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Thoughts on Various Apocalyptic Scenarios

My thoughts on different types of apocalypse, and how we could prepare for each different scenario.

Nuclear Fallout

In the event of nuclear fallout, there are immediate actions that need to be executed to give the best possible chance for survival. The most important thing you can worry about at first is to secure as much clean water as possible in clean containers to eliminate the risk of dying from dehydration in the near future. If you have a sufficient fallout shelter readily available, the next step is to secure a large amount of non-perishable food. If a shelter has not been construction, basic guidelines apply to the fabrication of one. The shelter needs as much mass as possible between where radioactive dust particles settle and the space. Layering walls of steel, concrete, earth and water would provide maximum protection, because gamma rays, the harmful radiation produced by nuclear fallout, are absorbed according to the amount of mass it has to travel through (Connor 1). If time is limited, a shelter can be constructed in a basement or other underground facility by piling thick metal or wooden barriers between yourself and possible entry points for radiation. Besides shelter and water, precautions must be taken to stay out of direct contact with radioactive materials. The longer a radioactive particle is in existence, the less harmful it is to someone coming in contact with it. This means that eventually areas away from the direct Ground Zero(s) will return to normal, and the fear of radiation poisoning will diminish.

Zombie Infection

Another likely event that could bring an end to the world as we know it is the zombie apocalypse. According to the Center for Disease Control, airborne bacteria or viruses could cause a disease similar to some popular types of Hollywood 'Zombies' (1). There are a few naturally occurring parasites and viruses that exist in our world today that could possibly cause the deterioration of rational thought unique to human beings. One of these parasites is toxoplasmosa gondii, a parasite that lives in rats but breeds in the intestines of a cat. To get into the intestines of a cat, the parasite must get ingested while in the rat host. So, the parasite takes over the rat’s nervous system, and makes it walk straight up to a cat to be eaten (Wong 1). The scariest part is that 50% of all human beings carry the parasite in our bodies. For the time being, we are safe because the parasite has no need for us to be eaten by cats. There are multiple illnesses found in rats that cause them to be aggressive toward one another, and even some that bring cannibalistic traits into the host. The physical and chemical traits of rats and humans are very similar, hence why many drugs we use are tested first on rats and mice. If any of these drugs or diseases could be manifested in a human host, the result would be a pandemic on an apocalyptic scale. In Haiti during the 17 and 1800s, Voodoo priests used the naturally occurring drug Datura stramonium, to put victims into a trance-like state, as in the case of Clairvius Narcisse. in this state, victims could follow simple commands, and the slavers used them to work sugar and coffee plantations. The effects of the drug included delirium, inability to differentiate between dream and reality, and after the drug passed, amnesia. Drugs like this could possibly be developed by modern scientists and terrorist groups, to create a terrifying biological weapon. The effects of an airborne or waterborne toxin that put victims into a trance would be a basis for a very powerful and a very scary weapon.

Comet/Asteroid Hitting the Earth

A situation that many astrologists and outer space experts have theorized upon is the collision of a comet or asteroid with our planet. The effects of such an occurrence would be devastating. Immediately after impact, all populations of living things within a 1000 mile radius could be killed, depending on the size of the comet or asteroid (many comets and asteroids are 10 MILES in diameter). The long term effects of an impact would be an ice age, brought about by dust from the crash blocking out the sun for upwards of 2 years. The dust and dirt would eventually settle back down, but not before cooling the Earth enough to permanently and dramatically change our climate. The power of even a small meteor hitting the earth is extraordinary. A meteor 30 meters in diameter would cause an explosion more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in World War II. The only reason this impact would be less devastating is because meteors do not contain radioactive particles. But if the size of the meteor was in excess of 500 meters in diameter, the impact would be enough to throw the world into another ice age. Any humans who survived the impact would most likely be on the far side of the planet, and would have to adapt to the rapidly changing climate. The poles would expand further into the oceans, and most of the planet's wildlife and plant life would die off. Because of this, food would be scarce and the remaining human population would face the challenges of establishing a system for survival that includes combating the harsh climate, ensuring the continuation of the population, and finding food. To ensure the best chance of survival, a shelter warm enough to protect from the climate, as well as secure enough to protect from the aggression of animals and other human survivors, must be established. An ideal shelter would consist of three identical capsules, placed in a triangle with 1mi legs, to ensure the best possible chance for them to survive the impact. these capsules would have to be underground, and in a mountainous region, preferably a plateau. each capsule would need 1000 sq feet of space and ideally an 8 foot tall ceiling. The shelters should be stockpiled with non perishable food, enough for 30 people to survive on for 6 months, as well as a permanent supply of water (ie: a lake). The capsules must have an air treatment system to filter out the dust particles from the outside air. Fuel for heat and any vehicles being stored must also be accumulated.

Conclusion

The thought of our planet being affected by a force powerful enough to disrupt our modern society and wipe out a huge percentage of our population is terrifying one. Whether it be zombies, nuclear weapons causing mass radiation poisoning, or even an asteroid colliding with our planet, we as humans must be prepared to face the horrors of the end of the world and persevere to ensure the survival of our great race.

Works Cited

Connor, Shane. “WHAT TO DO IF A NUCLEAR DISASTER IS IMMINENT!” Www.ki4u.com. Web. 02 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ki4u.com/guide.htm>.

“How to Survive a Nuclear Attack.” WikiHow. Web. 02 Apr. 2012. <http://www.wikihow.com/Survive-a-Nuclear-Attack>.

“How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 03 Apr. 2008. Web. 02 Apr. 2012. <http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/04/how-to-battle-z/>.

“Public Health Matters Blog.” CDC. CDC. Web. 02 Apr. 2012. <http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie- apocalypse/>.

David, Wong. “5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen.”Cracked.com. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cracked.com/article_15643_5-scientific-reasons-zombie-apocalypse-could-actually-happen.html>.

Zimmer, Carl. “The Return of the Puppet Masters. The Loom: A Blog about Life, past and Future.” Corante. Web. 17 Apr. 2012. <http://www.corante.com/loom/archives/2006/01/17/the_return_of_the_puppet_masters.php>


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