No. Not even close.
Tomorrow is December 21st, 2012, and everyone from New Age philosophers to a terrible movie starring John Cusack and Woody Harrelson is telling us that there is a Maya prophecy predicting this will be the end of the world. Unless you’ve been living in a sensory deprivation chamber for the last five years, you’ve heard the crazy apocalypse theory: the planets will align and the electromagnetic poles will reverse, resulting in ginormous solar flares that will fry us all and cause the tectonic plates to separate and the Earth’s molten core to boil the oceans resulting in the few survivors becoming mindless, flesh-eating zombies.
Oh the humanity.
There’s only one huge, glaring problem with this December 21st, 2012 apocalypse prediction of the Mayans’. And that is, of course, that the Maya have predicted no such thing. The truth is, rumors of December 21st being the end of the world have been wildly exaggerated.
So you can stop all the debate and speculation about whether the Maya were “wrong.” You can even stop joking about how the Maya were “right”… since all this end-of-the-world nonsense has literally nothing to do with the Maya, their history, their culture, and really not even their complex calendric system.
The apocalypse prediction everyone is so worried about is really just a gross misinterpretation of the Mayan Long Count, their 5,000 year calendar, which will end approximately tomorrow and lead to… the beginning of a new Long Count lasting roughly another 5,000 years.
That’s right: On December 21st, 2012 the Great Mayan Odometer will turn over. And that’s really all that will happen.
No solar flares. No earthquakes. No boiling oceans. And most importantly: no zombie apocalypse. Try to contain your disappointment.
The Maya are an indigenous people of Central America, living primarily in Guatemala and the southern part of Mexico to this day. Beyond their amazingly beautiful architecture of stone pyramids and temples in some of the most remote jungles of the world, the Maya are known historically for their advanced pre-Columbian astronomical and mathematical systems.
They are also known, sadly, for having said advanced astronomical system completely misunderstood by apparently everyone who is not Mayan (Sorry, Maya. We got a little carried away).
So fear not, zombie apocalypse preppers! This was only a drill! You can come out of your bunker now and stop thinking about which beloved family member you’ll eat first when the Spam runs out. It was all just a big misunderstanding.
Stay informed, stay alive: Most of the facts in this article were over-simplified to reach the minds of those who actually liked “2012” and were hoping to roast marshmallows over the flaming corpse of the Earth tomorrow. For some entertaining scholarship on the Maya, their Long Count, and our culture’s fascination with the apocalypse, check out archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni’s 2009 book “The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012.”
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