Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. – Revelation 8:6-11.
Armageddon, the end of the world, hail and blood, meteors as big as mountains raining from the sky. This is calamity and disaster on a scale never witnessed by humans.
The dinosaurs apparently met their demise at the hands of a mountain-sized meteor that struck near the Yucatan Peninsula about 65-66 million years ago ending the Mesozoic Period and the future of most large dinosaurs. The collision and subsequent ecosystem collapse is quite similar to some of the events described in this passage.
The calamities begin with the first trumpet being sounded and “a rain of hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth”. Hail I get. It has shown up before as a divine judgement. Large chunks of ice falling from the sky would get one’s attention.
The fire mixed with blood is less clear. Perhaps it is metaphorical rather than meteorological. I do not know. From a scientific perspective this sounds like meteorites or numerous meteor or comet fragments raining down on earth. The “blood” could have been red dust (oxidized iron) that was part of a metallic meteor that broke apart and scattered itself around the globe causing fires and “burning” trees and grass.
The second trumpet sounds and a blazing mountain is thrown into the sea. This sounds very much like the source of the previous fire and blood. A mountain of a meteor blazing as it enters Earth’s atmosphere and crashes into the ocean. The result of such an impact would be immediate vaporization of large amounts of water, a potentially massive tsunami, and widespread chemistry changes in the oceans. These would certainly give rise to the sea turning into “blood” (perhaps toxic algal blooms), creatures in the sea dying, and ships destroyed. Even a modest sized meteor or comet (>100 meters) would create this type of calamity if it impacted in the ocean. As of September 24, 2021 there were 2,212 potentially hazardous asteroids being tracked greater than 100 meters in diameter.
The third trumpet heralds the arrival of “a great star, blazing like a torch”. This “star” even has a name, Wormwood. The description here sounds like an even larger meteor or comet that will be visible for some time as it approaches earth. The “torch” would be either gasses melting off a comet as it approaches the sun or the blaze of friction as a rocky or metallic meteor enters Earth’s atmosphere.
This impact sounds like it will happen on land rather than in the ocean. It will fall on “rivers and on the springs of water”, both of which only occur on land. The water will turn bitter, meaning there will be widespread contamination of water making it undrinkable. This contamination could be a result of acid rain created by sulfur or other elements vaporized during an impact. Many will die as a result of this bitter water.
All of the events described here are completely consistent with a future encounter with several extraterrestrial objects. We know that such collisions have happened before and we know they will happen again, we just don’t know when or where the impacts will occur. We may have warning of their arrival or we may not depending on their approach direction and speed.
It strikes me that the calamitous events described here are a rapid and irreversible change to the physical world we know through the arrival of external objects. Perhaps a similar spiritual calamity occurs when our physical bodies cease to function, when we die and our souls enter the spiritual realm.
The changes our souls encounter may be even greater than the earth shattering events described here. The spiritual shattering will happen as our souls see, perhaps for the first time, the “real” world we have been living in here on earth. Our ability to cope with this transition may be impacted by the attention we have given, during our earthly existence, to the eternal so that when the end to our earthly life arrives we are spiritually prepared.
Prayer: God help us to attend to the eternal in our lives so that when the end to our earthly life arrives we are spiritually prepared.