Photo: Terminator 2 screengrab
According to a Mayan calendar that’s been widely misinterpreted, the world is supposed to end on Friday, December 21, 2012.Doomsdayers think the world will end one of four ways:
- We’ll be engulfed in a giant black hole
- The sun will pass through a “galactic plane”
- Solar flares will fry us
- A planet called Nibiru will collide with Earth
Scientists and historians say there’s no way any of those will happen.
According to John Carlson, the Director of the centre of Archaeoastronomy, no Mayan calendar ever suggested the world would end on Friday. The Mayan calendar doesn’t end in 2012 either. “The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning,” he tells The Atlantic.
The popular misconception stems from a long-count calendar the Mayans created to keep track of extended intervals of time. According to that calendar, the world was created on August 11, 3114 BC.
Like the odometer in a car, the numbers on the calendar can roll over, so number schemes that represent Mayan dates can repeat themselves.
On August 11, 3114 BC, the Mayan “odometer” looked like this: 13-0-0-0-0.
This Friday, it will look the same: 13-0-0-0-0.
While historians acknowledge that number scheme was significant to the Mayans, its arrival on 12/21/12 never meant the end of the world — at least not as evidenced by ancient Mayan ruins or tableaus historians have found.
Scientists agree with historians: there’s no evidence whatsoever that an unusual cosmic occurrence will occur this Friday. The head of NASA’s near-earth object program, Dan Yeomans, hasn’t seen any strange asteroids or planets headed toward Earth.Another NASA scientist, David Morrison, confirms this. He says the government wouldn’t be able to hide an object large enough to destroy Earth hurtling towards us in outer space. It’d be visible by now to everyone in the sky, and it would look like a very, very bright star.
“Just go outside and look,” he suggests to anyone with a morsel of doubt.
Lika Guhathakurta leads NASA’s star program, and she says the theory that solar flares will destroy earth on Friday are also false. It’s true that the sun is approaching a solar maximum, but that happens every eleven years, and it poses no threat this Friday (see chart on the left).
If you still aren’t convinced, you can watch all of these experts explain why there is no, scientifically-plausible way the apocalypse will occur on Friday, below: