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7 Sep 2010
The Day the Sky Fell - Tales of days people thought the world would end

This article looks back in history into days of the end of the world. Society has through-out time thought that the world would end. There are many reasons why. The examples of this repetitive behaviour are wild.

The Great Disappointing
It was October 22nd, 1844, thousands of followers of the Second Great Awakening had been convinced by the preaching of William Miller and Samuel S Snow. They awaited for the Second Great Awakening. The date passed by and nothing occurred. Curiously enough the followers had given away most of their possessions. Sounds like a deal gone wrong.

Do the Math Again
Hippolytus in the year 400 calculated that 5,500 years separated Adam and Christ, and that the life of the world was 6 000 years. His calculations about the end of the world where obviously wrong. We are still counting. Image below shows the Death of Hippolytus by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Scary Round Numbers
Something about those zeros and round numbers make humanity panic and conjecture. The chaos year 2000 was not original. In the year 950, rumours spread. They believed that the Antichrist would be unleashed in the year 1000 and that the Last Judgement would soon come. A solar eclipse in Germany was taken as a sign and disturbed the peace of the army of Emperor Otto I. In 987, the death of King Louis V was also thought to be the end of the world.

The Comet
In 989 people went complete crazy when Comet Halley made a pass. Today Comet Halley is documented and "understood" by scientists.

2012 Mayan Calendar
Most interpret the 2012 in the Mayan calendar as the end of the world. It actually represents the end of time, which is a different thing. To understand the 2012 Mayan calendar, deep thought and study is needed. The calendar does not end, it cycles with a gap. 2012 in the Mayan calendar does not speak of the end of the world. It speaks of the end of time. Time as in space-time. Imagine space without time.

Through times and history, natural disasters, celestial observation, eclipses, preachers (who interpret sacred books in their own way), historical, political, social unrest and changes have kick-fired speculations about the end of the world. For a list of historical dates go to or check out Every generation has had people who talked about the end of the world. And that is scary.

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