The End of the World Looks Like This


© Ron Miller

Or this … or this … or this. Smithsonian Magazine profiles the apocalyptic visions of artist Ron Miller:

Recently, Miller released a series of images that shows what our skyline would look like if other planets were as close as the moon is to Earth. He has also created a compelling series depicting the apocalypse. While some of the end-of-the-world scenarios are pure fantasy, most are actually scientifically plausible.

“Sometimes it takes longer to research things than it takes to actually do the picture,” says Miller. He consults with scientists and other sources, so that his illustrations of rising seas, asteroids, gamma ray bursts and black holes are accurate. “I try to get things right,” he stressed.

The reality is dramatic enough. See for yourself, in this selection of Miller’s work:


© Ron Miller

A Black Hole Swallows the Earth

From Miller: In this case, you have a stray black hole that wandered just a wee tad too close to Earth. I got the black hole pretty right. I have the polar jets, which its magnetic field causes. The energy pours into these things from incoming material and gets shot out [of] these plasma jets from the north and south poles. Earth has probably got about 15 minutes left, I think. Just like the Moon causes tides on Earth, the gravity of the black hole is so great that it is pulling much, much harder on one side of Earth than the other. That’s the strain that is ripping the planet apart. As the planet comes apart, all of the debris is spiraling into the debris disk circling the black hole. It goes down that drain into who knows where…

[more views of the end of the world at Smithsonian Magazine]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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4 Comments on "The End of the World Looks Like This"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Jul 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

    people continually fantasize about the end of the whirled
    but the world will go on a long time after humans are gone
    and be better for it too

    • The Well Dressed Man | Jul 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm |

      This is likely, but why bet on pessimism? I’m more interested in the possibility of off-world colonization for our long term future.

  2. these are terrible. how does this man warrant the prefix of ‘artist’?

  3. ManwithnoCountry | Jul 23, 2013 at 5:09 am |

    It makes more sense if you think of this sort of thing like mythology, where world = psyche.

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