The Doomsday Clock first appeared in June 1947, when a group of
researchers known as the Chicago Atomic Scientists was seeking a
cover image for their magazine the “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists”. To
complete this, they enlisted the help of designer Martyl Langsdorf, who
gave birth to the idea. A clock that counted down to the end of the world.
Since then, the Doomsday Clock has appeared in the same format, until
2007 when Michael Bierut redesigned it with a more modern
The Doomsday Clock’s purpose is a theoretical and hypothetical
countdown to a global catastrophe; based on current world events.
Reading The Doomsday Clock:
Reading the Doomsday Clock is as easy as reading any other clock,
except rather than counting down to a new day, midnight represents
something more sinister….the end of the world. The closer the clock
reads to 12:00 am, the closer the world is to doomsday. Jumps closer,
and further away, from midnight are usually sparked by major world
events, eg. the election of a new world leader, weapons testing etc.
The Doomsday Clock has been back in the news in recent days, as its
hands reside the closest they have been to midnight since 1953, when
the first successful hydrogen bomb test took place.