A rumor that the world will be plunged into darkness this November — and that NASA has signed off on it — has once again reared its ugly head. The truth is, not only is this urban legend seriously false, it’s also pretty old and uncreative.
Snopes traced the idea all the way back to 2012, when the Mayan calendar allegedly predicted the apocalypse. The hoax has since become immortal, constantly being tweaked to fit different years. In 2015, for example, “news” outlet Newswatch33 — which sounds like a defunct AIM screen name — published an article entitled “NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 15 Days of Complete Darkness in November 2015.” It was just a revamped version of the same rumor from 2012.
Since Newswatch33’s website appears to have shut down, Snopes saved a bit of the post:
“NASA has confirmed that the Earth will experience 15 days of total darkness between November 15 and November 29, 2015. The event, according to NASA, hasn’t occurred in over 1 Million years.
Astronomers from NASA have indicated that the world will remain in complete darkness starting on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 3 a.m. and will end on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. According to officials, the “November Black Out” event will be caused by another astronomical event between Venus and Jupiter.
Charles Bolden, who was appointed to head of NASA by President Obama, issued a 1000 page document explaining the event to the White House.
While Charles Bolden did serve as NASA administrator under Obama, the rest of the story is complete nonsense. There’s no “November Black Out,” nor is there a “1,000 page document,” and even if there was, I can guarantee you Newswatch33 would not be the outlet to deliver the scoop.
There are a lot of things to be worried about in the world right now, but the “November Black Out” is not one of them. Everyone please stop spreading this rumor, and feel free to yell at the people who are.