If you think an eclipse means doomsday, you are not the first!
There’s a long and fascinating history of people believing that eclipses are a sign of the apocalypse. (Hopefully they’re wrong about the one occurring in the US next week.)
On 21 August, more than seven million people from across the globe are predicted to converge on various cities across the US, as the first total solar eclipse since 1918 to cross the North American continent from ocean to ocean, takes place. Millions are expected to travel far and wide to witness the once-in-a-life-time event.
But for others, the celestial phenomenon signals something far more sinister than a simple road trip – for some, the total solar eclipse means the end of the world as we know it.
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Various evangelist groups across the US, for example, have already heralded the eclipse as a sign of impending apocalypse. A Christian prophecy website called Unsealed claims that it will spark the beginning of the so-called Tribulation, a seven-year period in which 75% of the world’s population will be destroyed.
Meanwhile, for many, this eclipse is the highly anticipated event of the summer. With 12 million more living in the path of totality, a 70-mile (112 km) long stretch between Oregon and South Carolina where the Moon will completely cover the Sun, ‘eclipse tourism’ is expected to generate vast amounts of revenue, a tradition which began in 18th Century Europe as eclipses passed over the major capitals.