The 15 Greatest End of the World Prophecy FAILs

Don't panic. According to the Mayans, the world was going to end on Friday, December 21, 2012. Whether by a reversal of the Earth's rotational axis, a collision with mysterious Niburu, or by some kind of implosion black hole issue, the Mayan calendar clearly indicates this TGIF would be our last. Except it wasn't. Neither was Harold Camping's prediction, Pat Robertson's, or anyone elses's.

No matter how many times religious "prophets" predict doomsday based on numerology, the Bible or scientists wrongly calculate a comet's effect on the planet (Isaac Newton even wrote his own prediction of the apocalypse that was published after his death), people have kept bracing themselves for the end of the world or committing suicide to spare themselves from witnessing the Apocalypse (which, c'mon, would be pretty awesome to see).

Here are 15 failed apocalyptic prophecies of the past, from the scare of the Y2K Millennium Bug to the purported return of Baby Jesus in 1814.



  • 1

    eBible Fellowship Predicts the World Will Be Destroyed By Fire

    eBible Fellowship Predicts the World Will Be Destroyed By Fire
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    "Online fellowship" group head Chris McCann predicted that the world would be "annihilated by fire" on Wednesday, October 7. What brought him to this eerily specific date? A different failed apocalypse prediction, of course.

    “According to what the Bible is presenting it does appear that 7 October will be the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away,” McCann wrote. “It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated.” McCann was basing the day on the fizzled prediction of Harold Camping, the famous apocalypse predictor who died peacefully at age 93 in 2013.

    McCann believed that Camping's rapture date of May 21, 2011, was actually the day God began to choose who would survive the real rapture. He added 1,600 days to that day, and came up with October 7. While he allowed himself "the unlikely possibility" that he was wrong, he insisted he was likely correct. Fortunately, he wasn't.

  • 2

    The September 23rd Comet/LHC Black Hole/Jade Helm Rapture Fizzles

    The September 23rd Comet/LHC Black Hole/Jade Helm Rapture Fizzles
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    Biblical prophecy watchers, apocalypse predictors, and doomsday preppers were buzzing that September 23, 2015, would lead to confluence of events, both political and scientific, that would herald the destruction of humanity.

     Among the things predicted to happen on or around that day were:

    • Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

    • President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the White House. Of note is that Francis is the 266th Pope,September 23 is the 266th day of the year, and the average length of human gestation is 266 days.

    • The Autumnal Equinox.

    • The First day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha - “the Feast of the Sacrifice.”

    • A range of dates that Comet 67P was going to be extremely close to earth.

    • The September restart of the CERN Large Hadron Collider,to begin a highly dangerous experiment to open a portal to another dimension.

    • The end of the controversial military exercise Jade Helm15 on September 15.

    • The September 25th launch of a new UN initiative, Agenda2030, which signaled the end stage of Agenda 21 implementation.

    • The last of the “Four Blood Moons” heralding the Biblical End Times, on September 28.

    • The end of a Shemitah year in the Jewish Calendar, the last year of the seven year agricultural cycle, that traditionally brings withit great economic tribulation.

    • The culmination of the End Times prophecies of Sir Isaac Newton.

    • A dire warning from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius,who claimed on May 13, 2014 that we have “500 days to avoid climate chaos.” 500days after May 13, 2014 was September 24, 2015.

    Fortunately, other than the previously scheduled religious holidays, literally none of this happened - or at least had any meaning. September passed without a comet strike (indeed, Comet 67P was heading away from Earth at the time), black hole opening, climate chaos, or blood moon rapture. Yay!

  • 3

    Harold Camping Thought the World Would End In 2011 (Just Like He Did in 1994 and on May 21 of 2011)

    Harold Camping Thought the World Would End In 2011 (Just Like He Did in 1994 and on May 21 of 2011)
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    Because this is just something people should know about (it's pretty funny, and a little sad), here's what's going on with this weekend's Rapture.

    And in everyone on this list's defense, it makes sense that everyone thinks they're in the "end times" because life, in general, for people in pretty much any era in human history, almost always seems like it can't get any worse.

    California-based Family Radio host Harold Camping is back with another prediction! Unlike most radio talk show hosts, he doesn't just predict game scores or celebrity hookups, no, Mr. Harold Camping predicts apocalypses (apocali?).

    It's fair to say most people deserve a second chance, but considering that the 89-year-old has been wrong about the world ending before, it's shocking that people still believe him this time.

    In his book 1994, Camping applied numerology to the Bible (every douchebag that read the Da Vinci Code is nodding knowingly to the mention of numerology) and predicted that Christ would return between September 15 and 17 of 1994. When nothing happened Camping said he'd made a mistake in his calculations. He apparently hadn't considered the Book of Jeremiah.

    After recalculating, he decided the world is actually going to end on May 21 (Saturday) of this year. And some people BELIEVE him. No really, look! His followers are dropping out of med school, leaving their wives and children, and spending all their savings to spread the world about The Rapture. He and his followers are spending over $3 Million raising awareness. $3 Million (American). Good luck this year, orphans!

    Here's his reasoning:
    1. According to Camping, judgment day should occur 7,000 years after the Flood. Biblical scholars claim the Flood took place May 21 of 4,990 B.C. God told Noah to warn the people 7 days before the flood and using a Bible passage 2 Peter 3:8, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day," Camping treats each of the days as a thousand years.

    2. The second piece of "evidence" is based off of the notion that the world began in 11,013 B.C. and after its 13,000th anniversary on May 21st, 1988, the "church age" was over and Satan took control of them (Camping and his followers do not believe in organized religion).

    3. Numerology, once again, comes into the picture -- Christ was killed on April 1 33 A.D., that is 722,500 days from May 21, 2011. 722,500 is the product of this equation: (5 x 10 x 7)^2. These numbers apparently mean something special. Five is atonement, ten completeness and 17 heaven.

    What if the numbers in the equation had been cubed instead of squared, though?

    If you're having a hard time following the logic of this argument don't worry about it because the chances of you being one of the 3% that God is taking with him to Heaven on the day of Rapture are very slim anyway. Unless you live on a farm and are the type of person who doesn't wear open toed shoes because they're the devil's handtools, then you're most likely going to die with the rest of us people-who-get-laid-and-have-fun.

    We'll be left here until October 21 to suffer the most horrendous tortures you can think of (God will most likely waterboard the planet) -- think earthquakes and the destruction of Earth and yes, even the entire universe, because sometimes you've just gotta start fresh.

    When asked if past failed apocalyptic predictions (*cough* 1994 *cough*) place any doubts in the minds of the believers, Chris McCann, a member of eBibleFellowship, a group who is spreading the word about May 21st, said, "It would be like telling the Wright Brothers that every other attempt to fly has failed, so you shouldn't even try."

    Yes Chris McCann, it is just as hopeful as that.
  • 4

    Televangelist Pat Robertson Says God Told Him World Would End in 1982

    Televangelist Pat Robertson Says God Told Him World Would End in 1982
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    Televangelist, ex-Baptist minister and failed Republican candidate for the 1988 presidential election, Pat Robertson always has a prediction to make and commentary of the utmost insensitivity on any disaster that occurs (Check out The 10 Craziest Things Pat Robertson Has Ever Said)

    In 1980 he said on The 700 Club (a program named after the approximate age and/or weight of anyone who watches it) "I guarantee by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on this world."

    He believed that as of 1980, the Anti-Christ was about 27 years old and that Armageddon would start in 1982 followed by 7 "nightmare years" of intense suffering. Which is awesome. I mean, the Biblical apocalypse is pretty epic.

    The "nightmare years" according to the book of revelations include 4 horsemen, Satan coming back to Earth, zombies, a dragon (yes, a dragon) and some other stuff that would actually be pretty damn awesome to see in real life before dying a terrible, terrible death at the hands of some creature that would look like a main character from Hellraiser. Or maybe we'd just get the traditional Satan, who knows? Either way, it would be exciting.

    The classic Christian Rapture/Apocalpyse/Armageddon is by far the most Metal of them all. Imagine not being run over by a car, dying of old age or succumbing to a terminal illness, but instead meeting the edge of this guy's sword:


    Robertson, of course, had no reasoning behind this other than he felt the Lord told him it was going to happen and was 100% wrong. He said "times will be terribly hard, but we will survive." Maybe he was just talking about Olivia Newton John's "Physical" being the #1 hit in America in 1982, and hey, in that respect, he was right.

    In 2006 he predicted a tsunami would hit America.

    In 2008 God told him it would be a year of worldwide violence (pretty general there) and a recession would hit America before the stock market crashed in 2010 (it had hit by 2007).

    Robertson has called Hinduism "demonic" and Islam "Satanic" and has denounced homosexuality, abortion, feminists, and pagans, holding them responsible for 9/11. After Hurricane Katrina hit, Robertson said it was God's punishment for America's abortion policy. When the 2010 Haiti earthquake hit, Robertson said the Haitians had formed a pact with the Devil to liberate themselves from the French and the earthquake was a product of their curse.