If you have done no Christmas shopping on the belief that the world would end on Dec. 21, you'd better hit the stores. The world isn't ending today.
The long forecast end of the world is attributed to the Mayan calendar, which ends abruptly on Dec. 21, 2012. Some have taken that to mean that, because the Mayan's ended their calendar on a particular date, that's when the world would end. It was never explained how the Mayans were in a position to know this.
In truth, outside of China it seems no one is taking any of this very seriously. Perhaps last week's horror in Connecticut and the fiscal cliff wrangling in Washington have provided something more real to worry about.
There was actually more buzz about the alleged Mayan prophecy three years ago when a movie came out about a planetary collision bringing about the end of the earth on December 21, 2012. NASA was actually forced to address the issue, prompting us to produce this 2009 video:
Back in May of this year we reported that a group of Boston University researchers had made discoveries that completely debunked the theory that the end of the Mayan calendar somehow meant life was stopping. BU Assistant Professor of Archaeology William Saturno and his team excavated a Maya ruin in Guatemala and uncovered a wall of paintings with calculations relating to the Maya calendar.
“For the first time we get to see what may be actual records kept by a scribe, whose job was to be official record keeper of a Maya community,” Saturno said. “It’s like an episode of TV’s ‘Big Bang Theory,’ a geek math problem and they’re painting it on the wall. They seem to be using it like a blackboard.”
Just a misunderstanding?
After deciphering the calculations, the project scientists say that despite popular belief, there is no sign that the Maya calendar -- or the world -- was to end in the year 2012, just one of its calendar cycles.
“It’s like the odometer of a car, with the Maya calendar rolling over from the 120,000s to 130,000,” said Anthony Aveni, professor of astronomy and anthropology at Colgate University, a coauthor of the paper being published in the journal Science. “The car gets a step closer to the junkyard as the numbers turn over; the Maya just start over.”
But the, why let science stand in the way of firmly-held belief? This week Calendars.com weighed in on the issue, allowing readers to predict the way they think the world will end, if and when it does. The top choice was an asteroid impact, followed by a Yellowstone eruption.
Meanwhile, the company is hoping people will go ahead and purchase a 2013 calendar and has offered a money-back guarantee if the world ends today.