10 Events That Could Wipe Humanity
Humans have lived on the earth for hundreds of thousands of years. Our race has faced countless famines, natural disasters epidemics, droughts, and floods but has somehow, always managed to bounce back. But is there something that could wipe the trace of humanity from the face of the earth? Of course, there is. Here goes the list.
10. Alien Disease
You might rule out this option because no alien pathogens have been discovered yet. But just because we haven’t found something, doesn’t mean it does not exist. If a comet or a meteor falls on the earth with alien pathogen life in it, the end of the human race will just be a few weeks away. The disease they cause could be airborne and since no one will have any prerequisite knowledge of it, there will be no cure. Also, since this will the first of its kind of disease, the human immune system will not be able to fight it. In such circumstances, if a way of migrating to another inhabitable planet is not found then there is no chance of our survival. This will result in an epidemic all across the globe, eventually resulting in human extinction.
9. Chlorine Poisoning by Diatoms
Diatom is a single celled alga that lives in the ocean. It breaks water into hydrogen and oxygen which liberates oxygen molecules into the air enabling us to breathe. But diatoms could also start using up salt in the ocean which would result in separating sodium and liberating chlorine gas into the environment. When that happens every human will die of asphyxia. A person will first feel a burning sensation in throat and eyes as chlorine is poisonous and then vomit. After vomiting once, there will be a sense of relief for a few minutes. They will consider getting gas masks but it will have already been too late. The person will fall to the ground again, after losing consciousness. On falling down, he will breathe even more of the toxic gas as it is more concentrated near the ground level and die.
8. Alien Invasion
We have had no contact with extraterrestrial beings till date but few planets have shown signs of the existence of some very basic life forms. This means that believing that we are not alone in this vast universe, is, after all, not an irrational thought. But this also means that we could be invaded by aliens any day. If a species decide to invade another planet it is quite clear that they are technically more advanced and have skill and weapons to exterminate life from that planet. That, in simple words, means that if aliens invade us, we don’t stand a chance of surviving. Sending conversation initiation signals into outer space is much frowned upon due to this very reason. Even Stephen Hawkings said that it will only take one hostile alien race to cause the extinction of the Earthlings.
7. Strange Matter
Although highly unlikely to happen, this incident would end the world in a few minutes if it does. There is no definite explanation as to how it may happen because nobody knows how strange matter behaves. One prediction is that it would start at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Long Island. One of the tests being conducted there would form a strangelet. A strangelet is a hypothetical particle having strange quarks up and down. It would just take one negatively charged strangelet to initiate a chain reaction that would cause the world to end. However, scientists say that the collider creates too much heat to form strange matter. Let’s hope they are correct about that.
According to Moore’s law, computing powers double every two years. So roughly around the year 2045, computers will reach technical singularity which means that computers will be smarter than humans which will lead to an interface between human minds and computers. A few decades after that, humans will have a choice to keep their human bodies and eventually die or transfer their consciousness into a computer by coding it and living forever. This will save humans from all the suffering of living, like diseases, pain, and injuries but also, they will hardly be human anymore. Since giving up your old bodies and living forever will be a more preferred option, a new species will be created and there will be no more humans left.
5. Artificial Intelligence
This is somewhat related to the previous point. Once an interface between the human mind and the computers is developed, computers will basically have a mind of their own. They might not think that they were made for our assistance and might start perceiving us as parasites and start finding ways to kill us. This is, in fact, a major concern for technologists because once the control over artificial intelligence is lost there is no way to take it over again. Much like the plot of movie ‘Transcendence,’ artificial intelligence reaching new heights might be a good thing but if the future devices see us as a threat, they will not hesitate to kill every single human on the planet.
4. Passing Rogue Planet
There are billions of rogue planets in our universe which do not have any orbit, they just wander anywhere. With a number such high, the odds of a rogue planet colliding with the earth aren’t quite favorable to us. These rogue planets are almost twice the size of the earth and what will happen to our world when they collide with us, is worse than any destruction in a Hollywood movie ever. Earth will be hit by a massive earthquake, after which thousands of kilometers of the crust will be destroyed. Since the crust will be destroyed, the land would no longer be inhabitable and the few people who will have survived the earthquake will die due to lack of food or the intense heat created from the collision and the heat of lava underneath the remaining outer layer of earth.
3. Gamma Ray Burst
Gama ray bursts aren’t something hypothetical like strangelets. In fact, scientists believe that the Ordovician extinction, which happened about 440 million years ago was a consequence of gamma ray burst which happened in a system that was 6000 light years away from the earth. Even a distance that large does not protect the earth from these bursts. Gamma ray bursts will create huge holes in the ozone layer which will cause wild fires everywhere. The plantation all across the globe will die, any animal that feeds on that plantation will die and since everything will be toxic, humans, eventually, will die too.
An asteroid hitting the Earth is quite possible and it’s the leading explanation for the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction, which is when the dinosaurs went extinct. The asteroid that caused that mass extinction was just seven or eight miles wide. This incident will be like being hit with a wall fire and everything and everyone will turn to ashes. Even if someone survives, there will be so much dust in the atmosphere that nothing will grow in the soil for years. Luckily, our generation will be long gone and will not die when the earth turns into a broiler as no asteroid is expected to head in our direction, anytime soon.
1. Weaponized Smallpox Attack
Small pox is a horrible infectious disease. First, red dots start to develop in your mouth and the next day they break open and you get rashes around your mouth. After that, the spots spread all over your body. Then an opaque liquid fills in them and after that, they turn black and scab. When the scabs fall off, the pungent liquid is released and you die after suffering an agonizing week or two. The Soviets, during the Cold War, developed a stockpile of smallpox virus which was enough to infect every person on earth several times. Whats more horrible is that nobody knows what happened to the tons of weaponized smallpox. Since the disease was eradicated in 1979, the vaccines for small pox no longer exist. If those tons of smallpox are set free someday, the human race will suffer a horrible end.