The Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758 which wiped out all the old Praxibetel communities on Betelgeuse VII is shrouded in deep mystery; in fact, no one ever knew what a Hrung was nor why it had chosen to collapse on Betelgeuse VII particularly.
Ford Prefect's father/uncle was the only man on the entire planet to survive the Great Collapsing Hrung disaster, by an extraordinary coincidence that he was never able satisfactorily to explain, a lack which led to considerable social embarrassment. Ford's Betelgeusian nickname, Ix, was based on this fact.
- In the real universe, sudden dimming of Betelgeuse began to be noticed in early 2020. Nobody is sure what is causing this stellar fainting, although there is a chance it could be a sign of an imminent explosion. Analysis suggests that it is possible that Betelgeuse could explode any time between "now and 100,000 years from now". Since Betelgeuse is roughly 700 light years from Earth, this would date the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster to anytime from the 14th to 23rd century CE.
- ↑ Chelsea Gohd (3 January 2020). "Will Bright Star Betelgeuse Finally Explode? A Look at the Dimming Red Giant in Orion's Shoulder"