Speed Reads

we started the fire

Stephen Hawking predicts humans will turn the world into a 'ball of fire' within 600 years

It's getting hot in here — and if you won't take Nelly's word for it, take Stephen Hawking's.

The world population is soaring, and humans' demand for energy is skyrocketing along with it. That's why, the physicist guesses, we have less than 600 years until humans turn Earth into a "ball of fire."

Hawking made his dire prediction via video conference at Beijing's Tencent WE Summit on Sunday, Metro reported. But Hawking said there's still hope for humanity — if we get out of here fast.

Luckily, there's a solar system just four light years away. Breakthrough Starshot, a project backed by Hawking and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is working to get there, developing tiny spaceships propelled by laser beams that could travel to Mars in less than an hour. That means they could speed to Alpha Centauri and its Earthlike planet Proxima b in about 20 years, according to Scientific American.

In other words: It might be time to start packing for a long, long road trip to save the human race.