They say it won’t happen, at least not on Friday, but in the event the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world is right, scientists have foretold a raft of bloody and catastrophic fates for us all.
Dark comets, famine, super-volcanoes, catastrophic climate change, and a plague of cancers are just some of the ends that could fulfill the prophecy.
Astrophysicist Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered pulsars, believes the most likely disaster that could pencil Doomsday into Friday’s diary is a black comet.
A dark comet slamming into the earth could be as destructive as the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs
Such an end would match that of the dinosaurs who after walking the planet for about 165 million years – homo sapiens has been around for a mere 200,000 years – were killed off by a 10km asteroid or comet that slammed into the planet.
Professor Bell Burnell believes if the world as we know it is to end on December 21 it would have to be a dark comet that strikes.
Dark comets have little of the ice and snow that most comets have, and a lot more dust which makes it much more difficult to spot them as they speed through Space.
‘Comets normally are big, dusty snowballs. A dark comet has not much snow and a lot of dust. They are much harder to get a handle on,’ she said.