Washington, November 9 (ANI): Scientists have listed ten failed doomsday prophecies, which undermines the seriousness of the 2012 end of the world prediction by the ancient Mayans.
According to National geographic News, the first failed domsday prophecy was when some ancient Romans saw the A.D. 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius as a sign of a coming apocalypse, which never came.
Then, there is the case of many Christian Europeans entering the year 1666 with trepidation, as the Bible describes 666 as the ominous Number of the Beast.
A prolonged plague that had wiped out much of London's populace in 1665 didn't help assuage fears, and when the Great Fire of London occurred, many believed their time had come.
The appearance of Halley's comet in 1910 stirred apocalyptic hysteria among Europeans and Americans, many of whom believed that the comet's tail contained a gas "that would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet," according to French astronomer Camille Flammarion, as quoted in the book Apocalypses.
Since its founding in the 1870s, the Jehovah's Witnesses, a Christian offshoot, had prophesied that the world would end in 1914.
Though nothing of the sort happened in 1914, ever since then, the religion's followers have been predicting that the world will end "shortly."
Author Richard Noone predicted that on May 5, 2000, the planets would perfectly align and end life as we know it by sending melting ice barreling toward Earth's Equator.
Television evangelist Pat Robertson preached that sometime in the 1980s, Jesus would return to Earth, after the biblical doomsday event known as the Rapture.
Doom and gloom can also spark scientific innovation, as occurred in 1774 in Friesland, Germany. A vicar hoping to boost his congregation circulated a "little book of doom" that said the solar system would be demolished during an upcoming conjunction.
The extremely bright comet Hale-Bopp, discovered in 1995, last buzzed Earth in March 1997, when out of frenzy, thirty-nine people, part of a religious group called Heaven's Gate, committed suicide, believing that a UFO riding the comet's wake would rescue them from a doomed Earth.
Then, there was the case of the Y2K bug at the end of the 20th century. It was predicted that a bug caused by a calculation error would cripple computers and other machines and lead to mass chaos, none of which actually happened.
When the Large Hadron Collider fired up in September 2009, some critics speculated that the world's biggest atom smasher could spawn a black hole that would devour Earth, which was proven to be incorrect when the machine was actually started. (ANI)