Of all the potential doomsday scenarios put forward by scientists, one of the most mysterious is the dark matter disk theory. As scientists began collecting data about the movements of other galaxies, it became clear that there was some unknown, invisible type of matter causing gravitational fluctuations throughout the observable universe. One hypothesis put forward for this mass discrepancy is that a massive disk of dark matter spins somewhere close to our galaxy, occasionally cutting straight across our galaxy in regular intervals causing mass extinctions and havoc on Earth.
This theory has floated around for some years now, beginning with astronomical observations in 1930s which determined that the universe should be much more populated by stars than it actually is. Earlier this year, another Harvard physicist Lisa Randall published research containing her evidence for the dark matter disk theory.
More recently, a research was published this month by Harvard astronomers claiming that a giant disk of dark matter is the most plausible explanation for the periodicity of regularly recurring mass extinctions on Earth which seem to occur every 30 million years. According to their highly theoretical research, certain observations of gravitational forces and the physical movements of our galaxy could hint at the existence of such a doomsday disk:
We consider whether the observed periodicity of mass extinctions and of comet impacts on Earth is consistent with Solar oscillation about the Galactic midplane and spiral arm crossings. It is of further interest to determine whether a hypothetical thin dark disk is necessary to give the right periodicity, and whether such a dark disk is allowed given kinematic and other observational constraints on the Galaxy’s gravitational potential.
These physical observations were used to construct a mathematical model which accurately predicted the time when the Chicxulub meteor crater was formed. This crater is thought to have been caused by the asteroid strike thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs, giving credence to the theory that the dark matter disk could have caused this mass extinction. Thus, now along with killer asteroids and good ol’ climate change, we have giant spinning disks of dark matter to worry about. Pass the Xanax, please.