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The End Is Nigh: The Doomsday Clock Has Been Updated

Now don't panic, but according to the Doomsday Clock, we're on the brink of a worldwide disaster. The device, which still continues to cause much concern and criticism among the academic community, has been updated and still sits with its hands at 3 minutes to midnight.

Scientists from the stand in front of the dreaded Doomsday Clock. (Photo:  L.A. Marzulli)

Scientists from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stand in front of the dreaded Doomsday Clock. (Photo: L.A. Marzulli)

For those who aren't savvy on Doomsday rules, the clock was first created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947 as a response to nuclear threats. The idea being that the closer the minute hand is to midnight, the closer we are to world disaster.

The group of atomic scientists who created the clock had been involved in the Manhattan Project, which produced the first nuclear weapons. Since then the scientists detailed the progress and updates in nuclear weaponry and the clock was designed as an illustration for the cover of the first bulletin.

(Image: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

(Image: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

Over the years the clock has moved back and forth, depending on the overall state of the world, however some scientists were dismayed to find that this year the clock didn't budge, staying set at three minutes to midnight.

While many academics critique the very idea of the Doomsday Clock, its good to remember that the clock isn't there for complete accuracy. t's more of a symbol of global threats, and a way to "inform the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity".

It was as far back as 1991 that the Doomsday Clock was farthest away from midnight, with the end of the Cold War meaning that the hand rested at 17 minutes.

According to Eugene Rabinowitch from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

 

"The Bulletin's clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age"

 

(GIF: WIRED)

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By Kate Lismore, published on 27/01/2016