December 21, 2012: The end of the world?
With exactly seven days to go, the air is booming with buzz about an impending doomsday set to fall on December 21, 2012.
I’m sure you already know what the fuss is about, but for the uninitiated, here goes.
It is predicted by historians, astrologers, astronomers, the Mayans, scientists and even internet wizards that the world is going to end this December. Yes, that’s right this very month, even before Christmas and the New Year holidays!
Now, let me share with you a few fascinating historical revelations that, for some, point towards the end of the world as we know it.
1. The Mayan calendar
You must have heard about the Mayans. If you haven’t here is a brief historical recap. The Mayans herald from a Mesoamerican civilisation and were famously known for their renowned art, architecture, mathematical and astronomical systems. The one piece of art that evidences their mathematical and astronomical genius, and is relevant to our topic today, is the Mayan calendar.
The interesting part is that the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012, and thus awakens the prophecy of imminent disaster for the world. Apparently, if the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, it has been decided that so does the world.
Interestingly, it is stated that as the 5,125 year long cycle of the “fourth world”- on which humans were placed by the gods – ends on December 21, the world as we know it will come to an end; kind of like approaching an expiration date.
However, many historians and even Maya experts have pointed out that the end of the calendar meant to be apocalyptic; in fact, it is said that even the Mayans themselves did not see the end of the calendar as the end of time itself.
What is believed, contrary to the appealing conspiracy theories we are attracted to trust, is actually quite sweet. According to the Mayans, the end of the calendar signifies the beginning of a fresh new cycle. It is a new beginning and the rebirth of a new world; we enter what is called the ‘Age of Aquarius’. In fact, in modern circles, there is a song that even celebrates the arrival of the Age of Aquarius that goes something like this;
“When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”
This barely seems to signify the end of the world.
2. Planet X
This particular prophecy is my personal favourite.
‘Nibiru cataclysm’, as it is commonly known, is allegedly a much larger planet that is gearing itself to meet earth in a catastrophic collision, on December 21, 2012; this will, apparently, kill all of mankind. Claimed to be just outside our solar system, this planet is, according to Nancy Lieder, meant to either collide or closely miss a disastrous encounter with planet earth- shattering it into non-existence.
Nancy Lieder, who brought forth this prophecy in 1995, argues that she has the ability to receive messages and contact extra terrestrial beings on other planets that have forewarned her of the disastrous happenings of December 21, 2012. This word of caution is given testimony through the works of astronaut Zecharia Sitchin who wrote, in 1976, a book titled “The Twelfth Planet”, identifying a planet, Nibiru, orbiting the sun every 3,600 years. This planet has been identified as Planet X by Lieder, who insists that it will collide with earth on the said date, ending all of mankind’s existence in the solar system. Sitchin, however, denies that his work has any connection with the psychic analysis drawn by Lieder.
She had, however, predicted a date in May 2003 as well, and seeing that nothing happened then and I am still alive enough to have written this post, the date, as predicted was pushed back.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), however, has also denied the existence of any heavenly body orbiting the solar system and rejected the idea as an internet hoax.
In my opinion, Ms Lieder should use her psychic connection, implanted in her brain by the way (movie- Independence Day- recap anyone?), to maybe deter these ‘aliens’ from engaging in the war against the worlds and come pay a visit to our homeland- we do have great tourist appeal. In the meantime, these photographs make for great desktop wallpapers!
3. The Web Bot project
Moving more towards the ‘techie’ side now, computer science has also given in to the prevailing theories and couldn’t stand back without proposing their own version/prediction of the dark cloud of doom that now hounds us earthlings.
This Web Bot tracks and monitors various web pages for keywords and other significant text. It then gathers the information, clumping it with the human tension and emotions felt over the internet to predict the future. Initially, it was just used to predict the trends of the stock exchange. However, not much later the founders Clif High and George Ure, ‘The Time Monks’ as they refer to themselves, started predicting various events that were to take place in the future. With some misses and many hits, this is the only predictive form that is actually scary.
Along with the attack on the World Trade Centres, they have claimed to have predicted Hurricane Katrina and its devastation, the Tsunami of 2004, blackouts in parts of the US and the fall of space shuttle Columbia.
Now although this may seem to a bit much to digest, with every hit comes a miss and predictions are always a gamble. That’s exactly what they are – just predictions, just a gamble. Some pay off some don’t.
Whilst they have predicted unimaginable catastrophe to hit the earth in 2012, their notions lie on nuclear based attacks that cause devastation. They too, however, have steered clear from claiming that the world may be coming to an end. They have however, provided mankind with theories and solutions to help escape or survive the looming disaster.
“2012”, the movie, depicts this interestingly enough.
Weird news sells!
I really have no clue what the fate of 21.12.12 is, but if the next day falls I’ll make sure to update my blog with the next doomsday prediction.
Stay safe y’all, here comes the end… of my blog.
See you on December 22, 2012!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.