planet whole solar system is going to destroy the Earth during September October, uh, any time now, if the usual doomsday conspiracy people are to be believed. And if you're hoping to survive this calamity, you should probably know what's going on.
Image: Screenshots/Ryan F. Mandelbaum
A few months ago, I wrote that you should stop wasting my time with this Planet X/Nibiru doomsday conspiracy theory bull. But then I fell down the rabbit hole. I read dozens of Nibiru stories. I couldn't get enough. I finally understood why I was angry in the first place - I was initially expecting more from National Enquirer-equivalents amplified as authorities in Google's trending science news section.
Holy shit, stop, please stop. When a crazy person says something crazy in real life, we ignore them. But for some reason on the internet we decide that every crazy person is worth listening to, news outlets with large audiences write about their fever dreams, and less crazy people suddenly get concerned because now every news outlet is the National Enquirer spewing hot garbage about some made-up astronomy bolstered by someone's ridiculous fake religious enlightenment.
Just a few real news sites peddle original Nibiru content, including The Sun, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Star and The Daily Mirror. They're some of the most-read papers in the United Kingdom, but they're also red-top tabloids, newspapers "characterised by sensationalism". While this statistic is now outdated, almost 70 per cent of British people distrusted these newspapers in 2012, according to a survey published in The Guardian. They post flashy stories based on YouTube comments, Quora posts, and in one instance, "Someonesbones.com". The papers have lower editorial standards.
"I agree," former Gizmodo writer Libby Watson, who is British, told me.
"I can't stand them because they're sensationalist claptrap," James Whitbrook, one of our staff writers who is also British, told me. "I'd say it's like The National Enquirer, yeah. People would be quick to judge it as bollocks." I reached out to writers at all of the tabloids, none of whom have replied to requests for comments.
If you read Gizmodo, you know that Nibiru is fake. Mostly everyone (spare the usual conspiracy theorists) knows Nibiru is fake - literally look at the sky and tell me if you see an entire solar system. If you think Nibiru is real, you are far beyond my help. And sadly, doomsday conspiracy theories will probably never go away.
But you can't tell me it isn't a gripping story. It's Men in Black meets War of the Worlds. It has everything: The Sun is a NASA-created simulation, but it's also dying. The sky is changing and governments are doing nothing about it. SpaceX knows the truth - of course they do. A mini solar system is coming. We know it's true because people can hear trumpet-like noises. NASA has evacuated the ISS but won't "tell the truth". The Earth is starting to wobble. North Korea is going to nuke the Yellowstone Volcano because, well, Nibiru. Here's a video of it, apparently. There is so much more and I can't get enough.
A Google spokesperson told me that they do treat The Daily Express, at least, as bona fide news. I asked her about Nibiru appearing in the trending news results, and she said it was up to these news organisations what to write about. She also pointed out in an email that "You will see from this link there are many debunking this at the top of the page".
Anyway, Nibiru is fake news, and we all have to be discerning about where we get our news and how much trust we put into sources. But at this point, I'm starting to enjoy the excitement of an impending Armageddon to distract me from whatever else.