Fact Check

Planet-Dissolving Dust Cloud Is Headed Toward Earth!

Will a planet-dissolving dust cloud wipe out our solar system in December 2014?

Published Sep 19, 2005

Claim:   A planet-dissolving dust cloud will wipe out our solar system in December 2014.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]

Is this true? "PLANET-DISSOLVING DUST CLOUD IS HEADED TOWARD EARTH!" Supposed to happen on December 1, 2014.


Origins:   In mid-September 2005, a number of puzzled readers wrote to ask about an article they'd encountered online. According to the item they sent us, Earth — and our entire solar system along with it — was slated to "dissolve" in 2014 once a newly discovered planet-eating "chaos cloud" enveloped it:


Scared-stiff astronomers have detected a mysterious mass they've dubbed a "chaos cloud" that dissolves everything in its path, including comets, asteroids, planets and entire stars — and it's headed directly toward Earth!

Discovered April 6 by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the swirling, 10 million-mile-wide cosmic dust cloud has been likened to an "acid nebula" and is hurtling toward us at close to the speed of light — making its estimated time of arrival 9:15 a.m.EDT on June 1, 2014.

"The good news is that this finding confirms several cutting-edge ideas in theoretical physics," announced Dr. Albert Sherwinski, a Cambridge based astrophysicist with close ties to NASA.

"The bad news is that the total annihilation of our solar system is imminent."


Although the original 2005 version postulated a 1 June 2014 occurrence of this catastrophe, versions circulated after the latter date altered the timing of the disaster to 1 December 2014.

Concerned Earthlings can cancel their interplanetary evacuation plans: all one need know about the article quoted above

is it originated with the Weekly World News, the online successor of an entertainment tabloid devoted to inventing fantastically fictitious stories. Years ago Yahoo!, a primary news source for many Internet users, was in the habit of reprinting some Weekly World News articles in its TV News section under a heading of "Entertainment News & Gossip," a heading that didn't convey a "bogus news" warning to readers. This planet-dissolving dust cloud spoof was one such article reprinted by Yahoo!, and so a number of readers were left pondering whether it was intended as a straight news item.

The bogus article states: "It now appears that mangled information can distort matter." Our tendency is to agree.

Barbara "with regard to grey matter, that is" Mikkelson

Last updated:   14 November 2014


    Foster, Mike.   "Planet-Dissolving Dust Cloud Is Headed Toward Earth!"

    Weekly World News.   12 September 2005.

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