Happy Near Miss Day, everyone! Yes, it's a thing. It actually commemorates the day—March 23, 1989—that a massive asteroid missed striking the Earth by just 500,000 miles. That may sound like a great distance, but it's not in the big scheme of the cosmos. To celebrate the day, we're listing a few Star Trek-centric Near Misses—of the real and fictional kind—and we invite you to add to our list in the comments section below:
The Whales... Died— What if the whaling vessel chasing George and Gracie in Star Trek IV had succeeded in harpooning the whales? What if the Enterprise crew hadn't brought the whales back to the future to communicate with the alien probe?
Worf Permanently Paralyzed— Worf faced the prospect of life-long paralyzation in the TNG episode "Ethics." Could you imagine how it would have impacted the series if Worf remained paralyzed... for a few episodes, for a season, for the rest of TNG's run?
By a Split Second— It's a classic dramatic trope, and not just in sci-fi... the last-minute rescue. A transporter malfunction nearly prevented Kirk from beaming off the Constellation as he rammed it into the planet killer in "The Doomsday Machine." Even though Shatner was the star of the show and they weren't going to write him off, we all sweated out this one.
Hitler Wins the War— If Kirk hadn't prevented McCoy from saving Edith Keeler, America would have joined World War II too late to have made a difference. Everyone's life would have been altered and, in fact, the Federation might never have been formed.
So, once again, happy Near Miss Day! And feel free to add your favorite near misses in the comments section below.