Since the beginning of film itself, Hollywood has produced hundreds of apocalyptic movies about everything from zombies taking over the world, to alien invasions, to giant meteors striking the earth. But while these types of films are highly entertaining and give us all an excuse to use our imaginations, could any of it happen in real life?
Recently, a UK-based betting site conducted a study and established a list of the most probable ways the earth will come to an end. They found that, of the numerous scenarios that could result in the end of the world, the most likely apocalyptic events were the sun consuming the earth, Judgment Day and a global pandemic.
“While there’s no foolproof tactics for survival (particularly in the event of the sun destroying the Earth), you can at least start preparing for some of the more unusual disasters,” explained 888Poker, the firm that created the report. “So, if somehow you manage to escape the horrors of the Earth’s demise, you can thank 888Poker for warning you before it was too late.”
The most probable way that the earth will end, with odds at one in one, is by the sun growing in size and essentially swallowing our planet. “The sun expands, becomes what is called a Red Giant and its radius will be large enough to envelop the Earth,” explained 888Poker.
Second on the list is Judgment Day, which describes a biblical event whereby those who are deemed “good” will be selected to ascend towards Heaven, and those deemed “bad” will be forced to spend all of eternity in Hell. Even though not everyone believes this (like atheists and non-religious individuals), the probability of earth ending this way is also one in one.
Third, and with a probability of one in two, is a global pandemic. The idea of life ending due to some type of widespread outbreak actually isn’t very farfetched, considering the fact that various regions of our world have faced the Swine Flu, Bird Flu and Ebola in recent years. Between 2014 and 2016, 11,000 lives were lost due to Ebola in West Africa. Experts say that the worse case scenario in the event of a global pandemic is a disease that shows no symptoms until it has been spread to dozens of other people.
Given the current political climate and America’s growing tension with Russia and North Korea, number four on the list doesn’t seem unreasonable either. 888Poker found that a nuclear apocalypse has a one in thirty chance of ending life on earth. “World War III involves the launching of nuclear missiles, with everyone dying either from the initial explosions or from the fallout,” the research firm explained.
Natural disasters like widespread hurricanes or massive earthquakes have a slightly smaller chance of ending life on planet earth, with odds at one in forty-five. This is one of the few apocalyptic events on the list that are impossible to extremely difficult to predict and impossible to prevent.
Bioweapons was ranked number six on the list, with odds of one in sixty. Following this is a robot uprising, with odds of one in eighty, grey goo (which is where nanobots replicate and consume the entire planet) with odds of one in one hundred, the formation of a black hole with odds of one in 125, and finally an alien invasion with a probability of one in 500.
In addition to these top ten apocalyptic events, 800Poker also revealed the probability of more unlikely occurrences, which are based much more heavily in science fiction than in reality. The odds that the world will end due to giant monsters are one in 159 million, the odds of a zombie apocalypse are one in 1,000, and the odds of an ape uprising are one in 4,600.