I do not normally advocate sticking one’s head into the sand when it comes time to face unpleasant truths. I try my hardest to approach life’s little challenges with boldness and bravery, and did not even shy away from December 21, but awaited my fate calmly as a grown-up ought to. Nothing happened, naturally, but my point is that running and hiding does little to solve everyday problems.
Apocalyptic problems, on the other hand, might be a different matter. A few months ago I came across VIVOS, a company that eloquently subtitles itself “The Underground Shelter Network for Long-Term Survival of Future Catastrophes.” If you, like me, had never really given much thought to future catastrophes, then perhaps you should: watch the video on the main page, or just skip to the really bad news at minute 2:44.
Finished? Yep, that’s how many ways your life could end horribly in the near future. I think they forgot Robot Takeover, but whatever.
Even so, I’d still never really considered enlisting in one of these underground bunkers to live out the decades or centuries of a world-ending catastrophe until it’s time to emerge and repopulate the human race. Until, that is, I caught sight of an article by the Guardian claiming that there is a 2.7% chance the asteroid Apophis will impact with Earth when it passes within 22,364 miles of it in April 2029.
Yes, thanks to Apophis, I now have a fully developed appreciation for why someone might sink their fortune into a tiny underground apartment even hobbits would refuse to live in. The fact that this potentially pernicious projectile is dubbed a “doomsday” asteroid does nothing to help. (Oh and incidentally, Apophis is the Greek name for Apep, who was the ancient Egyptian version of utter darkness and supreme evil all rolled into one and made incarnate. How is that supposed to help?)
Realistically speaking, I have little to no chance of affording an underground shelter. Moreover, there is a selection committee that determines whether or not one is even allowed to buy in. Considering that my contributions to society are so far limited to possessing one smarter-than-average and one dumber-than-average dog, I’d say the outlook is grim.
But if I win the lottery, that won’t stop me from trying.
News update: NASA has since ruled out an Earth impact in 2036, but I'm still not taking any chances.