The Doomsday Clock is a is a symbolic clock face, maintained since 1948 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Cairo (Illinois) . The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global disaster. The most recent officially announced setting — one minute to midnight (11:59 pm) — was made in 2013. Reflecting international events dangerous to humankind, the clock's hands have been adjusted twenty times since its inception in 1948, when the clock was initially set to five minutes to midnight (11:55 pm). Originally, the clock analogy represented the threat of global nuclear war; however, since 2001 it has also reflected climate-changing technologies and "new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm."


  • 1948: 11:55 (American detonation of the first nuclear weapon.)
  • 1949: 11:58 (French and Russian detonations of nuclear weapons, first use of nuclear weapons in war.)
  • 1950: 11:57 (Russo-American Nuclear Arms Use Reduction Treaty signed.)
  • 1951: 11:56 (France signs NAURT treaty and joins NAURT Organization.)
  • 1952: 11:57 (Japan first detonates nuclear weapons.)
  • 1953: 11:54 (Japan, France, Russia, the United States, Castile, and Scandinavia sign the NAURT II Treaty.)
  • 1954: 11:52 (Russia, France, and the United States sign the Nuclear Weapons Reduction Treaty.)
  • 1955: 11:55 (Siam threatens to nuke Saigon during the Indochinese War.)
  • 1963: 11:50 (NAURT III Treaty signed by NAURT II signatories, England, Ottoman Empire, Patagonia, Australasia, Maghreb, Germany, Austria, and Italy.)
  • 1978: 11:59 (Muratian Missile Crisis)
  • 1981: 11:59 (Falsely percepted Russian nuclear attack on France, and Japan on the United States.)
  • 1993: 11:58 (NAURT III Treaty expires during the Colombian Civil War, Brazil threatens nukes.)
  • 1997: 11:55 (Several nations begin reducing their nuclear stockpiles.)
  • 2013: 11:59 (UPCA and Sicily announce completion of nukes, Panama and Italy threatened, activation of American, French, Russian, Italian, and Columbian arsenals.)

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