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Wild Sept. 24 doomsday conspiracy goes viral on TikTok

Another apocalyptic conspiracy theory is going around on TikTok — but there’s a simple answer to it. 

The online panic started when a video of Friedrich Merz, a German politician, posted to Twitter saying, “Dear Colleagues…September 24, 2022, will be remembered by all of us as a day which we will say, ‘I remember exactly where I was.’ “

The remark sparked several conspiracy theories of things going wrong that day, including that a big solar flare would hit the Earth and create tropical cyclones resulting in mass destruction, according to Middle East Mashable.

TikToker Daily Rundown with Chris also stated that some sides of the internet believe Donald Trump will announce he’s running for president again that day.

Friedrich Merz, a German politician.
Getty Images

NASA defines a solar flare as “an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots.”

They are our solar system’s largest explosive events that are seen as bright areas on the sun that can last from minutes to hours. 

But according to fact-checking website Lead Stories, the Merz video was taken on Feb. 27 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, and the politician was reacting to the first pictures he had seen from the war.

He misspoke when he said September as he intended to say February 24.

An eruption of solar material exploding off the sun’s surface on the right side.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The doomsday theory went viral on TikTok.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Therefore, the online claims about a solar flare on Sept. 24 do not have any factual evidence to back them up and are not true.

Lead Stories also notes that even at their most extreme, solar flares are not able to cut through Earth’s atmosphere and hurt humans directly.