12 events that will change the world

All these events at one time or another have changed or will change the world forever, respectively:

Alien invasion / Discovery of ET

Whether China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) detects a faint signal from deep space, or we wake up one morning to see a huge mothership hovering in low earth orbit - humanity will be stunned, shocked and fearful that fateful day.

The universe will never feel the same again.

Just one thing - will they be friendly?

Asteroid collision

The dinosaurs had a bad day 65 million years ago. A very bad day. We will too, if we're still around. A really big one won't just shatter windows and distract drivers like the Chelyabinsk meteor did in Russia in 2013. Pray we colonize some other planet before the next city-sized rock heads our way.

Discovery of extra dimensions

Extra dimensions sound like science fiction from some Philip K Dick story. But they could explain why gravity is so weak and the universe is expanding faster than expected. They could also explain dark matter and dark energy of which we have no understanding, but make up 95 percent of the universe. But could we move into another, hidden dimension? So close and yet so far?

Fusion energy

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is currently being built in the south of France. It is akin to building a star on Earth, the heat to be generated even hotter than the sun. Success would mean we get more energy out than we put in. But would this in reality mean free energy for the masses? How else would the plutocracy squeeze us?

Global pandemic

Jet plane travel can spread a viral pandemic rapidly around the globe. The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa and the Zika virus in Brazil are causes for concern. Perhaps a lethal, man-made virus like "Captain Trips" in Stephen King's 'The Stand' will prove to be our ultimate downfall?

Human cloning

Will the rich and famous soon clone their own bodies in striving for life extension? Replacement parts for when their ageing bodies break down? Or armies of super humans be cloned for battle in future wars? Will the parents of deceased children have the chance to bring their children back from the dead, albeit without the same memories?

Machine self-awareness - the Singularity

We don't know when it will happen, perhaps in our lifetime or in a 100 years. But one day a computer will start thinking like us. And that could signal the end of the human era. The question is will we merge with the machines or cooperate with them? Will there be a great Human-Machine Civilization? Or will we become just memories in their quantum computer brains?

New ice age

According to climate change the world is hotting up. Rising sea levels will drown our cities when the polar ice caps melt. But much depends on the sun and Ice Ages come and go over the millennia. The question is will technology help us go into comfortable hibernation in a Snowball Earth? Or are we destined to live like cavemen once again, fur-clad, freezing in caves for thousands of years?

Nuclear war - World War III

Syria. Ukraine. North Korea. Iran. ISIS. The list goes on. The ruling elite in both Russia and the West seem set on a collision course. Things are not looking good. Millions will die because of the pumped up egos of our leaders. It may not result ultimately in human extinction, but the nuclear winter will be miserable even for our distant descendants.

Room temperature superconductivity

Room temperature superconductors are the holy grail of energy efficiency. If we could make them we could transform how energy is produced, stored, distributed and used around the world. Power grids that never lose energy, cheaper mag-lev trains as well as smaller but more powerful supercomputers are just a few of the wonders that could be achieved.

Supervolcanic eruption

If the underground supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park goes, most of America will be gone. But what if volcanoes around the globe increase activity and start pumping out noxious fumes into our atmosphere? We'll soon choke to death. It won't be the lava that dooms us, but the ashes and smoke.

Synthetic life creation

We could become like Gods and eradicate disease and hunger with marvelous living creations. But we could also open a Pandora's Box and bring monsters into this world. Seen 'Doom' anyone? Ethical scientists could be trusted, but what about mistakes in the lab or evil madmen out there bent on destroying or dominating our world?