Although not from the criminal underworld, death threats are still being sent to scientists in Switzerland ahead of the turning on of a Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The plan is to smash particles together at near light speed, helping to solve some of the universe's mysteries. But chinese whispers created a rumour that this could create a black hole, sucking the world and all existence into it. Next Wednesday, if you're wondering.

Death threats

Frank Wilczek, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has received death threats, said Prof Brian Cox of Manchester University to The Telegraph, saying in as frank a manner as possible: "Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a twat."

The head of PR James Gillies, the public's contact for info on the £4.5 billion machine, apparently is inundated with people fearing for their lives.

"There are a number who say: "You are evil and dangerous and you are going to destroy the world."

"I find myself getting slightly angry, not because people are getting in touch but the fact they have been driven to do that by what is nonsense. What we are doing is enriching humanity, not putting it at risk."

Nature more of a danger

The whole issue has been validated as completely safe, with more dangerous cosmic rays constantly found in nature than could ever be produced by the machine.

The Safety Assessment Group, which has conducted an in-depth study into the potential impact of the machine, writes, "Each collision of a pair of protons in the LHC will release an amount of energy comparable to that of two colliding mosquitoes, so any black hole produced would be much smaller than those known to astrophysicists."

And we've seen mosquitoes colliding. Not a lot happened. Even they didn't seem to notice.