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End of World

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2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won't End?
12.22.11
Scenes from the motion picture "2012." Courtesy Columbia Pictures. Remember the Y2K scare? It came and went without much of a whimper because of adequate planning and analysis of the situation. Impressive movie special effects aside, Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know. It will, however, be another winter solstice.

Much like Y2K, 2012 has been analyzed and the science of the end of the Earth thoroughly studied. Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the science behind the end of the world quickly unravels when pinned down to the 2012 timeline. Below, NASA Scientists answer several questions that we're frequently asked regarding 2012.

Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.
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.

Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?
A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.

Q: Could phenomena occur where planets align in a way that impacts Earth?
A: There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.
› More about alignment

"There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV and the movies is not based on science. There is even a fake NASA news release out there..."
- Don Yeomans, NASA senior research scientist Q: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction?
A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.

Q: What is the polar shift theory? Is it true that the earth’s crust does a 180-degree rotation around the core in a matter of days if not hours?
A: A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-switch to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth. A magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia, anyway.
› More about polar shift

Earth, as seen in the Blue Marble: Next Generation collection of images, showing the color of the planet's surface in high resolution. This image shows South America from September 2004. Q: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?
A: The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA NEO Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.

Q: How do NASA scientists feel about claims of pending doomsday?
A: For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.
› Why you need not fear a supernova
› About super volcanoes

Q: Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?
A: Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 time frame and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.
› More about solar storms

Addition information concerning 2012 is available on the Web, at: • NASA Astrobiology Institute: "Nibiru and Doomsday 2012" • Bad Astronomy: "The Planet X Saga: The Scientific Arguments in a Nutshell" • Sky and Telescope Magazine: "2012: The Great Scare

You must have probably heard about the “December 21, 2012 - Doomsday” the day when the world is prophesized to come to an end. In fact, you will find it amusing that this December 21, 2012 - End Of The World prophecy has been backed up by so many religions, calendars, and prophecies. So, is this another theory of Apocalypse that will come and go like the ones we have been seeing or is it the one that we should pay attention to? After digging for several hours through the Internet in this matter, I came up with the following worthy information regarding “The End Of The World.
Mayan Calendar: The ancient Mayan calendar states that the world will end in December 21, 2012. The Mayan civilization flourished in Central America from the 6 A.D. to 9 A.D. They were obsessed with time-keeping, and in fact, their calender were so incredibly precise that its interlocking time scales of lunar, solar, and planetary cycles could accurately predict solar/lunar eclipses thousands of years into the future. This accurate calendar however mysteriously ends on December 21, 2012!
It states that on December 21, 2012, the sun rises on the dark rift of the center of the milky way which is referred to as a black hole. In the last five years, the western astronomers have in fact discovered that there is in fact an enormous black hole at the center of our milky way galaxy. The contemporary astronomers concur with the Mayans. On 21st of December, 2012, the Earth will be in exact alignment with the Sun and the center of our milky way galaxy, a galactic event which takes place only once every 25,800 years! No one knows what effect this extraordinary alignment will have on our planet, but the Mayans believe it would be terrible!
| |The Polar Shift Theory: Geophysicists have a theory that is strikingly similar to the events predicted by the Mayan alignment. The |
| |phenomenon is called the “polar shift,” in which the entire mantle of the earth would shift in a matter of days or perhaps hours |
| |during such galactic events, causing positions of the north and south pole to change, further causing worldwide disaster, earthquakes,|
| |tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters. |
| |Accordingly, several eclectic authors claim that a major, world-changing event will take place in 2012! |
| |Even the book “The Orion Prophecy” claims that the Earth’s magnetic field will reverse, which further supports the Polar Shift Theory |
| |besides the prediction of Merlin that also suggests a polar shift. NASA predicts that during 2012, as the Sun reaches the end of the |
| |current 11-year sunspot cycle, it will reverse its own magnetic poles, which may further amplify the effects of magnetic field on |
| |earth as harmful charged particles blast away from the sun (also known as solar storming). |

|Planet Eris or Planet X or NibiruPlanet Eris/”Nibiru” or Planet-X and the Global warming: This theory suggests that the real cause of | |
|climate changes, volcanic activities, and intensification of the seismic activity etc. is the planet Eris’s getting closer to our | |
|solar system once in 3600 years, named as 2003-UB-313, which ultimately results in the melting of the glaciers! This Planet Eris or so| |
|called “Nibiru” was first observed in October 21, 2003, using 1.22 m Oschin telescope at Mount Palomar Observatory (California). It is| |
|said to have passed between Mars and Jupiter some 7200 years ago, which most probably had triggered the cataclysm “Noah’s flood” and | |
|again this will be at the close proximity to Earth between 2010 and 2012, which can cause massive melting of the glaciers, causing | |
|huge tidal waves and ultimately, the return of the Noah’s flood! | |

I Ching: Another sets of factors backing up this December 21, 2012 Doomsday is the I Ching prophecy. Despite the views of skeptics, the 5000 years old I Ching has become an oracle of the doomsday. The highs and lows of the I Ching graphs seems to have accurately corresponded to the fall of the roman empire, discover of the new world, and world wars of the 20th century, and the strangest things of all was, the time line came to an end to the exact specific date, December 21, 2012! Is it a coincidence that both prophecies of I Ching and Mayan Calendar came to the same exact date and time? In fact, many world’s religions and most famous prophets reference that something cataclysmic will happen around December 21, 2012. The medieval predictions of Merlin, The Book of Revelation, and the well-known Chinese Oracle of the “I Ching” all point to this specific date as the end of civilization.

| |The Bible Code & Nostradamus Prophesies: According to the certain algorithms of Bible code, a meteor,asteroid, or comet will soon |
| |collide with the Earth. |
| |Everybody knows the Nostradamus prophesies, that have very accurately predicting many world leaders rising to power and major events |
| |in the past. His prophesies were accurate in predicting the demise of the World Trade Centers in 2001 as well. |
| |Even the book “The Nostradamus Code” further speaks of a series of natural disasters caused by some kind of a “comet” and those |
| |studying the Prophecies of Nostradamus states that he might have further indicated the possibility of a “Third World War” where |
| |nuclear wars can create “comet-like” mass destructions everywhere |

So are we going to have a Third World War? At the current scenario, it seems we might have - proving the Nostradamus Prophesies.

Even the high-tech oracles which is not even human, i.e., “Web-Bots” are predicting the end of the world as December 21, 2012, besides the Mayan, I Ching, Merlin, Book Of Revelation, etc. Is it just a coincidence or a meaningless pattern of random events?
NASA wants you to know that the world won't end in 2012....

Contrary to what you may read on the Internet, the world is not going to end in 2012. A rogue planet named Nibiru is not on a collision course with Earth. And a solar flare won't toast the planet.
It's all fiction, though the makers of the film "2012" may lead you to think otherwise.
"I don't have anything against the movie. It's the way it's been marketed and the way it exploits people's fears," NASA scientist David Morrison at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., told Discovery News.
Morrison has launched a counter-attack through his "Ask An Astrobiologist" online column, which he says has gotten more than 1,000 questions about the end of the world.
Scientific misinformation about 2012 has been ramping up for a few years, with more than 200 books and 1,000 Web sites purporting to explain various doomsday scenarios. Sony Pictures is behind a particularly viral campaign to build publicity for its upcoming apocalyptic movie "2012," which debuts on Nov. 13.
The company has set up an interlinked family of Web sites and Facebook pages to infuse a sense of reality to its fictional work.
The lead character in the film, played by actor John Cusack, for example, is the faux author of a faux book about a murder, conspiracy and disaster aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, which, coincidentally, is poised for launch on a space station construction mission the weekend the movie debuts.
The fictional fiction, named "Farewell, Atlantis," has a Web site, a Facebook page to follow "author appearances," fans and friends, a faux publisher with a faux Web site, a faux press release and endorsements from the very real son of the late Carl Sagan.
There's also a fake institute that presumably dispenses "real" science supporting the movie's claims, as well as a fake news website that distributes fake press releases about a fake aerospace company winning government contracts.
Warren Betts, owner of a California-based publicity firm that peddles real science stories tied to movies, says the type of marketing campaign Sony is executing for "2012" is nothing new.
"It's been done before," said Betts, citing the 1999 horror movie "The Blair Witch Project," a story about a group of amateur documentary film-makers who have a really bad couple of days in the woods.
"Some people went to that movie and they thought it was reality, that it was an actual documentary," Betts said.
Morrison says Sony has crossed a line with promoting "2012."
"I think people are really, really worried about the world coming to an end. Kids are contemplating suicide. Adults tell me they can't sleep and can't stop crying. There are people who are really, really scared," he said.
"People are very gullible," he added. "It a sad testimonial that you need NASA to tell you the world's not going to end."

The New Year's eve you celebrated on Saturday night is not going to be your last. Scientists reassure us that the world will not witness its end in 2012, as predicted by scores of books, movies, cult groups and millions of websites on the Internet.

Wild stories about the world coming to an end on December 21, 2012 have been doing the rounds for quite some time. But scientists have now dismissed the theory as rubbish after analysing all the possible doomsday scenarios.
"Nothing will happen to Earth in 2012. Credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) said in an advisory.

The 2012 apocalypse theories began with claims that Nibiru, a mythical planet 'discovered' by the Sumerians, is headed towards Earth. Some had said this catastrophe would occur in May 2003, but when nothing happened the 'doomsday' was postponed to December 2012.

Subsequently, the date was linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012. But scientists argue that the Mayan calendar is not going to end on this date, and will only begin a new cycle similar to the calendar we follow. December 21, 2012 is only the end of the Mayan long-count period, after which another will begin.
Nibiru and other stories about wayward meteorites and asteroids heading towards Earth are an Internet hoax, the space agency said. "If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye," NASA said. Another planet supposedly on collision course with our planet is Eris. This is a real body but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto and will remain in the outer solar system. The closest it can come to the earth is about four billion miles.\

MANILA, Philippines—The Mayan calendar predicted the world would end Dec. 21, 2012. Is this true?
Yes, the world, as we know it, will definitely end on that date, but it will not be the end of the world.
I hesitated to write this article because I did not want to scare people. But I was told by an angelic being that I must.
This article began on my way back to Manila from Poland. In a big book and electronics store at the Amsterdam airport, two titles caught my attention: “The End of Time, the Mayan Prophecies Revisited” by Adrian Gilbert and “Building Your Mental Muscle.”
The mysterious Mayan civilization flourished in meso America then disappeared without a trace. It left fabulous temples, pyramids and other strange monuments with stranger writings.
The Mayans always fascinated me. The amazing calendar they left behind traced the precise movements of the planets and the stars without using any instruments. It described the present earth cycle from Aug. 11, 3114 BC, to Dec. 21, 2012.
Back in Manila, I got a copy of an article by novelist Benjamin Anastas about the Mayan prophecies, reprinted from the New York Times, from my neighbor Ricky Gonzales, a management consultant. I was struck by the coincidence.
Escalating phenomenon
The article tells about the growing interest in recent years about doomsday scenarios as predicted by the Mayan calendar.
“The Mayan calendar,” according to the article, “is at the center of an escalating cultural phenomenon, with New Age roots, that unites numinous (spiritual) dreams of societal transformation with the darker tropes of biblical cataclysm. To some, 2012 will bring the end of time; to others, it carries the promise of a new beginning; still to others, 2012 provides an explanation for troubling new realities—environmental change, for example, that seem beyond the control of technology and impervious to reason.”
Predictions about the end of the world are nothing new. Ancient Gnostics, for example, predicted the arrival of God’s kingdom as early as the first century. Christians in Europe attacked pagan territories in the north to prepare for the end of the world in the first millennium.
|[pic][pic] |[pic] |

The Shakers believed the world would end in 1792. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have set the end dates from 1914-1994.
“Any religious movement with an end-time prophecy is certain to attract followers,” says Anastas.
In the Philippines, a religious cult believed the world would end Dec. 31, 1999. Its members went inside a cave in Tagaytay wearing helmets and waited for the end that never came.
A few years before that, a retired military officer predicted the world would be destroyed and two-thirds of the population would perish. The other one-third would be taken by UFOs (unidentified flying objects) through a beam of light.
Different
With all these failed prophecies, why is the Mayan calendar prediction attracting a growing following even in the scientific community? Is there something different about it?
Yes, according to experts.
John Major Jenkins says the Mayan lineage goes back to 2000 years. He argues that the ancient Maya “calendar priests” charted a 26,000-year astronomical cycle, called precession of the equinoxes, with the naked eye.
The 2012 end-date coincides with the “galactic alignment” of the winter solstice sun and the axis that modern astronomers draw to bisect the Milky Way, called the galactic equator.
Adrian Gilbert, in his book “The End of Time,” says, “Not only is the night of 21-22 December the longest in the year, but because of the precession of the equinoxes it corresponds with the day the sun stands exactly at one of the star-gate crossing-points of the elliptic with the median plane of the Milky Way.”
Gilbert names this position the “southern star gate—its counterpart, the northern star gate being placed exactly over the up stretched hand of Orion.”
Precession refers to the “slow movement of the axis of a spinning object around another axis.” Equinox is “the time the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length.”
Gilbert says this means on Dec. 22, any person observing the sun will also be looking toward the core of the Milky Way, the place astronomers say has a black hole with a mass some three million times that of our sun.
Gilbert believes what was prophesied in the Book of Revelations is already happening, coinciding with the Mayan calendar. “This moment,” says Gilbert, “when the sun is located at the southern star gate and Orion, with its northern star gate, is dominant in the night sky, will signify the termination of the tribulation prophesied in the Book of Revelation and the true beginning of a new age.”
Note: For inquiries on Inner Mind Development, ESP and Intuition Development, and Soulmates, Karma & Reincarnation seminars by this writer, call 8107245, 8926806, fax 8159890, or e-mail innerawareness_2005@yahoo.com.ph. For Davao seminar Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, call Jess Saplala at 0917-8313649

Seven Reasons Why Earth will destroy in 2012

SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS from around the world are predicting that five years from now, all life on Earth could well come to an end. Some are saying it'll be humans that would set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it'll be God himself who would press the stop button. The following are some likely arguments as to why the world would end by the year 2012.

Reason one: Mayan calendar

The first to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things -- building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone and sacrificing virgins.

Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the earth will end on December 21, 2012. Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it's likely they've got the end of the world right as well.

Reason two: Sun storms

Solar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery. Our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic and it's supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability. However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the earth with lot of radiation energy. It's been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse and calculations suggest it'll reach its deadly peak sometime in 2012.

Reason three: The atom smasher

Scientists in Europe have been building the world's largest particle accelerator. Basically, its a 27 km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it's properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They're predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.

Reason four: The Bible says it

If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn't bad enough, religious folks are getting in on the act as well. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between good an evil, has been set for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese Book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings.

Reason five: Super volcano

Yellowstone National Park in United States is famous for its thermal springs and old faithful geyser. The reason for this is simple -- it's sitting on top of the world's biggest volcano and geological experts are beginning to get nervous sweats. The Yellowstone volcano has a pattern of erupting every 650,000 years or so, and we're many years overdue for an explosion that will fill the atmosphere with ash, blocking the sun and plunging the earth into a frozen winter that could last up to 15,000 years. The pressure under the Yellowstone is building steadily, and geologists have set 2012 as a likely date for the big bang.

Reason six: The physicists

This one's case of bog -- simple maths mathematics. Physicists at Berkely University have been crunching the
They've determined that the earth is well overdue for a major catastrophic event. Even worse, they're claiming that their calculations prove that we're all going to die, very soon. They are also saying that their prediction comes with a certainty of 99 per cent; and 2012 just happens to be the best guess as to when it occurs.

Reason seven: Earth's magnetic field

We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that shields us from most of the sun's radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call North and South have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so -- and right now we're about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30 kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is under way, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.

Finally we are here at 2012... so enjoy every day...

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on 21 December 2012[1][2][3][4] This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.[5] Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe.[6] Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth's collision with an object such as a black hole, a passing asteroid, or a planet called "Nibiru".
Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture.[3][7][8] Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposals as pseudoscience, stating that they conflict with simple astronomical observations[9] and amount to "a distraction from more important science concerns, such as global warming and loss of biological diversity."[10]
| |

Mesoamerican Long Count calendar

Main article: Mesoamerican Long Count calendar

December 2012 marks the conclusion of a b'ak'tun—a time period in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar which was used in Central America prior to the arrival of Europeans. Although the Long Count was most likely invented by the Olmec,[11] it has become closely associated with the Maya civilization, whose classic period lasted from 250 to 900 AD.[12] The writing system of the classic Maya has been substantially deciphered,[13] meaning that a corpus of their written and inscribed material has survived from before the European conquest.
Unlike the 52-year Calendar Round still used today among the Maya, the Long Count was linear rather than cyclical, and kept time roughly in units of 20: 20 days made a uinal, 18 uinals (360 days) made a tun, 20 tuns made a k'atun, and 20 k'atuns (144,000 days or roughly 394 years) made up a b'ak'tun. Thus, the Mayan date of 8.3.2.10.15 represents 8 b'ak'tuns, 3 k'atuns, 2 tuns, 10 uinals and 15 days.[14][15]

Apocalypse

[pic]

There is a strong tradition of "world ages" in Mayan literature, but the record has been distorted, leaving several possibilities open to interpretation.[16] According to the Popol Vuh, a compilation of the creation accounts of the K'iche' Maya of the Colonial-era highlands, we are living in the fourth world.[17] The Popol Vuh describes the gods first creating three failed worlds, followed by a successful fourth world in which humanity was placed. In the Maya Long Count, the previous world ended after 13 b'ak'tuns, or roughly 5,125 years.[18][Note a] The Long Count's "zero date"[Note b] was set at a point in the past marking the end of the third world and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to 11 August 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar.[19][Note c] This means that the fourth world will also have reached the end of its 13th b'ak'tun, or Mayan date 13.0.0.0.0, on 21 December 2012.[1][Note c] In 1957, Mayanist and astronomer Maud Worcester Makemson wrote that "the completion of a Great Period of 13 b'ak'tuns would have been of the utmost significance to the Maya".[20] In 1966, Michael D. Coe wrote in The Maya that "there is a suggestion ... that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the 13th [b'ak'tun]. Thus ... our present universe [would] be annihilated [in December 2012][Note d] when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion."[21]

Objections

Coe's interpretation was repeated by other scholars through the early 1990s.[22] In contrast, later researchers said that, while the end of the 13th b'ak'tun would perhaps be a cause for celebration,[3] it did not mark the end of the calendar.[23] "There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012," said Mayanist scholar Mark Van Stone. "The notion of a "Great Cycle" coming to an end is completely a modern invention."[24] In 1990, Mayanist scholars Linda Schele and David Freidel argued that the Maya, "did not conceive this to be the end of creation, as many have suggested."[25] Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, stated that, "We have no record or knowledge that [the Maya] would think the world would come to an end," in 2012.[3] Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, said, "For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle," and, "The 2012 phenomenon is a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."[3] "There will be another cycle," said E. Wyllys Andrews V, director of the Tulane University Middle American Research Institute. "We know the Maya thought there was one before this, and that implies they were comfortable with the idea of another one after this."[26]
Several prominent individuals representing Maya of Guatemala decried the suggestion that the world ends on b'ak'tun 13. Ricardo Cajas, president of the Colectivo de Organizaciones Indígenas de Guatemala, said the date did not represent an end of humanity or fulfillment of the catastrophic prophecies found in the Maya Chilam Balam, but that the new cycle, "supposes changes in human consciousness." Martín Sacalxot of Procurador de los Derechos Humanos (Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman, PDH) said that end of the calendar has nothing to do with the end of the world or the year 2012.[27]

Prior associations

The European association of the Maya with eschatology dates back to the time of Christopher Columbus, who was compiling a work called Libro de las profecias during the voyage in 1502 when he first heard about the "Maia" on Guanaja, an island off the north coast of Honduras.[28] Influenced by the writings of Bishop Pierre d'Ailly, Columbus believed that his discovery of "most distant" lands (and, by extension, the Maya themselves) was prophesied and would bring about the Apocalypse. End-times fears were widespread during the early years of the Spanish Conquest as the result of popular astrological predictions in Europe of a second Great Flood for the year 1524.[28]
In the early 1900s, German scholar Ernst Förstemann interpreted the last page of the Dresden Codex as a representation of the end of the world in a cataclysmic flood. He made reference to the destruction of the world and an apocalypse, though he made no reference to the 13th baktun or 2012 and it was not clear that he was referring to a future event.[29] His ideas were repeated by archaeologist Sylvanus Morley,[30] who directly paraphrased Förstemann and added his own embellishments, writing, "Finally, on the last page of the manuscript, is depicted the Destruction of the World ... Here, indeed, is portrayed with a graphic touch the final all-engulfing cataclysm" in the form of a Great Flood. These comments were later repeated in Morley's book, The Ancient Maya, the first edition of which was published in 1946.[28]

Mayan references to b'ak'tun 13

It is not certain what significance the classic Maya give to the 13th b'ak'tun.[31] Most classic Maya inscriptions are strictly historical and do not make any prophetic declarations.[31] One item in the Mayan classical corpus, however, does mention the end of the 13th b'ak'tun: Tortuguero Monument 6.

Tortuguero

The Tortuguero site, which lies in southernmost Tabasco, Mexico, dates from the 7th century AD and consists of a series of inscriptions mostly in honor of the contemporary ruler Bahlam Ajaw. One inscription, known as Tortuguero Monument 6, is the only inscription known to refer to b'ak'tun 13. It has been partially defaced; Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara MacLeod have given this translation:
|tzuhtzjo:m uy-u:xlaju:n pik |It will be completed the 13th b'ak'tun. |
|chan ajaw u:x uni:w |It is 4 Ajaw 3 K'ank'in |
|uhto:m il[?] |and it will happen a 'seeing'[?]. |
|ye'ni/ye:n bolon yokte' |It is the display of B'olon-Yokte' |
|ta chak joyaj |in a great "investiture".[32] |

[pic]

The Tortuguero monument connects the end of the 13th b'ak'tun with the appearance of Bolon Yokte' K'uh, shown here on the Vase of Seven Gods.

Very little is known about the god Bolon Yokte'. According to an article by Mayanists Markus Eberl and Christian Prager in British Anthropological Reports, his name is composed of the elements "nine", 'OK-te' (the meaning of which is unknown), and "god". Confusion in classical period inscriptions suggests that the name was already ancient and unfamiliar to contemporary scribes.[33] He also appears in inscriptions from Palenque, Usumacinta, and La Mar as a god of war, conflict, and the underworld. In one stele he is portrayed with a rope tied around his neck, and in another with an incense bag, together signifying a sacrifice to end a cycle of years.[34]
Based on observations of modern Mayan rituals, Gronemeyer and MacLeod claim that the stele refers to a celebration in which a person portraying Bolon Yokte' K'uh was wrapped in ceremonial garments and paraded around the site.[35][36] They note that the association of Bolon Yokte' K'uh with b'ak'tun 13 appears to be so important on this inscription that it supersedes more typical celebrations such as "erection of stelae, scattering of incense" and so forth. Furthermore, they assert that this event was indeed planned for 2012 and not the 7th century.[37] Mayanist scholar Stephen Houston contests this view by arguing that future dates on Mayan inscriptions were simply meant to draw parallels with contemporary events, and that the words on the stela describe a contemporary rather than a future scene.[38]

Dates beyond b'ak'tun 13

Mayan inscriptions occasionally mention predicted future events or commemorations that would occur on dates far beyond the completion of the 13th b'ak'tun. Most of these are in the form of distance dates. Long Count dates given together with an additional number, known as a Distance Number, which added together make a future date. On the west panel at the Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque, a section of text projects forward to the 80th 52-year Calendar Round from the coronation of the ruler K'inich Janaab' Pakal. Pakal's accession occurred on 9.9.2.4.8, equivalent to 27 July 615 AD in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. The inscription begins with Pakal's birthdate of 9.8.9.13.0 (24 March, 603 AD Gregorian) and then adds the Distance Number 10.11.10.5.8 to it,[39] arriving at a date of 21 October 4772 AD, more than 4,000 years after Pakal's time.[24][39][40]
Another example is Stele 1 at Coba which gives a date of 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.0.0.0.0, or twenty units above the b'ak'tun, placing it either 4.134105 × 1028 (41 octillion) years in the future,[25] or an equal distance in the past.[41] This date is 3 quintillion times the age of the universe as determined by cosmologists.

New Age beliefs

Many assertions about the year 2012 form part of a non-codified collection of New Age beliefs about ancient Maya wisdom and spirituality.[42][43][44][45][46][47] Archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni says that while the idea of "balancing the cosmos" was prominent in ancient Maya literature, the 2012 phenomenon does not draw from those traditions. Instead, it is bound up with American concepts such as the New Age movement, millenarianism, and the belief in secret knowledge from distant times and places.[48] Established themes found in 2012 literature include "suspicion towards mainstream Western culture", the idea of spiritual evolution, and the possibility of leading the world into the New Age by individual example or by a group's joined consciousness. The general intent of this literature is not to warn of impending doom but "to foster counter-cultural sympathies and eventually socio-political and 'spiritual' activism".[2] Aveni, who has studied New Age and SETI communities, describes 2012 narratives as the product of a "disconnected" society: "Unable to find spiritual answers to life's big questions within ourselves, we turn outward to imagined entities that lie far off in space or time—entities that just might be in possession of superior knowledge".[49]

Origins

In 1975, the ending of b'ak'tun 13 became the subject of speculation by several New Age authors, who asserted it would correspond with a global "transformation of consciousness". In Mexico Mystique: The Coming Sixth Age of Consciousness, Frank Waters tied Coe's original date of 24 December 2011,[Note d] to astrology and the prophecies of the Hopi,[50] while both José Argüelles (in The Transformative Vision)[51] and Terence McKenna (in The Invisible Landscape)[52][53] discussed the significance of the year 2012 and made reference to 21 Dec. 2012.
In 1983, with the publication of Robert J. Sharer's revised table of date correlations in the 4th edition of Morley's The Ancient Maya,[Note d] each became convinced that 21 December 2012, had significant meaning. By 1987, the year in which he organized the Harmonic Convergence event, Arguelles was using the date 21 December 2012 in The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology.[54][55] He claimed that on 13 August 3113 BC the Earth began a passage through a "galactic synchronization beam" that emanated from the center of our galaxy, that it would pass through this beam during a period of 5200 tuns (Maya cycles of 360 days each), and that this beam would result in "total synchronization" and "galactic entrainment" of individuals "plugged into the Earth's electromagnetic battery" by 13.0.0.0.0 (21 Dec. 2012). He believed that the Maya aligned their calendar to correspond to this phenomenon.[56] Anthony Aveni has dismissed all of these ideas.[57]

Galactic alignment

There is no significant astronomical event tied to the Long Count's start date.[58] However, its supposed end date has been tied to astronomical phenomena by esoteric, fringe, and New Age literature that places great significance on astrology.[42][45] Chief among these is the concept of the "galactic alignment".

Precession

In the Solar System, the planets and the Sun lie roughly within the same flat plane, known as the plane of the ecliptic. From our perspective on Earth, the ecliptic is the path taken by the Sun across the sky over the course of the year. The twelve constellations that line the ecliptic are known as the zodiac and, annually, the Sun passes through all of them in turn. Additionally, over time, the Sun's annual cycle appears to recede very slowly backward by one degree every 72 years, or by one constellation every 2,160 years. This backward movement, called "precession", is due to a slight wobble in the Earth's axis as it spins, and can be compared to the way a spinning top wobbles as it slows down.[59] Over the course of 25,800 years, a period often called a Great Year, the Sun's path completes a full, 360-degree backward rotation through the zodiac.[59] In Western astrological traditions, precession is measured from the March equinox, or the point at which the Sun is exactly halfway between its lowest and highest points in the sky. Presently, the Sun's March equinox position is in the constellation Pisces and is moving back into Aquarius. This signals the end of one astrological age (the Age of Pisces) and the beginning of another (the Age of Aquarius).[60]
Similarly, the Sun's December solstice position (in the northern hemisphere, the lowest point on its annual path; in the southern hemisphere, the highest) is currently in the constellation of Sagittarius, one of two constellations in which the zodiac intersects with the Milky Way.[61] Every year, on the December solstice, the Sun and the Milky Way, from the surface of the Earth, appear to come into alignment, and every year, precession causes a slight shift in the Sun's position in the Milky Way. Given that the Milky Way is between 10° and 20° wide, it takes between 700 and 1400 years for the Sun's December solstice position to precess through it.[62] It is currently about halfway through the Milky Way, crossing the galactic equator.[63] In 2012, the Sun's December solstice will fall on 21 December.

Mysticism

[pic]

[pic]

The Milky Way near Cygnus showing the lane of the Dark Rift, which the Maya called the Xibalba be or "Black Road"

Mystical speculations about the precession of the equinoxes and the Sun's proximity to the center of the Milky Way appeared in Hamlet's Mill (1969) by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Deschend. These were quoted and expanded upon by Terence and Dennis McKenna in The Invisible Landscape (1975). The significance of a future "galactic alignment" was noted in 1991 by astrologer Raymond Mardyks, who asserted that the winter solstice would align with the galactic plane in 1998/1999, writing that an event that "only occurs once each 26,000 year cycle and would be most definitely of utmost significance to the top flight ancient astrologers."[64] Astrologer Bruce Scofield notes, "The Milky Way crossing of the winter solstice is something that has been neglected by Western astrologers, with a few exceptions. Charles Jayne made a very early reference to it, and in the 1970s Rob Hand mentioned it in his talks on precession but didn't elaborate on it. Ray Mardyks later made a point of it, and after that John [Major] Jenkins, myself, and Daniel Giamario began to talk about it."[65]
Adherents to the idea, following a theory first proposed by Munro Edmonson,[66] allege that the Maya based their calendar on observations of the Great Rift or Dark Rift, a band of dark dust clouds in the Milky Way, which, according to some scholars, the Maya called the Xibalba be or "Black Road."[67][dubious – discuss] John Major Jenkins claims that the Maya were aware of where the ecliptic intersected the Black Road and gave this position in the sky a special significance in their cosmology.[68] According to Jenkins, precession will align the Sun precisely with the galactic equator at the 2012 winter solstice.[68] Jenkins claimed that the classical Maya anticipated this conjunction and celebrated it as the harbinger of a profound spiritual transition for mankind.[69] New Age proponents of the galactic alignment hypothesis argue that, just as astrology uses the positions of stars and planets to make claims of future events, the Mayans plotted their calendars with the objective of preparing for significant world events.[70] Jenkins attributes the insights of ancient Maya shamans about the galactic center to their use of psilocybin mushrooms, psychoactive toads, and other psychedelics.[71] Jenkins also associates the Xibalba be with a "world tree", drawing on studies of contemporary (not ancient) Maya cosmology.[72]

Criticism

Astronomers such as David Morrison argue that the galactic equator is an entirely arbitrary line and can never be precisely drawn, because it is impossible to determine the Milky Way's exact boundaries, which vary depending on clarity of view. Jenkins claims he drew his conclusions about the location of the galactic equator from observations taken at above 11,000 feet (3,400 m), an altitude that gives a clearer image of the Milky Way than Mayans had access to.[56] Furthermore, since the Sun is half a degree wide, its solstice position takes 36 years to precess its full width. Jenkins himself notes that even given this determined location for the line of the galactic equator, its most precise convergence with the center of the Sun already occurred in 1998, and so asserts that, rather than 2012, the galactic alignment instead focuses on a multi-year period centred on 1998.[73][74][75]
There is no clear evidence that the classic Maya were aware of precession. Some Maya scholars, such as Barbara MacLeod,[36] Michael Grofe,[76] Eva Hunt, Gordon Brotherston, and Anthony Aveni,[77] have suggested that some Mayan holy dates were timed to precessional cycles, but scholarly opinion on the subject remains divided.[24] There is also little evidence, archaeological or historical, that the Maya placed any importance on solstices or equinoxes.[24][78] It is possible that only the early Mesoamericans observed solstices,[79] but this is also a disputed issue among Mayanists.[24][78] There is also no evidence that the classic Maya attached any importance to the Milky Way; there is no glyph in their writing system to represent it, and no astronomical or chronological table tied to it.[80]

Timewave zero and the I Ching

[pic]

[pic]

A screenshot of the "Timewave Zero" software

"Timewave zero" is a numerological formula that purports to calculate the ebb and flow of "novelty", defined as increase over time in the universe's interconnectedness, or organized complexity.[81] According to Terence McKenna, the universe has a teleological attractor at the end of time that increases interconnectedness, eventually reaching a singularity of infinite complexity in 2012, at which point anything and everything imaginable will occur simultaneously. He conceived this idea over several years in the early to mid-1970s while using psilocybin mushrooms and DMT.[81]
McKenna expressed "novelty" in a computer program which purportedly produces a waveform known as "timewave zero" or the "timewave". Based on McKenna's interpretation of the King Wen sequence of the I Ching,[52] the graph appears to show great periods of novelty corresponding with major shifts in humanity's biological and sociocultural evolution. He believed that the events of any given time are recursively related to the events of other times, and chose the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as the basis for calculating his end date of November 2012. When he later discovered this date's proximity to the end of the 13th b'ak'tun of the Maya calendar, he revised his hypothesis so that the two dates matched.[82]
The 1975 first edition of The Invisible Landscape refers to 2012 (but no specific day during the year) only twice. In the 1993 second edition, McKenna employed Sharer's date[Note d] of 21 December 2012 throughout.[2]

Other concepts

[pic]

Pic de Bugarach, Camps-sur-l'Agly, France; a target of "esoterics" who believe that some great transition will occur in 2012

In India, the guru Kalki Bhagavan has promoted 2012 as a "deadline" for human enlightenment since at least 1998.[83] Over 15 million people consider Bhagavan to be the incarnation of the god Vishnu and believe that 2012 marks the end of the Kali Yuga, or degenerate age.[84]
In 2006, author Daniel Pinchbeck popularized New Age concepts about this date in his book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, linking b'ak'tun 13 to beliefs in crop circles, alien abduction, and personal revelations based on the use of hallucinogenic drugs and mediumship.[85][86] Pinchbeck claims to discern a "growing realization that materialism and the rational, empirical worldview that comes with it has reached its expiration date ... [w]e're on the verge of transitioning to a dispensation of consciousness that's more intuitive, mystical and shamanic."[5]
Beginning in 2000, the small French village of Bugarach, population 189, began receiving visits from "esoterics"—mystic believers who have concluded that the local mountain, Pic de Bugarach, is the ideal location to weather the transformative events of 2012. In 2011, the local mayor, Jean-Pierre Delord, began voicing fears to the international press that the small town would be overwhelmed by an influx of thousands of visitors in 2012, even suggesting he may call in the army.[87][88] "We've seen a huge rise in visitors", Delord told The Independent in March 2012. "Already this year more than 20,000 people have climbed right to the top, and last year we had 10,000 hikers, which was a significant rise on the previous 12 months. They think Pic de Bugarach is 'un garage à ovnis' [an alien garage]. The villagers are exasperated: the exaggerated importance of something which they see as completely removed from reality is bewildering. After 21 December, this will surely return to normal."[89]

Doomsday theories

[pic]

Sagittarius A*, taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

A far more apocalyptic view of the year 2012 that has spread in various media describes the end of the world or of human civilization on that date. This view has been promulgated by many hoax pages on the Internet, particularly on YouTube,[90] as well as on several cable TV channels.

Other alignments

Some people have interpreted the galactic alignment apocalyptically, claiming that when it occurs, it will somehow create a combined gravitational effect between the Sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy (known as Sagittarius A*), thus creating havoc on Earth.[91] Apart from the fact noted above that the "galactic alignment" already happened in 1998, the Sun's apparent path through the zodiac as seen from Earth does not take it near the true galactic center, but rather several degrees above it.[63] Even if this were not the case, Sagittarius A* is 30,000 light years from Earth, and would have to be more than 6 million times closer to cause any gravitational disruption to Earth's Solar System.[92][93] This reading of the alignment was included on the History Channel documentary, Decoding the Past. However, John Major Jenkins has complained that a science fiction writer co-authored the documentary, and he went on to characterize it as "45 minutes of unabashed doomsday hype and the worst kind of inane sensationalism".[94]
Some believers in a 2012 doomsday have used the term "galactic alignment" to describe a very different phenomenon proposed by some scientists to explain a pattern in mass extinctions supposedly observed in the fossil record.[95] According to this hypothesis, mass extinctions are not random, but recur every 26 million years. To account for this, it suggests that vertical oscillations made by the Sun on its 250-million-year orbit of the galactic center cause it to regularly pass through the galactic plane. When the Sun's orbit takes it outside the galactic plane which bisects the galactic disc, the influence of the galactic tide is weaker. However, when re-entering the galactic disc—as it does every 20–25 million years—it comes under the influence of the far stronger "disc tides", which, according to mathematical models, increase the flux of Oort cloud comets into the inner Solar System by a factor of 4, thus leading to a massive increase in the likelihood of a devastating comet impact.[96] However, this "alignment" takes place over tens of millions of years, and could never be timed to an exact date.[97] Evidence shows that the Sun passed through the plane bisecting the galactic disc only three million years ago and is now moving farther above it.[98]
A third suggested alignment is some sort of planetary conjunction occurring on 21 December 2012; however, there will be no conjunction on that date.[10] Multi-planet alignments did occur in both 2000 and 2010, each with no ill result for the Earth.[99] Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System; larger than all other planets combined. When Jupiter is near opposition, the Earth experiences less than 1% the gravitational force it feels daily from the Moon.[100]

Geomagnetic reversal

Another idea tied to 2012 involves a geomagnetic reversal (often incorrectly referred to as a pole shift by proponents), possibly triggered by a massive solar flare, that would release an energy equal to 100 billion atomic bombs.[101] This belief is supposedly supported by observations that the Earth's magnetic field is weakening,[102] which could precede a reversal of the north and south magnetic poles.
Critics, however, claim that geomagnetic reversals take up to 7,000 years to complete, and do not start on any particular date.[103] Furthermore, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now predicts that the solar maximum will peak in May 2013, not 2012, and that it will be fairly weak, with a below-average number of sunspots.[104] In any case, there is no scientific evidence linking a solar maximum to a geomagnetic reversal, which is driven by forces entirely within the Earth.[105] Instead, a solar maximum would be mostly notable for its effects on satellite and cellular phone communications.[106] David Morrison attributes the rise of the solar storm idea to physicist and science popularizer Michio Kaku, who claimed in an interview with Fox News that a solar peak in 2012 could be disastrous for orbiting satellites.[90]

Planet X/Nibiru

Main article: Nibiru cataclysm

Some believers in doomsday in 2012 claim that a planet called Planet X, or Nibiru, will collide with or pass by Earth in that year. This idea, which has appeared in various forms since 1995, initially predicted Doomsday in May 2003, but proponents later abandoned that date after it passed without incident.[107] The idea originated from claims of channeling of alien beings and has been widely ridiculed.[107][108] Astronomers have calculated that such an object so close to Earth would be visible to anyone looking up at the night sky.[107]

Other catastrophes

[pic]

The Pleiades, a star cluster whose supposed influence is sometimes tied to the 2012 phenomenon

Author Graham Hancock, in his book Fingerprints of the Gods, interpreted Coe's remarks in Breaking the Maya Code[109] as evidence for the prophecy of a global cataclysm.[110] Filmmaker Roland Emmerich would later credit the book with inspiring his 2009 disaster film 2012.[111]
Other speculations regarding doomsday in 2012 have included predictions by the Web Bot project, a computer program that purports to predict the future using Internet chatter. However, commentators have rejected the programmers' claims to have successfully predicted natural disasters, which web chatter could never predict, as opposed to human-caused disasters like stock market crashes.[112]
Also, the 2012 date has been loosely tied to the long-running concept of the Photon Belt, which predicts a form of interaction between Earth and Alcyone, the largest star of the Pleiades cluster.[113] Critics have argued that photons cannot form belts, that the Pleiades, located more than 400 light years away, could have no effect on Earth, and that the Solar System, rather than getting closer to the Pleiades, is in fact moving farther away from them.[114]
Some media outlets have tied the fact that the red supergiant star Betelgeuse will undergo a supernova at some point in the future to the 2012 phenomenon. However, while Betelgeuse is certainly in the final stages of its life, and will die as a supernova, there is no way to predict the timing of the event to within 100,000 years.[115] To be a threat to Earth, a supernova would need to be as close as 25 light years to the Solar System. Betelgeuse is roughly 600 light years away, and so its supernova will not affect Earth.[116] In December 2011, NASA's Francis Reddy issued a press release debunking the possibility of a supernova occurring in 2012.[117]
Another claim involves alien invasion. In December 2010, an article, first published in examiner.com and later referenced in the English-language edition of Pravda[118] claimed, citing a Second Digitized Sky Survey photograph as evidence, that SETI had detected three large spacecraft due to arrive at Earth in 2012.[119] Astronomer and debunker Phil Plait noted that by using the small-angle formula, one could determine that if the object in the photo was as large as claimed, it would have had to be closer to Earth than the Moon, which would mean it would already have arrived.[119] In January 2011, Seth Shostak, chief astronomer of SETI, issued a press release debunking the claims.[118]

Cultural influence

The phenomenon has produced hundreds of books, as well as hundreds of thousands of websites.[90] "Ask an Astrobiologist", a NASA public outreach website, has received over 5000 questions from the public on the subject since 2007,[113] some asking whether they should kill themselves, their children or their pets.[90]
In the United States, sales of private underground blast shelters have increased noticeably since 2009. In December 2009, Robert Vicino founded Vivos, a company that claims to offer discount shelters for the less well off. Their site features a countdown clock to December 2012.[120]
In Brazil, the Mayor of the City of São Francisco de Paula, Décio Colla, Rio Grande do Sul, has mobilized the population to prepare for the end of the world by stocking up on food and supplies.[121][122] In the city of Corguinho, in the Mato Grosso do Sul, a colony is being built for survivors of the tragedy.[123] In Alto Paraíso de Goiás, the hotels also make specific reservations for prophetic dates.[124]
In 2011, the Mexico tourism board stated its intentions to use the year 2012, without its apocalyptic connotations, as a means to revive Mexico's tourism industry, which had suffered as the country gained a reputation for drug wars and kidnapping. The initiative hopes to draw on the mystical appeal of the Maya ruins.[125] On 21 December 2011, the Maya town of Tapachula in Chiapas activated an eight-foot digital clock counting down the days until the end of b'ak'tun 13, while in Izapa, a nearby archaeological site, Maya priests burned incense and prayed.[126]

In media

See also: 2012 in fiction

Since coming to notice, the 2012 phenomenon has been discussed or referenced in several media. Several TV documentaries, as well as many contemporary fictional references to the year 2012 refer to 21 December as the day of a cataclysmic event.
The History Channel has aired a handful of special series on doomsday that include analysis of 2012 theories, such as Decoding the Past (2005–2007), 2012, End of Days (2006), Last Days on Earth (2006), Seven Signs of the Apocalypse (2007), and Nostradamus 2012 (2008).[127] The Discovery Channel also aired 2012 Apocalypse in 2009, suggesting that massive solar storms, magnetic pole reversal, earthquakes, supervolcanoes, and other drastic natural events may occur in 2012.[128] In 2012 the National Geographic Channel launched a show called Doomsday Preppers, a documentary series about people preparing for various cataclysms, including the 2012 doomsday.[129]
The bestselling book of 2009,[130] Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, featured 2012 as a date for an apocalypse.
The 2009 disaster film 2012 was inspired by the phenomenon, and advance promotion prior to its release included a stealth marketing campaign in which TV spots and websites from the fictional "Institute for Human Continuity" called on people to prepare for the end of the world. As these promotions did not mention the film itself, many viewers believed them to be real and contacted astronomers in panic.[131][132] Although the campaign was heavily criticized,[90] the film became one of the most successful of its year, grossing nearly $770 million worldwide.[133]
Lars von Trier's 2011 film Melancholia features a plot in which a planet emerges from behind the Sun onto a collision course with Earth.[134] Announcing his company's purchase of the film, the head of Magnolia Pictures said in a press release, "As the 2012 apocalypse is upon us, it is time to prepare for a cinematic last supper."[135]
The phenomenon has also inspired several pop music hits. As early as 1997, "A Certain Shade of Green" by Incubus referred to the mystical belief that a shift in perception would arrive in 2012 ("Are you gonna stand around till 2012 A.D.? / What are you waiting for, a certain shade of green?"). More recent hits include "2012 (It Ain't the End)" (2010) performed by Jay Sean and "Till the World Ends" (2011) performed by Britney Spears.
In February 2012, American automotive company GM aired an advertisement during the annual Super Bowl football game in which a group of friends drive Chevrolet Silverados through the ruins of human civilisation following the 2012 apocalypse. (When the whereabouts of one of their friends is queried, it is revealed that he died because

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How to World Will Come to an End

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