NASA scientist debunks popular Nibiru conspiracy

The existence of Planet Nibiru is a popular internet doomsday theory.
The existence of Planet Nibiru is a popular internet doomsday theory. Photo credit: Getty

A NASA scientist has firmly denied a popular doomsday theory about a rogue planet destroying Earth.

Nibiru, also known as Planet X, is the subject of a long-running internet theory about an undetected planet orbiting the outer fringes of our solar system. The mystery planet is allegedly on a collision course towards Earth, according to conspiracy theorists.

Theoretically Nibiru should have hit us on Sunday, but that doesn't seem to have happened. In fact the end of the world was originally scheduled for 2003, then 2012, then 2017.

Dr David Morrison, a senior scientist at NASA, is frustrated at the continued popularity of the Nibiru theory, which people have been asking him about for more than a decade.

"You're asking me for a logical explanation of a totally illogical idea," Dr Morrison said on a recent episode of the SETI Institute podcast. "There is no such planet. There never has been, and presumably there never will be, but it keeps popping up over and over."

Dr Morrison wrote on his website back in 2008 that he was being bombarded with questions about whether or not Nibiru would collide with Earth in the then far-off year of 2012.

"I now receive at least one question per day, ranging from anguished ('I can't sleep; I am really scared; I don't want to die.') to the abusive ('Why are you lying; you are putting my family at risk; if NASA denies it then it must be true.')"

Despite Dr Morrison's repeated explanations as to why Nibiru doesn't exist - the complete lack of evidence being one of the reasons - the astronomer and his colleagues at NASA received thousands of anxious emails as the supposed doomsday as December 21, 2012 approached.

Dr Morrison was eventually forced into making YouTube videos to soothe people's fears, under orders from NASA.

"I got a note from a 12-year-old girl. She said she and her classmates were scared," he said in a video from 2011. "The simplest thing to say is there is no evidence whatsoever for the existence of Nibiru."

Despite the fact that the world didn't end in 2012, Nibiru theories are just as popular to this day. Two separate doomsdays were forecast for 2017 alone - one on September 23 and then again on October 15 after nothing happened in September.

During his guest appearance on the SETI podcast, Dr Morrison expressed his frustration that the doomsday theory just won't die.

"I got a phone call the other day," Morrison said. "The world was supposed to end Saturday. The man asked, 'Should I ought to work on Saturday, or stay home with my family?'"

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