While apocalypse claims have come and gone over the years, the latest had many people spending this past Saturday wrestling with more than just a hangover.
In the wake of multiple hurricane landfalls this past month, the scenes of catastrophic damage have been horrific and have raised questions as to whether or not it is a sign of the complete destruction of the world, otherwise known as an apocalypse. Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria may have not seemed like a big deal for any students feeling safe in the Quinnipiac bubble, but for the millions of people whose homes were destroyed, you may very well be convinced the world is falling apart.
As some viral videos and conspiracists predicted, Sept. 23, 2017, supposedly marked the end of the world. Depending on your view of climate change and the possibility of an apocalypse, this may have seemed far-fetched. Among the biggest believers was self-published Christian author David Meade, who gained a fair amount of publicity online for predicting the world would end when Planet X, or Nibiru, crashed into Earth this past Saturday. Meade now says Saturday didn’t mark the apocalypse, but rather a series of disasters over the course of weeks.
The Planet X theory may sound like a conspiracy to some while others point to the recent natural disasters as foreshadowing more destruction for the future. Senior Nick Earl had never heard of a Planet X before and said the planet was as fake this theory.
“I’ve been through maybe four apocalypse theories and none of them have come true, so I feel like I’m a veteran to this,” Earl said. “I don’t foresee anything actually happening unless a reputable source comes out with it.”
You may remember five years ago when conspiracy theorists looked to Dec. 21, 2012 as the day the world would end – known as the “Mayan Apocalypse,” which caused a wave of paranoia. The supposed phenomenon was depicted as a total annihilation of the world in the 2009 movie, “2012,” which shook audiences all across the globe.
Prior to Sept. 23, most Quinnipiac students seemed unfazed and dismissed the probability of a supposed doomsday. Senior Kayla Mistretta was quick to point to past claims she says have no factual basis and are always proven false.
“I honestly just laughed when I heard this theory,” Mistretta said. “It seems like for the last few years there have been new conspiracy theories predicting the end of the world popping up left and right and none of them have been based on scientific fact and none of them have come true.”
Although NASA debunked Meade’s apocalyptic claim as a hoax, imagine for a moment if it were true. What if every media outlet was reporting factual evidence of an apocalypse? Where would you go in the event of a real doomsday?
While many people might do some crazy things to check off their own bucket lists, sophomore Ralph Daniele stressed the importance of spending his last day with loved ones.
“In the event of a doomsday, I probably wouldn’t worry about going to a specific place,” Daniele said. “I would honestly just want to spend time with friends and family.”
Despite the absence of an apocalyptic event this past Saturday, we must still be cautious of future natural disasters. Similar to skeptics that believe the Earth is flat, vaccines are dangerous and climate change is a hoax, there is abundant evidence to disprove the David Meade’s theory. In every case, people will take sides between the “real” evidence and scientific knowledge.