Johannes Stoffler - End of The World

In 1499, Mathematician and Astronomer Johannes Stoffler predicted that a great deluge would cover the world on February 20, 1524, a catastrophic event similar to the time of Noah and the Ark. This prediction gained traction due to Stoffler’s respectable position at the University of Tubigen. During the intervening twenty-five years, over one hundred different pamphlets were written and distributed warning of the predicted disaster.  People built ships on the Rhine River to survive. Land began to sell in the lowlands and along the waterlines for greatly reduced rates. One famous count, Count von Iggleheim, led the charge and built himself a three-story ship to survive the deluge. This ship sat with many other boats and ships in the Rhine River. Merchants made good money selling survival supplies to all of the fearful people.

February 20, 1524, came. The wealthy who were able to purchase boats were sitting securely with their survival supplies in their boats. And then a giant thunderstorm came. While the wealthy were sitting in their boats, panic set in with the rest of the people. The great storm convinced them that Stoffler’s prediction was true. And hundreds of people died. Not from the storm, but from the mad rush to try and get in the boats already in the river. The deluge did not come. It was just a storm.

Stoffler recalculated to find his error and came up with a new date. He predicted that the world would end in 1528 this time. The Germans failed to heed this new warning and the date passed with barely a notice.

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