TikTokers Are Convinced the Solar Eclipse Will Break Our World ‘Simulation’

A total solar eclipse will happen on Monday, April 8, putting on quite a show for roughly 44 million people who live within the totality—the places on the Earth that will be completely shielded by the Moon as it comes between us and the sun. But there are more than a few people on platforms like YouTube and TikTok who believe April 8 might literally be the end of the world.

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One of the most common claims that has been circulating online in the past couple of months is that the solar eclipse will pass over six, seven, or eight (depending on who you ask) towns named Nineveh in the United States and Canada. TikTokers have even produced maps that claim to show the path of totality going over these towns.

Nineveh was a town visited by the biblical figure Jonah, a Hebrew prophet who lived in the 8th century BCE. And some social media influencers believe an eclipse took place when Jonah was in the town of Nineveh, meaning the same thing will happen to modern-day Americans on Monday.

In reality, the path of totality isn’t going over six, seven, or eight towns named Nineveh. The totality is passing over just two towns named Nineveh, in Ohio and Indiana, which certainly makes the claim that this is a sign from God sound less ominous.

Dan McClellan, a biblical scholar who often answers questions on TikTok about the history of religion, has created videos explaining why these claims of prophecy make no sense, even from a biblical perspective. And his own map of various U.S. towns named Nineveh, created with data from NASA, shows it’s really just two.

“Anyone who says that these cities fall inside the path of totality is either lying about where they’re located or has manipulated the path of totality,” McClellan said in a recent video.

The totality will also occur in places like Santa Claus, Indiana. Does that mean Christmas is coming early this year? How about Ding Dong, Texas, which will also be in the path of the totality? Will God deliver chocolate cake snacks? Or what about Booger Hole, West Virginia? If you wanted to construct a conspiracy theory about the Moon trying to protect the world’s boogers from the harmful rays of the sun, it wouldn’t be very much of a stretch using the same logic as these TikTokers.

Another thing that social media creators seem fixated on is the possibility of electrical systems going down, along with cellphone infrastructure.

“They’re saying be ready for like power outages and stuff like that. Cell service disruptions. Buy necessary groceries, look,” one TikTok creator said in a recent video while pointing at screenshots of various articles.

But later in the video, it becomes clear why this particular creator may be interested in spreading fear about power outages. It turns out he’s selling flashlights and cellphone battery chargers.

“Solar powered block, man, it’s got a flashlight obviously. You can charge your phone on it you can play Angry Birds,” the creator said.

These people are selectively quoting real articles and taking them out of context. Yes, some of the small towns that have promoted themselves as destinations to watch the solar eclipse have struggled with cell service during peak tourist days in the past. However, that’s just what can happen when cellphone towers are overloaded with more visitors to a town than usual.

Conspiracy theorists have also noted that some small-town mayors are making disaster declarations in the lead-up to the eclipse. But this, yet again, is an example of people taking things out of context. Officials in Dripping Springs, Texas have been promoting the town as a great place to watch the eclipse and the City Council signed a disaster declaration last week. But the town made it clear this is just a prudent step to mobilize resources for an influx of tourists.

“While the City does not anticipate any significant issues and expects this to be an amazing experience for residents and visitors, enacting a disaster declaration in advance of the event activates the city’s Emergency Management team and authorizes more aid if needed,” the city of Dripping Springs said in a press release.

“It allows Dripping Springs to streamline decision-making, access additional resources, and coordinate emergency response efforts to effectively address any needs we may have,” the press release continued.

The Texas Department of Transportation estimates roughly a million people will visit Texas for the solar eclipse, and that kind of influx can stress infrastructure in tiny towns. The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management held a press conference on Wednesday about the potential for cell and power outages during the eclipse as these systems see an influx of visitors. New York state campgrounds are going to be at 93% of capacity for Monday, according to state officials, meaning that all of those smaller towns could see systems overloaded.

There are also more secular-focused predictions about the end of our world, as some people insist the biblical prophecies being spread around are tied to the collapse of our “simulation.” The comments are related to the belief that everything in our universe is actually akin to a computer simulation and we simply don’t know it. The creators use strange mathematical calculations to supposedly prove we live in a simulation because of the timing of eclipses.

For whatever it’s worth, there are plenty of intelligent people who don’t rule out the possibility that we’re living in a simulation. The problem is that there’s no way to test this theory. What we do know for sure is that eclipses are timed the way they are due to the orbits of the Earth and Moon.

Humans have been making apocalyptic predictions since the dawn of civilization. But these ideas can spread faster than ever, thanks to this big weird machine we call the internet. You don’t need to worry about the end of the world on Monday. Your biggest concern should be making sure you have proper glasses to watch the eclipse so you don’t permanently damage your eyes.