The 6 Crappiest Apocalypses, According to World Religions

Not all religions believe the world is going to end, but those that do rarely believe it's going to end pleasantly. Instead, most religions focus on the war, pain, death and general discomfort caused by the apocalypse. Here are six religious "end of days" scenarios we wouldn't mind being incorrect.

1) Frashokereti

As the oldest religious apocalypse in recorded history, the Zoroastrian end of days is old school rough. According to the Zand-i Wahman Yasn, the world will spend several millennia getting shittier, with the sun getting "spotted," crops refusing to grow, evil men hoarding the world's wealth, all followed by a dark cloud covering the world and rain that will consist of "more noxious creatures than water." None of that sounds fun, but it's a picnic compared to what comes next — unless you're not a sinner. A comet called Gochihr will hit the planet and basically create a giant river of lava that everyone has to wade through. Good believers don't feel a thing, bad people melt in agony. But if you survive all that, you get to be immortal and the entire planet speaks one language and lives in harmony, so that's cool.


2) Kali Yuga

Fun fact: The final period of the four-part Hindu cycle is happening right now. It's characterized by the world and its people sliding into complete moral decay — natch — which the Vishnu Purana spells out in impressive specificity. It includes: wealth being considered the sole measure of virtue, shitty kings with tendencies to kill women and children, a plethora of barbarians put in charge of things, plagues, famine, pathological lying, false religions, droughts, and, interestingly, people will wear tree bark and leaves for clothes, and die of exposure. Actually, everybody dies — the average lifespan shortened to about 23 years — but once that happens, the cycle can start over with the Satya Yuga, where everyone lives for 10,000 years and isn't a huge asshole.

3) The Seven Suns

Mahayanan Buddhism is pretty chill. Its end of the world is just people forgetting the Buddha's teachings and generally being awful to each other, followed by the arrival of the Maitreya, who is basically the mega-Buddha, who will teach humanity about the 10 non-virtuous deeds (killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, abusive speech, idle speech, covetousness, harmful intent and wrong views) and the 10 virtuous deeds (not doing any of that shit). But in the Theravadan tradition, Buddha gave his people the Sermon of the Seven Suns. I hate to spoil it for you, but six more suns show up, destroying rivers, lakes and oceans. By the time the six sun shows up, the earth is literally baking; by the seventh, it's actually a ball of fire. It seems like it would be hard to achieve inner peace when your flesh is melting off.


4) Ragnarok

Unlike pretty much every other entry on this list, the end times of Norse religion is not worried about people sliding into moral decay. It's worried abut being as metal as possible, and hence Ragnarok — the "Twilight of the Gods" – begins with the air turning to poison, the sun and moon disappearing, and the dead rising from the ground. This swiftly turns into the ultimate battle between the Norse gods and the fire and ice giants, led by Loki. They've got it all worked out: Odin is killed by the giant wolf Fenrir but is avenged by his son; Thor kills the serpent Jormungandr but dies immediately after; and the demon Surtur basically sets all nine realms on fire and pretty much everyone everywhere dies. Two humans get left to repopulate the earth while the few remaining gods watch over them. Nice!


5) The Blue Star Kachina

If you want the end of the world to feel like a particularly impressive live-action role-playing game, then I suggest you sign up for the mythology of the Hopi. They're belief system includes a number of worlds, each of which gets destroyed when humanity gets too corrupt, with only the Hopi getting preserved and moved to the next planet to try again. Apparently we're on planet #4, but we're already doomed. The planet will soon be covered by stone rivers, iron snakes and a giant spider web made by a giant spider; this will be followed by the seas turning black and a giant blue star crashing to earth, destroying the planet entirely.


6) Armageddon

You can't accuse Christianity of skimping on the detail when it comes to the end of days. The Book of Revelation is chock full of an incredible dire doomsday scenario, that begins with the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding forth, followed by an earthquake, the moon turning blood red, the stars falling to earth, and the sun going black. Understandably, humanity elects to live in caves for a while. Then the angels start blowing trumpets, and there's a hail of flaming blood, locusts, and an army that kills off one-third of mankind. Then there's a war in heaven, followed by Satan a.k.a. the Beast ruling over the earth followed by some serious shit — seas and rivers turning into blood, sores on everyone who worships the false prophet and the Great Harlot, who is often thought to refer to a country or regime, but either way really, really enjoys killing saints and drinking their blood. Only then does Jesus finally stop by to kick Satan's ass, begin a 1,000 year reign, and resurrect everybody so he can judge them.


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