Why Saturday, May 21st? Well, it just so happens to be 7,000 years to the day from when Noah first set out in his ark with his menagerie of animal pairs. Duh!
In celebration of the end of the world, let’s take a look back at five of the greatest end-of-the-world prophecies that never came true.
- Millennial Return, 1000
Of course, the year 1000 arrived with no apocalyptic horsemen. A stunned and baffled Christian population went back to work, rebuilding the society they’d temporarily allowed to crumble. Oh, also, a bunch of recently released criminals ran far, far away.
- The German Peasants’ War, 1525
|Peasants having a stick fight|
Muntzer had a vision from God in which he caught the cannonballs being fired at his army like a highly lethal game of dodgeball. Instead, the cannonballs took down close to 100,000 peasants, and Muntzer himself was captured, tortured, and decapitated. Oops!
- The Great Disappointment, 1844
Miller's followers actually had to pry the exact date out of him, since he didn’t want to commit to a specific day. Instead, he gave a one-year window. When the prophesized date came and went, the Millerites rallied together and re-estimated the date of October 22, 1844.
When nothing happened, yet again, some of his followers actually moped around for days, “sick with disappointment,” while townsfolk became enraged and violent toward the Millerites. Miller himself continued to wait for Jesus for five more years before he died, but his prophesy lives on—now known as the Great Disappointment.
- The Planets Align, 1982
|Scary poster from the 70s|
Newsweek magazine first reported on the impending end of life-as-we-know-it in 1974, allowing for a full eight years of preparatory panic. In the meantime, a science editor of Nature magazine and a NASA scientist co-wrote a book called The Jupiter Effect in which it was proposed that Jupiter would exact a force on the Earth similar to the tidal changes brought about by the Moon.
As the planets aligned and the world winced a little bit, many prepared for the worst. The planets then resumed their staggered positions around the Sun, and nothing happened. Again.
- We Can Know, 2011
After a five-month period of turmoil and suffering on Earth, time will end on October 21, 2011. Enjoy the Rapture—it starts tomorrow! Follow @torqtorq