In just a few days this will all seem very silly, but for now there are people around the world who are genuinely frightened the world is about to end.
Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar. That, however, does not mean the world is ending explained NASA in a statement on their website.
"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," the NASA website states.
Despite efforts by NASA and others to allay the fears of those who believe the end of the Mayan calendar portends some catastrophic event, doomsday preparations have continued.
According to an article in The Telegraph, an American manufacturer of hi-tech underground survival shelters has been doing a brisk business.
"We've gone from one a month to one a day," Ron Hubbard told The Telegraph. "I don't have an opinion on the Mayan calendar but, when astrophysicists come to me, buy my shelters and tell me to be prepared for solar flares, radiation, EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) ... I'm going underground on the 19th and coming out on the 23rd. It's just in case anybody's right."
The apocalyptic fears have also meant brisk business in Mexico, albeit in the form of touriusm instead of survival gear retail sales.
The Times of India reports that Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are "aggressively" promoting the date.
"Millions of tourists are expected to flood into the region for celebrations that will include fireworks, concerts and other spectacles held at more than three dozen archaeological sites," the article stated.
In other parts of the world, the gatherings will be more strange than celebratory.
In France, people are reportedly flocking to Pic de Bugarach -- a mountain peak they claim serves as a "garage" for an alien mothership that will take believers to safety, according to the Daily Mail.
For those who cannot make it to France, a similar peak in the Carpathian Mountains -- Mount Rtanj -- will supposedly "emit a powerful force field at the moment of Armageddon, protecting those in its vicinity," the Daily Mail reports.
Though theories abound as to just how the world will end (solar flares, asteroids, super volcanoes, etc.), NASA maintains there are no looming disasters.
"For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence?" NASA asks on the website.
"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."
If the world does fail to end on Dec. 21, 2012, it will hardly be the first time the apocalypse has failed to materialize. Just last year, . Camping, of course, was wrong.
Do you think there is any reason to be concerned about Dec. 21, 2012? Let us know in the comments.
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