By Eleanor Muffitt

Conspiracy theorists around the world are claiming that a planet will collide with Earth this September - and that the coming solar eclipse will signal the apocalypse's beginning.

David Meade, author of Planet X - The 2017 Arrival, asserts the planet Nibiru (also known as Planet X) will crash into our own on September 23.

Although scientists deny the planet's existence, Meade is convinced he is right after finding Bible passages to support his claims.

Advertisement

Earlier this year Meade asserted that Nibiru would crash into Earth in October, however he has now moved the date forward a few weeks.

The Great American Eclipse - the total solar eclipse which will enshroud parts of the US in complete darkness on August 21- now apparently indicates the planet's arrival.

Where does the theory come from?

Despite a lack of evidence, David Meade - along with a number of other conspiracy theorists - claim Bible passages and the solar eclipse's existence support the idea that the end of times are nigh.

Meade told the Daily Star earlier this month: "The Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017, is a major - huge - harbinger."

The conspiracy theorist points to warnings in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, Chapter 13, verses nine to 10, which read: "See, the Day of the Lord is coming - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.

"The Stars of Heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising Sun will be darkened and the Moon will not give its light."

Meade says this passage is connected to what he has dubbed the "33 Convergence", where a string of coincidences all include the number 33.

"When the eclipse begins on August 21, the sunrise will be dark, just as Isaiah predicts," he says. "The Moon involved is called a black moon. These occur about every 33 months. In the Bible, the divine name of Elohim appears 33 times in Genesis.

He added: "The eclipse will start in Lincoln Beach, Oregon - the 33rd state - and end on the 33rd degree of Charleston, South Carolina. Such a solar eclipse has not occurred since 1918, which is 99 years - or 33 times three."

Thirty-three days after the US total solar eclipse - on September 23 - the stars will align just as the book of Revelation says they will before the world ends. This, Meade points out, "is indeed an amazing omen and a frightful sign".

Revelation's chapter 12 depicts a "great sign": that a "woman clothed with the sun, with the Moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head" will "give birth".

On September 23, Meade says, the Moon will appear at the feet of the constellation Virgo (a virgin woman). At the head of Virgo there will be 12 stars, the nine stars of Leo and the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars.

Virgo will then appear to give birth to Jupiter, apparently signalling the beginning of the end for us all.

What is Nibiru/Planet X?

Conspiracy theorists have been predicting for decades that Nibiru - also referred to as Planet X - is going to collide with Earth and destroy it. Fortunately for us, their doomsday predictions have never actually been right (so far).

An unseen planet debunked by Nasa, Nibiru was first mentioned in 1976 by Zecharia Sitchin in his cult book The 12th Planet. The mystery planet is apparently home to a race of ancient aliens called the Annunaki, whom Sitchin credited with creating the human race.

Nigel Watson, author of the UFO Investigations Manual, supports Sitchin's idea, explaining: "Nibiru collided with a planet called Tiamat that was situated between Mars and Jupiter. The result was the creation of the asteroid belt and planet Earth.

"Nibiru is populated by the Anunnaki, an advanced humanoid race, who visited Earth thousands of years ago to mine gold in Africa.

"As an outcome of needing workers to carry out these mining operations they used genetics to create Homo Sapiens."

via GIPHY

The end of the world was also supposed to arrive on May 21, 2011, with Christian doomsday prophet Harold Camping predicting the Rapture would begin at 18.00 in each of the world's time zones, wiping out naysayers with rolling earthquakes as believers ascended to heaven.

The preacher refused to schedule any media interviews for the following day, saying: "There is no way that I can schedule an interview because I won't be here" - but this doomsday prediction wasn't his first.

He blamed an earlier apocalyptic prediction of his, which passed quietly in 1994, on a mathematical error, explaining: "I'm not embarrassed about it. It was just the fact that it was premature."

Nor is this the first Armageddon prophecy to focus on eclipses. Following four consecutive lunar eclipses at six-monthly intervals, in 2015 US pastor John Hagee claimed global destruction was nigh.

Awkwardly, this prediction contradicted fellow conspiracy theorist Chris McCann's claim that the world would end on October 7 2015 - thankfully, neither were correct.

What are scientists saying about the apocalypse?

Although Nasa hasn't responded to Meade's assertions about September 23, they did comment on 2012's apocalypse prediction.

Nasa said then in a statement on its website: "Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims.

"If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist."

When questioned about 2015's potential apocalypse, the experts at Nasa eased our minds even more, saying: "As best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years."

What are people on social media saying about the apocalypse?

You heard the man - IT'S COMING, FOLKS. Tinned supplies, hunting equipment and foil hats at the ready; you only have so long to prepare ...