BELGRADE – Conspiracy theorists have claimed a giant planet lurking on the edge of our solar system will wipe out humanity in a collision with Earth this year.

Some science buffs have long believed in the existence of a distant ninth planet, but were ridiculed by the scientific community for years, The Sun reports.

However, their claims are beginning to be taken seriously after space experts at the California Institute of Technology revealed they had found evidence for a giant ice planet just beyond Pluto.

The frosty world, known as ‘Planet Nine’, was recently found to be on a 20,000-year orbit of the sun, with a mass 10 times that of Earth.

Worryingly, the same group who turned out to be right about Planet Nine’s existence also had an apocalyptic warning that a massive hidden planet with a very long orbit will crash into Earth in 2016.

Rogue scientists had speculated about the existence of another planet since the 1800s, but their theories were rubbished and the search for what they termed ‘Planet X’ was called off.

They also claimed to have found a description of a huge planet among the work of the ancient Babylonian civilisation, a society well known for being pioneers of astronomy.

These maverick theorists now believe Planet Nine was the planet we were being warned about by the Babylonians, with theories emerging to suggest this planet will smash into Earth this year (The Nibiru cataclysm).

NASA has, however, warned it is too early to confirm the existence of Planet Nine for sure but pledged “if it’s there, we’ll find it.”

The Nibiru cataclysm is a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object will collide with or closely pass by Earth in the near future has so far been rejected as pseudoscience and an internet hoax by astronomers and planetary scientists.