With every passing year comes a new one; a time for reflection and renaissance. For the bible-thumping prophecy hawks, however, this is just another year in which the world might finally come to the end they have been praying so damn hard for. Though probably not.

So just who is predicting the end of the world in 2016? And what – aside from gullibility, stupidity or plain ol' raving madness – has brought them to such a devastating conclusion? Here is why the end may be nigh in 2016. But don't bet on it, not least because bookies are unlikely to survive the apocalypse anyway.

This apocalypse theory, like all the good ones, is based on the crazed rantings of ancient leper scribes charged with writing screeds which would become everybody's favourite book after the Harry Potter series, the Bible. And there are the prophetic words of some 17th century Islamic scholar thrown in to boot, who probably definitely maybe said a "tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West", which is a convenient translation.

But that's not all. There are astronomic clues too, if you know what you're looking for, including a "rare alignment of Venus behind the sun [which] occurs between the horns of the constellation Taurus, the bull".

Bull indeed. All of this and more is cited by David Montaigne as evidence for his theory that Barack Obama is not only the US president, but the Antichrist too, which must mean he has one hell of a schedule. Up at 4am, breakfast briefing with aides, phonecall with Putin, photoshoot with visiting schoolchildren, slaughtering a lamb in ritual sacrifice, meeting with the vice-president about education policy...

"Biblical evidence points to three key facts on these topics," says Montaigne, who is selling a book called Antichrist 2016-2019: Mystery Babylon, Barack Obama & the Islamic Caliphate. "The Antichrist makes his big move in Jerusalem in 2016. The Antichrist is the King of Babylon, and Mystery Babylon is New York. Barack Obama will be in charge of the right world empire at the right time, AND he fits the bible's numerous personal descriptions of the Antichrist."

Case closed, sheeple. Oh, and the big important date is June 6, 2016 because it sort of looks like the mark of the beast (you would have thought June 6, 2006 would have been a better date, but these Antichrists are sloppy on detail). Maybe Obama will tear off his mask and reveal himself to be the Antichrist. But we all know this is absolutely ridiculous because the real Antichrist is obviously Donald Trump.

World War 3, asteroid, earthquakes: You name it, it's coming in 2016

Pastor Ricardo Salazar, who seems to have ordained himself, put up a series of videos on YouTube foretelling apocalyptic horror in 2016. Salazar founded the modestly-named "Global Church of the King of Israel", which he runs from the famous epicentre of the Judeo-Christian world, Tokyo, Japan.

Salazar reckons God told him that an asteroid would plough into the Earth on May 16, 2016. As if that wasn't bad enough, a mere month later on June 16 we will see World War 3 break out between the US on one side and Russia and China on the other. Or what's left of them after the catastrophic asteroid strike.

Don't worry though, it'll all be over by Christmas – October 25, to be precise. But there's more. Earthquakes, CERN's hadron collider creating a black hole into which we are all gobbled, the eruption of volcanoes. Despite all this killing billions of people, there will be a "new currency" launched in March 2017 (no idea). Something to look forward to, at least.

According to markbeast.com, a website about "the mark of the beast" rather than a Mr Mark Beast, who does not exist:

The seventy 'sevens' in Daniel 9:24 are 70 Jubilee cycles. These 70 Jubilee cycles bring us to the end of the world. When the children of Israel entered Canaan, their promised land, the LORD gave them sabbatical cycles and Jubilee cycles. Sabbatical cycles are 7 years long and Jubilee cycles are 49 years long. Each Jubilee cycle consists of 7 sabbatical cycles. The 50th year is called the Jubilee. Seventy "sevens" = 70 Jubilee cycles 70 x 7 x 7 +1 = 3,431 years. Seventy "sevens" are decreed for your people to put an end to sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness. (Daniel 9:24). The 70 Jubilee cycles point to the time when god's people will no longer transgress His law. Eternal righteousness will be brought into their lives. Then Jesus will come to take them to heaven. The 70 Jubilees predict Christ's second coming. The 70 Jubilees began in 1416 BC when god's children entered Canaan. The 70 Jubilees will end 3,431 years later in 2016 AD when God's children will enter heavenly Canaan. God's people will be totally and permanently delivered from sin and Jesus will come again. The second coming of Christ will occur at the exact time predicted in Daniel's prophecy. In 2016 there will be an end to sin in the world, Jesus will come the second time, and then the end of the world will come.

So that's nice.

Ghostbusters: Who you gonna call when it's the end of the world?

In Ghostbusters 2, a psychic called Elaine says an alien approached her in a Premier Inn bar and told her the world will end on February 14, 2016. Ghostbuster Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray, replies simply: "Valentine's Day. Bummer."

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