Huffpost Weird News

2012 Apocalypse Myths Debunked: Five Mayan Doomsday Predictions & Why They're Wrong

Posted: Updated:
Artist's conception of planetary alignment. | Wikimedia

By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Published: 12/17/2012 04:12 PM EST on LiveScience

On Friday, Dec. 21, some say, the Mayan apocalypse will arrive and the world will end. Fortunately, it won't.

A bold claim, we know, but if it's good enough for NASA, it's good enough for us. The space agency has already issued a press release dated Dec. 22 entitled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday."

The Mayan apocalypse predictions arise from a misunderstanding of the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar, which wraps up a 400-year cycle called a b'ak'tun on Dec. 21, 2012, the day of the winter solstice. This just so happens to be the 13th b'ak'tun in the calendar, a benchmark the Maya would have seen as a full cycle of creation.

Did you catch that? Cycle. In other words, the Maya had a cyclical view of time and would not have seen the end of their calendar cycle as the end of the world. It wasn't until Westerners began reinterpreting the calendar in the past couple decades that it got its apocalyptic overtones. [Images: Mayan Calendar Carvings]

Mayan apocalypse rumors have proliferated on the Internet, running the gamut from beliefs that Dec. 21 will bring a new era of peace and universal understanding to predictions of a devastating astronomical event. We're all in favor of world peace, but we're here to put your fears to rest about the likelihood of planetary annihilation. Read on for five common Mayan apocalypse fears and why they won't come true.

5 Mayan Apocalypse Myths Debunked
Share this
Current Slide

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas or LiveScience @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Also on HuffPost:

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

5 Mayan Apocalypse Myths Debunked

US government insists 2012 apocalypse is a myth

2012 Mayan Apocalypse Rumors Have Dark Side, NASA Warns | Doomsday ...

Maya 2012 predication a myth, professors say

Russia takes 2012 apocalypse seriously: Citizens clamor for goods before the ...

End of the World Not on December 21, 2012, Says Boston University Professor

Doomsday 2012: Watch the 'End of the World' Live Online

Will the world end on Friday? Not likely, KU scholar says

GeekMom Zombie Apocalypse Countdown (5 Days to Go)

2012 Apocalypse Update: Global Warming May Cause Extreme Weather to be ...