Some physicists predict that the world will end in 5 billion years, according to eternal inflation theory. Coincidentally, this is also the time at which other physicists predict that the sun will explode. Predictions about the end of the world vary widely, however, even among physicists. Other possible end dates include 7.5 billion years in the future; 2060, according to Isaac Newton; and 2012, according to Nostradamus.
Other end-of-the-world predictions:
- One of the most widespread fears about the end of the world was the Y2K hype. Many people predicted that when the year 2000 arrived, the world would descend into chaos or end altogether. When Y2K actually came, almost none of the predicted crises — or even the expected computer glitches — occurred.
- Some of the more unusual theories on how the world will end include an end by alien invasion, mass insanity caused by prescription drugs and a rogue black hole.
- One of the first recorded end-of-time predictions occurred more than 4,000 years ago, it is estimated. An Assyrian clay tablet that was dated to about 2800 BC was found inscribed with these words: "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end."