HomeWhat Is The Doomsday Clock? What Happens If It Reaches Midnight?

    What Is The Doomsday Clock? What Happens If It Reaches Midnight?

    Are we nearing our end? Maybe. The scientists say so. With the onset of the Ukraine war and rising political tensions, scientists have been convinced that the human world is coming to an end. Thus, scientists have set the hands of the Doomsday Clock much closer to midnight than ever before. 

    It’s not the fear of aliens or a zombie apocalypse that has provoked scientists to take such a daring decision. But it is just human activities. Scientists based on recent events in the world make the assumption of where the hands of the symbolic clock have to move. Here’s more about the Doomsday clock, how it was set, and what does it mean that we are reaching our end? 

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    Starting The Doomsday Clock

    Doomsday Clock back in 1947
    Doomsday Clock back in 1947

    The Doomsday Clock was created by a group of scientists including Albert Einstein as a part of the Manhattan Project. The project which was to create the first nuclear weapons in World War II. This was in 1947, and the clock has been ticking for 76 years.

    It is a nonprofit organization, named the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that annually updates the time on the clock. Experts and scientists, from nuclear technology to climate sciences sit together to discuss the various events happening around the world to come to the conclusion of where the hand should be. This board has about 11 Nobel Laureates. 

    Initially, the organization was made to measure nuclear threats. And it was in 2007 that climate change started to be a part of the measure. Thus the clock can be considered to be a wake-up call.

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    When The Clock Strikes Twelve

    Doomsday Clock in 2023
    Doomsday Clock in 2023

    The Doomsday clock shows how close the world is to the end. Keeping this in mind, the hands of the clocks are moved either closer or away from midnight. Theoretically, midnight is considered to be the point of annihilation. Or more precisely the moment, we would have made Earth more uninhabitable. Political tensions, pandemic illness, climate change, technology, and warfare are some of the factors that play a part in deciding where the hands of the clock should be. 

    This year, the Doomsday Clock is the closest it has ever been to midnight, at 90 seconds to twelve. The clock was last reset in 2020 when it was just 100 seconds away from midnight. Russia invading Ukraine has led to the fear of nuclear war and has thus been a cause for the movement of the hands. 

    The clock started ticking 75 years ago and was then set at 7 minutes to midnight. The clock had been furthest from midnight in 1991 when the Cold War ended. Then the hands were 17 minutes away from Doomsday. The clock is not completely designed to measure existential threats. But instead, it is used to spark conversations regarding events that need to be taken care of urgently.

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    Naveena Prasad M
    Naveena Prasad M
    An ambivert and a feminist, Naveena is an ambitious girl bustling with ideas. Agatha Christie helped her plot her escape route through reading. Then on, reading and writing became her partners in crime! Chocolates, black tea, and salads are her first love. And she chills with crime thrillers and rom-com.

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