mass extinction
An asteroid is believed to have caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Wiki Commons

A CNN report claiming that a Manhattan-sized asteroid would collide with earth and destroy everything by 2041, has turned out to be a fake.

The story, posted by a 'citizen journalist' named 'Marcus575', has claimed that a newly discovered asteroid has almost 50% chance of colliding with the Earth causing mass extinction.

The fake doomsday news went viral on the internet and received more than 230,000 hits and 23,000 shares since it was published causing major embarrassment for the reputed news website.

The renowned media house became the butt of joke when NASA came forward to refute the hoax story.

The article was published on the cable news giant's iReport website, with the headline "Giant asteroid possibly on collision course with Earth."

The website has finally taken down the story and has put an explanation for the online blunder:

"NASA has confirmed via email that this story is false. A spokeswoman for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that the largest object detected by NEOWISE measures 3 km in diameter and poses no risk to Earth. The iReport has been removed."

The hoax story that has attracted uninvited attention from around the world reads as follows:

"Scientists believe that during a close encounter with Mars, the asteroid was nudged slightly off its usual orbit and may currently be on a high speed collision course with our fragile planet.

"The asteroid is calculated to have a potentially lethal encounter with the Earth on March 35, 2041."

To everyone's amusement, 35 March has been predicted as the destruction day.

"Astronomers have placed the odds of an impact at 1 in 2.04, which is by far the most unprecedented risk ever faced to humanity, let alone from asteroids. Such an impact could potentially end civilization as we know it," the report said.