ByMark Newton, writer at Creators.co
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: mark@moviepilot.com
Mark Newton

Ah, the internet, it's given us so much. From videos of sneezing pandas to instant communication across the world, the internet is truly a wonder of the modern world. But, although the internet is essentially a repository of all the collective knowledge (and cat videos) of mankind, it can be used just as regularly to spread hoaxes, hogwash and pure BS.

The Claim

Take, for example, a recent 'scientific event' which has probably been shared by your more moronic 'friends' on Facebook. Apparently, according to NASA, the Earth is heading for a global blackout in December which will see the planet venturing through various dimensions. To make matters even worse, it's expected to happen over Christmas. However, this isn't the first time this hoax has surfaced. Back in 2012 - when everyone was getting excited about the end of the Mayan calender - emails and social media posts circulated claiming an almost identical event would happen in December. Let's take a look at a typical post:

US scientists predict Universe change, total blackout of planet for 3 days from Dec 23 2012.
It is not the end of the world, it is an alignment of the Universe, where the Sun and the earth will align for the first time. The earth will shift from the current third dimension to zero dimension, then shift to the forth dimension. During this transition, the entire Universe will face a big change, and we will see a entire brand new world...
The 3 days blackout is predicted to happen on Dec 23, 24, 25….during this time, staying calm is most important, hug each other, pray pray pray, sleep for 3 nights…and those who survive will face a brand new world….for those not prepared, many will die because of fear. Be happy, enjoy every moment now. Don’t worry, pray to God everyday. There is a lot of talk about what will happen in 2012, but many people don’t believe it, and don’t want to talk about it for fear of creating fear and panic.

The Reality

Right. I'm not really sure where to start with this. Even if we completely discount the idea of the Earth travelling to the 'zero dimension,' this post is still full of pure weapon-grade ridiculousness. Firstly, the concept that the 'Sun and the earth will align for the first time' makes literally no sense, since the Sun and the Earth are technically aligned all the time, as the Earth revolves around it. Alignment generally requires 3 or more celestial bodies - e.g. the Sun, Earth, and Moon.

Furthermore, the idea that NASA's only advice to counter this extreme circumstance is to 'pray,' also doesn't exactly sound like something a scientific organization would suggest either.

Clearly, anyone with two brain cells to rub together can figure out this event has no basis in scientific fact; however the buzz surrounding it reached such a fever pitch in 2012, that NASA was forced to release a statement debunking the hoax. Things weren't helped when a video made by NASA was pounced upon by hoaxers to justify their claims. The video featured NASA administrator Charles Bolden discussing emergency preparedness in the event of a major natural disaster. It had nothing to do with planetary alignment, blackouts or the end of the world.

So, if you see posts claiming there's going to be a global blackout this December. Don't worry. There definitely isn't going to be. Your Christmas is probably going to be the same as every year - initial excitement, too much food, and then the entire family falling asleep while watching Ratatouille.

Poll

Did you believe the world was going to end in 2012?

Source: IFLScience

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