Somewhere in the darkness of space, a rogue planet, unencumbered by any orbit in a solar system, spins its way towards Earth. In the end, it will collide with our mother world and the end of times will be upon on us all. It was nice knowing you.
That's the premise of Planet X, a wandering planet on a collision course with Earth. Only Planet X isn't real.
It was a concoction imagined by Nancy Lieder, a Wisconsinite who launched an online discussion group in 1995. In the forum, she related stories about gray-colored aliens that implanted communication devices in her head for the purpose of using her to alert her species to imminent danger from Planet X.
Planet X, she said, would pass so closely to Earth that it would disrupt all natural processes and destroy life as we know it.
As hoaxes go, this one was largely fueled by dissemination power of the Internet. NASA indicates that if a planet was on target for Earth, we'd know about it at least a decade in advance, plenty of time to stock up on doomsday t-shirts and canned goods of all kinds.