Apocalypse predictions have been floated since the beginning of recorded history. Since the year 2000, however, it seems that each year has brought more and more theories about when the world will end. Between books and movies and TV shows, there's a lot of money in ruminating about the end of the world.
As 2012 and the Mayan calendar wind down to their final days, we offer you a few of our favorite pieces of end-of-the-world trivia. Whether you think the world will end with a bang, a whimper, or a ravenous horde of zombies, take a peek -- and test your apocalyptic bona fides!
A. Jeane Dixon
B. Pat Robertson
C. Louis Farrakhan
D. Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Apocalypse predictions are popular -- and big business. Reagan astrologer Jeane Dixon repeatedly foretold the end of days, as did preachers Pat Robertson and Louis Farrakhan. On the other hand, noted astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, has debunked the Mayan apocalypse theory using a Twitter feed that he has titled "Things you might say if you flunked Astro 101."
Although not the most traditional end-of-the-world flick, Independence Day offered the exciting spectacle of genocidal aliens attacking humanity. Along the way, it tapped into the apocalyptic zeitgeist of the late 1990's to generate a stunning payday: the movie has made an estimated $817 million to date.
A. Zombie Plague!
B. Alien Invasion!
C. Nuclear War!
D. Collision With an Asteroid!
While some truly bizarre theories for the end of the world have been floated, a plague of zombies has generally seemed a bit too unrealistic. Then again, in September 2012, the Department of Homeland Security did offer a guide for surviving zombie attacks.
A. Pat Robertson
B. Harold Camping
C. Jeane Dixon
D. Edgar G. Whisenant
All four predicted the end of days on multiple occasions, but Harold Camping takes the cake, having told the public that the world will end on five separate dates. Perhaps the best route was Jeane Dixon's: After the world survived her predicted final day of February 2, 1962, she chose an alternate date far in the future. She died in 1997, ensuring that, even if the world survives her predicted 2020 demise, she won't be around for the mockery that will inevitably follow.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
FoodInsurance, which has been endorsed by both Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, charges a shade under $10,000 for 1,264 breakfasts and 2,528 lunches and dinners, enough to feed a family of five for one year. To sweeten the deal, they offer free delivery and -- if you order now -- an extensive first-aid kid, an extra supply of dried food, and an impressive selection of drink mixes.
A. He was blown up.
B. He was left entirely alone.
C. He starved to death.
D. He broke his glasses.
Answer: D. The nearsighted Bemis, played by Burgess Meredith, welcomed the end of the world, as it would finally give him enough time to catch up on his reading. Unfortunately, his plans were ruined when he stumbled and shattered his glasses. Word to the wise: When the world is ending, pack an extra pair of specs.
Unlike the other three, all of whom predicted (and, in the case of Moon and LaHaye, later recanted) that the world would end in 2000, Marshall Applewhite tied the end of the world to the arrival of the Hale-Bopp comet in 1997.
Photo: Wikemedia Commons