Monday, December 10, 2012

The End of the World

December 21, 2012. That’s when the Mayan calendar reportedly ends and fears that the end of the world is near is spreading across the world. Doomsdayers are predicting a cataclysmic end of the Earth. China and Russia have witnessed panic buying of tinned foods and candles, while in America, sales of survival shelters have gone through the roof. As for France, believers of the ancient prophecy are set to converge on a mountain top and wait for aliens to come to their rescue.

Except for some panic-stricken people, the rest of us will continue with our humdrum lives. There’s nothing to worry about because it is just a hoax.

The precise manner of Armageddon remains vague, ranging from a catastrophic celestial collision between Earth and the mythical rogue planet Nibiru, also known as Planet X, a disastrous crash with a comet, or the annihilation of civilisation by a giant solar storm. This impending catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and 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. [By the way, according to NASA, there is no scientific evidence supporting the alleged planet's existence].

One theory suggests a galactic alignment which would create chaos on Earth because of the gravitational effect between the Sun and the Black hole called Sagittarius A, which is located at the center of our galaxy. [Scientists say no planetary alignments will occur in the next few decades. But even if they did, the effects on our planet would be negligible].

Another theory involves a 'polar shift', which means a reversal of the north and south magnetic poles. Scientists believe that the Earth is overdue for a geomagnetic reversal. However this can take up to 5,000 years to complete and does not start on any particular date. [Scientists also say the 'polar shift' theory is totally impossible. Although continents move slowly throughout time, a magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia and wouldn’t cause any harm to life on Earth].

Therefore, NASA scientists confirm that 21st December 2012 will be nothing more than a normal December solstice.

And the end of the Mayan calendar does not imply the end of the world, only the end of the Mayan long-count period. The 'long count' is a part of the Maya calendar shaped like a wheel. When we reach the end of the wheel, it will simply turn to the beginning again, just like our modern Gregorian calendar starts again every January 01.

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