Close this search box.

Doomsday Awaits: 5 Ways the World Could End in Our Lifetime

Have you ever wondered what are the ways the world could end?

That’s definitely a question to cheer you up (just kidding). We recently talked in the office about death and why some of us are scared of it, and when trying to come up with answers to all of these things, an article idea came to me: all the ways the world could end in our lifetime.

There’s a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Maryl Streep titled “Don’t Look Up”, in which a Ph.D. candidate discovers a huge comet that goes straight to the Earth, and according to their astronomical calculations, it was supposed to arrive and then destroy the planet in less than 7 months. The characters then go to the President of the United States to share their information, and for other details, you have to watch the movie.

So in the spirit of our office conversation and this fantastic cinematographic production, I decided to make you scared or maybe have a good laugh with these ways the world could end. Are we going to vanish due to a giant asteroid? A zombie apocalypse? A nuclear winter that will make our lives impossible? All funny scenarios (maybe). But enough with this introduction talk; let’s jump straight into our article.

Ways the world could end—things are about to get ugly!

ways the world could end
Photo by appledesign from

1. Subterranean apocalypse

All of us know what it’s like to live on Earth, but what do you think about living under it? Yep, that sounds confusing, but we’ll get to that in a couple of seconds.

If you watched the 2002 dragon film “Reign of Fire”, there’s a tiny possibility that there’s something weird living underground, just waiting for the right moment to come up and wreak havoc on our fantastic world.

What about huge human-eating worms that try to conquer us, like those scary graboids from “Tremors”? I know that something like that couldn’t happen, but if we think about the most out-of-this-world things that could destroy the planet, that’s surely something that I can’t stop thinking about.

2. Large-scale volcanism

This sounds extreme and is not exactly possible, but it is still dangerous and deadly. Large-scale volcanism is a slow process, and while we’re not going to see volcanoes having a blast in every part of the world, covering the world in lava is an efficient way to kill thousands and thousands of people at once.

Vesuvius in Pompeii and Krakatoa in Indonesia are the most popular and fatal things that have ever happened, but still, these large-scale volcanism episodes didn’t end the world. They wouldn’t have had such a fatal result even if they had erupted at the same time.

Experts wanted to know more about this topic, and according to their research, this type of scary volcanism is thought to be the cause of plenty of extinctions throughout the years. Moreover, scientists suspect massive vents and fissures in the Earth that continuously sludge steady pulses of lava would cause many issues, generating much more lava than explosive and scary volcanoes and affecting vast areas.

This type of eruption could cover millions and millions of square kilometers with lava over a few hundred thousand years. Even though it might not seem plausible in today’s world, this is still one of the ways the world could end.

But there’s more to this story: scientists say that this scary oozing volcanic activity seems to cause destruction through secondary effects, not a quick eruption. Ozzing releases gas that is strong enough to kill plants and animals and contributes to climate change and acid rain.

Moreover, if the dangerous hot lava gets in contact with rocks containing organic compounds, such as coal deposits, then large amounts of toxic gases and greenhouse gases are released into the air, including sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and methane.

Of course, this strange volcanic activity set off by changes in atmospheric chemistry could be really devastating, but this type of apocalypse would take a really long time. But large-scale volcanic activity is one of the strongest ways the world could end because it has a major impact on living organisms and their habitats at different levels, ultimately leading to unbelievable extinction rates.

3. Interplanetary contamination

Let’s keep talking about these ways the world could end because things get more and more interesting. It’s believed that there are two types of potential interplanetary contamination: forward contamination, which is the deportation of life, and other forms of contamination from Earth to another celestial body.

According to research, back contamination means the introduction of extraterrestrial organisms and other types of severe contamination into our world’s biosphere.

Don’t think of aliens as the ones that have the potential to infect us, because things could go further than that. Returning crews or sample-return probes from space could bring microscopic but dangerous biological contaminants from other worlds that are not known to ordinary people.

This type of contamination from bacteria, viruses, or spores means that people might have no immunity to them, leading to several cases of infection and even death (just like what happened with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic). That’s the reason all astronauts and space samples are required to be quarantined to make sure that they’re clean and germ-free.

Can you think of other ways the world could end?

ways the world could change
Photo by Lumppini from

4. Climate change

We’ve talked about a couple of impossible ways the world could end, but now let’s move on to things that are already happening because it’s not something nice: global warming.

Yes, as cliche as it might sound, climate change is a huge problem for all living organisms, not just humans. According to NASA, in the last 650,000 years, there have been no fewer than 7 cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the sudden end of the last ice age roughly 7,000 years ago.

Since the last century, Earth’s median surface temperature has risen by over 33.8 °F, mainly due to increased carbon dioxide and other emissions caused by humans. As you’ve probably seen on the news, we’re both victims and responsible for the highest temperatures ever experienced, and things could go worse if we don’t take action now.

But why is climate change one of the most dangerous ways the world could end, you might ask? The simple reason is that global warming causes longer periods of drought, frequent wildfires, longer and more intense tropical storms, and many other bad things for animals, nature, and humans.

Researchers say that if we melt all the ice, the sea level will then rise by roughly 26 inches, and a lot of the things we know today, including cities and islands, will eventually perish underwater.

These severe changes might be exactly what the world could say, since they wouldn’t kill the entire planet at once, but if we don’t take care of our planet, bad things are more likely to happen to us in the future.

What do you think about these ways the world could end? Do you find them scary?

5. Nuclear bomb

You know what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Nothing good came out of that. A nuclear apocalypse or holocaust causes radioactive fallout and widespread destruction, killing the entire civilization and making huge parts of the world impossible to live in.

Nuclear bombs and their fallout would have catastrophic consequences, such as a nuclear winter, firestorms, and radiation sickness. So after the first destruction of cities and countries by nuclear blasts, the ones who would survive would have a very hard time. Another thing we should take into consideration is that modern technology might be out of service as a result of electromagnetic pulses.

Atomic warfare is one of the most effective ways the world could end because even if you don’t get killed after the explosion, you could suffer from traditional sickness even years after the initial contact. Just think about what happened at Chernobyl.

One of the most devastating consequences, which is a primary factor in why atomic bombs are known for being successful ways the world could end, is ionizing radiation.

This type of radiation, which can be found in A-bombs, nuclear reactors, and minerals, has the power to destroy the DNA, make it weak, and then break it up, so you die in extreme pain. You could also experience severe cell damage, which can then transform into cancer. Other than that, future generations will be victims of different abnormalities and birth defects.

If you think that there are plenty of other ways the world could end that we didn’t cover in this article, leave them in the comments! If you want to know other devastating ways the world could end, I recommend you check out this book, because it will definitely give you some answers!

And if you still want to read an amazing article, here’s one you don’t want to miss: Are You THAT Different From Neanderthals? Scientists Finally Decided.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts