Five times our world has stood on the brink of Armageddon - it's been incinerated, frozen, drained, flooded and smothered by poison gas. We are very lucky to be alive...Over the past decade has come a revolution in our understanding of global apocalypses. Armed with new technology, scientists have dived into deep time to examine our planet's near-death experiences. The bad news is that they look eerily like our future. Take a wild ride through the crime scenes, from South Africa to the New York Palisades. Meet the obsessive, off-kilter personalities using cutting-edge forensic tools to piece together the weird and wonderful clues hiding in the fossil record - dragonflies the size of seagulls and fishes with guillotines for mouths. A rip-roaring chronicle and a cautionary tale, The Ends of the World reveals how these five near extinctions gave rise to our modern world - we've never seen so clearly what Armageddon looks like.
Peter Brannen is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Wired, New York Times, Washington Post and Slate, amongst other publications.
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