How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!
In recent years the 2012 end of the world predictions have become serious business, in fact a number of cults are preparing for the arrival of doomsday in a little over a year. It isn’t only cults who are subscribing to these “end of the world predictions” however, many average people are fueling the hysteria that is beginning to build as the year 2012 gets closer. How much truth is behind these theories though? Where exactly are these theories coming from? In this article we will cover the hysteria that is the end of the world prediction for 2012 and compare it with previous end of the world predictions that have come and gone.
Where Does the 2012 End of the World Prediction Come From?
There is actually more than one 2012 end of the world prediction. The most recognized of these predictions is the 2012 end of the world prediction that is indicated by the Mayan Calendar. This Mayan calendar based prediction is the more popular of the doomsday prophecies and has been the subject of many concerns for many. The second most well recognized doomsday prophecy is that of Nostradamus. Nostradamus is a well recognized figure who is believed to have had predictive ability and as such his 2012 doomsday prediction is the source of concern for many.
The Mayan Calendar End of the World Prediction
For as long as there have been historians and archaeologists we have sought to learn as much as we can from previous cultures of people and one of those cultures is the Mayan population. The Maya population is a Mesoamerican civilization that established cities as early as 2000 BC to 150 AD and piqued during the period between 250 AD and 900 AD. It was only upon the arrival of the Spanish that the culture began to die out and the great Mayan civilization began to vanish, leaving behind a number of amazing architectural monuments and historical grounds. For archaeologists one of the biggest accomplishments of the Maya civilization is the development of a written language which is recognized as the only fully developed written language known among the pre-Columbian American civilizations. To conspiracy theorists however, the Maya civilization is most well known for the development of the Mayan calendar.
About The Mayan Calendar
The Mayan calendar begins on the approximate date of August 11, 3114 BC. This calendar is based upon the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is based upon a base 20 and base 18 systems and was not only utilized by the Maya civilization but also by various other South American civilizations as well. The beginning date of the Maya calendar is believed to be the date on which the Earth was created and the calendar keeps track of the current date by counting the number of days that have passed since this supposed date of creation. The Maya calendar is recognized as the Haab, and is based upon a 365 day solar calendar. In this calendar, the days of the week are named much like they are in our current calendar version; however, the years are not named. The long count Mayan calendar was utilized by the Maya civilization for a significant period of time with the first documented use falling around 36 BC; however, when the Spanish came to the area the calendar was no longer being utilized.
Comparing the Western Calendar and the Long Count Calendar
Although it may seem strange due to the age of the Maya calendar in comparison to the Western calendar, there is a point of correlation between the two calendars referred to as the Julian day number. This correlation constant is the date that the ancient Maya civilization referred to as the date of the creation of civilization and is documented as 188.8.131.52.0 4 Ajaw, 8 Kumk’u. According to the correlation factor between the two calendar systems it is believed that the creation date fell on September 6, 3114 BC (Julian) or August 11 in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. There are actually an entire culture of people who dedicate their lives to studying the correlation between the Maya and western calendars; this study is recognized as the “correlation question.” Over time a few factions have developed within individuals studying this correlation question with each developing their own theories on the correlation between the two calendars. There are so many different theories on how these two calendars correlate to each other that the correlating date of creation ranges from 394,483 to 774,078 – a range that leaves considerable room for variation.
So Where Does the End of the World Prophecy Come From on the Maya Calendar?
Understanding the correlation between the Western and the Mayan calendar can be difficult to comprehend but it still does not lend itself to an adequate explanation of the end of the world prophecy. So where exactly does this end of the world prophecy originate? Studying the Maya long count calendar scholars have come to understand that the Maya believed that with the completion of 13 b’ak’tuns, the creation of the world came about. 13 b’ak’tuns is the equivalent of 144,000 days or 394.3 approximate solar years. It is believed that with the completion of each 13 b’ak’tuns the world will be recreated again and as such some say that we are currently living in the fourth world to have been created. According to these calculation the end of the next 13 b’ak’tuns will occur on December 20, 2012 and the beginning of the next world will begin on December 21, 2012.
What Does the Creation of a New World Mean?
While the concept of the end of the current world seems to correlate rather well to the figures and calculations determined from previous analysis of calendar dates, there remains the question of when the beginning of a new world actually means. From studying previous references we are already living in the fourth world which means that between the date of creation and the present there have been four such incidents of the end of the b’ak’tun. If we are to go by the belief that the end of the b’ak’tun symbolizes the creation of a new world, the Earth and its inhabitants have already passed through this transition numerous times already and we do not have any historical records to attest to this fact. It should also be noted that inscriptions left by Maya civilizations left evidence of references to the world following the beginning of the “fifth” world which indicates that and upcoming event will not result in the complete decimation of the world as we know it.
The Maya Interpretation of a New World
For conspiracy theorists the concept of beginning a new world may signal doom and gloom and the end of the world as we know it but for the Maya civilization making it to the end of a cycle of the calendar was an event to be celebrated and not feared. The creation of a doomsday prophecy falling on a day that was to be celebrated by the Maya culture is absurd and according to many experts in Maya culture, simply a way for individuals to cash in on mass hysteria. There is absolutely no indication that a transition in to a “new world” is an event surrounded by fear, mass hysteria or any indication that the world as we know it is coming to an end. In fact, studying the Maya calendar indicates that if anything the end of a cycle on the calendar is somewhat akin to the end of a millennium or the end of a century on the western calendar – an accomplishment, an achievement and something to celebrate rather than fear. With that said; however, many people remember the doomsday prophecies that accompanied the transition from 1999 to the year 2000 that was completely uneventful.
Why Panic Over the Maya Calendar?
For some people the idea that something huge is on the verge of happening is excitement, it also helps to give credence to the idea that there is something in the world much larger than ourselves. As a race many of us have a need to believe that there is something in the world that controls us, a pre-destiny if you will, and the idea of a mapped out calendar of the end of the world helps to give a certain level of “proof” to this concept.
But Should We Panic Over the Maya Calendar Prediction?
Whether or not we should panic over the 2012 end of the world “prediction” by the Maya calendar is an individual preference. Looking over the facts and the history of the Maya people there is in fact no shred of evidence that the world as we know it is going to end on December 21, 2012; however, for some people there is always evidence to support a theory if you look hard enough. Researchers have stated time and again that there really is nothing to panic over in the arrival of the b’ak’tun or the fifth new world.
Nostradamus 2012 End of the World Prediction
The Maya Long Count calendar is not the only end of the world prediction for 2012 but ironically enough the 2012 end of the world predictions that feature the prophecy of Nostradamus did not come to the center of attention until after the panic over the Mayan calendar became significant. The trouble with the “prophecies” of Nostradamus is that many of them are so very vague that they can have any number of interpretations and upon analysis a number of theories that are projected on to these “prophecies” are factually incorrect.
Does Nostradamus Actually Mention the Year 2012?
The biggest question in regards to the “end of the world prediction” by Nostradamus in recent years is whether or not he actually mentions any reference to the year 2012. Like many of Nostradamus’ “prophecies” there is actually no mention of the year and it seems that the Maya calendar panic that has arisen has merely given fuel to misinterpretation of yet another “mystical prediction” by Nostradamus. The lack of mention of dates by Nostradamus allows a wide variety of interpretations in regards to what the “predicted” events are and when they are supposedly going to occur.
If there is no Real Proof to Support His Theory, is there any against it?
Skeptics look at the “predictions” of Nostradamus with an incredible number of questions particularly due to the vague nature of them in addition to the lack of mention of dates. It should be noted, however, that even were believers to search through Nostradamus’ predictions to pinpoint the year 2012 they would be unable to do so. In fact searching through all available information on Nostradamus’ predictions would reveal a reference by Nostradamus to years far past the date of 2012. According to history, in a letter to his son, Nostradamus made reference to the year 3786! If this prophet did have any prophetic power at all then why would he make reference to a year far beyond the time when he predicted the end of the world?
So what is it About Nostradamus that Draws So Many People to Him and his “Prophecies”?
It may be easy for many of us to recognize that the focus on the 2012 end of the world theory by Nostradamus was sparked by the panic over the Mayan calendar prophecy; however, as if this wasn’t enough for some people there are a number of criticisms of Nostradamus. Perhaps the biggest question that most people have in regards to Nostradamus is the fact that the “prophecies” he made are all so very vague and could easily be applied to any number of situations. By making obscure references to vague situations Nostradamus gives the impression of being a prophet where he was actually making generalizations that had no specific relevance to any particular situation. It is also noted by many researchers that a lot of the “predictions” made by Nostradamus were written after the events occurred making them more chronicles than they are predictions. Lastly experts also notice that many of the predictions that were made by Nostradamus were simply educated guesses made based upon general situations and facts. Anyone is able to make educated guesses when enough information is available.
Are Either of the 2012 End of the World Prophecies Likely?
Looking at two of the popular 2012 end of the world prophecies one may be able to understand how these theories could seem possible to those with little education in terms of the Mayan culture or even of the inaccuracy and vague nature of the predictions of Nostradamus. It is, however, a little more difficult to understand once one has knowledge of the Mayan culture and Nostradamus. There are those individuals who claim to have a complete understanding of the background of either of these situations and still they subscribe to the belief that the end of the world is approaching but looking at the track record of end of the world predictions that actually came to fruition, the likelihood of either of these 2012 end of the world prophecies coming true is extremely slim.
Past End of the World Predictions
For years man has assumed that he has the power to predict the end of the world. Using Biblical references, numerology, scientific discoveries and more, there have been so many end of the world “prophecies” that have simply failed to be. Some of the more famous failed prophecies include: the Y2K incident, Harold Camping predicting the second ending of the world, Pat Robertson predicting the end of the world in 1982, Chuck Shramek and the 1997 Mass Suicide, the second great flood in London and quite a few others. For those “prophets” who claimed to be able to predict these upcoming events that never came to be, their failure in successful prediction is generally blamed upon a miscalculation rather than the common sense that perhaps the end of the world was never coming in the first place.
Why Do End of the World Predictions Keep Coming?
One thing that many people find fascinating is the fact that despite being completely wrong in their assertions that the end of the world was on its way in, these “prophets” frequently make a second attempt at such a prediction believing that their calculations were simply wrong. It seems incomprehensible to many people that these types of predictions could be made in the first place and yet when they are made a second time things tend to become somewhat desperate as though the self professed prophets are grasping for straws, actually hoping for the end of the world to come. The truth of the matter is that for many of these individuals the hope that the end of the world is coming is actually very real. For those who subscribe so strongly to alternate theories such as the concept of being planted upon the Earth by alien races to await the alien return to retrieve them before the destruction of the planet, these ideas are almost a hope. These individuals try so desperately to believe that they have such a significant purpose on the planet, that these ideas are real and that someday they will be proven right in their “prophecies” because it will give them validation.
As many of these self proclaimed prophets and their followers end their lives in hopes of beating the end of the world and finding their place in that mysterious other universe that they idolize, new “prophets “ are being created all the time. As the human race continues to populate the Earth we will always have those who believe that they are here for an alternate purpose, that they have the power to predict upcoming events by using a number of unscientific measures. For as long as the human race walks the Earth there will always be those who have a need to believe in something larger than themselves and unfortunately there are also those who will always have a need to follow these individuals as they pursue their beliefs as the disembark this world in search of something bigger than themselves.
What does the End of the World Mean?
Though these predictions and the media hype that has surrounded them seem to indicate that the end of the world means the planet or those of us living on it may no longer exist, the truth is probably a bit more complicated than that.
Each species has but one purpose on the planet. That purpose is simply to perpetuate the existence of the species. As individuals, we perpetuate that directly using our own survival instincts, but we also go out of our way to propagate and protect each other from other species that may seek to do us harm. In our efforts to do this, we seem to have not only attempted to control the planet, but to destroy it without remorse. At some point, the planet is either going to die or retaliate. The history of nature and living beings tells us that there is no other option.
Along that line of thought, at the very least, some extreme changes should be expected. If the planet is to survive our virus-like existence on it and humans will not make the changes on their own, the planet will do so in self-defense.
The end of the world can mean the end of the planet itself or simply the end of existence as we know it. Assuming that the planet continues to exist, the use of energy and the formulas we use to determine how energy is used may go through a drastic shift. Everything from the compass you used as a boy to the energy that fuels the high-powered computer you use at work could be affected. Essentially, life as we know it would end. Current weather patterns and global events indicate that this process has already begun.
Preparing for the End of the World
Whether or not the end of the world is near, there are those who want to be prepared just in case the event happens. The truth is that should the planet cease to exist, there isn’t anything you can do other than move to a space station. Conspiracy theorists are convinces that this process is already happening for those who can afford it.
The most common method of preparation is one that involves some type of self-sustaining underground structure. However, if the entire atmosphere or composition of the planet or the energies that maintain it gravity should change by extreme measures, even an underground structure isn’t going to be able to sustain itself for long.
It’s more likely that the planet will go through a purging process wherein the population is reduced significantly. Following that, a reduction in capable technologies will likely occur. Those that rely completely on technology without having any survival skills beyond that will likely perish or attempt to control some portion of the population. In other words, it is entirely possible that the only people who would survive without any significant changes to their social structure and living standards would be those that live with rudimentary technology.
If the planet doesn’t actually cease to exist, the best way to be prepared is to be self-sustaining and defensive. No species was meant to rely completely on any one thing. They must be able to adapt and do what is needed to survive. All of the current trends in society suggest that today’s world is more reliant on technology than ever before. Therefore, in order to survive any significant changes in the planet, those who want to survive must be able to do so without modern technology. We have to remind ourselves now that technology is a tool we are able to use, but no species should ever become so dependent on a tool that they are unable to exist without it.
What about the Future?
Being that it is now 2013 and the majority of us are still performing our everyday rituals and are still very much alive, one has to ask what is next. What does the future hold? Is there more end of the world predictions in store for us? The answer is, and likely always will be yes. End of the world predictions currently exist as far in to the future as the year 10100. This advanced prediction however, is perhaps one of the most scientifically founded being that researchers have predicted this as the year when the universe will experience heat death. Heat death is a term used to describe the state of a universe in which there is no thermodynamic free energy. In this state the universe will no longer be capable of sustaining either life or motion.
What about the Year 2013?
While the predictions for the end of the world go as far in to the future as 10100 there is perhaps more concern by current citizens for more imminent predictions. So is there any end of the world predictions for the year 2013? Of course there are!
St. Malachy was a 12th century Irish Archbishop who was known by many for his incredible ability to heal the sick as well as to declare prophecies. According to many, St. Malachy had visions of every pope to be from Pope Celestine II in 1143AD to Pope Benedict XVI. According to St. Malachy’s predictions the successor of Pope Benedict XVI will be the last pop in the Vatican prior to the arrival of Doomsday.
A prediction by Nostradamus is said to further build on to the end of the world prediction by St. Malachy. According to the 16th century astrologer Nostradamus, the pope whom replaces Pope Benedict XVI will flee from Rome during a time when the sky has “two suns”. Many believe that this second sun will in fact be the comet ISON which is expected to pass Earth in December 2013. The Comet ISON is predicted to be so bright that it will look just like a second sun and be visible from anywhere on Earth.
A Massive Solar Flare
Some believe that the end of the world will take place in 2013 with a massive solar flare. The solar flare referred to in this theory is part of a massive solar storm that NASA has predicted for the coming years. In fact, during 2012 many believed that these solar flares were linked to the 2012 end of the world predictions. The truth is however, that these solar flares will not peak until 2013. So does this mean that 2013 will see the end of the world with the peak of solar flare action? No. According to researchers a solar flare such as that from the solar storm predicted by NASA would not directly destroy the Earth.
What will happen as the result of a massive solar flare? A solar storm will release an incredible number of high energy particles that will stream towards Earth. Based on a previous and similar solar storm, the particles could take anywhere from 18 hours to a couple of days to reach the Earth. Once these particles reach Earth the magnetic field of the Earth will capture them and be visible in the Earth’s atmosphere as colors. Traditionally, smaller numbers of these particles gets funneled to the poles where they are visible as aurorae; however, in the example of a massive solar flare these colors become widespread. The appearance of aurorae is the least concerning impact of the massive solar flare however as the highly charged particles will also devastate our electronic systems. Everything from the entire power grid to phones could be impacted and, in the event of the power grid being taken out, it may be months or years before the damage caused by the storm is repaired.
Researchers know of the potential effects of such a solar storm because in 1859 the sun had a sequence of solar flares which did just what researchers predict this coming storm may do. At the time telegraph communications were knocked out and aurorae were visible from the Americas and the Caribbean. Ironically though, even with the knowledge that such a flare has happened before and knowing the effects that it had worldwide, we are still not fully prepared for another. Some progress has been made however, changes such as improving the power grid and protecting satellite systems indicate that some changes are being put in to place. Additional protection could come in the form of protection for electronic devices; however, manufacturers are reluctant to invest in to such “once in a blue moon” type of technology. Finally, the government is trying to put an early warning system in to place that will notify people before the effects of a solar flare take hold but with as little as eighteen hours notice this system will likely have minimal impact.
Will the Solar Flare Bring the End of the World in 2013?
With so much panic over the potential for damage from the solar flare some are still asking whether the flare will cause the end of the world. The answer is that this is certainly not likely. IF the solar flare were to be similar in size and strength of that seen in 1859 it is possible that we will experience interruption of our electronic systems, we may even lose power for extended periods of time. It is also possible that if we do lose power for extended periods of time that a sort of panic will set in and riots will begin. It may be that losing electricity in such a technologically dependent age could result in incredible changes and the turning of man on himself…but that is unlikely. Even if the solar flare were comparable to that of 1859, it is most likely that research and safeguards that have been put in to place for just this occasion will prevent major interruptions in the world’s power grid. This means that while some interference may cause inconvenience, it is highly unlikely that we will be without electricity for long enough for mankind to turn on itself and destroy the world.