APOCALYPSE and Doomsday predictions began in 1999 and have continued into 2022.
Some conspiracy theorists use ancient texts like the Mayan Calendar or predictions made by the 16th-century French astrologer Nostradamus to support their wild theories.
What are the doomsday conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy theorists believed the world would come to an end on September 24, 2022, which started from comments by German politician Friedrich Merz.
Merz said in a TikTok video: “Dear Colleagues…September 24, 2022, will be remembered by all of us as a day which we will say, 'I remember exactly where I was…'”
The video that surfaced was later revealed to have been doctored with Merz correcting himself, saying he meant February 24 when the Ukraine War began.
Despite the clarification, the idea of the world's end had already taken off on social media.
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Conspiracy theorists believed September 24 referenced an episode from season nine, episode 24 of The Simpsons in which the world comes to an end.
This is not the first time doomsday, or the end of the world, has been predicted with the last occurring in 2012, and the one prior taking place in 1999 as the new millennium approached.
The alleged doomsday in 2012 was predicted as a result of the Mayan Calendar which ended on December 12, 2012.
Many believed the end of the Mayan Calendar meant that would be the date when the world ended.
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At the time, NASA wrote on its site: “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."
The site was updated in 2017 and Dr John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy said the Mayan connection "was a misconception from the very beginning."
He continued: "The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date."
A computerized bug in 1999 led many to believe the world would end on December 31, 2000.
When computers were first created and the technological dates were being written into the systems in the 1970s and 1980s, engineers set the dates to the last two digits to save storage space.
As the year 2000 approached, they realized that by omitting the first two digits of the year, leaving only 00, the computer would interpret it as the year 1900.
This created widespread anxiety and corporate executives and government leaders believed the computer systems would crash on New Year's Eve which would crumble civilization.
Vanity Fair in January 1999 laid out the prospect: “It is an instant past midnight, January 1, 2000… The power in some cities isn’t working… Bank vaults and prison gates have swung open… Hospitals have shut down… so many countries degenerating into riots and revolution…
"No one will know the extent of its consequences until after they occur. The one sure thing is that the wondrous machines that govern and ease our lives won’t know what to do.”
Because the year marked the second millennium since the birth of Christ, many believed the Book of Revelation suggested a millennium marked the beginning of the end.
Rev Jerry Falwell told The Washington Post at the time: “Y2K is God’s instrument to shake this nation, to humble this nation,” to “start a revival that spreads [over] the face of the earth before the Rapture of the Church.”
Falwell added: "[God] may be preparing to confound our language, to jam our communications, scatter our efforts, and judge us for our sin and rebellion for going against his lordship."
Books titled Y2K=666? and Spiritual Survival During the Y2K Crisis became increasingly popular at the time and a company in Massachusetts marketed a Y2K Survival Kit for $89.
However, Bill Gates, the then-chairman of Microsoft, said he expected a period “where people are distracted getting their things ready.
"But . . . in terms of the problems that will occur, it will be below the middle of the panic that some people have suggested.”
What did Nostradamus predict about the apocalypse?
It is believed that Nostradamus predicted the future with his book Les Propheties written in 1555.
His poetic text predicts devastation caused by asteroids, global warming, and even a technology takeover.
These things haven't caused Doomsday yet so they are often used by conspiracy theorists as proof of upcoming doom.
"The Moon in the full night over the high mountain
The new sage with a lone brain sees it.
By his disciples invited to be immortal,
Eyes to the south,
Hands in bosoms, bodies in the fire."
Some people think this reference to immortal beings could refer to robots that we build ourselves.
With Elon Musk's Tesla Bots set to launch this year, some people are making the parallels between this Doomsday prediction and the AI humanoid bots.
One conspiracy theorist recently shared a link to a Tesla Bot article and tweeted: "Looks like some of the Nostradamus predictions might come true."
How does the Mayan Calendar affect doomsday conspiracy theories?
When it comes to Doomsday conspiracy theories, the Mayan Calendar played a vital role.
Around December 21 each year there seems to be a mention of the end of the world due to the Mayan Calendar ending on that date.
After claims the world would end on December 21, 2012 – when the Mayan calendar ran out – came to nothing, conspiracy theorists said the date was miscalculated.
The year 2020 was filled with claims that the Mayans actually believed the world would end on December 21, eight years later.
When that didn't happen there was a suggestion that the Mayans may have made an error when noting down the end of the world.
What Nostradamus predictions have come true?
The following five predictions from Nostradamus have come true:
The great London fire of 1666
"The blood of the just will be lacking in London,
Burnt up in the fire of '66.
The ancient Lady will topple from her high place,
Many of the same sect will be killed."
A fire in Thomas Farriner's bakery in London sparked a three-day blaze that devoured the city on September 2, 1666.
Historians have speculated that Nostradamus' reference to the "blood of the just" referred to the death of millions of rats carrying the plague which died out shortly after the fire.
The French Revolution
"Songs, chants, and demands will come from the enslaved
Held captive by the nobility in their prisons
At a later date, brainless idiots
Will take these as divine utterances."
The French Revolution took over the Bastille, a fortress in Paris that was used as a prison.
Marking the height of the French Revolution, peasants rose against the Bastille in 1789, capturing royals and in some cases, having them beheaded.
"From the depths of the West of Europe,
A young child will be born of poor people,
He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop;
His fame will increase towards the realm of the East."
"Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,
The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.
Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn,
When the child of Germany observes nothing."
Nostradamus often used anagrams in his predictions, with one primary example being that of Hister.
Adolf Hitler rose to power in Western Europe in 1889, when he mobilized the Nazi party.
Hister is an old name for the Danube River which Hitler was born only a few miles away.
The Atomic bomb
"The heavenly dart with stretch its course
Death in the speaking: a great achievement
The proud nation brought low by the stone in the tree
Rumors of a monstrous human, bring purge, then expiation."
The US dropped two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August 1945 as they strove to end World War II.
Those who escaped the bombs suffered severe radiation poisoning from the acrid rain that poured down around them.
Nostradamus' prediction of the "stone in the tree" could refer to the plume of poisonous clouds that covered the cities or a land-bound object such as a bomb or tomb.
"The sky will burn at forty-five degrees.
Fire approaches the great new city.
By fire, he will destroy their city,
A cold and cruel heart, blood will pour.
Mercy to none."
Planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001, creating a fire in "the great new city."
Historians believe the 45-degree reference is to the city's proximity to the 45th latitude or the trajectory toward the ground as the buildings fell.
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