The world may end on Wednesday (31 January) as a "super blue blood moon", which only occurs every 150 years, will be seen from around the world in the early hours of the morning.
The once-in-a-lifetime lunar phenomenon is eagerly anticipated as it combines three exciting events at the same time: the moon's closest approach to the Earth plus a blue moon (the second full moon in a month), together creating a supermoon, alongside a lunar eclipse which adds a reddish hue. In the US, the spectacle will be best witnessed from the west, while those in the UK look set to miss out. The Middle East, Asia, Australia and Russia may also have a good view.
Yet the Books of Joel, Acts and Revelation in the Christian Bible prophesy the end of days following a moon "like blood" – and a set of other criteria for the blood moon prophecy that have all seemingly been met.
The Book of Revelation sets out that a great earthquake and eclipse will preface the blood moon, which arguably has happened recently. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska on 23 January, triggering a tsunami alert for the US Pacific coast that was later stood down. And the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly a century could be seen from the US last August, when President Trump stared directly at the sun.
The Bible passage, about the opening of an apocalyptic document with seven symbolic seals which spells the second coming, reads: "When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.
"The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."
A passage from the Book of Acts 2:20 supporting the blood moon and eclipse prophecy reads: "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord coming." A very similar passage can be found in the Book of Joel 2:31.
However, no such prophecy came true during a series of four lunar eclipses, sometimes known as blood moons, in 2014 and 2015. The timing of the eclipses particularly interested prophecy teachers, as in both years a full lunar eclipse occurred on the first day of Passover and the first day of the Jewish festival Sukkot, according to Christian site Got Questions, which examined why Jesus did not make his second coming during this period.
Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz created a blood moon prophecy stating that the 2014-15 tetrad, a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses landing on Jewish holidays, with six full moons in between and no intervening partial lunar eclipses, would be a sign of the end times. The tetrad ended without consequence in September 2015, but Hagee had already seen success with his best-selling book Four Blood Moons.