The real end of the world

Once again, Earth has not been destroyed in a fiery apocalypse. But, someday, our luck will run out. Be prepared! At The Guardian, Ian Sample and Alok Jha helpfully explain how our universe will one day (finally) be destroyed. The good news: By the time that happens, you'll already be dead. [Watch Ian Sample demonstrate different scenarios for the destruction of Earth] [Watch Alok Jha describe the ultimate fate of the universe]


  1. There’s a bit from one of the many recent cosmology tv shows that I’ve been trying to place… perhaps someone recalls it. It’s another longer discussion of the steps to the eventual heat death of the universe, with a set of stone stairs as the time metaphor, each step a vastly larger span of time than that before.

    The presenter/physicist (it may even be the same, Alok Jha but it’s a longer clip) goes through same “black hole age” until Hawking radiation evaporates even those, but much more detailed. It’s very poetic, and describes truly mind-blowing time scales, even in the context of normal cosmology.

    Then again, there’s always the “Big Rip.”

  2. C’mon, you’re a scientist… don’t you mean “by the time that happens, it’s statistically probable that you’ll be dead”  ?   :-)

  3. I only got 5 seconds into the video.  It shows the moon lit from in front and slightly to the right.  The Earth, in the foreground, is lit from behind and slightly to the left.  I could watch no further.  Sorry.

  4. The spookiest timeline of the far future I’ve seen, is easily this beauty on Wikipedia, because it also considers the possibility that the proton does NOT decay, so that the time scales become truly insane.  Then it goes BEYOND that into the realm of hypotheticals, such as Boltzmann Brains and Poincaré Recurrences.

    The table is peppered with phrases such as this gem: On this timescale all matter is liquid. Wow.

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