National Geographic Magazine As An ‘Instrument Of Doom’

Vintage National Geographic Magazine CoverIt wasn’t long ago when you could visit the attic or basement of most any home in America and find stacks of yellow-spined back-issues of The National Geographic Magazine. Thanks (or no thanks) to digital advances, that scene isn’t as common today.

While there are still avid collectors of the esteemed magazine dedicated to history, science, nature, geography, travel and learning, there are far fewer than in 1974 when a science satire magazine, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, suggested that the sheer weight of all these collected periodicals would lead to the apocalypse.

In the March 1974 issue of The Journal of Irreproducible Results, George H. Kaub wrote the following:

This continent is in the gravest danger of following legendary Atlantis to the bottom of the sea. No natural disaster, no overpowering compounding of pollutions or cataclysmic nuclear war will cause the end. Instead, a seemingly innocent monster created by man, nurtured by man, however as yet unheeded by man, will doom this continent to the watery grave of oblivion.

But there is yet time to save ourselves if this warning is heeded.

PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE MUST BE IMMEDIATELY STOPPED AT ALL COSTS! This beautiful, educational, erudite, and thoroughly appreciated publication is the heretofore unrecognized instrument of doom which must be erased if we as a country or continent will survive. It is NOT TOO LATE if this warning is heeded!

With his tongue firmly in cheek, Kaub warned of “earthquakes, hurricanes, mud slides, fire, famine, and atomic war all rolled into one” due to the fact that “no copies have been discarded or destroyed since the beginning of publication.”

You can read Kaub’s original letter as well as the equally funny rebuttals from National Geographic readers on The Journal of Irreproducible Results website.

[Photo Flickr/roberthuffstutter]