Within the next six months, according to at least one man, the world may come to an end. And he blames the Brits.
"Ominous reports are leaking past the BP Gulf salvage operation news blackout that the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may be about to reach biblical proportions," writes prolific poster Terrence Aym for the self-styled "knowledge co-operative", Helium (Where Knowledge Rules).
This "world-killing" event will be the result of a "methane mega-bubble" that will soon arise from the seabed and cause a massive life-as-we-know-it-ending series of explosions, tsunamis, poisonous storms, and other unpleasantries.
"BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years," postulates Aym.
"The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe — of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it — would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water."
All three of those Horsemen of the Apocalypse (the fourth, apparently, being on holiday) are now making their presences felt in the Gulf of Mexico, he says.
Horseman One: "A huge gash on the ocean floor — like a ragged wound hundreds of feet long" has been spotted in the Gulf 10 miles from the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon, "hemorrhaging oil and methane." Aym also claims that "Other, new fissures, have been spotted as far as 30 miles distant."
Horseman Two: "Pressure is causing a huge expanse of the seabed — estimated by some as spreading over thousands of square miles surrounding the BP wellhead — to bulge. Some claim the seabed in the region has risen an astounding 30 feet."
Horseman Three: "Dr. John Kessler of Texas A&M University has calculated that the ruptured well is spewing 60 percent oil and 40 percent methane. The normal methane amount that escapes from a compromised well is about 5 percent," Aym writes. "Methane levels in the water are now calculated as being almost one million times higher than normal."
And there you have it: we're doomed. Aym also points out that such methane-induced destruction has happened before: the Permian extinction event 251 million years ago and another bubble-bursting bout of badness 55 million years later during 100,000-year Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum.
Take a wild guess as to where those disasters were centered? Yup — in an area that a couple of hundred million years later would become known as the Gulf of Mexico. Or so Aym claims.
To fine-tune his doomsday scenario, Aym adds the obligatory government cover-up. "The media has been kept away from the emergency salvage measures being taken to forestall the biggest catastrophe in human history," he writes. "The federal government has warned them away from the epicenter of operations with the threat of a $40,000 fine for each infraction and the possibility of felony arrests."
Aym asks: "Why is the press being kept away?" His ominous answer: "Word is that the disaster is escalating."
As The Reg reported on Monday, we're scheduled for a mass extinction event in, oh, about 16 million years. We've also pointed out that solar storms in 2013 might end civilization, and that a bunker builder in Barstow, California, is ready and willing to set you up for the "world-killing" events projected for 2012 — take your pick from nuclear war, biological warfare, the return of Planet X (aka Niburu or Nemesis), the aforementioned solar storms, a reversal of earth's magnetic poles, a global tsunami, a comet or killer asteroid, or a super volcano lying in wait beheath Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
But if Aym is right, we won't have to wait even until 2012, let alone for 16 million years. Armageddon will instead arrive before the winter holidays — so may we suggest starting your toddy tippling a wee bit early this year?
And raise a toast to
British Petroleum BP, the instigators of what promises to be quite a show. And drink up with a smile on your face — as one forum poster noted about the coming cosmic-class kablooey: "There is nothing you or I can do to change the outcome ... so I suggest you stop worrying."