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10 Controversial Apocalyptic Theories

by Stephanie Roberts
fact checked by Alex Hanton

Plenty of people have speculated when the world was going to end. The following list explores possible means of the destruction of the Earth’s and/or the human race. This list contains far out 2012 prophecies, probable disasters and just interesting rumors. I have intentionally left out Nostradamus since most of his “prophecies” have been debunked. To read more on this subject please see Top Ten Failed Apocalyptic Predictions.


Book of Apocalypse


The Book of Apocalypse from the Bible (also known as the book of Revelation) is probably the most well known end of the world prophecy (at least in Western Culture). There has been endless debate on what parts of the Bible are meant literally, and what parts are meant symbolically, and this is doubly true for this specific book. With vivid imagery and strange statements that leave room for interpretation, people all around the world have spent their lifetimes trying to decode the Book of Apocalypse. Despite these debates, there are some parts that interpreters agree on. The major one is that during the end times there will be a false prophet masquerading as a messiah, as well as the presence of the antichrist.

The earth will face destruction in many forms. People will have to suffer from earthquakes, fire, plague, hailstorms, famine and many other calamities, in all shapes and forms. After these cataclysmic events, the Antichrist will gain domination over the world. They will rule the world for a certain unknown amount of time, which will then be followed by Armageddon. During Armageddon, a colossal battle will occur between the forces of evil (the Antichrist) and the forces of good (Jesus Christ), in which Jesus prevails. The Bible itself never gives specific dates, of course; instead all of its prophecies are based on a timeline of milestones and events.


Kali Yuga


The Hindu system of cycles, inherited from the Vedic civilization, is broken down into 4 time cycles. Krita/Satya Yuga (Golden Age), Treta Yaga (Silver Age), Dvapara Yuga (Copper/Bronze Age), and the Kali Yuga (Iron Age). In one of the oldest Vedic writings, attributed to the god-man Manu, the four yugas are said to add up to 24,000 years, but when they are enumerated they only come to 12,000 years. The Krita/Satya Yuga lasts 4,800 years; the Treta Yuga lasts 3,600; the Dvapara lasts 2,400 years and the Kali Yuga lasts 1,200 years. The “descent into darkness”- Kali Yuga – started when the summer solstice (June) Sun was aligned with the apparent Galactic Center, around 10,800 BC. The “Ascent back into light” takes place now, when the winter solstice (December) Sun aligns with the apparent Galactic Center around 2002-2012.

Kali yuga is known as the age of the male demon, Kali. The scriptures, like Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.2, teach that during the 432,000 year age of Kali humanity deteriorates and falls into barbarism. “Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, physical strength and memory diminish with each passing day.” Severe droughts and plagues are everywhere. Slovenliness, illness, hunger and fear spread. Nations are continually at war with one another. People in this age will be lazy, greedy and deceitful. The end of Kali Yuga is marked by the return of the Kalki, the last reincarnation of Vishnu, who will battle the demon Kali.


Timewave Zero

Xn 40

The I Ching, or Book of Changes, consists of an arrangement of sixty-four hexagrams (six-line figures) consisting of two types of lines, yin and yang, and has been used as an oracle. Coins or sticks are thrown, the combination of which signifies one or two hexagrams, and the second hexagram represents the predicted change from the first hexagram. Terrence and Dennis McKenna make a case that the I Ching was originally used as a lunar calendar in which the sixty-four six-line hexagrams (384 lines total) represented the 384 days in a thirteen-month lunar year. The earliest arrangement of the hexagrams of the I Ching is the King Wen Sequence. The theory that emerged from the I Ching study is known as Novelty theory.

If the wave model is a valid theory of time, it should be possible to pinpoint on the wave that corresponds to the date that something important happened in history. To carry out this operation, Peter Meyer developed the Timewave Zero software. To see how the Timewave Zero software works click here. McKenna believes that during this time there will be a surge in information and evolutionary breakthroughs will start coming in nanoseconds. The theory is not deterministic; it does not say what will happen in the future, only the levels of novelty that whatever happens will have to fulfill.




A World War is a war involving more than 2 continents, in which at least 20 major countries participate in an attack against a common enemy, and which has the attention of the average civilian, due to the significant loss of life. A lot of theorists claim that the terrorist attack on the World Trade centers and subsequent war with Iraq is the beginning of WWIII. Initially 40+ countries were a part of the coalition that invaded Iraq. As of August 2010, 4,733 Coalition (including US) soldiers had been killed in Iraq. The US deaths made up 4,415 of those deaths. Since the beginning of the U.S. reconstruction effort, 224 U.S. civilians have died in Iraq (2007 report.)

The Cuban Missile Crisis (in 1962) is generally thought to be the point at which the risk of World War III was closest. With the globalization of the marketplace and trade and the spread of nukes, it has become increasingly costly and suicidal to start WW3. So in theory, nations are, more than ever, unlikely to start wars, yet here we are on the brink of another war with Iran. Ever increasing oil prices, economic depression, North American union and the declaration of martial law within the US are all, supposedly, factors that will contribute to the next world war.


Web Bot


A web bot is a tool used to speed-read the internet in order to find patterns or waves of behavior. It was created in 1997, originally to predict stock market trends. The Web Bot conceptualizes a future pattern of behavior, based on the new and recent psychological queries of the masses. Web Bot works by using a form of the “Wisdom of the Crowd” (the process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert), with web crawlers that search the internet for about 300,000 keywords with emotional context. Web Bot acted much like an Internet prophet, creating prophecies of things to come based on the chatter of the entire world.

There have been six Web Bot reports in all. The first one was released in 1997, and the final report was released March 12, 2010. Web Bot claims to have predicted the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the 2001 anthrax scare and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Web Bot has predicted that a cataclysm will devastate the planet in the year 2012, possibly a reversing of Earth’s magnetic poles or a small series of nuclear attacks leading up to a major attack during the year. The Web Bot predictions for 2012 are as follows: Sustainable living practices becoming the only option for living and Magnetosphere problems causing the burning of crops.


Galactic Alignment


On December 21, 2012, the solstice sun will align with the dark rift in the Milky Way. The dark rift (Great Rift) is the widest part of the Milky Way and corresponds to the direction of the center of the galaxy. As the alignment occurs, the solstice meridian will align with the crossing point of the ecliptic (the path of the Sun, moon and planets) and the plane of the galaxy, which is called the galactic equator, and pass on the other side. Alignments occur every 36 years, but this alignment is unique. At this time the sun appears to just touch one part of the dark rift that snakes its way along the Galactic Equator.

This is an area of the night sky considered important to Maya cosmology with respect to spiritual rebirth mythology. In some versions, the combined gravity of the galactic black hole and the sun will cause earthquakes, tsunamis, floods or severe weather. In other versions the alignment will cause more esoteric issues, such as a blockage of an undefined type of energy emanating from the black hole, or from the galactic core, or both. Aligning with the rift could cause major disturbances in the orbits of inner planets. Some people believe that this event could place the Earth in danger of being sucked into a black hole at the center of the dark rift in the Milky Way.


Geomagnetic Reversal

Field Big

Geologist Gregg Braden has made the claim that the Earth’s magnetic field has dropped 38% (measured in magnetometers) in the past two thousand years (about 1.9% per century), and the rate of decline has risen to 6% in the past century. Basically, the global magnetic field is dropping at an accelerating rate toward zero point, at which time the polarity of earth will reverse. It is unknown whether the decline of the magnetic field will continue to increase. The magnetic field last flipped 780,000 years ago, but the time between reversals has varied from a few thousand years to 35 million years. During this time additional magnetic poles could appear in the weakening field. A compass then would point in different directions depending on the location. Then the magnetic field would almost completely disappear for several thousand years before re-emerging in the opposite direction.

The effects of this reversal are hard to predict. Some theorists claim that it will not have any effect on humans. With the modern reliance on electricity and electromagnetic effects (radio, satellite communications, GPS), the world will have technological disruptions in the event of a full field reversal. One effect that may occur during a magnetic reversal is that the Earth may not be protected from charged particles streaming from the sun. These particles are called the solar wind, and could be dangerous to life if they reached the Earth’s surface. The amount of radiation reaching the surface of the Earth would definitely increase, but not by much. More people would suffer skin cancer, but we would not all die horribly from radiation poisoning.




An epidemic is when a disease outbreak strikes a large number of people, in a given area, at the same time. The epidemic becomes a pandemic when it spreads over a wide geographical area, or throughout many countries. Although most epidemics are caused by infectious organisms, the term can be applied to an outbreak of any chronic disease, such as cancer or heart disease.

Bubonic plague (1300-1400), typhus (1501- 1587), SARS (2002), recurring epidemics of scarlet fever, typhoid and yellow fever (1865-1873), and HIV (1980-present) are some infectious diseases that have resulted in epidemic or pandemic outbreaks. It might not be swine or avian flu, but flu researchers say a deadly pandemic is not a case of if, but when.

The ancients couldn’t predict when this would happen, but with recent outbreaks of swine and avian flu, it seems likely that another flu like this is on the horizon. The last great plague (Spanish flu) hit 1918-1920. Researchers estimate that between 20 million to 100 million were killed. The call for sanitary reform and the development of new vaccines at the end of the nineteenth century ended the rapidly spreading plague. However, since then the incidence of infectious diseases has steadily risen in the past 100 years. Infection spreads more easily now due to people traveling more often. The outbreak of anthrax in 2001, and the threat of biological warfare suggest that the US is neither equipped to handle a mass outbreak, nor the panic resulting from such outbreak.


Super Volcano


There are about 500 active volcanoes in the world. There are three known supervolcanoes in the US, (including Yellowstone), Lake Toba in Indonesia, Taupo in New Zealand and Aira Caldera in Japan. A supervolcano is a volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an eruption radius greater than 240 cubic miles (1,000 cubic kilometers). Supervolcanoes are the most dangerous, with a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8. This is thousands of times larger than most historic volcanic eruptions. Geologists believe that Yellowstone is the most likely supervolcano to erupt next, as it has been exhibiting signs of unrest, with earthquake swarms, ground deformation and considerable heat and gas emissions.

Earthquakes are the primary indicator that a volcano is about to erupt. The Yellowstone caldera experiences about 1500 measurable earthquakes a year. The last eruption of Yellowstone was 640,000 years ago. If it did erupt, expect half of the USA to be wiped out, and major variations in global climate for many years. Residual volcanic ash in the atmosphere would result in the devastation of world agriculture, severe disruption of food supplies and mass starvation. Yellowstone could emit 2,000 millions of tons of sulphuric acid, and could produce the equivalent of a “nuclear winter”, when the dust and debris from the fallout of a nuclear war block out sunlight for several years, causing worldwide famines.


Solar Storms


In August, 2010, NASA reported that there would be a solar storm sometime in 2012. Every 11 years or so, changes in our star’s magnetic field bring on an increase in sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The result is a barrage of charged particles hurling toward Earth. A solar storm is a sudden burst of very fast, charged particles from the Sun. It could be the result of a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection (CME) or both. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a massive burst of solar wind (stream of charged particles ejected from the sun). A solar flare is a sudden eruption of magnetic energy released on the surface of the sun, usually accompanied by bursts of electromagnetic radiation. Ultraviolet and x-ray radiation from solar flares often induce electromagnetic disturbances in the earth’s atmosphere.

Solar storms would affect power grids, thus losing electricity. The Solar Storm itself would not cause an apocalypse, but it would bring about a sort of domino effect. People would then lose access to their heat/air conditioning, refrigeration, phone service and GPS. Also, drinking water distribution systems could break down in a couple of hours. Normally, a “Faraday Cage” protects the satellite’s internal equipment from external electrical charges, but constant bombardment of charges would cause satellites to break down. There are over 936 operating satellites in space, worth an estimated $200 billion to replace. Magnetic storm currents acting on gas pipelines are known to enhance the rate of corrosion over time, with potentially catastrophic cumulative effects.


Three Days of Darkness


Catholics don’t believe in the concept of the rapture – first described in 17th century America, but they certainly have no end of prophesies for the end times. The most popular of these is the three days of darkness, prophesied by a large number of mystics over the centuries, including St Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest pictured above. Preceding the three days it is predicted that a sign (in the shape of a cross) will appear in the sky, that will make all people know that God is real. It will then be followed by three days of darkness, in which Satan and his minions are unleashed on the earth, in order to take as many souls to hell as possible. The scariest part of the prophesy is that you must stay inside, with all windows and doors covered, because if you look out you will die instantly; the devils will try to tempt you out of the house by pretending to be your loved ones in need of protection. Go here to read more about the three days of darkness.

fact checked by Alex Hanton