Scientific Possibilities for the 2012 Event
5 Science-based Scenarios for the 2012 Doomsday.
The year 2012 has become a subject of much speculation due to the Mayan Calendar, new age predictions, and several upcoming Hollywood movies. Some expect that the 2012 prophecies will involve apocalyptic scenarios out of the bible, but here are a few that are within the realm of science, even though they are not likely to happen any time soon.
1. False Vacuum Collapse. A very interesting theory in science contends that empty space is not as empty as it could be. In a manner of speaking, “nothing” could be a lot smaller than it is. Imagine that everything we know exists on the framework of an overinflated balloon, and someone comes along with a pin. In some theories, the pin could be activated with a particle accelerator, which could deflate the vacuum. The destruction would move out from the center of the event at nearly the speed of light, so there would be no warning. Everything would essentially be disassembled, down to the atomic level. Assuming we don’t trigger our own collapse with the Large Hadron Collider, it could be heading for us from any part of the universe and we would not know it.
2. Black Hole Collision. You can’t see a black hole, but you can see it coming. This is because the space around it gets warped so things behind the black hole would either look stretched or doubled. If a black hole wandered into our solar system, you would notice planets getting gobbled up and/or flying out of their orbits. If it collided with the sun you would notice a long fire in the sky followed by darkness, followed by a deep freeze within a few hours, while the Earth would suddenly get dragged toward an infinitely small point in space with many times the sun’s gravity. If you somehow managed to keep warm in your basement while the sun went out, you would be pulled apart along with the rest of the planet as you got closer to the black hole.
3. The Big Rip. For years people worried that the universe would start pulling back together and get smashed in a “big crunch” back to its original state. Lately, the study of dark energy predicts the opposite. Basically there is a force that is not only pushing the universe apart, but one that will also push atoms apart. Everything will pretty much dissolve into a cloud of particles, and then the particles will dissolve. What makes this a threat? Consider that this force seems to have sped up over the last few billion years. If it speeds up again, you will have a few moments to feel like you’re getting larger (or maybe less dense, since everything else will be growing to scale) and then you get to fizzle into the rest of the cosmos.
4. Methane Hydrate Explosion. Vast quantities of frozen methane exist on the ocean floor. The right combination of volcanic, seismic, or man-made events (like an atom bomb) could release the hydrate into the atmosphere, where it would either explode, choke us to death, or heat up the earth beyond our ability to survive.
5. Gamma Ray Burst – Gamma rays hit the earth all the time, but most of them are filtered out by the atmosphere. The energy in a gamma ray can be quite substantial, and many of the more high energy particles have the same force as a high-speed tennis ball, which is pretty significant considering that the ray is the size of a small atom. Most gamma rays come from the edge of the universe, or from the center of galaxies with super massive black holes that happen to be devouring large stars and sending out an intergalactic death ray at the black hole’s poles. However, gamma ray bursts can also be caused by the death throes of large stars in our own neighborhood, or collisions of neutron stars, which are essentially the cores of large stars that did not collapse into black holes. At the moment of collision or collapse, a burst of high energy Gamma Rays can be created, and it can be lethal to anything within a few light years. For us, the good news is that the gamma ray burst would cook the side of the planet facing it, so aside from all smoke the other side of the planet would be relatively untouched, outside the crazy weather and melting icecaps that came from the side of the planet that got microwaved. All life above ground on the unlucky side would be wiped out, and the ground would be sterilized, while anything flammable would suddenly ignite. The atmosphere would also be severely damaged, so the “lucky” people might not want to go out without some heavy sunblock.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: This is not an official site for any one movie, but an informational site. This information is based on speculative media reports, so may not be accurate.