Back on August 6th, 1945, the atomic bomb was created capable of wiping a whole city. This deadly weapon has found its abode in the hands of several nations who have acquired it waiting for a possible third world war. It is a known fact that a doomsday clock has been created. This metaphorical clock has been maintained since 1947 by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, is a symbol which represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe. The clock represents an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war.
However as the struggle to keep the world from real damage continues, here are top ten facts involving times the world would have ended.
In 1979, programmers at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) nearly triggered World War III when they ran a regularly scheduled computer simulation of a Soviet attack. Unfortunately for them, the computer systems on which they ran the simulations were connected to the NORAD network, broadcasting live data of the fake attack to defense systems across the nation.
Jet fighters scrambled, those in the know said goodbye to their loved ones, and there was terror across the military. A big sigh of relief was likely breathed when the news broke that it was all a simulation.
2. When the Soviets almost launched a nuclear Armageddon in 1983:
The Cuban Missile Crisis where the United States and the Soviet Union was really bad when itcame to Cuba in 1962. A recently declassified American report revealed how the Soviets mistakenly thought a NATO nuclear training exercise was a cover for a real strike and started moving missiles to launch sites in Europe.
In September 1983, the Soviet nuclear early warning system reported that the United States had launched multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles toward the USSR.
As the alarms sounded, the computer systems reported that five missiles were on their way. Stanislav Petrov, the duty officer at the base, declared that the warnings were a false alarm and disregarded his orders. He stated that if an attack were to take place, hundreds of missiles would have been launched as opposed to five.
Luckily, he was right and Petrov prevented a Soviet retaliatory strike that night, possibly saving the human race in the process. If the attack was carried out, much of Europe and USA will be unhabitable. The false alarm was attributed to a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds.
Also known as the black plague, this plague was responsible for the tragic death of 25 million people; women and children included. The plague which ravaged Europe in the 1340s. This 14th century plague is reputed to have wiped about 60% of Europe’s population. Thats quite a number
Spread by rats, this disease would have wiped the whole earth if it never took a break from spreading. It is however still around in Sub Saharan Africa and Madagascar. About 600 cases are reported each year. We do hope it never happens again though it can be treated now.
4. The Deadly Asteroid
This asteroid named “4581 Asclepius” that came within 645,000 kilometers (400,000 mi) of hitting Earth in March 1989. Sounds pretty far, right? Well, the world nearly ended because 4581 Asclepius passed through the exact position of Earth just six hours earlier.
If the asteroid succeded in it’s hit; the explosion would have been roughly equivalent to that of a 600-megaton thermonuclear detonation. In comparison, the largest nuclear device ever actually detonated is a mere 50 megatons. The resulting mushroom cloud from this detonation was seven times the height of Mount Everest. Scary right?
5. The 2012 Solar Storm
The Mayans famously predicted that the world would come to an end in 2012. Though it never happened, it almost did. In July of 2012, the earth’s orbit caught a massive solar flare from the sun. Phew!, the earth was not in the path of the flare. It would have been a major catastrophic disaster! NASA discovered this information and soon realized just how bad it could have been. In fact, it has been reported that if this flare had come just one week earlier, the planet would have been sent back to the 17th century!