The 5 Scientific Experiments Most Likely to End the World

#2. Time Travel

Hundreds of stories have been written on the subject of time travel, and just about every one of those stories involves some kind of catastrophic disaster, or at the very least, an unhappy ending.

Of course, a lot of physicists think that it's not possible at all, and that the very existence of the universe proves it. Also, if they invent time travel in the future, where are the time travelers?

But there's one lingering theory about the possibility of time travel that kind of makes a lot of sense, and that's that it's not possible until we actually build a working time machine. Maybe you can only travel back as far as the technology actually exists, and after that it's all hovering skateboards and flying steam trains.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Of course, there are plenty of ways in which the universe can fuck us for daring to violate that most fundamental of laws, cause and effect. We can't even imagine them until we know the first thing about time travel, which we don't. But some speculate that the very attempt to travel back in time could result in the world exploding, imploding, collapsing, shrinking into a singularity, or simply disappearing.

But because we strive to bring you only the weirdest of possibilities, so consider the chronological collapse scenario.

In the distant future, when the stars have burned out and the planets have wobbled out of their celestial orbits, the descendents of humanity will be staring extinction in the face, and if they have access to a goddamn time machine then it's likely they're going to say "fuck this shit" and just return to a more comfortable point in history.

A flood of refugees from the future might set up home in the present and flourish, until the world ends again and they decide to do what worked last time. And again. And again. Effectively, the moment we switch on our very first time machine, our universe is going to be home to approximately infinity refugees from the future. You do the math.

So, Basically It's Like...


How Long Have We Got?

Meet the Large Goddamn Hadron Fucking Collider.

Again? What the fuck? Are they doing this on purpose?

OK, so there may be like a dozen ways the LHC can destroy the universe, but seriously, time travel?

Well, yes, according to some Russian scientists. Sure, there are no serious plans in motion to research into building time machines, but who says it has to be deliberate? The discovery of penicillin was a complete accident.

"Oh, shit. Honey, I think I just invented time travel.

The theory is that the LHC might open wormholes with its high-energy collisions that future generations can manipulate for time travelling purposes. Apparently it's possible that those Swiss eggheads will switch on the machine only to find a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger asking for their clothes.

Risk Level: 7

You may be thinking, "If we get a time machine, and realize it will destroy the universe, then all we'd have to do is travel back in time and destroy the time machine! Easy!"

But then... if we destroyed the time machine, then we wouldn't be able to go back in time... so the machine would remain intact, in which case we could use it to go back and... Look, we don't know. Fuck science.

#1. Nanotechnology

Technology is all about making things smaller, and to that end, right now they're working on making the smallest things possible. Nanotechnology is the science of making robots that aren't much bigger than a molecule, and there are lots of reasons for doing it, the biggest being because we fucking can.

Imagine sending a million microscopic machines into a person's bloodstream programmed to attack a tumor, or shoot the AIDS virus with tiny little phasers. Imagine swarms of little cleaning droids mopping up the pollution in our rivers, or tiny manufacturing droids that can build anything we want, in seconds, molecule-by-molecule.

The big problem is, of course, how you actually build trillions of these little bastards. Simple: you teach them to replicate like cells, using materials from the environment.

Just think about, like, a million of these little fuckers!

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

K. Eric Drexler, one of the founding fathers of the whole nanotechnology concept, came up with a number of spine-chillingly plausible doomsday scenarios. The problem is our nanobots would be like cellular terminators, much more advanced than any of the pansy-ass creations nature invented. They could out-compete organic life overnight, obliterating it in a frenzy of Darwinism.

A million of these little fuckers!!

Taken to its extreme, we have the scenario affectionately known as the gray goo problem, which speculates the machines would simply start replicating out of control until everything in existence is just a mass of tiny, scuttling robots, which scientists imagine would look like a pile of gray slop floating through the void.

So, Basically It's Like...

Imagine you meet a magical leprechaun. For a bargain price, he offers to fix up the your house and add an extra room. So you take him home, and he proceeds to eat your house and shit out a hundred and forty more leprechans, which promptly murder you.

How Long Have We Got?

Scientists excitedly assure us that we will have a fully operational murderous death-swarm within twenty years, maybe even as soon as 2010. Right now they're trying to build something called a fabricator, which from our reading is some kind of indestructible robot swarm-queen built out of diamond, who will give birth to trillions of nanomachines and command them to consume all in their path.

Risk Level: 10

Basically the only thing that will save us from getting transformed into globulets of grey goo in a few years will be if the Large Hadron Collider kills us first.

For more evidence that science is pure evil check out The 5 Current Genetic Experiments Most Likely to Destroy Humanity. Or if you're tired of hating science, check out 5 Mental Disorders That Can Totally Get You Laid.

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