The end of the world is upon us! Or is it? While many believe that the world is going to come to an apocalyptic end on Friday, Dec. 21 — because that's what the Mayan calendar has predicted — it's just not going to happen. Though, it is possible that the world may end some other day. Scott Hunt, an expert consultant for National Geographic Channel’s hit series Doomsday Preppers, and a prepper himself for 15 years, is planning for the worst... but he's pretty sure that won't happen on Friday.
"People shouldn't be fearful of Friday," Hunt tells Hollywood.com. "Everything about Friday, it's a day. It's a one-time, everything's done. I don't believe that." And his reasoning has a lot to do with the Mayan calendar. "The calendars have been changed several times, so the Mayan calendar doesn't coincide with our calendar," he says. "Dec. 21 has not been correlated to the Mayan calendar."
But what about all the speculation surrounding how the Earth is supposed to end on Friday? While Hunt says nothing is going to happen Friday, he does believe that there is a likelihood of a catastrophic event hitting the planet. So, Hunt breaks down the five most common theories and ranks them on a scale from one to 10 (one being the most unlikely to happen, and 10 being the most likely to occur).
Hunt's breakdown of Doomsday theories:
Definition: Galactic Alignment happens when the December Solstice sun lines up with the Galactic equator.
What this would do: This theory supports the idea that when galactic alignment occurs, it creates gravitation effect between the sun and Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in our galaxy. This would result in worldwide destruction.
Reality Ranking: 1. Hunt calls this "the most unlikely scenario." According to Starry Night Education, the galactic alignment actually took place in 1998. Plus, the sun's path does not cross the galactic center. Also, the supermassive black hole would have to move six million times closer to Earth to cause any sort of disruption, according to the U-T San Diego. But if it were ever to happen, you better just give up. "There's some things you can't prep for, and that would be one of them," Hunt says.
Definition: The period of the greatest solar activity during an 11-year cycle. During this event, mass amounts of sunspots show up and the sun basically shines a lot more brightly.
What this would do: A solar maximum can cause climate changes and weather changes.
Reality Ranking: 2. "There is a possibility of the world having to deal with a solar maxim," Hunt says. "If we get a direct hit from a solar event, the world could be affected greatly. [But] the sun is a sphere, and it's radiating off of a sphere, so what are the odds of getting hit directly? Statistically, the odds go way down." NASA recently projected that the next maximum will take place in the fall of 2013, and will have the least amount of sunspots since 1906.
Definition: A change in Earth's magnetic fields where the north and south fields reverse positions.
What this would do: If it were caused by a solar flare, it could release the amount of energy found in 100 atomic bombs.
Reality Ranking: 1. A geomagnetic reversal takes about 1,000 to 10,000 years to complete, according to Universe Today. Again, "a pole reversal — no one can survive that," Hunt says. "There's no way you can prep for these. [This theory is] just outlandish."
Planet-Sized Foreign Object Striking the Earth (Earth Colliding with Planet Niburi)
Definition: A collision between Earth and a planetary-sized object.
What this would do: Self explanatory. Mankind meets the dinosaurs.
Reality Ranking: 8. You would know this event was coming because an object this big would be visible in the sky. "We could be struck by a near-Earth object," Hunt says. "Based on the Bible, there is a mountain or asteroid (whatever it's described as) hitting the Earth." But even if this were to happen, it's not the end of mankind. "There will be people who survive it," Hunt says.
Definition: A disruption in solar activity during a solar activity cycle.
What this would do: Interrupt satellite communications.
Reality Ranking: 3. "We have high solar activity every 11 years," Hunt says. Mankind could survive this. "We see disruptions in communication and air traffic," Hunt says. "It would take out the grid and take out electricity." Hello Revolution! We should all start taking notes from Billy Burke on how to survive an event like this.
And when it comes to Friday, we are all safe. Repeat. WE ARE ALL SAFE! "I don't believe any of the scenarios will happen on Friday," Hunt says.
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: National Geographic Channel]