Will the world end on September 24, 2022? Absurd internet theory predicting 'doomsday' goes viral

It all started when German politician Friedrich Merz made a mistake when he was speaking about the date Russia invaded Ukraine

Will the world end on September 24, 2022? Absurd internet theory predicting 'doomsday' goes viral
(Representative Image, NASA via Getty Images)
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Did German politician Friedrich Merz issue a warning that the world would end on September 24, 2022, which would be remembered for all future generations? No, that's not true. Some TikTokers and Twitter users misread his words and, just like other things on social media, added fuel to this fire by posting a video that was released in February, in which Merz just misspoke, without any context and linking it to an ominous warning about an impending apocalypse. 

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In the purported clip, that has been shortened for TikTok, Merz said, "This September 24, 2022, will be a day that remains in our memory, of which we will later say, 'I remember exactly where I was.'" 

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This is what the video doing the rounds shows. However, according to fact-checking website Lead Stories, Merz was actually speaking on February 27, just days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He spoke after the first pictures were released from the war-torn country in the minutes after receiving news about the invasion. He misspoke when he referred to the date, saying "September 24, 2022," when what he intended to say was "February 24, 2022." Social media users decided to add their own racy plot to the confusion and lo and behold, a doomsday theory pops up. 

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This does not end there. There was another conspiracy that "a solar flare will occur on September 24," which some users said would intensify hurricanes and cause more severe damage than usual. Whereas, as per facts, solar flares happen often and pose extremely little to no risk to humans. 

The online  "Doomsday Event" happening on September 24 points to an episode of 'The Simpsons', titled 'Homer Goes to Prep School' in which Homer joins a survivalist cult. In the episode, Homer said, “The apocalypse is coming. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe never, but it’s coming.” Why is it connected September 24? Because it was the 24th episode of Season 9, 24/9, which is the European way of writing September 24. No scientist had said anything about this wild theory, let alone even broach the idea that a solar flare would destroy the earth on September 24. Love it or hate it, social media does keep one entertained. 

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