The Mayan Long count Calendar
Renowned for having the only fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas as well as their art, architecture, mathematical and astronomical systems, the Mayans lived thousands of years ago.
As part of their culture, the Mayans used a Long Count calendar. The calendar starts with the date of August 11, 3114 BC and ends on December 21, 2012 of the present era.
Despite the facts the Mayans not believing themselves that any such event would occur, this date, over the years, has generated enormous publicity, with many predicting the nearby end of the world, or a transformative event of some kind waiting to happen.
Today, the media are playing a huge role in whipping up a frenzy of speculation. From a polar reversal of the Earth, to spectacular runaway climate disaster or other cataclysm Various threats are debated; even the second coming of Christ is predicted.
First, none of this will happen: for one, Christ never existed and, the only reason why the Mayans stop their calendar on that specific date is that there was no more room on the stone they used to go further.
Second, close to the end of the year, we will numerous hoaxes creating further confusion and paranoia. Some people will be engaging in panic buying of food, or building shutters and barricades around their homes. Others will spend their entire life savings to enjoy one last day before the predicted end of the world.
Finally, for a small minority of troubled individuals, their belief will develop into a self-fulfilling prophecy. In their misguided certainty that the world will actually end, resorting to extreme or illegal behaviour, they will put themselves and others at risk.
While there will be a brief spike in the number of murders, rapes, accidents and suicides worldwide, for the vast majority of rational people, December 21st, 2012 will passes without incident and life will continue as normal on December 22nd.