End of the World: Is the Apocalypse Really Coming on Dec. 21?

OK, you can hold off or go large on that Christmas shopping! The Mayans predicted the apocalypse will occur on Dec. 21. Do you buy it?

This just in: The world is going to end on Dec. 21, 2012.

For many of us in Geneva, that poses some interesting questions. Does that mean we can call off the Christmas shopping? Or do we just buy everything in sight and open our presents early? If I'm hosting a holiday party on Dec. 20, do I need to change the theme? And what does NASA have to say about all this?

Fortunately for all of us, NASA apparently is getting in on the action. The agency created a page on its website devoted to debunking the Mayan apocalypse idea—not least because the Mayans never predicted any such thing. The date is simply the end of one time period that simply starts over.

“Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012,” NASA wrote.

But maybe they're just fun-haters: there are a number of parties planned for Dec. 20 or Dec. 21 this year, just in case the Earth explodes, or zombies run amok. With the "long count" calendar of the Ancient Mayans coming to an end that day, some people are a little pessimistic about any calendar continuing past that date.

However, experts on the matter, like the NASA thing above, say we've got nothing to worry about. According to an article on nbcnews.com, "Experts estimate the system starts counting at 3114 B.C., and will have run through 13 baktuns, or 5,125 years, around Dec. 21. Experts say 13 was a significant number for the Maya, and the end of that cycle would be a milestone — but not an end."

Some people believe the Maya may have predicted "impending astronomical disasters that would coincide with 2012, ranging from explosive storms on the surface of the sun that could knock out power grids to a galactic alignment that could trigger a reversal in Earth's magnetic field."

But according to the article, that is not the case. In fact Mayan predictions go way past our present-day, indicating that they expected a future to come even after their long count calendar came to an end.

So what do you think? Are we doomed? Or not so much? Let us know!

Editor's note: This article initially ran on Cummings Patch. 

Elaine Lane December 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I feel like a little piece of the world already ended last Friday in Connecticut.


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