Planetary-scale Total Extinction of all life
of any kind. The planet is left as a lifeless husk.
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Anime and Manga
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this is how Kriemhild Gretchen, the witch form of Madoka, would have destroyed the world in one timeline, or really, any timeline after the point at which the collective despair of all the iterations of her in alternate timelines built up to a sort of critical mass.
- This is what ultimately happens to the world in Wolf's Rain. That is, before Kiba dies and Cheza's seeds create paradise to press the reset button for life on Earth.
- In HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, the main Big Bad Dune does this after defeating the heroines, restoring his full powers, reducing the Great Heart Tree to a withered husk and unleashing his Desert Devils on the Earth, reducing it to a lifeless desert. Thankfully, the people purified by the Precures during the course of the series give the girls the strength to fight back and they reverse this in the end.
- Long before Malefic (who only managed a Class 3) rolled around in modern continuity, Commander Blanx did this to Mars in the 1969 Justice League of America & Martian Manhunter story "And So My World Ends," setting the entire planet on fire with an ever burning Blue Flame that consumed everything down to the bed rock.
- The ultimate consequences of Bishop's actions (and sundry unrelated disasters) in the bad future in Cable and X-Force qualifies as this grade of Apocalypse How (either that or a Class 5). Let's see—he stole a number of WMDs. One of them nuked Australia. Another turned South America into a perpetual conflagration. Nerve gas or something like it released in Beijing depopulated Asia. Africa's fate is uncertain. The fifth of them destroyed Europe's fresh water. The sixth was used against Cyclops when X-Force captured him and brought him to San Fran or Utopia in the Present. In response to one or more of the first five (they all happened in different years), the remains of future-UN declared open colonization on North America. In retaliation, the remains of future-US's government and military turned themselves into roach-people. Cue genocidal war (Cable volume 2 issue 9 or thereabouts). North America was ruined. It had recovered a little by the end of the 30th Century, at least around NYC and up into the Adirondacks a little (Cable and X-Force crossover Messiah War, when Hope was about 9). But, by the 3120s (later issues of Cable), even there, the planet was dying (storms of blood). And what did Bishop have done to him? Cable or Hope (who was by that time about 16) scrambled his time-travel device and sent him to 6900 AD or so in that timeline. That possible future Earth was basically utterly dead. Nice Job Breaking It, Villain.
- This strip◊ from Argentinian cartoonist Quino.
- The worst way Yellowstone's volcano can destroy the world by blotting out the sun for a long while is this, according to Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has the Republic, Separatist, and Imperial Order Base Delta Zero, an orbital bombardment which comes in two main flavors. The quick and dirty version is a Class 3 that involves destroying all cities, industrial assets, infrastructure and people, and can be executed by handful of Star Destroyers in a single day barring resistance and may include surface landings to conduct mop-up operations. The second variant is Class 6, frequently cited as calling for a fleet of ships to melt the planet's crust to a depth of 1 meter. Ultimately, how much it falls between these two categories depends on how many fleet assets are available, how pressed for time the commander in charge is, and how vindictive he is feeling when carrying out the order.
- One of Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth universe novels, Bloodhype, features the Vom, an Eldritch Abomination of possibly extragalactic origin that travels through space by enslaving sentient species and devours all life on planets it encounters down to the last microbe. Other novels in the series upped the ante - see the X-2 and X-4 entries.
- Hyperion Cantos - The Pax orders this being done to the Ousters. A Hegemony officer predicts the Ousters are going to do this to a planet, although there is no evidence they ever did.
- Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy contains a planet called Garissa. Or rather, did. It was sterilised with antimatter-fueled "planet busters". In effect, they caused planet-wide radioactive hurricanes that would rage for centuries.
- Iar Elterrus' Burden of the Emperor describes the summoning of an Eldritch Abomination roughly described as the embodiment of void or nothing. A successful summoning would wipe out all life, and there is no way to know if the planet would survive the ordeal, placing this on top of Class 6 bordering Class X-1. As of the third book, there is either more than one inhabited planet in the universe or more than one universe with human life, reducing this to Class 0 bordering Class 1, as the planet in question is fairly unique.
- Valentin Ivashchenko's Warrior and Mage series feature the Fallen God seeking for a way to reenter the world. Said reentry would possibly destroy the world and surely wipe out life, placing this between Class 6 and Class X-1. Mages in danger of becoming one of those reentry points (usually necromancers under great stress and catastrophic circumstances) are handled with extreme prejudice.
- Vadim Kazakov's Measure of Chaos series features a "Well of Chaos" corrupting the land. The corrupted area is quarantined by mages and special multinational armies. A breach in the quarantine will wipe out life, replacing it with chaos-spawned things.
- In H. P. Lovecraft's sonnet "Fungi From Yuggoth", Nyarlathotep brings about the end of the world, descibed as "crushing what he chansed to mould in play, the Idiot Chaos blew Earth's dust away". That's pretty vague, but seeing as "Idiot Chaos" probably refers to Azatoth, it likely refers to atleast Class 6, possibly Class X.
- You greatly underestimate the ensuing destruction. All of existence is Azathoth's dream. When he wakes up, it will be over. No Earth-Shattering Kaboom, all reality will just be gone.
- Dragonlance has one of its characters, Raistlin, try to become a god. After succeeding, he proceeds to dethrone others to get rid of competition, however after he's done kicking all the other gods out of their seats the world is pretty much dead.
- Frank Herbert's Dune series, as well as the sequels by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson include the Obliterator weapon. This weapon was stolen from the Machine Empire by the Honored Matres and used in a Salt the Earth retreat across the galaxy. They later use an Obliterator against Arrakis in an attempt to destroy the natural source of spice and a number of their enemies (including Darwi Odrade, Sheanna, and Duncan Idaho). In the Dune sequels, the Guild Navigators use an Obliterator against Richesse at the behest of the Honored Matre rebels to cripple the Bene Gesserit. Although the use of the Obliterator destroys all life on the planet, it's later revealed that a number of the worms of Dune knew that the attack would come (being possessed with prescience thanks to Leto II) and survived the attack by burrowing deep into the planet's crust.
- In the Wing Commander novel Fleet Action, the Kilrathi on the warpath use Strontium-90 clad thermonuclear weapons to render several planets incapable of sustaining any life, and threaten to do so to Earth until Max Krueger's Big Damn Heroes moment.
- If the F'dor of the Symphony Of Ages succeed, the entire world will be reduced to lifeless, molten slag. This isn't just supposition by characters, either; Meridion's story bits take place After the End.
- As The Curtain Falls is set billions of years in the future, during one of these. Due to the Sun's expansion into a Red Giant (which will later lead to a Class X2), Earth's atmosphere has boiled away and life can only exist on the beds of dried up oceans. Soon, everything will be dead. Also, much of Earth's surface is covered with deserts made of tiny bits of degraded plastic.
- In the backstory of The Magician's Nephew, Jadis' Deplorable Word killed every single living thing on the planet except her. She put herself into stasis later.
- In Poul Anderson's After Doomsday, Earth. This proves to be a clue. The culprits were not biochemically compatible with Earth, and would have had to slag it down to reseed it anyway, after they disposed of humanity.
- Stargate SG-1 has the Dakara Superweapon, a wave that can reduce targeted matter (like organic life) to its basic components, effectively eliminating all such targets on the planet. If fired through the stargate while it's active, it can affect another planet. If the entire network is active, the wave can affect the entire galaxy.
- The Slitheen family from Doctor Who wish to enact this on Earth to make a profit. By inciting a world-wide nuclear armageddon, they would be able to sell off the radioactive "molten slag" left over as cheap fuel.
- Two years later, in The Sarah Jane Adventures, more members of the Slitheen family nearly put out the Earth's sun, so they can scavenge the dead planet to the highest bidder. The Veil Androvax's homeworld is also left uninhabitable by the sun going out.
- Planet of the Dead has a Horde of Alien Locusts that devour every living thing on a planet, turning it into a desert, before creating a portal to the next world. Before the Doctor interfered, Earth was next on the menu.
- From the classic series, Kembel from The Daleks' Master Plan is reduced to a lifeless dustball by the effects of the Time Destructor.
- The planned bombardment of the Founder homeworld in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Die Is Cast" had it not been a trap apparently would have involved destroying the planet's crust and mantle. Well, at least the core would have still been there.
- In Star Trek: Voyager, there was a weapon that could eliminate a civilization from history. Any planet that would have been terraformed by said civilizations in the original timeline would not have been terraformed (at least by the civilizations that terraformed them) so they would no longer have ever had life on them.
- This is what essentially happened to Mal's homeworld of Shadow during the Unification War in the backstory of Firefly.
- And Earth itself, really the catalyst for the entire series universe, albeit via pollution, and over a very, very long time.
- Babylon 5 has the Shadow Planet Killers aka Death Clouds. They use thousands of high-yield thermonuclear missiles which burrow into the planet's core and detonate in unison, reducing the entire crust of a planet to slag while Nanotech sucks away all useful energy in the process. While this is arguably more psychologically horrific and excruciating, its Vorlon counterpart actually sits higher up the scale at Class X.
- The "Crucible Of God" scenario in Vampire The Masquerade's final supplement ends in this if the PCs lose; thanks to the war between humanity, vampires, and the Antediluvians, all life has been scoured from the face of earth, leaving it completely barren and devoid of even the most basic forms of life. Appropriately, the only survivors are the unliving vampire player characters, who either drain each other dry in a futile attempt to survive, lapse into a torpor that will never end, or kill themselves via sunlight.
- Yet another Warhammer 40000 example: this usually happens to planets when Chaos, Tyranids or Necrons win. Not even unicellular organisms can escape their nightmarish campaigns.
- Or if they lose, and someone calls on some of the less extreme forms of Exterminatus. (With the more severe ones, there isn't a planet left afterwards.)
- Special mention to the Iron Warriors short story "The Heraclitus Effect", in which Honsou uses an experimental agricultural aid to hyper-accelerate the growth of remnant Tyranid growths on Tarsis Ultra - out of spite.
- At the conclusion of the Revenge of the Sith arc in Darths & Droids it was discovered that the Trade Federation had begun construction of the "Peace Moon" by forging the entirety of Naboo. The biosphere was completely destroyed while the planet's surface was transformed into a volcanic wasteland.
- Spacetrawler. When a group of Eebs is liberated from slavery, they decide to demonstrate how pissed off they are by raining telepathic fire upon planet Carpsellon and melting its surface to slag. There end up being a few survivors: Red-9, the lone Eeb on Carpsellon's surface, is able to telepathically repel the fire, and several other characters are protected by being far underground when the fire comes.
- In The Gungan Council, a rogue moon crashes into Taris in "The Galactic Crusade". Everything dies.
- The Sand from Shadow Of Israphel is a vast desert of toxic sand (which may not actually be sand) that constantly expands and converts organic material into more of itself. If left unchecked, it would have covered the entire world and assimilated all life. Luckily, The Wall halted its expansion, restricting it to a Class 0. The Wall has recently failed.
- It seems that The Sand is actually generated by an army of giant robots called the Sentinels, who were imprisoned inside the desert to prevent them from destroying the world. Now that the Wall is broken, the Sand is somehow repairing the Sentinels by turning into metal. Much has yet to be revealed on this subject.
- Played for Laughs and exaggerated in SpongeBob SquarePants when Patrick tells the story of The Ugly Barnacle, "He was so ugly that everyone died. The end." Though Patrick could have easily been an Unreliable Narrator when telling the story, or telling a fictional story.
- On Ben 10 Alien Force, Paradox shows the heroes a possible future where a time-warping entity has caused everything on Earth to age into dust. He claims it's their best possible future if the entity isn't stopped.
- Scientists predict that the Sun's luminosity gradually increases; in about a billion years, Earth will become too hot to sustain life.
- Possible example of what the future may hold for Earth: our nearest neighbour, Venus.
- Venus is hotter than it should be though, due to the cloud cover. Scientists have actually hypothesized that if they could blow off enough of the atmosphere, the poles would be able to sustain human life.
- And could be worse than Venus. In about 3.5-4 billion years, Sun's increasing luminosity may induce a greenhouse effect so powerful that Earth's surface temperature may rise enough to melt rocks. And this still a billion years before the Sun becomes a red giant.
- Perhaps there's some hope for life; while Earth's surface may be too hot to sustain life, there's a lot of water in the deep crust and mantle that could maintain it (albeit at a very simple level; ie bacteria and very little, if any, more complex) there. Also, the future Venus-like Earth and the hellish Earth depicted above respectively depends of the level of tectonic activity and the amount of water in Earth's atmosphere. If tectonic activity is low enough (or stops) and there's little water remaining these two scenarios could be avoided, so life could still be around until the Sun started its path to become a red giant.