December 21 is the winter solstice; it's also when the ancient Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world, or does it?
In any case, it's beginning to feel a little like Y2K all over again.
Seriously though, even NASA is getting in on the action. The agency created a page on its website devoted to debunking the Mayan apocalypse idea—not least because the Mayans never predicted any such thing. The date is simply the end of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar, when it simply starts over.
“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,” NASA wrote.
But maybe they're just fun-haters: there are a number of parties planned for Dec. 20 or 21 this year, just in case the Earth explodes, or zombies run amok. With the "long count" calendar of the Ancient Mayans coming to an end that day, some people are a little pessimistic about any calendar continuing past that date.
However, experts on the matter, like the NASA thing above, say we've got nothing to worry about. According to an article on nbcnews.com, "Experts estimate the system starts counting at 3114 B.C., and will have run through 13 baktuns, or 5,125 years, around Dec. 21. Experts say 13 was a significant number for the Maya, and the end of that cycle would be a milestone — but not an end."
Some people believe the Maya may have predicted "impending astronomical disasters that would coincide with 2012, ranging from explosive storms on the surface of the sun that could knock out power grids to a galactic alignment that could trigger a reversal in Earth's magnetic field."
But according to the article, that is not the case. In fact Mayan predictions go way past our present-day, indicating that they expected a future to come even after their long count calendar came to an end.
There have been several predictions of the end of the world, including the May 21, 2011 biblical prediction by then 89-year-old old "minister" Howard Camping. On May 22, 2011, the sun rose just as surely as it had the day before.
Anyone having an end of the world party? How about a going out of business sale?