Why was it predicted that the world ends on December 21, 2012?

 Obviously, the world did not end on December 21, 2012. We’re still here continuous in our daily activities and thriving each day. However, for many years before that, they were speculations that Earth would have ended on the said date. Some pictured the world ending through a collision with a mysterious heavenly body, a reverse in the planet’s rotation, a worldwide earthquake, and other natural series of natural disasters. All conspiracy theorists pointed that the apocalypse was predicted and recorded on Ancient Mayans’ Long Count calendar over 2,220 years ago.

The Maya civilization was composed of a distinct group of indigenous people who inhabited the lands comprising Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize etc. during 2000 B.C. Mayans develop one of the most intricate and advanced civilizations in the Western Hemisphere during their time. They built cities sans the modern equipment, discovered how to grow crops like squash, beans, and corn even in hostile areas, established communication using written languages, and measured time using not only one but two sophisticated calendar methods. But despite these remarkable feats, there is no proof that they could foretell what will happen in the future.

The first of the two calendar methods is regarded as the Calendar Round system. It is derived from two annual cycles that overlap each other, the sacred year with 260 days and the secular year with 365 days. Under the Calendar Round system, a single day was identified with four tags, the name and number of the day under the sacred calendar, and the month name and the day number under the secular calendar. All in all, the system has 18,890 days, that would reset after a Calendar Round, or every 52 years.

One drawback of the Calendar Round system, though, is that is gauges time in a perpetual cycle. With that, it was too difficult to attain chronology in terms of events or relate them to one another when measured in extended periods. With that, a new system was invented around 236 B.C. called the Long Count calendar. It measured time by counting each day forward from a fixed date, which scholars discovered to be the 11th or 13th day of August, 3114 B.C. It also had one interval and cycle after one stop. However, the ‘Grand Cycle,’ as it was referred, was very much longer, which last around 5,139 solar years.

Truth to be told, the Mayans believed that the end of one interval would only mean the beginning of another, seemingly like how we crossover from one year to another. Based on the calculations, the new Grand Cycle began on December 22, 2012.

However, theorists from Europe and the United States though that the calendar would not restart itself. Instead, they believed that the interval’s end on December 21, 2012, would bring the world to its end. Some conspiracy theorists even backed their idea with scientific explanations. They claimed that on that day, the equator of the Milly Way would align with the winter solstice, causing a catastrophic phenomenon. Scientists debunked such hypotheses as the said occurrence of those two events did not have any bearing or created impact on the planet. Moreover, with the technologies the Mayans had during their time, it was impossible for them to figure out and observe Milky Way’s equator.

Other predictions were pretty extreme, such as inferring that the Mayans were in contact with extraterrestrial beings when they devised their calendar method and that the end of the cycle implies the day when they would finally set foot on the Earth. On the other hand, others thought it would be a series of natural disasters that bring Earth into oblivion like worldwide earthquakes, floods, and fires and even to more cataclysmic events, such as a collision of planets, intermittent explosions, and extinction of life on Earth.

Fortunately, none of those happened on December 21, 2012. Some present-day Mayans regard doomsday prophecies as gringo predictions of people who were unintelligible of the Mayan culture.

More Readings:

2012 phenomenon (Wikipedia)

Maya civilization (Wikipedia)

Maya calendar (Wikipedia)

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