"Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" board members
"Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" board members (L-R) Thomas Pickering, David Titley and chairman Lawrence Krauss speak at a news conference where the board revealed that it has moved the minute hand of their "Doomsday Clock" by 30 seconds to a more ominous 2-1/2 minutes from midnight at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S. January 26, 2017.REUTERS/Jim Bourg

The world could come to an end in 2017, according to Doomsday conspiracy theorists. The year began with rumours of apocalypse after theorists linked January 12, the Wolf Moon day, and Venus shining brightest in eight years, to catastrophe. They also claimed that the day fell before the first "Friday the 13th" of the year. But like similar apocalypse predictions in the past, nothing happened.

Author David Meade has claimed in his book, "Planet X – The 2017 Arrival", that the Earth will be destroyed in October this year due to a collision with a mysterious planet known as Nibiru or Planet X. He said there are high chances of the planet colliding with the earth at its South Pole. However, he didn't provide evidence that led him to the collision theory.

[READ: Will the world end this weekend? Some fear apocalypse is near]

Now, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board has moved the hands of Doomsday Clock ahead by 30 seconds, which means the world is in a very dangerous position with possibilities of a catastrophe in the cards.

The Bulletin has set the Doomsday Clock at two and a half minutes to midnight, a 30 second closer to apocalypse than the previous year owing to several factors prevailing in the world today, including US president Donald Trump's plan to increase the country's nuclear arsenal, and climate change.

Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an organisation founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project. The organisation used the imagery of apocalypse and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion to convey threats to humanity and the planet through the clock. Over the years, the Doomsday Clock has become a universally recognised indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies. It also has become a cultural touchstone used by religious cults for end-of-days prophecies.

The hands of the Doomsday Clock have been fluctuating over the years. It was first set at seven minutes before midnight before the test of atomic bomb by the Soviet Union pushed the clock to four minutes in 1949. However, Doomsday Clock ticked at minus two minutes to midnight in 1953 after the US and then USSR tested hydrogen bombs.

The clock hit its safest point at 17 minutes in 1991 but rocked back and forth since then after nuclear tests by Pakistan, India and North Korea, and the alarming rate of climate change. 2016 was perilous with the US and Russia at loggerheads over Syria and Ukraine, nuclear test by North Korea, and border tension between India and Pakistan.

The Doomsday Clock is now closest it's been to midnight in last 64 years. 

[Here is video of the Doomsday dashboard]

(Source: The Bulletin)