If the Mayans are to be believed (and why shouldn’t we believe the 1000-year-old prediction of a civilization that never got around to inventing the toilet paper), the doomsday clock is ticking close to the end of times right now, but so far, there are no obvious indications as to what may herald our demise: No nuclear threats, no giant meteors rushing to the atmosphere, no dramatic worldwide weather changes. As far as everybody is concerned, things are business as usual.
Since this is a planet with seven billion people and about 6 septillion Kg of total mass, it’s hard to imagine what could completely destroy it in the few hours we have left until midnight. Well, I’ve cracked my skull over it and come up with five possible natural ways it could happen:
1) Everybody dies at the same time.
This is the most plausible one I could come up with. By far. According to that theory, right when the clock strikes twelve, every single person on Earth will die in completely unrelated accidents.
This theory is very flawed, though. Mainly because midnight has already come and gone to everywhere east of Moscow, and it’s unlikely that no news organization would pick up on the simultaneous death of half the world's population.
2) The Domino effect.
This is a variation of the previous hypothesis which asserts that everyone will accidentally die but the deaths will be related. Like, maybe a dude drops a lit cigarette butt on the rainforest, and that sparks a worldwide, all-encompassing fire.
Or maybe it happens through more convoluted means: Someone chokes on a meatball sub, and then someone tries to perform the Heimlich maneuver on them but gets headbutted during the victim’s involuntary spasms, who at the same time spits a chunk of meatball at supersonic velocity into the frycook’s brain, making him spill boiling oil on another guy who is holding an active landmine, etc.
3) Secret monkey revolt.
Unbeknownst to us, all the world’s monkeys have been plotting our demise for thousands of years, and Friday 21st is go-time. The takeover would be brutal and tragic, yet intriguingly hilarious.
4) Worldwide jiggle.
Seismic events are pretty much impossible to predict, so I venture a guess that it would be entirely conceivable that, all of a sudden, the whole of planet Earth could be subject to a gargantuan jiggle - or maybe a wiggle - of such proportions as to launch the entirety of the world’s population flying out to the vacuum of space, where, in accordance to the rules of Hollywood physics, we would all burst in a puff of bloody smoke.
5) The world explodes for no reason.
That one’s pretty self-explanatory.