going to happen no matter what as a joke.Al

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      2012 is a conspiracy to full saps like you;go to the website and they advertize 2012 stuffs,kits,ON PURPOSE.Theres an alighment every year on december.Look it up.
      Obama's not the anti-christ,nostrodamus's predictions weren't taken literally,but through idiom.
      A famous scientist/theorist that used a ancient drug (intentionally) was wrong,but fulled by his
      subcontious and so were his buddies;and used three things that had nothin to do with each other.
      A chinese calender with lines as representatives (he counted,but didn't use as representatives)
      ,another calender the traced the end of the world,but never the date,and the drug LOL
      A lot of scientist made this a conspiracy till 2008 probally.

  • Jubbs

    @4 edu: “list is good but writing is poor.”

    I agree. This sounds like something I would read off of… “Before you could say ‘holy shit!'”

    Which of course, I always went to listverse when I wanted more mature… but not as hilarious articles.

  • Jubbs

    @8 astraya

    I sincerely hope you mean the “year” will happen… not the supposed events. Otherwise im calling you a nutjob :)

  • msulli22

    That gamma rays one is kind of terrifyingly awesome. I didn’t know that that was even an issue. Well, here’s to December 21, 2012… I don’t really think the Earth will be destroyed or anything, but I’m having a party anyway.

  • elise

    i found the writing funny :)

  • Annae

    Well if It has to end in my lifetime I hope it’s by a gama ray burst :)

  • DC

    Really enjoyable list to read (despite the terrifying content) and not bogged down with annoying scientific terms. Let’s just hope that none of these events occur anytime soon.

  • robfl

    cool, i like these kind of list

  • astraya

    @Jubbs (10): I’ll let you ponder that. I’m not confirming or denying. You can ask any long-term member of this site about my level of nuttiness if you like. I’m sure they’ll tell you.

  • Ouroboros

    Thanks a lot!!!! I totally didn’t have anything else to worry about in my life!!!! Screw you guys I’M BUYING A BOAT!! I will now go look at cute photos of kittens…

  • Molly

    Well, you can just rock me to sleep tonight.

  • john

    and my mom thinks its the end of the world when i fail an exam.
    “what could I do?nothing from listverse came up . . “

  • Mark

    You missed an “n” in oxygen under “Anoxic Events” ;)

  • Jono

    Cracked has better grammar than this.


    It has been suggested that the rotating Earth and the molten core act as a self-exciting dynamo. If the Earth’s residual magnetic field were to disappear completely, or the core solidified somewhat, this would change the Earth’s rotation (I think Lorent’z force would slow it) and do all manner of bad things.

  • Maximuz04

    I petition for the writing to stay, it shows the individual style of the writer making this list. I admittedly sometimes dont look at lists that dont interest me, but this one i liked a lot by the title alone. LV isnt a professional site, its a fun site i go to be entertained, and this is entertaining.

    Alright about the list, I think the thought of 2 makes it hard for me to sleep at night. …oh and the asteroid, which has a chance of impact in 30 yrs has me a bit worried.

  • chubbmeister

    #8 Global Cooling.
    “For some reason the earth gets too cold too fast causing death for many polar and temperate region animals.”

    I don’t get it, wouldn’t exactly polar region animals be the ones to survive such an event?

  • lola

    This list is very tastelessly written, I understand the subject is serious, but there is no need to include words like “really suck” and “sh*t”
    I am starting to dislike listverse.

  • romerozombie

    “Alright about the list, I think the thought of 2 makes it hard for me to sleep at night.”

    Don’t worry, you’ll wake up dead! ;)

    Me and other non-insane people have got another 3+ years of 2012 bullshit. Great.


    Seriously, would these events happening mean no more lists?

  • DenzeLL

    a massive volcanic eruption of this whatchamacallit (forgot the name) volcano that erupts every 600,000 years. It hasn’t erupted in 640,000 years and we’re waaaaayyyyyyyyy overdue. It can happen anytime, as underneath it is a most massive stash of lava. When it erupts, kabooommmmmmmmm!!! goes everything and everyone. So be prepared!

  • chubbmeister

    I hope all the people who expect the world to end in 2012 spend all of their money right now, that would seriously boost the economy :-)

    • LostMusicalMeanings


  • Love the new look, keep up the great work the number of visitors must have increased?.

  • Kyran Wray

    what a scary thought many of those are, im slightly paraniod now…

  • ZedroZ

    Nice list,
    Personally I would have included a mass disease outbreak of some kind, no examples to give though…
    That reminds me, is anyone else sick of hearing about the apparent swine flu “epidemic”??
    Thousands of people die from (lets call it normal flu for now)every year but the media don’t seem to want to go on about that…
    Blood thirsty media, trying to freak everybody out!
    Incidentally, if you are concerned that you may have swine flu, try this:


  • archangel

    Gamma ray burst! It’s so interesting when the universe throws some deadly ‘shit’ at you, and there’s nothing much you can do.

    Don’t forget the sun doing a supernova!

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      That won't happen for millions,or maybe thousands of years.The sun hasn't gone through the next stage yet.

  • Ducky23

    What a way to start off the week. Doom and Gloom.

  • Your site has been a great inspiration and the knowledge gained has gotten me past the obstacle blocking my way.

  • rogian

    Our Sun will never turn into a supernova.

    And people, please cut it out with the 2012 crap! The things on this list are scary enough without that made-up story.

  • Mellafabulous

    Wow, poor grammar and spelling. I made it as far as number ten before having to comment.

    Should be ‘whether’ not ‘weather’. PROOFREAD AND EDIT PEOPLE!

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      One thing this site has taught me for people like you is

  • strat57

    This list is interesting, but if you read the mass extinction article on Wikipedia you get essentially the same list in the same order excepting human cause.

  • Matt567

    There are spelling and grammar mistakes in this list, but my guess is that English is not the first language of the author. And he/she is much more proficient in English than I am in his/her native language.

    JFrater- It’s just this king of negative critique in the forum that causes anoxic events and gamma ray bursts!

  • Variouslulz

    Over here pig in a blanket is pig wrapped in bacon rather than bread. [British]
    And an end of the world scenario would be … interesting. It might make my days a little more bearable.

  • undaunted warrior

    Never new the one about the salt content in the sea ie- higher on top than below.

    Enjoyed thanks.

  • oouchan

    i like this list! i personally like the gamma ray bursts. that would be interesting to see….for a second. also spelling and grammer are never an issue with me. i look for content. i also like the writing style. to keep a light and funny tone to a otherwise scary prospect. kudos to you, SavantiRomero.
    (i have to apologize for any errors in my comments as i can hardly type at the moment. i split my nail all the way up las night.)

    @DenzeLL (27): it’s in yellowstone….and it’s every 800,000 years. i think we are fast approaching the next time too.

    @Matt567 (38): that was funny!

  • oouchan

    see?…can’t type….it’s supposed to be 80,000 years in my post above, not 800,000. *sigh* and i think it was another 1000 years before we hit that date again. sorry about that.

  • Sean

    11. Mass mental break down across the world caused by a few minor grammatical errors on


  • Sean

    Oh and for some mental peace on comets/asteroids check this out.

  • DiscHuker

    from the intro “While it is incredibly unlikely that the world will end in 2012″…how do we know this to be true. the world could end tomorrow or next week. we don’t know enough to say that any date or time is “unlikely”.

  • rushfan

    I love this list. I especially like how it doesn’t mindlessly blather on about how if we all drove smart cars and used curly light bulbs environmental catastrophes could be avoided. If humans destroy the world it’s gonna be through good old fashioned nuclear war.

  • Kay

    I liked it. But this stuff always gets me scared. But I think #1 is most likely to happen.

  • mom424

    Goodish list – great topic but not near enough information and some outright mistakes. What would cause the oceanic overturn? or the anoxic events? C’mon as if we don’t already know that no oxygen = death. Or the giant release of sulfides? More info!

    Clathrate gun (item 6) sounds like this is a new phenomenon – it’s not. The amount of methane trapped in the permafrost and in the ocean depths is huge –

    “Gas hydrates occur abundantly in nature, both in Arctic regions and in marine sediments. Gas hydrate is a crystalline solid consisting of gas molecules, usually methane, each surrounded by a cage of water molecules. It looks very much like water ice. Methane hydrate is stable in ocean floor sediments at water depths greater than 300 meters, and where it occurs, it is known to cement loose sediments in a surface layer several hundred meters thick. Methane bound in hydrates amounts to approximately 3,000 times the volume of methane in the atmosphere.”

    No one knows what would happen if the earth warms up enough to release this mass – but I bet it won’t be good. I’ve seen theories that end up with a desert but I’ve also seen the earth ending up as a big ice-ball. Either way sucks.

  • Talanic

    Yeah, gotta say the same about the writing.

    As for the content, yeah, gamma ray bursts…they result from supernovas. Here’s a quick rundown.

    A type 2 supernova results from a supermassive star. Our sun is far too small to go supernova – ever – and we’re not in much danger from supermassive stars in the area. That’s because such stars burn out, from infancy to supernova, over the course of about a million years, as opposed to our sun’s age of about 4 billion.

    A type 1 supernova (ironically, I know) requires two stars, orbiting each other in a binary system. One is big enough to supernova, but when it gets into a red giant phase, its expansion dumps mass onto its partner star, screwing with the fusion cycle in both stars. This can back and forth for millions of years, with each taking turns going red giant and dumping into the other…until one day it just goes a little bit too far. The receiving star is right on the edge of when it would go nova, but is a little too small until it gets the extra mass. When the mass gets dumped on it, you get a type 1 supernova.

    A type 1 supernova has an estimated kill radius of 50 light-years. Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our sun, is a binary system that is theoretically capable of making a type 1 supernova. It’s four light-years away…and if it goes, our first indication will be our evaporation.

  • Good to see that people still know what they are talking about. So much BS around these days!

  • Heat

    Haha, if you have problems about grammar. Dont go to this site, go some where else! this is a fun site! Not an english class.. Cool list btw

  • ronsantohof

    #1- “Man has become so powerful that nature can virtually do him no harm.” I disagree with that statement. While we have lessened the impact of nature, nature can still cause plenty of harm. Just look at the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed around 350,000 people. If Hurricane Katrina had hit New Orleans directly a lot of those people waiting to be rescued would have been dead bodies needing to be picked up.

  • randomprecision24

    52. ronsantohof: I agree. That line didn’t make any sense to me.
    I like the tone/style of the list, it’s such a serious subject, might as well look at it lightly.

  • Lifeschool

    Hello survivers. First of all…

    @astraya (16): I’ll save you!
    @Jubbs (10): As an often-time poster on here, I can categorically say, without hesitation, that astraya is quite definitely and totally – a nut job.
    @astraya (16): There, you see? That wasn’t so bad was it…? Always glad to help. :D :D

    Ok, ahem, I wasn’t expecting this to come up so soon after the animal extinction list (from the title I assumed it was a sequal!). I have toyed with this idea myself. I agree that we have no idea what will; happen tomorrow. Heck, we have no idea what will happen tonight; it hasn’t happened yet. No one can say whether 2012 will amount to much, but there are quite a few people willing to remain open and who wait to see. My feeling is that 2012 will be significant, perhaps in a less obvious way, but significant to the globe (and no, I’m not talking about the olympics).

    Here are a few ways in which millions of people could die:

    Space ->
    Asteroids, metors, comets – collision.
    Supernova or black hole nearby.
    Collision with the moon, shifting/destroying its orbit.
    Sun spots.

    Nature ->
    Super volcano erruption.
    Tectopnic plate shift / fault split.
    Permafrost melting to release methane.
    Global warming / cooling (ice age)
    Naturally mutated virus’

    Human ->
    Brazillian rainforest cut down = no amazon = no Gulf stream.
    African rainforest cut down = no african monsoon.
    A keystone animal in the food chain destroyed. (Bees)
    The Codex Alimentarius (source).
    H1N1 human mutated virus.
    C.E.R.N. creates a black hole.
    Global Humanitarian War.

    There. That’s a few to be going along with. Of course this is by no means an exhausive list – just off the top of my head. Some things are within our direct sphere of influence or control, and some (the natural and space ones) aren’t. I suppose it all boils down to whether you personally feel better for knowing these things as a matter of education, or whether you’d rather not think about it.

    Either way, rushfan (46), I personally don’t think driving smart cars is gonna amount to a hill of beans while power stations, cattle, airlines and volcanos happen to be around. Smart cars are a bit like silent farts – we all make gas, but better not be the one who gets the blame.

  • JimmySchaps

    Jfrater :
    There is a typo in number 5. OXYGEN is spelt OXYGE

  • frushka

    These kinds of things are indeed troubling.

    I’m sitting here on my back porch, smoking a cigarette and waiting for New Hampshire to fall into the ocean so I’ll have some nice beach-front property.

    Don’t worry about all this shit boys and girls.
    Life is hell. Death is merciful.
    Your task is to find a measure of tranquility or usefulness for yourself while here on earth.

    It’s Sunday morning, so go listen to a nice Bach Cantata.
    Here’s a portion from Cantata 13 to get you started:

    and a translation if you don’t understand German.

    “yet he who looks towards heaven
    and concerns himself there for comfort,
    for him a light of joy can easily
    illuminate the sorrowful breast.”

    By the way, I’m not preaching Lutheran dogma here,
    just suggesting the music, artistry, and sentiment as a means of consolation and hope from these troubling thoughts. Sometimes just getting in bed and hiding under the covers helps too.

  • mom424

    @frushka (55): Yeah for culture in the morning!

    For the grammar police – egregious errors are now fixed.

  • Brebe

    LOLO- Does that really offend you??
    Are you a nun or something-lighten up!

  • Karen

    oh man that’s creepy!! just last night i had a dream that it was the end of the world! very cool list!

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    That would blow if these happened. Good list though. This is the type of thing that scares people who dont understand the chances of these things happening.

  • b

    I shouldn’t have read the list…I can’t watch the shows on the science chanels either. They freak me out. It’s all very interesting and I can get caught up in how absolutely amazing the science behind it all is. Then I think about it happening in my lifetime and I get that fearful feeling in the pit of my stomach. There is just so much we have no control over I’d rather not dwell on it. Life will end for all of us someday I just wouldn’t want to see all of my loved ones go at the same time. :)

  • Sarah

    Who wrote this, a 12 year old?

    Plus a lot of the facts are scientifically wrong

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      How are they facts if they're WRONG??????
      No one claimed they were facts neither was it in the reading.

  • alexman

    yellowstone or other volcano eruptions are more likely than most of these. also he says at the end that “man is so powerful nature can do him no harm” yet the rest of the list is about natural events destroying us. where’s the logic?

  • Kyla

    I hope I’m here to see the end of the world. If it is going to happen anyway I would like to witness it.

  • littleboots

    alexman @ 30 – “man is so powerful nature can do him no harm” yet the rest of the list is about natural events destroying us. where’s the logic?”
    I think if humans suffer a mass extinction they will no longer care cause all will be dead. If all are not dead, then humans will cope as in what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Therein lies the logic.
    This was a great list, which to me inspires ideas and debates, no matter the percieved age of the submitter or the grammatical errors contained.
    Lifeschool added alot of new scenarios, however I thought of a different one. What if we were to lose our moon? It is a scientifical fact that it is very slowely escaping earths gravitational pull, and in about 50 million years will leave it completely. What will the consequences be? And will we even be around to care? Hmmm…

  • deepthinker

    I was expecting to see a worldwide pandemic of disease on the list. The world is too populated, surely we’re due for another plague soon. Have a good day!

  • Freemont

    JFrater, don’t try to be Cracked. I think that you might have written this list lightheartedly because, well, it’s about the end of the world. Many of us read listverse instead of Cracked because this site is more informative, and that quality is not particularly palpable in this list. Please don’t try to be funny- jokes aren’t what made this website so popular, insightful and enlightening lists are.

    • enucleator

      (JFrater didn't write that list, dude…)

  • Rolo Tomasi

    Ok so whats the big deal about commenting first? I have thought about it. and I cant think of one reason why i would bother to stay up all hours of the night and keep refreshing a page to be the first to comment (I live on the east coast but i guess its not the middle of the night for all you down under or the U.K)

  • swapie

    @66: SavantiRomero wtote this list, not mr J

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    After reading this twice I take back what I said this list is not good. Entertaining but not a quality list.

  • Looser

    Wow really awful list. not amused. Poorly written. Not at all up to my expectations.

  • bdubs

    this list is missing Cthulu! that will be the cause of mass extinction for humankind haha

  • littleboots

    Looser @ 71 “Wow really awful list” – Not sure if this couldn’t be taken as a the list sure does contain some awful events for humanity to overcome. “not amused.” – I sure wouldn’t be amused either, they are pretty awful events. “Poorly written.” – As poorly written as your comment? I think not. “Not at all up to my expectations.” Don’t set them so high, and someday you might be pleasantly surprised.

  • Nyxx

    I didn’t enjoy this list either – talk about talking down to you and bad facts!

  • Andre

    This is the same thing I read at about the world coming to an end and doomsday predictions!

  • Lifeschool

    @littleboots (73): ““Not at all up to my expectations.” Don’t set them so high, and someday you might be pleasantly surprised.”

    Nice comeback; as long as you appreciate that everyone has the right to have an opinion on the LV, complementary or derogatory – even you! Yeah, it’s just a blog, so what. :) But to go off topic, your comment reminded me of the three major causes of inter-personal upset, they are: Thwarted Intention (not getting ones own way), Mis-Interpretation (seeing/hearing one thing but believing another) and High Expectation (making up ones own rules). Not having a dig here – just thought I’d share. 8)

  • redcaboose

    SavantiRomero: Thanks, I enjoyed this list, I now have a bunch of things to research. Your writing was fun, and did not bog us down with a lot of scientific stuff. There is not enough room on this list to go into depth in your list, so I think the way you explained things was very good. Enough to pique people’s interest to do more research.

    I agree with others about the line “Man has become so powerful that nature can virtually do him no harm”. I think that Spock would say that only humans could be so arrogant.

  • redcaboose

    And for the Spelling Police: I know of things worse than not proofreading, and that is people that constantly correct others spelling, punctuation, or speech. This is a world wide list, and everybody does speak the same language.So give it a rest.

    Astraya, even if you are nuts, I think that you are a hoot.:)

  • icarusfoundyou

    The writing in this just got on my nerves. A bit too chatty for the apocalypse perhaps?

  • littleboots

    Lifeschool @ 76 – thank you for sharing that…I was pleasantly surprised!

  • to_sam_ja

    super volcanoes? being drowned in ash really sucks.

  • Lifeschool

    @redcaboose (78): “Astraya, even if you are nuts, I think that you are a hoot. :)” – I was winding astraya up – we seem to share an odd sense of humour – but no, I don’t believe astraya is ‘nuts’, not in the slightest.

  • shaymm

    Would have enjoyed the list more if the writing was better. Good job though.

  • Some very interesting points raised here, which has got me thinking!

  • muscarius

    Why so scared of all this 2012 thing?

    Aren’t all we gonna die anyway?
    Don’t you think it would be better to die all together in a big explosion than rotting in an hospital bed at the age of 99?

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      That'd be awesome to not die alone (LITERALLY) []LX

    • Jay

      I'll rot at 99, thank you.

  • Gill Avila

    Darn! What with global warming we’ll miss a really spectacular ELE–when the ice at the south pole accumulates off-center sufficiently to accentuate the Earth’s normal “wobble” to cause a sudden catastrophic pole shift like in “The HAB Theory.”

    • LostMusicalMeanings

      Global warming is a hoax,you need to read more listverse and study on this instead of just listening to scientists' theories

  • fightclub

    @muscarius (86):


  • 14gotmyMANTRA

    @86: Only if you are incredibly effing selfish.

  • L

    @DiscHuker (45):

    from the intro “While it is incredibly unlikely that the world will end in 2012?…how do we know this to be true. the world could end tomorrow or next week. we don’t know enough to say that any date or time is “unlikely”.

    That means there’s the same chance of it happening today as there is in 2012 or in 10192 or in any other year between now and the year photino birds force us to flee the Universe. In other words chances of it happening in 2012 are extremely small.

  • astraya

    @lifeschool (54): Thanks a very, very, very little. I don’t you actually helped.

  • this_list_is_BS

    BS at #2 Stars are die on almost a monthly basis in the milky way galaxy and although they release gamma rays and hundreds of other elements, there is not a star close enough that would cause harm to our own solar system. Take #2 down for inaccuracy please. The only star that can cause us harm is the sun in this lifetime.

  • Richard

    Is it possible that we’re going to be dominated by zombies? Something like the film resident evil. The earth would stand still but there would be just a few normal human living. I’m serious.

  • astraya

    I don’t *think* you actually helped.

  • samfishers

    to #1.. this is a utopia.. we cannot be good.. man is a desperate case.. as long as my thoughts are concerned

  • Looser

    @littleboots (74): ok

    This was a really poorly written list. BTW I’m not amused by the horrible jokes. And the quality of this list was awful and does not live up to my expectations of what this site normally produces (which is why my expectations are so high). I’m dreadfully sorry that i was typing that from an IPHONE you jerk.

  • Looser

    @Richard (93): if zombies existed… perhaps.

  • sof

    What, no disease?

  • iknownothing

    Oh no the worlds gonna end in 2012. We here in the u.k have got the olympic games and were spending an awful lot of money on it. Please can we postpone the end of the world til 2013,or at the very least til after the games :)

    • Jay

      I wish I could help you, but if I let you live EVERYONE will want to live.

  • iknownothing

    Just a little aside.What timezone is LV on, my last post was August 3rd at 02:55 am u.k time?

  • redcaboose

    @Lifeschool (83): I meant that in a good way, not as an insult.

  • John

    Cracked just did an article about this a few weeks ago, I hope we don’t have any plagiarism here.

  • astraya

    The way around the Y2012 hysteria is to proclaim that Jesus was born in 4 BC, so that this year is really 2013. Problem solved.

  • AlmostGone

    I hate the mass extinctions that don’t suck, you know?
    Like, ” I paid for this!, Hello?”

  • johnric

    I just hope that this events wont happen because I want to experience how college life feels like :)
    (I’m only third year highschool)

  • javi

    no. 1 really sucks! lol the gamma ray burst is cool =D
    the way you narrate it, is so funny!! hahaha
    i dont believe in 2012 hah! lets just pray that nothing above happens. ;s


    oh no! this is making me a bit paranoid :( who knows what to believe, i wanna have a family one day! i hope that 2012 doesn’t happen, if it doesn’t, SOME PEOPLE are gonna feel pretty stupid, don’t cha think?

  • Phil

    Shouldn’t the title be mass extinction events that really suck?

  • Mark

    @DiscHuker (45): The probability of the Earth ending on any particular day, or year, is incredibly unlikely. To the point of it being utterly negligable. So that is actually a well-constructed point.

  • Mark

    @COCO OBRIEN (107): No, they won’t feel stupid. They’ll claim a miscalculation and inform us that we’re all newly boned in 2014, it’s the way these people work.

  • Derek

    If you saw the site for the 2012 movie, extinction is caused by a mixture of

    Asteroid strikes
    Continental Crust displacement
    Radiation causing massive thunderstorms

    I think it’ll be good to watch

  • Karl

    @astraya (8): Umm… 2012 will NEVER happen. Why? Because we may never know if the end of the world is apon us. It maybe in 2012, it may be in a thousand years, it maybe in 3797, it maybe 500 years into the future, it may even be tomorrow. The important thing is that you are prepared for anything. Whatever your religion.

  • Karl

    Oh, by the way, the way the list was written sucks.

  • char

    nothing really to do with the topic, but i thought “pigs in blankets” were sausage wrapped in bacon…not bread!?

  • stefan


    and i love the humor…
    sure its good to have mature shit.. but gotta mix it up right?

  • Barold

    Well everyone knows that it won’t be Global Warming because that’s just been made up by the same people who concocted the Holocaust lies… Damn Illuminati and their unstoppable power! Only David Icke can save us now.

  • nuriko

    nice… reminds me of not seeing the 2012 movie! hehe!

  • Jack

    “Hit me with a Gamma Ray…”


  • Lifeschool

    In closing, I don’t think this list ‘sucks’. The list items needed to be discussed, and not in a ‘my God we’re all gonna die’ way. In that sense, it’s perhaps better to approach a very serious subject with a lighter tone – who really wants to be depressed about all this anyway? If the list was chock full of facts to convince us all, there would be some seriously depressing comments out there.

    The world really is in a pickle at the moment – what with one thing and another. I’m just trying to figure it out.

  • Bob

    GoogleGuy is an obvious spam bot.

  • britter

    in 2012 we are suppose to be lined up with a blackhole and scientists aren’t sure what we happen.

  • GTT

    I thought it was an interesting list. While I agree that some of the items were a bit short on information (for example, what events can bring about an anoxic event or an oceanic overturn?) , I think it was a good thing that this list was treated with a little humor. Who wants a 100% serious list on possible catastrophic events? We come to this site for entertainment as well as information.

    And for the spelling/grammar police, has it ever occured to you that users of this site are from all over the world? And that for some people, English may NOT be their first language? Lighten up.

  • Jay Poe

    I saw this list somewhere before. I thought it was on this site but guess not. It may have been on some science website but I’m sure I have seen this before.

  • queen of the stone age

    “27 DenzeLL
    August 2nd, 2009 at 4:26 am

    a massive volcanic eruption of this whatchamacallit (forgot the name) volcano that erupts every 600,000 years. It hasn’t erupted in 640,000 years and we’re waaaaayyyyyyyyy overdue. It can happen anytime, as underneath it is a most massive stash of lava. When it erupts, kabooommmmmmmmm!!! goes everything and everyone. So be prepared!”

    i think its called yellowstone?
    in yosemite national park or something.

    i listen in class :D

  • Jay Poe

    The belief that the world is going to end in 2012 is just dumb.

  • Richard

    96 Looser: Oh thanks! who knows.

  • AlmostGone

    Let’s just get it over with already!
    The kids aren’t going to save us, and having more babies is just a vanity.
    The sooner the END the better, is what I say.
    We exist out of necessity and with each generation gripping on to a cultural illusion, it does nothing but repeat the same, all the while bitching about minutiae as if our impressions make a mark of identity. BS.
    Dust to dust.
    Tis but a mote in space.
    The End beyond our grasp is the fear of a forever unknowable/unreachable God.

  • jack

    this list sucked my cock then i smacked it around some


    This list was really poorly written and has no sources (I wonder why?). Please remove this before it tarnishes the name of Listverse to any more people.

  • Ru

    “Man has become so powerful that nature can virtually do him no harm.”

    I think he really has a point here, expect for some pretty drastic measures (like the other 9 on the list :P) we can’t really be killed, sure we get the occasional earthquake, volcano or flood.
    Someone mentioned the tsunami killed about 350.000 people, that’s nothing compared to the + we have of us walking around right now. so unless it doens’t blow up/burn/freeze/poison the planet nature wont get to us.

    We will are very well capable of doing that ourselves though…

  • eigu

    Why haven’t you cited the source of this list, which is obviously taken from Wikipedia ( )?

  • Looser

    @AlmostGone (126): can I use that for a song? And im not joking.

  • Hitlerwasaclown

    @astraya (1): LMAO

  • Hitlerwasaclown

    @Ru (129): True, although life means fucking nothing now.So they will most likely be inventibng a bomb that can fry your internal organs and sexually assault you at the same time.

  • lelouch

    why worry about the end of the world? its already tomorrow in australia? right?

  • P.I. Staker

    @lelouch (134): LMAO

  • AlmostGone

    131.Looser- Be my guest. If you make a recording, send a link here so I can hear it.

  • David Hopkins

    Space, nature and human can cause some pretty horrid disasters, luckily most of which are infrequent or unlikely.
    How about another disaster for thought:
    What if the AIDS virus mutated so that it could be spread as readily as the flu/chickenpox/measles?

  • avie

    im only waiting for number 8 to happen..
    all thee others blow man, really
    and number 1 gosh haha people are so dumb some times
    and number 2?? that one is crazy i mean really?? ive never heard of it and its just interesting and horrible…
    way to go neat list!

  • old_old_rocker

    the powers that be, ei the uk gov, must have deemed the big rock that pasted over the uk in 1986 as classyfided info. my sighting of it,I was walking along Dudley Street eding -North by North West- towards Bilston town,West Midlands,UK, at about 3:30pm, as I got to the gates of what was Sanky Vending Company on my left, to my right was Pickwick Placs. i started to look for a gap in the trafick so as to cross the road, as I crossing the road some thing in the bright blue sky got my attension, comeing from the North East some thing the size of a football staddium, cerry red spherical with plumes of jet black smoke fadeing to wight vaper then musterd dust,Sphere about 500 meters diyamiter, about 10 mile high up,speed ?, it was in sight for only about 5 seconds as it passed over the top of me I lost sight of it behind tall trees on my right side,at this point i became aware of a car about to run me over so i steeped out of the road,lol, i run to the canal bridge 30 feet to my north but could see no more of it for the trees, there was no sound from it, i think it must have come down in the sea some where off the cost between France an East Africa. I looked for it to be on the tv news for days, not a thing said, I looked in the press for a week,not a thing about it, may be all that radar pointing over the north sae for any thing hot like a russan nuke was turned off that day, and all the aeroplanes in the bizzyest airlane in the world ware flying blind that day, and all the tens of thousends of people on there way home from work or school ware looking at there feet,an of cours all the drivers on the M6 an M5 did not see a thing !!!!! some sourt of cover up me thinks, may be 25 or 50 years after the events of 1986 they will tell us all !!!!. sorry i did not wight down the time or date,did not think i needed to, it was a 911 day for me.

  • Some Guy

    We needn’t worry about half of this list, because global warming is a complete farce. Call me what you will, but most of the “scientists” who believe in it are just goons hired by the Goracle.

  • Renegade

    Honestly, I’m a bit more concerned with the earth’s slowly deteriorating electromagnetic field. That thing goes and it doesn’t much matter if we spend countless billions in the effort to prevent the crap known as global warming. One solar energy release and we’re fried haha. I mean all things considered the earth and it’s capability to preserve life is very unstable, so many different factors can cause so many different deadly things to happen. The way I see it, there really isn’t a lot of point worrying about it. In the end we just delay the inevitable.

  • mj

    you all suck. why? cauze you should be worrying about life, the earth etc. and what will happen.

  • Buggeezy

    I honestly like the way this was written. It’s lighthearted and almost humorous. Truly, if it was written all black and white, nothing but raw facts, I might be a bit scared, but it was just the voice and human feel to the words that made me less afraid about being blasted by a meteor (or meteorite, whatever it’s called) than it would have made me if it had said something like, “If a meteor made impact with the earth, it could mean catastrophe on a global scale.”

    But that’s just me.

    Great list.
    *thumbs up*

  • saber25

    Hey but im a bit more worried cause if we continously throw garbage and etc. then maybe 20 years from now earth will be just a tiny speck of dust.

  • we should make factories extinct.

  • Looser

    @AlmostGone (136): yeah sure.

  • mj

    putang ina ninyo!

  • Jaryuki

    I don’t think we can nuke all the life on Earth. I’m pretty sure some invertrebtrates and/or bacteria would survive…

  • ArjayM

    #1 very scary though. :(

  • Ben10

    You are worried about nukes, one solar flare can have more power than all our nukes put together. You better hope that the magnetic field switch that happens in 2012 doesn’t cause flare to come right thru to surface.

  • Mark

    @Ben10 (150): The magnetic field switch that supposedly happens in 2012…

  • BigMack321

    Hey JFrater, I need some references for this, for a project (specifically, oceanic overturn)

  • DeAdMaN

    The gamma ray thing is horrible :S

  • krypto092108

    Boy, are the Mayans ever going to look stupid if the December 21, 2012 prophecy turns out to be a bust like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some other fools who think the sky’s falling in!

  • Tastynapalm

    You left out, Death by Disco.

  • No use for one

    It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel FINE

  • agsd

    If you knew a star exploded exactly when it does, you would have plenty of time to say “oh, shit” a couple of times, because gamma rays are electromagnetic waves which move around 300 000 000 m/s which is about 8 minutes from our closest star (Sun).
    The problem is, we would only know a star has exploded a few years after it did, at the exactly same time the gamma rays hit us, so yes, we wouldn’t be even able to conceive what just happened. Much less say “oh, shit”.

  • Critical AK47

    Good list, even though I would’ve preferred some more detail and evidence of factual knowledge. Furthermore was it because its and american site, that everything was explained with the assumption that the reader is mentally retarded? – I didnt really see what corndogs had anything to do with anything…


  • Will Trame

    Clathrate Gun? Hey, that would make a great name for a rock band.

    On a more serious note, the gamma ray burst scenario is the one that I have read about that is most likely to cause doomsday in 2012. But I’m not going to hold my breath waiting, as I still remember Y2K as if it were yesterday. Predicting the end of the world has been a favorite pasttime since time began. When my mother was in grade school, her teachers theorized that judgment day would be in 1960…although we came pretty close in 1962. The 1960 flick “The Time Machine” postulated armageddon being in 1966…the appropriate date being Monday, June 6 of said year. (6/6/66).

    Number one (human cause) hit the nail on the head and is indeed the most logical extinction mode that would definitely suck. After all, human beings are the only creatures put on this planet that seems to ruin everything they touch. What a cosmic pity….

  • Everardo

    Sure 2012 might not be the end of the world , but it is highly probible that a huge cataclysmic event will ocurr that could cause thousands if not millions of deaths all we can do is wait and see, but by December 18 2012 i predict that the world will end because people are going to be terrified to see what will happen and just go fucking insane.

  • TehEnd

    What about oil leaks…

  • I kind of like how this list was so nonchalantly written, and how each bullet was tied together with the others

  • Siv

    Will likely get extinct by our kind…. it's the painfully true….

  • phil

    What about the mega volcano under yellowstone?