In Memory of the Late, Great Planet Earth


An Obituary for the World

By Kyrie O’Connor | December 20, 2012 | Updated: December 21, 2012 12:07am

Earth, as seen from the Apollo 8 spacecraft in 1968, contained both spectacular sights and terrible places before meeting its demise. Photo: Uncredited, HOPD / NASA

After a long illness, the world ended today. It was 4.54 billion years old. Strangely, the exact date of the end was predicted by a bunch of Mayans in Mexico back in the day.

The world was historically coy about revealing its origins. Earlier theories of how it came to be ranged from a water beetle falling from the sky and shaping it out of mud to the theory that it was created in one day by the rather judgey deity of a small Middle Eastern sect.

More recently, it has seemed likely that it and the rest of the solar system were the result of the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud, which is nowhere near as cool as the water-beetle thing.

In its youth, the planet spent a long time just cooling off, but as of about 580 million years ago, multicellular life appeared, and things started to get interesting. For a long time, there were a lot of trilobites, which looked like something that would scare the bejesus out of you in the bathroom at night. Then there were a bunch of dinosaurs, which were created so that 6-year-olds would have something to obsess over.

They all died when a meteorite hit Earth. The big winners of that debacle were mammals, which eventually gave rise to woolly mammoths, giant sloths (squee!) and, of course, humans.

Earth contained some spectacular sights, such as the Alps and the Great Blue Hole in Belize. It also offered some truly terrible places, such as Death Valley and Siberia, and a lot of places that were just meh, such as Oklahoma.

But back to humans. They showed up and immediately started behaving like your worst drunken uncle. Wars, famine and misery parked themselves pretty much everywhere humans did.

But humans were capable of creating things of sublime beauty, such as the Taj Mahal and the King James Bible, as well as things of deep horror, such as the Rwandan massacre and the Rape of Nanking, and a lot of things that were no better than all right, including plastic sporks and Coldplay.

Still, they invented fireworks and the French language and potstickers and songs that could make you cry, so they weren’t all that bad.

And then, one day, it all stopped. Just like that. Everyone saw it coming and no one saw it coming, but come it did.

The world is survived by its moon, seven other planets and their moons and numerous asteroids. There are no calling hours because there’s no one left.

About Brent Parrish

Author, blogger, editor, researcher, graphic artist, software engineer, carpenter, woodworker, guitar shredder and a strict constitutionalist. Member of the Watcher's Council and the Qatar Awareness Campaign. I believe in individual rights, limited government, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense. ONE WORD: FREEDOM!
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