On Friday, Dec. 21, some say, the Mayan apocalypse will arrive and the world will end. Fortunately, it won’t.
A bold claim, we know, but if it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for us. The space agency has already issued a press release dated Dec. 22 entitled “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday.”
The Mayan apocalypse predictions arise from a misunderstanding of the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar, which wraps up a 400-year cycle called a b’ak’tun on Dec. 21, 2012, the day of the winter solstice. This just so happens to be the 13th b’ak’tun in the calendar, a benchmark the Maya would have seen as a full cycle of creation.
Did you catch that? Cycle. In other words, the Maya had a cyclical view of time and would not have seen the end of their calendar cycle as the end of the world. It wasn’t until Westerners began reinterpreting the calendar in the past couple decades that it got its apocalyptic overtones.
Mayan apocalypse rumors have proliferated on the Internet, running the gamut from beliefs that Dec. 21 will bring a new era of peace and universal understanding to predictions of a devastating astronomical event. We’re all in favor of world peace, but we’re here to put your fears to rest about the likelihood of planetary annihilation. Read on for five common Mayan apocalypse fears and why they won’t come true.
NASA has named the Roland Emmerich blockbuster 2012 the most scientifically-flawed film ever made. Apart from the abuse of neutrino particles and the myth of the Mayan Calendar ending in 2012, one of the things that has most upset NASA is having to set up a special website to counteract all the claims made by the film.
Among other bits of helpful advice, we find the following:
Answer (A): Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. 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.
Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?
A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012. Then these two fables were linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 — hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.
Strange Random Disaster Quote:
By showing us live coverage of every bad thing happening everywhere in the world, cable news makes life seem like it’s just an endless string of disasters – when, for most people in most places today, life is fairly good. – Gregg Easterbrook
- NASA scientists slam ‘absurd’ 2012 (hollywood.com)
- NASA Names Most Realistic and Unrealistic Sci-Fi Films of All Time (moviefone.com)
- 2012 is NASA’s most absurd movie, others got science right (thestar.com)
- Nasa names most absurd sci-fi film (thesun.co.uk)
- Which science fiction films have the best and worst science, according to NASA? [Bad Science] (io9.com)