The silly season is well and truly upon us. Determined not to be outdone by US evangelist Harold Camping, a British "academic" has claimed that the world will end in 7.6 billion years.
If you thought that the Rapture was far-fetched, just wait till you hear what Professor Jonathan Glass of Magdalen College, Oxford has in store for all you non-believers.
"The sun will expand to many times its current size," he told fellow crackpots on the Astronomy Matters podcast. "As it expands, it will become three thousand times brighter than it is now, but it will also lose mass. Many thought that Earth would escape into space, but we now think that drag from the sun's outer layers will cause our planet to drift inwards and become vaporised."
Like Camping, the British eccentric is also partial to numerical mumbo-jumbo.
"Our computer simulations are becoming more and more sophisticated," he claimed. "The current ones might be surpassed, but until they are, the numbers suggest that the Earth will be destroyed when the sun becomes a Red Giant, in roughly 7.6 billion years."
Far-future predictions are nothing new. Nostradamus told his son that the world would end in the year 3797. Baba Vanga went with 5079, and the Mesoamerican "Long Count" calendar has become quite the cause celebre as 2012 approaches.
But 7.6 billion years is a record - unlikely to be, in game show speak, "the closest without going over" - and some Rapture fans have panned Glass for setting his prophesy so far in the future.
"At least Camping had the balls to go with something sooner," said End Times enthusiast Paul Redfern. "To a cynic, it looks like Glass just wants to make sure he can't be proved wrong."
Only time will tell. Suffice to say, we won't be holding our breath.