The Phaeton hypothesis, though largely abandoned by astrophysicists, suggests that the asteroid belt lying just beyond Mars’ orbit was once a planet unto itself. Zecheriah Sitchin believed in the existence of this world wholeheartedly, and further, that it was destroyed by an undiscovered rogue planet which he referred to as “Nibiru.” Upon its inevitable return, is said that it will bring with it chaos, disaster, and an army of extraterrestrial demigods known since Sumerian times as the Annunaki.

Seasoned conspiracy theorists know that it is coming soon, as it has been for decades, and always will be.

An old woman once offered me an alternative proposition, of which she felt quite certain. “I think the asteroid belt is one of those three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles,” she explained. “We’re meant to piece it together; once we feel smart enough to build one of our own, that is. We’ve proven that we can do just about anything that we set our minds to, so maybe it’ll work. I tend to think that I could build a fairly nice planet.” I thought that was pretty cute, until she jammed in one last sentence: “Humans are better at taking planets apart, though, so I’m not sure if that’ll ever happen.”

I’ve come to my own conclusions from personal observation: the Phaeton hypothesis is true, but this ancient planet was not destroyed by Nibiru. Rather, Nibiru is its ghost, a cosmic poltergeist that is just barely able to interact with our world, and a hole through the night sky’s emptiness. This explanation keeps me content, as I’ve witnessed its effects first hand; every now and then, the ghost planet musters just enough gravity to form tides that spill my morning coffee.