1. 1806 - The Prophet Hen of Leeds
In 1806, a hen in Leeds, England, began laying eggs that said “Christ is coming.” This implied the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world as we know it, however, the hen was discovered to be a hoax. The perpetrator wrote in acid on the eggs and then reinserted them into the hen. Historians are still trying to decide whether the victims of the hoax, or the hen had it worse during the ordeal.
2. October 22, 1844 - Millerites
William Miller, a farmer and Baptist preacher from northern New York, concluded that Christ would return on October 22, 1844 based on a strict interpretation of Biblical scripture and the Karaite Jewish calendar. Thousands of followers gave away all their possessions excitedly awaiting the date, but when the day uneventfully came and went, it became known as The Great Disappointment.
5. Oct/Nov 1982 - Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson, the host of “The 700 Club,” a popular Christian news program, stated on air in May 1980 that “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.” He was presented with an Ig Nobel Prize (a parody of the Nobel Prize) in 2011 for “teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations.”
6. March 26, 1997 - Heaven’s Gate
Marshall Applewhite, the leader of the cult, claimed that a spaceship to heaven trailed the Comet Hale–Bopp and that the only way to escape Earth and into space would be suicide. Applewhite and 38 of his followers committed mass suicide on March 26, 1997.