After the world did not end on 21st December 2012, the doomsday theorists have now blown out another rumor on the internet that the world will end in September 2015. The story has started with claims made by a self-claimed prophet named Rodriguez that a huge asteroid is heading towards Earth and will hit somewhere near Puerto Rico destroying most of the American continents. He has foreseen that the scale of destruction would be so large that it might even wipe out the entire human race. He has claimed that there will be large earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes as a result of the collision of this asteroid with Earth which is going to happen on any day from 15-28 September 2015. He claims that he has even urged the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to issue a warning to the world so that people living in the vulnerable regions can be relocated to safety. Many blogs and websites have recently been flooded with this unscientific prediction and hence, NASA has been forced to respond.
NASA claims that all doomsday theories including this one have not been backed up by science and hence, they all are an internet hoax. The Agency has declared that according to their tracking information system, no such large asteroids or comets are in a collision course with Earth and in fact, there is no danger of this sort for several hundred years from now. The spokesperson from the Agency has said that if any asteroid is going to hit Earth in September, the astronomers who are constantly tracking the movements of celestial bodies in the universe would have tracked it long time ago and that it should have been visible to a naked eye by now. So, NASA has confidently dismissed this prediction calling it an unfounded theory.
I am not sure if it has been triggered by this doomsday prediction but a new rumor has been recently getting popular on social media in Bhutan. There have been unfounded claims that His Holiness Je Khenpo has seen in his dreams that there will be a massive earthquake on 25th September 2015 which is foreseen to cause huge destructions to humanity. The claims go on to say that the epicenter will be somewhere between Haa, Paro, Sarpang or Gelephu and that His Holiness has already performed religious rites to save the country from this impending disaster. Once again, as NASA says, these claims have not been backed up by science and we don’t even know whether His Holiness Je Khenpo has seen this in his dreams or if he really performed those religious rites.
However, doomsday predictions like this one are not new in our country and around the globe. There have been several claims in the past including the one in 1996 or 1997 and 2012, but despite all those predictions, we are still alive and healthy. It just looks like some people are never tired of creating baseless rumors and we are never fed up of believing them. Scientists claim that Earth has been like this for the past 4 billion years and even today, it’s still healthy and safe. So, there is absolutely no reason to panic over the belief that world is coming to an end.
Before I conclude, I would like to leave you with this joke about how a piece of information becomes a rumor.
1. Dorji to Sangay: “I heard that our queen has given birth to a prince but it seems he is not so handsome”.
2. Sangay to Karma: “I heard that our queen has given birth to a very dark and ugly prince”.
3. Karma to Namgay: “Did you know that the newborn prince is as black as a crow?”
4. Namgay to Wangchuk: “You know, our queen has given birth to a crow!”
And those who meet Wangchuk will believe that the prince is a crow. This is how a rumor develops and spreads.