Time might feel like it is running away from us as the pace of life increases but according to scientists, the future will stop completely.
The theory of time running out was devised by researchers from two Spanish universities trying to explain why the universe appeared to be spreading continuously and accelerating.
Observations of supernovae, or exploding stars, found the movement of light indicated they were moving faster than those nearer to the centre of the universe.
But the scientists claimed the accepted theory of an opposite force to gravity, known as dark energy, was wrong, and said the reality was that the growth of the universe was slowing.
Professor Jose Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raul Vera from the University of the Basque Country and the University of Salamanca said the deceleration of time was so gradual, it was imperceptible to humans.
Their proposal, published in the journal Physical Review D, claimed dark energy does not exist and that time was winding down to the point when it would finally grind to a halt long after the planet ceased to exist.
The slowing down of time will eventually mean everything will appear to take place faster and faster until it eventually disappears.
Professor Senovilla told the New Scientist: “Then everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, for ever.”
Gary Gibbons, a cosmologist the University of Cambridge, told the news website RT that the idea was not as absurd as it sounded.
“We believe that time emerged during the Big Bang and if time can emerge, may disappear as well as the opposite effect,” he said.