So the question is: could a large-scale outage really happen?
Among the extremely technical, extraordinarily tedious arguments (ranging from terrorist attacks to wide-ranging accidents) as to whether or not the "Internet" as we know it could ever be made fully defunct, one actual, legitimate possibility arose that most people agreed upon: solar flares.
"It's quite possible if there were a solar flare strong enough to knock out the power, that we would lose the internet for days, or even months. We know that such storms are not unprecedented, so there is a good probability it will happen again at some point," noted user Kvestchunz.
"A sufficiently large solar flare could in theory blast the earth with so many EMP waves that all our electronics that make up the internet would fry. The chances of this are extremely slim but it is possible," Spear99 added.