FEARS of an imminent apocalypse have been sparked by a mysterious warning from Google Translate.
The language-translation app is telling users that we’re “approaching the end times” – and no one’s quite sure why.
Typing the word “dog” into Google Translate and translating from Yoruba (a West African language) to English spits out the exact same word, “dog”.
But type “dog” 22 times in a row and a sinister message appears instead.
“Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve,” it begins.
“We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return.”
The bizarre message was first discovered by users on Reddit, several of whom described it as “creepy”.
But it gets even more sinister if you reduce the number of times you type “dog”, as several Reddit users spotted.
Instead of talking about the return of Jesus, Google Translate instead delivers a message about how the Antichrist will soon appear.
The message originally worked on Hawaiian-to-English translation too, but it seems to have now been fixed.
So what does it all mean?
The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock that represents how close we are to the end of the world.
It specifically relates to a man-made catastrophe – like global warming or the threat of global nuclear war.
The apocalypse is midnight, and the clock is regularly adjusted to show how many minutes to midnight (or the end times) we are.
Doomsday Clock changes revealed – how many minutes to midnight?
Here are all the times the Doomsday Clock time (which predicts our closeness to apocalypse) has been changed, and by how much…
- 1947 – 7 minutes to midnight
- 1949 – 3 minutes to midnight
- 1953 – 2 minutes to midnight
- 1960 – 7 minutes to midnight
- 1963 – 12 minutes to midnight
- 1968 – 7 minutes to midnight
- 1969 – 10 minutes to midnight
- 1972 – 12 minutes to midnight
- 1974 – 9 minutes to midnight
- 1980 – 7 minutes to midnight
- 1981 – 4 minutes to midnight
- 1984 – 3 minutes to midnight
- 1988 – 6 minutes to midnight
- 1990 – 10 minutes to midnight
- 1991 – 17 minutes to midnight
- 1995 – 14 minutes to midnight
- 1998 – 9 minutes to midnight
- 2002 – 7 minutes to midnight
- 2007 – 5 minutes to midnight
- 2010 – 6 minutes to midnight
- 2012 – 5 minutes to midnight
- 2015 – 3 minutes to midnight
- 2017 – 2.5 minutes to midnight
- 2018 – 2 minutes to midnight
It started off back in 1947 at seven minutes to midnight, and has since been set backwards and forwards a further 23 times – courtesy of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board.
Despite what Google’s message suggests, the clock is set at an even more terrifying two minutes to midnight.
Google’s message about Jesus’ return likely relates to the Book of Revelation.
That’s a book in the New Testament of the Bible that describes the end of the world, including the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – and the return of Jesus to Earth.
Given the frosty relations between the US and North Korea, and recent tensions between Britain and Russia, it’s easy to see how Google might have got the idea that the world is about to end.
But Google isn’t actually seeing into the future.
Instead, this is likely a glitch relating to Google’s machine learning systems, which help Google understand how to translate from one language to another.
Google pulls information from all over the web, so it’s likely that Google Translate simply converted gibberish into even more nonsense.
We’ve asked Google for comment and will update this story with any response.
Do you think Google is right? Is the apocalypse really imminent?