As class has been wrapping up I have been entertaining the idea that apocalypses are not all that unheard of or even uncommon. In class we have been studying all sorts of novels and movies that depict and examine apocalypses on a large scale, but what about on a smaller scale?

If you google the meaning of the word “apocalypse” you get two definitions: 1) “the complete final destruction of the world, especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation”. 2) “an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale”. Obviously in class we have been learning in relevance to the first definition. However, based upon the second definition, it might be possible that all of us have experienced an apocalyptic event. When I think of a small scale apocalypse a few historical events come to mind: the earthquake and tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Katrina, and the Stock Market of 2008.

  • On December 26th 2004, mother nature unleashed her power on Indonesia. By the end of the disaster more than 200,800 people had lost their lives and another 1.7 million were displaced.
  • In late August of 2005, mother nature unleashed again. This time a lot closer to home. Katrina brought with her heavy rainfall, 120+mph winds, levee breaches, and flooding. The exact death count is still unknown but is estimated between 1,245-1,836.
  • In 2008 a disaster struck the Stock Market; on September 29th the biggest ever single-day crash occurred. Immediately the United States and the rest of the world was impacted.

Although these events did not lead to the end of the world they did lead to societies having to be rebuilt. These events showed me that the definition of the word apocalypse has different meanings to different people. After all of the natural disasters, the worlds of the people involved did end, some in death, others just lost the world they were familiar with.