Top 5 Scariest Things About The End Of The World

Crab Nebula (NASA, Sailing With NASA, 10/24/09)

And you thought you needed a getaway.

Crab Nebula (NASA, Sailing With NASA, 10/24/09) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

Sure, a meteor could leave us vaporized.

Or the sun could supernova us into the Crab Nebula.

But if we descend into the apocalypse mired in plagues, zombies, or nuclear winter?

We’re going to have more than just that trauma.

US Navy 090705-N-9410R-027 Builder 2nd Class E...

“Here. I’ll chop off a chunk for your new phone.” US Navy 090705-N-9410R-027 Builder 2nd Class Eric Hessel, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, measures a 2×4 inch board for trusses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Your smart phone suddenly has the IQ of a 2×4.

When was the last time you saw someone driving without one eye suction-cupped to their phone’s screen? 2001?

How on earth are you going to be able to maneuver your car home without the green, yellow, and red lines on the GPS’s interstate? How are you going to call anyone when the only phone number you know is yours?

Within days (and possibly hours) of an apocalypse, it wouldn’t take Einstein to predict that the satellites controlling our precious mobile networks would become as useless as a three day old rat turd. After that, your phone will be good for a flashlight or a camera, and one with an abysmal lifespan.

No maps. No contacts. No Urban Spoon.

And I don’t think there’s an app for surviving an apocalypse. (Someone get on that, stat.)

(And make it work offline.)


Is it supposed to be that color? Meat (Photo credit: yum9me)

4. Are you sure you wanna eat that?

We civilized humans are very picky eaters. Most Americans would turn their nose up at haggis, let alone a plate of lye-soaked cod. Mmm, lye.

Lettuce a bit wilty? Chuck it in the bin. Potato got a spot on it? Bin. Cheese with a green patch? Bin. Two day old chicken? Expired orange juice? Bendy carrot? Bin, bin, bin.

This is one arena people in rural, “third world” areas would have a few hundred legs up. Most of the world can only get meat and fish that’s already several days old. What would send you to the can for a ten-hour rant against Montezuma would go down just fine for two-thirds of the world’s population.

Maybe you ought to start building up an immunity to spoiled food.


Warning of Polluted Water at Staten Island Bea...

But I’m thirsty…Warning of Polluted Water at Staten Island Beach Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Background 06/1973 (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

3. It’s in the water…

You can live without food for weeks on end. I had an acquaintance in college who fasted for forty days and nights. He survived on Gatorade and clear broth. He was none too spritely at the end of it, but he was alive.

Water? You’ve got two days. Maybe three. Then you’re dead.

If the world ends in nuclear fashion, our water supplies are pretty much decimated. If it’s disease or zombies, it could buy us some time, but then the water runs the risk of infection. We’re not used to thirst.

We’re not used to that kind of deprivation. Our bodies are pampered and polished, flimsy and flabby. We’re far from the lean lines of our ancestors who had to make their bodies into machines to ward against starvation and parched throats.

Finding clean, sustainable water would be one of the biggest challenges in an apocalypse.


Whoops. Wrong critter. Missing…. (Photo credit: kagey_b)

2. Do you know where your husband is?

Or your wife? Or your kids? Your best friend? That friendly dude who always treats the office to homemade cupcakes on his birthday?

Most of us like to kid ourselves with the idea that we’d get to choose our location in an apocalypse. Most like that idea better. Most of us don’t want to think we’d be sitting in traffic with our front bumper touching someone else’s tailpipe while the radio plays nothing but that obnoxious Paramore song Misery Business.

Because the world’s ending, and that’s where their programme halted.

Before your stomach starts churning just at that horrendous thought, think of where your family would be. Think of all your loved ones, your children stranded at the child care center, your spouse or significant other on a business trip out of state, your elderly parents in their nursing homes. Your dog or cat panicking at home.

Even the lucky souls who are home with their families when it starts will have people out of reach. And like your ass, you should probably kiss them goodbye.

Concert Crowd (Osheaga 2009) - 30000 waiting f...

Soon to be your worst nightmare. Unless Coldplay is your worst nightmare. Concert Crowd (Osheaga 2009) – 30000 waiting for Coldplay (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul)

1. People

You know how generally peaceful your world has been for the past seventy years or so? Unless you’re unlucky enough to live in the Balkans, Chechnya, the Middle East, the DRC, or Dick Cheney’s favorite hunting spot, you probably haven’t had to deal with an IED crashing onto your dining room table in the middle of supper.

Or soldiers snatching your children*, or firing squads lining Boy Scouts up on the street**, or watching your wife raped in front of you by your neighbor***.

If you live in North America, it’s been centuries since a real war was fought on our turf. Other nations have borne that yoke in our stead. If you’re ever looking for a blessing to count, start with that one. If you don’t think I’m serious, ask any Pole you encounter about their family’s memories of the Second World War and then make a profuse apology on behalf of America, the UK, and France for failing them so miserably in 1939 and again in 1945.

All that stuff about war? Wars are caused by people competing for scarce resources when they see no other option than to take them by force. If the world ends, you can bet your e. coli-infested ground beef that someone’s going to be eyeing anything you have in your trembling hands.

You might find some people to trust. But very quickly, people will relegate the remnants of humanity to Us and Them. And humans are nothing if not unpredictable.

I would like to think we’ve evolved beyond such nonsense, but there are too many studies and real-life examples of people going Stanford Prison Experiment on one another with little to no justification.

I almost hope it’s fast zombies that do us in. At least then we’d have the option to just join ’em.


*See Libya, DRC, and various other sub-Saharan African countries, specifically under the LRA and offshoot groups.

**This happened in Poland in the Second World War. Yet another charming gift from Nazis.

***Rwanda in 1994. 

What would be the scariest things for you in an apocalypse? Beyond the mayhem and the imminent death — what would be the biggest challenges trying to survive?


About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on July 24, 2012, in EOW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I think I’m going to miss Google and Amazon the most. All of the collected knowledge of the planet and the world’s biggest shopping mall…gone. 😦 Who’d going to deliver my ammo when Amazon is gone? It’s hopeless…sigh.

  2. You know, I don’t think I ever considered the fact that I might be nowhere near anyone I care about or even know when the apocalypse hits. That’s the one that scares me the most. Not all of us will be as coincidence-blessed as Rick Grimes in the Walking Dead.

  3. I think the hardest part of survival will be a reliable, clean water source. Next after that will be my supply of paper and pen/pencil for writing.

  4. Yup, however the apocalypse comes down, it’s the little things that’ll get us. I like playing with that in apocalyptic fiction.

  5. jodileastewart

    Not your most inspirational blog, Emmie, but definitely thought provoking! 😀 Good points!

    • Pahahaha…given the theme of these past couple weeks, inspirational is a bit hard to pull off in the midst of the world ending. 🙂

      Kinda makes you want to stockpile some food and drinking water, hey?

  6. Oh, well now you’ve sent my brain off on a wild ride. Thanks for that…

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