The Earth just won't go away

Credits: REUTERS

Simon Kent | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO -- The Earth has stubbornly refused to end countless times through history. Here is a brief look at other failures to launch the end of time:

1. The 1,000th anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ in 1033 was supposed to usher in the end of the world. When it didn't happen, disappointed followers launched the Crusades instead. As you do.

2. Martin Luther foretold the end of civilization "no later than 1600." The figurehead of the Protestant reformation never lived to see that day arrive but did survive "the Diet of Worms."

3. The presence of the numerals 666 in the date 1666 led religious leaders to predict the second coming of Christ. His failure to return spurred one Rabbi Sabbatai Zevi of Smyrna, Turkey, to say "they're just numbers anyway."

4. The prophet hen of Leeds began laying eggs with the phrase "Christ is coming" written on them in 1806. It was debunked when the hoaxster admitted using corrosive ink so as to etch the eggs before (ahem) reinserting them back into the hen.

5. The last time the world was forecast to end was May 21, 2011, according to a prediction by U.S.-based cult Rapture. Its leader, Harold Camping, said after the apocalypse failed to happen that he was "quite flabbergasted" that the world was still there.

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