Don’t tell your crush how you feel, don’t worry about calling your parents, and please don’t spend your life savings because you “can’t take it with you” — the world isn’t ending today, despite numerologist David Meade’s former prediction to the contrary.
In an interview with British outlet Daily Express that was picked up by Fox News on April 11, Meade claimed that the heretofore unseen planet “Niburu” would appear in the sky, portending utter catastrophe for life on Earth. Turns out this isn’t Meade’s first grim prognostication; he previously said that Nibiru would approach earth in September, October, and November of 2017, and fear of the fictitious planet goes back more than a decade.
While doomsday predictions always have a sheen of grandeur, the Nibiru theory is about as banal as it gets when it comes to predicting the potential demise of a planet. Like many other apocalyptic auguries, the Nibiru claims are rooted in religious dogma: in this case, the Christian myth of the Rapture. Meade has asserted, per Revelations in the New Testament, that there is a coming Judgement Day when Jesus will descend to Earth and separate his followers from the heretics. The former will be whisked off to the kingdom of heaven, and the rest to left perish in a sea of hellfire swimming with demons.
It’s easy to see why one would want to prepare for the Rapture. To this end, numerologists like Meade have constructed an elaborate scaffolding — a pseudoscience — to pinpoint the coming date. Numerologists claim to find clues in sacred texts like the Bible and old artifacts like the Mayan calendar before then trying to connect the dots between these clues and patterns in the natural world. Thus far, the Universe is pitching a shutout against doomsday predictors, but bless their hearts they keep on keepin’ on.
For the April 23 prediction, Meade cites a passage in Rapture that supposedly spells out signs that Rapture is near. According to Meade, one of these omens is that the sun, the moon, and Mars will all be in Virgo. Lo and behold, this particular alignment is happening on April 23, and bada-bing, bada-boom, you have yourself a doomsday prediction.
If Meade is right, Nibiru will appear in the sky on April 23, triggering massive volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes and turning the planet into the living embodiment of a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movie.
Given the fact that, well, you’re reading this article and not buried in lava, it’s likely that the April 23 prediction won’t come to fruition. For many, many reasons, this shouldn’t be surprising, not least of which is that NASA has been debunking Nibiru theories for years.
In a video posted to YouTube in 2011, clearly exasperated NASA scientist David Morrison explain that Nibiru is nothing to worry about. In the tone of voice of a guy who can’t believe he needs to say this again, Morrison explains that there is evidence that Nibiru doesn’t exist, assuaging fears that the world was going to end back in December 2012 (that one didn’t come true either).
Perhaps considering his track record, Meade himself has since changed his tune about our impending doom. Now, he is calling reports that he said the world will end on April 23 (which originated from British outlet Daily Express) fake news. He’s also since claimed that while the rapture will happen sometime soon, he isn’t sure if the end of the world will come with it.
People love trafficking in doomsday theories, and the internet has multiplied that natural inclination. In times like these, it’s worth remembering the words of frustrated scientist David Morrison: “Please, get over it, Nibiru isn’t real.”