10 ways the world is probably going to end
What you are about to read has been written by Mr Biffo, the creative force behind the 90s Teletext videogames magazine Digitiser. He now runs the show at digitiser2000.com.
Fallout 4 gives us one way the world could end – in a nuclear conflict, one that turns the world into a radioactive wasteland populated by giant insects, and reptilian mutants.
But given that the Cold War is now but a distant memory, how likely is it to go down that way? Here are 10 alternative ways that the world is probably going to end.
1. SPACE JUNK
Space is now so full of rubbish that has been flushed out of Space Shuttles and the International Space Station that it's getting heavier and heavier. Imagine a garbage bag that's already full of garbage, which you keep stuffing more garbage into. What's going to happen? That's right: it will implode beneath its own weight, causing a miniature black hole that will suck most of your kitchen into it. Now imagine that, but in space, or something.
2. WORLD WAR IV
Everyone has been expecting a third world war since the end of the last one, so much so that we've all become rather blasé about the possibility of another global confrontation. Last year, the United Nations held a crisis meeting about how best to keep the idea of Total War alive in the imaginations of the world's populace, and agreed that the best way forward would be to shelve World War III entirely. In the event of another war between super powers, we're going to skip over WW3, and go straight to World War IV, which will be fought entirely by robotic dogs.
3. ELEPHANT FLU
Bird flu, swine flu, and mad cow disease failed to wipe us out, but scientists are already predicting an even greater threat to our global health: elephant flu. As bad as flu can be in birds and pigs, can you imagine an elephant with flu? Just imagine how massive their sneezes would be. Nobody needs to be on the receiving end of that, and it would lead to a world hanky shortage.
4. OVER POPULATION
There are, like, loads of people in the world right now, and more of them being born every day or so. Eventually, the thin crust of our planet will be unable to support them all, and everyone will go crashing through the earth's core, and shoot out the other side into space, like terrible people bullets. Alien races would view this as a declaration of war, and move to destroy what remained of our punctured planet.
5. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRASHES
The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. In fact, the rich are becoming so rich that the world is running out of banks to store all their money. Plans are already being drafted for poor people to apply to store rich people's money in their cars, like mobile banks. Can you imagine a world where paupers are driving around, their vision obscured by piles of thousand-dollar bills, and stacks of gold bricks? They wouldn't be able to see where they were going, leading to a catastrophic rise in road traffic accidents.
6. BIGGER FRIDGE-FREEZER
Our fridges are becoming bigger, as the world is gripped with the idea of buying American-style fridge-freezers. Soon, three, four and even six-door fridge-freezers will become commonplace, requiring people to buy a second home just to accommodate them. As they get bigger however, the risk of losing stuff behind them becomes ever greater – not just scissors, fridge magnets, and combs, but even family members. Eventually, whole cities could become lost down the back of the American-style fridge-freezers, leading to the collapse of civilisation itself.
7. RISE OF THE DOLPHINS
They might look benign, with their squishy faces and dumb smiles, but dolphins are smarter than they appear. If we can evolve from monkeys – who are mostly idiots – it's only a matter of time before Dolphins learn to walk, and take arms against us. Their fearsome intellect will result in new forms of warfare and weaponry, most of which are derived from the starting point of being able to balance a ball on their noses.
8. NETFLIX AND KILL
Pop culture commentators believe we are reaching a tipping point, where there is going to be so much competing for our time and attention – multiple on-demand TV providers, massive video game open-worlds, Instagram, and Twitter, and toy drones – that our brains will begin to shut down.
Soon we could become so overwhelmed by choice that – rather than spending a Saturday evening unable to decide what to watch on Netflix – we'll just stare vacantly, as our brains leak out of our ears like so much grey mulch.
9. MASS EMMIGRATION
With water having recently been discovered on Mars, the Red Planet is on track to become the number one beach holiday destination in the Solar System. With very few crowds, and miles upon miles of sand, why would anybody ever want to come home?
Travel agents are predicting that Martian vacations will become Martian staycations, once tourists get a taste of what the destination has to offer. With millions of travellers calling in sick instead of coming home from their holiday, it could result in a dangerously de-populated earth.
10. DONALD TRUMP