According to a recent Reuter's poll, nearly 15% of people believe that the world will end within their lifetime. The poll also revealed that roughly 10% of people believe that the world will end on December 21, 2012, coinciding with the end of the Mayan calendar.
While millions of people around the world believe in the 2012 Doomsday, there are many misconceptions about the Apocalypse and the Mayan calendar. JOTB would like to clear up some of these myths and misconceptions. So before you cash out your 401k and build a bomb shelter, here are 5 reasons why the world won't end in 2012:
Myth #1: The Mayans predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012
The Truth: The Mayans Never Predicted the World Will End in 2012
If the Mayans never made this prediction, then where did the 12/21/12 "doomsdate" come from? This date marks the end of a time measurement used by the Mayans known as the "Long Count". Anthony Aveni, an expert on Mayan culture and archaeoastronomer at Colgate University, explains in a 2009 NationalGeographic.com article: "It's the time when the largest grand cycle in the Mayan calendar—1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years—overturns and a new cycle begins." On 12/21/12 this lengthy calendar ends, but that doesn't mean that world will- the cycle will simply "reset" itself, thus beginning a new cycle... much like our concept of New Years.
Myth #2: Galactic Alignment Will Bring About the Apocalypse
The Truth: Celestial Bodies Align This Way Every Winter Solstice
Some believe that the celestial alignment which takes place at the end of 2012 will bring about a pole shift or some other unknown powerful force which will hurl us all into space. The truth is that a certain planetary alignment takes place every Winter solstice (that's why it's the Winter solstice, dumdum!). Even NASA has stated that nothing out of the ordinary is set to take place in space on 12/21/12...at least nothing that hasn't occured ever December 21 for thousands of years.
Myth #3: Nostradamus Also Predicted the End of the World in 2012
The Truth: Nostrodamus' prophecies extended all the way to the year 3797
If he had foreseen a 2012 doomsday, why did he bother making predictions for almost 1800 years after the supposed end of the world? The fact of the matter is that the date 2012 does not show up in a single one of Nostradamus' "prophetic" quatrains.
Myth #4: Planet X (a.k.a. Nibiru) Will Collide With Earth in 2012
The Truth: Ever since "Planet X" was discovered by NASA scientists in 2005 lurking in the furthest reaches of our solar system, it hasn't moved an inch.
The "Nibiru Theory" was first proposed in 1995 by Nancy Lieder, founder of the website ZetaTalk. Ms. Lieder describes herself as a contactee who has the ability to receive messages from aliens residing in the Zeta Reticuli star system... through an implant in her brain. In other words, she's about as credible as a psychiatric patient. If Planet X or Nibiru was on a collision course with Earth, it would be somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter by now. If Planet X wants to reach us by 2012, it better get moving!
Myth #5: The Sun's Magnetic Field Will Reverse in 2012, Resulting in Apocalypse
The Truth: The Sun Is Doing Just Fine
Every 9-12 years, the sun goes through a cycle of sunspot activity. These cycles have been studied for several centuries. Scientists know that the sun's magnetic field does in fact reverse, but this happens at the peak of every solar cycle. We are currently in a period which researchers refer to as "Cycle Number 24", and the peak of this cycle won't take place until 2013. In other words, scientist have observed the reversing of the sun's magnetic fields at least 24 times- none of which brought about the end of the world. (read what the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has to say about this myth here)