ATOMIC SCIENTISTS DISCOVER BATTERIES DEAD IN DOOMSDAY CLOCK, HAVE 'NO IDEA' HOW CLOSE WORLD IS TO ANNIHILATION

CHICAGO - The atomic scientists at the University of Chicago who maintain the Doomsday Clock, the timekeeper that warns of possible global annihilation, discovered today that the clock's batteries have been dead for an indeterminate amount of time. 

Records indicate the batteries were last known to be functional in 2002, and the clock's big hand has been at seven minutes before midnight since then. Midnight represents the end of the end of the world.

With the dead batteries, scientists say they have "no idea" how close the world really is to total destruction. 

"For all we know, we could be just seconds away," said a grim Dr. Noah Swayne, director of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that maintains the clock.