Time-travelling viruses sealed in permafrost for thousands of years could wreak havoc as ice melts due to global warming.
Boffins reckon the frozen pathogens could leak into the world, sparking pandemics and destroying civilisation, in a mirror image of Ice Age disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow.
Scientists from the European Commission Joint Research Center fear once they are at large, the organisms could evolve to become dominant free-living species.
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Last year scientists announced they had revived a 48,500-year-old virus found in melting Siberian permafrost.
The team said: “Some caused up to one-third of the host species to die out, while others increased diversity by up to 12% compared to the control simulations.
“The risks posed by this 1% of released pathogens may seem small.
“But given the sheer number of ancient microbes regularly released into modern communities, outbreak events still represent a large hazard.’’
The revelations sparked concern online among pandemic-battered Brits.
One questioned: “What could possibly go wrong?”
Another claimed there would be “global lockdowns” put into place.
Meanwhile, an asteroid the size of the Earth's third-tallest building is set to crash through the planet's orbit as of next week.
NASA confirmed the minor planet would ripple through Earth's atmosphere with the asteroid piece being as tall as the Shanghai Tower – the world's third-largest building.
Shanghai Tower, which was constructed in 2015 and measures in at an impressive 632 metres tall, shares its height with the upcoming asteroid.
Big brains over at NASA have kept tabs on the bit of space rock for some time, and are expecting the crash on August 4, with the asteroid gaining some impressive speeds.
The asteroid, named QL433, makes passes of Earth every three years, with the previous sighting back in July 2020.
QL433 also finds itself blasting to and from Venus every six years, with the asteroid heading toward the second planet from The Sun on June 28.
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