We’ve survived the Mayan apocalypse and Y2K, but be afraid – the end of the world is coming…again.
This time it’s the Viking apocalypse that is allegedly set to destroy Earth, with Norse mythology claiming the planet will split open and unleash the inhabitants of Hel on February 22.
According to the Vikings, Ragnarok is a series of events including the final predicted battle that results in the death of a number of major gods, the occurrence of various natural disasters and the subsequent submersion of the world in water.
The wolf Fenrir is also predicted to break out of his prison, the snake Jormungand will rise out of the sea and the dragon of the underworld will resurface on Earth to face the dead heroes of Valhalla – who, of course, have descended from heaven to fight them.
Legend has it the sound of the horn will call the sons of the god Odin and the heroes to the battlefield, before Odin and other ‘creator gods’ will be killed by Fenrir.
The Vikings believe the Ragnarok is preceded by the ‘winter of winters’, where three freezing winters would follow each other with no summers in between.
All morality would disappear and fights would break out all over the world, signalling the beginning of the end.
The wolf Skoll would then devour the sun, and his brother Hati would eat the moon, causing stars to fall out of the sky and the Earth subjected to tremendous earthquakes.
Should Saturday be the day, the world will then be restored and will be inhabited by the surviving gods and just two human survivors – with the Earth sinking into the sea and paving the way for a new utopian land with endless supplies.
Another part of the legend claims that the Midgard Serpent, named Jormungand, shall free itself from its tail and rise up from the ocean, with believers claiming this had already occurred when two giant fish washed up on the coast of California last year.
Ragnarok, which is literally translated to mean ‘Fate or Twilight of the Gods’ or ‘Final Destiny of the Gods’ is based on a 13th century poem written by Snorri Sturluson.
Modern day Vikings warriors have already begun preparing for the apocalypse by converging on the UK town of York to celebrate the Jorvik festival – an excuse for grown men to dress up and swing wooden swords at each other.
The festival’s finale on Saturday will see about 300 warriors march through the city, before rival tribes participate in an ‘ultimate battle’.
The Jorvik Viking Centre predicted that Ragnarok would occur on 22 February because this is the end of the feast of Jolablot.
Traditionally, the Viking festival of Jolablot marked the end of the winter.
While not a scientific conclusion, they claim that Vikings loved to feast and wouldn’t want to miss this event.
And if nothing happens on Saturday, Ragnarok will join a list of hundreds of other failed predictions for the end of the world, including the Mayan apocalypse on December 21, 2012 – which convinced many the Earth would be destroyed by an asteroid – and Y2K on January 1, 2000.