Because hysteria is more fun in groups, the Griffith Observatory is inviting Angelenos to hang out late on Friday, Dec. 21, when the Mayans predicted that the world would end.
The Observatory, which usually closes at 10 p.m., will stay open one minute after midnight on the 21st to disprove apocalyptic fears. The planetarium show, "Time's Up," will run all day. The short film "demonstrate[s] that claims regarding the Maya calendar, planetary alignments, rogue planets, galactic beams, and other related phenomena have no basis in fact," according to the Observatory's web site.
“While the ‘2012’ scenario is based on a profound misinterpretation of the Maya calendar, other groundless claims have also been attached to December 21,” the Observatory said in an emailed statement. "The Observatory, NASA, and others receive daily inquiries from anxious people asking if the 'predictions' of doom are correct."
The Observatory advises arriving early because access roads will be closed as soon as parking if full. Because even on the apocalypse, parking in LA is the pits.
Related on HuffPost:
As the <em>Christian Science Monitor </em><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0518/Judgment-Day-Five-failed-end-of-the-world-predictions/1806" target="_hplink">reports</a>, the "Prophet Hen of Leeds," a domesticated fowl in England, began laying eggs that bore the message "Christ is coming" in 1806, leading locals to believe the end of the world was upon them. Charles Mackay's 1841 book, <em>Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds</em>, describes it thus: <blockquote>"Great numbers visited the spot, and examined these wondrous eggs, convinced that the day of judgment was near at hand. Like sailors in a storm, expecting every instant to go to the bottom, the believers suddenly became religious, prayed violently, and flattered themselves that they repented them of their evil courses. But a plain tale soon put them down, and quenched their religion entirely. Some gentlemen, hearing of the matter, went one fine morning, and caught the poor hen in the act of laying one of her miraculous eggs. They soon ascertained beyond doubt that the egg had been inscribed with some corrosive ink, and cruelly forced up again into the bird's body. At this explanation, those who had prayed, now laughed, and the world wagged as merrily as of yore."</blockquote>
U.S.-based religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told followers: "I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world." As the <em>Christian Science Monitor</em><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0518/Judgment-Day-Five-failed-end-of-the-world-predictions/October-or-November-1982" target="_hplink"> reports</a>, Robertson has said that God told him about pending disasters on numerous occasions -- including a West Coast tsunami in 2006, and a terrorist attack in 2007 -- neither of which occurred. "I have a relatively good track record," he has said. "Sometimes I miss."
Oct. 28, 1992
Followers of the "Hyoo Go" (Rapture) movement, a collection of Korean "end-times" sects, firmly <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/149124/20110520/top-10-failed-doomsday-predictions-may-21-2011-harold-camping.htm#ixzz1Mvyj2D3l" target="_hplink">believed</a> that Jesus was coming in 1992. When the prophesied events failed to pass, much turmoil broke out among the sects, and some followers tried to attack their preachers with knives.
The teachings of Michel de Nostrdame (or Nostradamus) have been translated and re-translated over time, but many of his followers <a href="http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/articles/149124/20110520/top-10-failed-doomsday-predictions-may-21-2011-harold-camping_7.htm" target="_hplink">believed </a>that in the seventh month of year 1999, "a great king of terror will come from the sky," and would thus end the world.
May 21, 2011
Harold Camping, the head of a Christian broadcast group called Family Radio, has been <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/148916/20110520/doomsday-judgement-day-may-21-2011-mayan-calendar-december-21-2012-harold-camping-bible-mayan-civili.htm" target="_hplink">predicting </a>for years that the day would take place on May 21, 2011. Though he had claimed earlier that the world would end in Sept. 1994, that month passed without cataclysmic results. He has since said he'd miscalculated and that the apocalyptical flood would take place in May 2011.
December 21, 2012
Several scientists and speculators had <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/148916/20110520/doomsday-judgement-day-may-21-2011-mayan-calendar-december-21-2012-harold-camping-bible-mayan-civili.htm#ixzz1MvvfdKg7" target="_hplink">proposed </a>numerous astronomical alignments hinting at the planet's demise, based on the view that the calendar of the ancient Mayan civilization ends on Dec. 21, 2012. There is a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012, which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan long count calendar.