solar eclipse conspiracy theories

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‘Nineveh repented. Will America?’: Christians claim solar eclipse path through ‘biblical’ towns prove U.S. is ‘wicked’

Others believe that the end of the world is just a week away.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Apr 1, 2024   Updated on Apr 1, 2024, 2:29 pm CDT

A total solar eclipse set to take place next week has conspiracy theorists in a panic, leading many to suggest that the natural occurrence could be linked to the apocalypse.

The event, which will occur on April 8, will see the sun’s light diminished by the moon for a little over four minutes across a small swath of North America.

Multiple city and state governments urged the public to express caution, given that such occurrences can lead to an increase in 911 calls and a run on food and water.

But those warnings have been amplified by conspiracy theorists, who see something more disturbing.

One popular claim being spread on social media alleges that the eclipse will not only cover the entire earth but last up to five days, causing comparisons to verses in the Bible depicting the end of time.

“Photons and electromagnetic particles that travel at the speed of light and will act as a barrier or temporary shield around the earth, preventing the light of the sun or the stars from passing through it,” the video’s narrator says.

Of course, the event is expected to last nowhere near that long and will only affect certain areas in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. The earth will not be dark during the eclipse, except briefly for those in the path of totality.

Another viral claim suggests that the solar eclipse will pass over either seven or eight U.S. cities named “Nineveh,” which is also the name of a city in modern-day Iraq that was described as “evil” in the Bible.

In the Book of Jonah, God commanded Jonah to “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

However, Jonah was consumed by a whale, an infamous biblical story, before he could complete his journey.

The allegation first went viral on TikTok and was later picked up by the far-right blog the Gateway Pundit.

Once again, such claims are false. Only two cities named Nineveh will be in the path of totality of the solar eclipse. Other cities named Nineveh will only see a partial eclipse.

Even so, the name has no significance whatsoever on the natural phenomenon. However, given the eclipse’s path across America, some saw it as proof of God condemning the wickedness of the nation.

“Nineveh repented. Will America?” asked one poster.

Some sources online have also claimed there was an eclipse in Nineveh when Jonah went to preach after escaping the whale, which helped the city’s residents believe his message.

But it wasn’t just religious-based claims circulating among the conspiratorial online. Many also suggested that the event would be used by the government to carry out a false flag attack.

Others noted that the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, also planned to test its particle accelerator on the same day as the solar eclipse to discover subatomic particles that exist inside atoms.

“Anyone find it strange that CERN are firing up their Hadron Collider on the same day as the Solar Eclipse on April 8th?” asked the user @BGatesIsaPsycho.

Over on Reddit’s r/Conspiracy subreddit, users similarly suggested that something nefarious was set to take place.

“OK now I really want to know what’s going on in the background that day” one user said. “Way too much fearmongering and distraction.”

While some legitimate concerns have been raised by authorities due to the eclipse, such as a potential increase in car accidents, none of the apocalyptic warnings being made by social media users are based on evidence.

As noted by the Independent, an estimated 44 million people live inside the area where the solar eclipse will cover.

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*First Published: Apr 1, 2024, 1:38 pm CDT