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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Armageddon Although commonly used as a designation for the end of the world, this name actually applies to a real geographical location in Israel near Mount Carmel, about five miles from the coastal city of Haifa. It was the site of several important battles in ancient history.
      According to the predictions of St. John in Apocalypse, a battle between good and evil will take place there at some unspecified time, producing a river of human blood “to the height of a horse's bridle” for a distance of two hundred miles. Assuming that (a) all the blood were to be drained from each victim's body at the same moment, that (b) the “river” is only ten feet wide and does not flow at all, and that (c) the horse is rather small, it would mean that some three hundred sixty million persons would have to be slaughtered during this battle, all simultaneously. Since the area cannot itself hold that number of persons standing shoulder to shoulder, it appears that St. John's figures are poorly arrived at. But perhaps that is one of the properties of a miracle.

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