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11 ways the world (as we know it) could end

By: Laura Moss on Feb. 16, 2011, 10:20 a.m.
abandoned broken road

Photo: nopow/iStockphoto

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Road to destruction

You may not believe the world will end on Oct. 21, or with the Mayan calendar in 2012 or that mankind will simply make the planet uninhabitable, but if popular movies and books are any indication, there must be a lot of people who believe the world is ready for its final bow. You may subscribe to a religious End of Days doctrine, but when it comes to the planet's fate, only one thing is for certain: All good things must come to an end.

There’s little agreement on exactly how this will happen, but there are plenty of theories. Here’s a look at 12 of the most popular ones and the science — or lack of it — behind them. (Text: Laura Moss)