13. Nuclear Holocaust
“One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.” It was true back in the late 1950s, and it’s just as true now. The world could end at any moment thanks to the countless nukes out there, just lying around. According to a 2010 Ploughshares Fund report, 22,000 active nuclear warheads are scattered around the globe. And that number doesn’t include smaller—and therefore more susceptible to theft—nuclear weapons like atomic artillery shells and bunker busters. In truth, we’re still exactly where we’ve been for the past 70 years: one international argument away from the end of the world.
12. Black Holes
Stars collapse on an almost daily basis. When a massive star collapses, it produces an immense gravitational pull along the way, drawing everything in its path—including light—toward its core, like a giant vacuum cleaner from which there’s no escape. While black holes sit at the center of most galaxies, including our own, the real danger comes from a discovery made in the year 2000. “We now have conclusive evidence,” physicist Michael Kaku told ABC News, “that there are wandering black holes—nomads, renegades—and right next to us in our own galaxy.” How long until one of these nomads bumps into the Earth? No one is sure, and it’s a big universe, but everyone agrees that it’s going to happen sooner or later.
Continue below for all the rest of the ways you will probably die.