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Is it possible to eradicate the human race in one week? And if yes, by which way?

Of course, the human race should do everything to survive. What could be more powerful than our will to survive?

1. Nuclear bomb

Imagine that tomorrow, all the nuclear warheads of the planet explode on a maximum of countries. There would necessarily be survivors, people who would be confined in bunkers. Such a catastrophe could be the cause of our extinction but over a long period.

2. Natural disasters

Suppose all the volcanoes in the world come into action. In addition, tsunamis that ravage the coast and earthquakes that destroy cities. In this case, there would still be some survivors. People who have taken refuge and are sheltered. Maybe the Earth would still be habitable in a few years (after the fall of the ashes of volcanoes). It can be assumed that humanity can recover from such a catastrophe.

So what could eradicate humanity with very short delay?


I forgot to give some informations: We can set aside any extrasrestrial intervention or all things unknown to mankind right now. We are talking only about human activity or natural disasters that could actually happen. Is there really an event that could cause our extinction in such a fast time?


marked as duplicate by dot_Sp0T, Mike Scott, Secespitus, Mołot, Renan Apr 30 '18 at 12:04

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    $\begingroup$ I don't agree with this being a duplicate with the particular question linked, but I have no say in it, so whatever, however could you perhaps define certain limitations and criteria for a good answer? One wild option: If you steal the atmosphere of earth (there was a question about that a while ago) it would do the trick (if you ignore people in space and so on that are however doomed at this point), but it's maybe not what you're looking for because you are aiming for something more subtle perhaps - or maybe you want madness. So please specify $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 30 '18 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ There will always be groups of people living relatively isolated, so any answer should address that as well. $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Apr 30 '18 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer @Raditz_35. To give you more, i want to know if we can totaly be eradicate by ourselves or by natural disasters. Let put the alien out of it. Is it possible, nowadays, to be eradicate in a week ? $\endgroup$ – MathieuL Apr 30 '18 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 I took your comments into consideration $\endgroup$ – MathieuL Apr 30 '18 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ Asteroid hit will work, but it will wipe out most traces of humans (or any life) from the planet. If you want to preserve buildings and artefacts, go with radiation. An asteroid full of particularly nasty isotopes crashes into the Sun, which triggers a small but powerful solar flare that microwaves the entire sector of solar system where Earth is. Bunkers or rock do not stop that particular kind of radiation. You can replace isotope asteroid with a travelling black hole, in case there actually aren't isotopes that can do that. $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear Apr 30 '18 at 17:19

You kill a human with a small rock going really fast (David and Goliath).

You kill humanity with...

A Really Big Rock Going Really, Really Fast


"An asteroid with a diameter of 500 km. Destination: The Pacific Ocean. The impact peels the 10 km crust off the surface. The shockwave travels at hypersonic speeds. Debris is blasted across into low Earth orbit, and returns to destroy the surface of the Earth. The firestorm encircles the Earth, vaporizing all life in its way.”

The molten splash would even take down the ISS.

  • $\begingroup$ Such an asteroid would be visible for several years. No human means could stop or deflect it? Of course there would be damage and loss of life by trying to deflect (radioactive waste, falling debris etc ...). The video is really intresting ! $\endgroup$ – MathieuL Apr 30 '18 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ "Such an asteroid would be visible for several years." Only if we happened to be looking that direction. If, for example, it came from outside the orbital plane... $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 30 '18 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ "No human means could stop or deflect it?" Not in "a few years", and not if it's Really Big. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 30 '18 at 12:23

Turn off the sun.

Everyone would freeze to death. Those with the means to create heat would find their resources have run or running out, due to the death of all infrastructure workers and the subsequent collapse of supply.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if this would kill all people within a couple of days, however could you perhaps explain what "turning off the sun" means? From a primitive point of view, certainly, the yellow disk in the sky disappears, but I personally have no idea what that actually means $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 30 '18 at 11:15
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    $\begingroup$ This. They will not even be able to 'go out' to forage for more supplies and any isolation around their living quarters will quickly fail. Even fully self-sufficient military-style bunkers deep down in the mountains will run out of breathable air. $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Apr 30 '18 at 11:15
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    $\begingroup$ And how can the sun be turning off ? Is there any button to do this ? $\endgroup$ – MathieuL Apr 30 '18 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ What If The Sun Disappeared? It's going to take more than a week though according to to VSauce's research. Temperature is around freezing point after one week. After one year it's -73 Celsius. $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Apr 30 '18 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ @JanDoggen Holy mother of whatever, that's annoying. I've got to upvote your comment for having the mental ability to listen to that guy for more than 2 seconds, maybe even the full 11 minutes. Some people here are truly superhuman. You should maybe consider writing an answer in the current question about superhuman abilities and computer chips $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 30 '18 at 11:36


Illness has always been a great cause for disasters, there is tons of documented cases of illness causing millions of deahts, like the black plague.

Now imagine a virus, or a bacteria, wich has started to infect peoples a few years agos, there were no symptoms, exept for a few exceptions, where severly ill, or dying peoples would die because of this illness.

While Doctors tries to find a cure to get rid of this harmless (for now) disease, they note that it has tendency to mutate extremely quickly, making it close to impossible to find a cure, or a vaccine. Sometimes treatment would work, but a new strand would always appear, harder to understand, and harder to cure.

Jump a few year, and everyone, or almost everyone, is infected. Most people have come to see this virus as simply another part of their lives, and don't even think about it, after all, it has almost no symptoms at all.

Jump another few year, and then, the end of the world begins, turns out, that harmless virus, it's not that it has no symptoms, it's simply that it takes years for those symptoms to manifests, but when they do, then there is no coming back. Organ failure, Immune deficiency, etc etc, the symptoms piles up, and they're deadly.

Hospitals are overwhelmed, most of their staff is hit just as hard as their patient, governement officials are not spared either, the few people who can stand and are still relatively healthy, are either hiding in fear, or riotting in the street.

In a matter of days, the world is nothing but an empty shell harboring little to no survivors.

  • $\begingroup$ A virus and so on is a horrible way if you want to do this in a few days $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 30 '18 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ It is very unlikely that this scenario will kill all people in one week. If it takes years for the symptoms to manifest, then that 1) will not be exactly x days, 2) they have been infected over a longer period, so the effects will smear out very a longer period. Also, if this is a hightly mutating virus, you get a large diversification of virus strains and they will not all mutate into that final deadly variant. You would need continous world wide reinfection. $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Apr 30 '18 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. But i think this process is too long. $\endgroup$ – MathieuL Apr 30 '18 at 11:23
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    $\begingroup$ @JanDoggen and don't forget the astronauts in the ISS, isolated tribes in Papua New Guinea, the Amazons, the North Sentinel Island, etc. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 30 '18 at 11:43

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