Won’t it be hysterical if the Mayans were right and they upstage all the end-of-the-world cults we’ve had to deal with?
We’re one year away from Dec. 21, 2012, the date that the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly marked as the end of an era that would reset the date to zero and signal the end of humanity.
But will it?
There have been many end of times predictions over the years. Christian radio host Harold Camping faced widespread ridicule when his predictions that the world would end twice this year – on May 21, and then on Oct. 21 – failed to materialize.
But in the flurry of doomsday predictions – there have been similar dire warnings about the world coming to an end from various cultures, including Native Americans, the Chinese, Egyptians and even the Irish – the supposed Mayan prophecy seems to have held the most sway with believers.
The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy. Advanced mathematics and primitive astronomy flourished, creating what many have called the most accurate calendar in the world.
The Mayans predicted a final event that included a solar shift, a Venus transit and violent earthquakes.
Their Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas, and they wrote that the 13th Baktun ends on Dec. 21, 2012.