Quantcast

World greets Mayan ‘doomsday’ with pinch of salt

By |

Students react during the countdown to when many believe the Mayan people predicted the end of the world, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, in Taichung, southern Taiwan. While doomsayers hunkered down to await the coming apocalypse on Friday, most took a lighthearted view of a Mayan “prophecy” of the world’s destruction, laying on stunts and parties to while away the end. AP /WALLY SANTANA

SYDNEY—Doomsayers hunkered down to await the coming apocalypse on Friday, but most took a lighthearted view of a Mayan “prophecy” of the world’s destruction, laying on stunts and parties to while away the end.

Thousands gathered at the majestic Mayan ruins of Tikal in the jungles of present-day Guatemala to await a fiery climax to the ancient civilization’s “Long Count” calendar, which points to an era of more than 5,000 years ending.

Australia was one of the first countries to see the sun rise on December 21, supposedly the end of days, and Tourism Australia’s Facebook page was bombarded with posts asking if anyone had survived Down Under.

“Yes, we’re alive,” the organization responded to fretting users.

Tongue-in-cheek scientists in Taiwan planted an electronic countdown timer atop a two-story replica of a Mayan pyramid, drawing crowds at the National Museum of Natural Science.

Seven-year-old Wang Si-shien was unimpressed. “I’m not scared at all,” she said as she visited the museum with her school class.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard set the tone this month with a spoof video address, vowing to keep fighting however the end comes, whether “from flesh-eating zombies, demonic hell-beasts or from the total triumph of K-Pop.”

Indeed, some argued online that an impending milestone for the “Gangnam Style” video of South Korean rapper Psy – one billion views on YouTube – was itself a harbinger of doom, enlisting a fake Nostradamus verse in their cause.

Across Asia, Europe and North America, many planned to party like there’s no tomorrow with apocalypse-themed dinners and pub nights.

Hong Kong’s Aqua restaurant promised to pick up the tab for its HK$2,112.12 ($273) six-course meal if the end is nigh – though patrons will have to stump up if still alive at midnight.

If the world does end, Chinese furniture maker Liu Qiyuan has his own safe haven, a fiber-glass pod he designed that can carry up to 30 people and withstand towering tsunamis and devastating earthquakes.

UFO enthusiasts were gathering in the southern Chinese province of Hunan to perform a “Mayan ritual” to attract alien visitors, the state-run Global Times reported.

But there has also been a darker side in China, with authorities arresting some 1,000 people in a crackdown on a Christian sect that spread doomsday rumors.

Over the centuries, the end of the world has been predicted countless times, from the early Christians to controversial US pastor Harold Camping last year.

At the Tikal ruins, actors in costumes and head-dresses staged elaborate dances to a mournful pan-pipe tune ahead of the apocalypse supposedly foreseen by the Mayans, who reached their peak of power in modern-day Mexico and parts of Central America between the years 250 and 900 AD.

Thousands more people were expected to flock to another set of Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in Mexico before daybreak Friday – some to hail the start of a new Mayan era, others to bid farewell to the world.

Even though Mexican officials said no special celebrations were planned to mark the turn of the Mayan calendar, which coincides with the winter solstice, up to 20,000 revelers were awaited at the site’s pyramids.

US space agency NASA has been contacted by thousands of worried people asking what to do. In a web page devoted to debunking the Mayan prophecies, it reassured them that the world will not end in 2012.

“Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012,” it said.

NASA’s words were lost on those who headed to a number of towns around the world designated safe zones from the impending disaster, and others who took refuge in mountains or bunkers, or stockpiled guns and survival kits.

The village of Sirince in western Turkey has become a magnet – it is reputed to be doomsday-proof because the Virgin Mary is said to have risen to heaven from there.

Likewise the southern Italian village of Cisternino, singled out by an Indian guru as a safe bet come the end of the world.

The December 21 mystery stems from a carved stone found in Tortuguero, a Mayan site in Mexico. The relief contains a cryptic allusion to something really big happening on Friday.

However, most experts interpret the calendar to mean Dec. 21, 2012, is simply the end of a 5,200-year era for the Maya and the start of another.

If that’s right, everybody can relax and make sure end of times will be the best of times.


Follow Us






Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/?p=60071

  • Albert Einstien

    there is still 12/23/12…2 more day2 to go….lol……..then we can breath with ease…..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    The most trendy things to do is to print a shirt written “After December 21,2012…I SURVIVED!” with a logo of that Mayan Calendar!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002207384387 Andrei Mendoza

    wew! I survived the doomsday!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    Imagine the difference between how human looks like since the 5.200 years ago? “From Ice Age to Cool Age!”

  • 12JEM

    LOOK UP   BE VERY WATCHFUL

    For the Glorious Coming of…..

    THE SUPERMAYAN

  • spitfire

    The problem with majority of mankind and all the bloggers here is their own stupid analysis of the predictions of the Mayan calendar. Nowhere in any of the symbols in the Mayan calendar did the Mayans etched the end of the world. What is written in the calendar is “End of Times.” Times and “world” is extremely different. The Mayans did mention a galactic holocaust but then again they never mentioned the “end of the world. Descendants of the Mayan in the Yucatan peninsula gathered in Tikal to welcome the downing of the new age and not the end of the world. So the news as to their motivation is misleading. Their Chief already explained previously that they don’t believe the world will end in 12.21.12.

    What the Mayans specifically refer is the journey of earth in and out of the Dark Rift which Albert Einstein called the equitorial equinox. It is a cyclic journey consisting of 5,200 years and the last and fifth baktun of the Mayan calendar ends in 12.21.12. Why they decided to end their calendar on this day is anyboy’s guess thus the confusion. But it is a never ending cyclic phenomenon thus, the earth will always survive cataclysmic events. What the Mayans vividly described is that at this stage the world (earth) will undergo transformation and renewal, strangely similar to the Revelation of the Bible. Scientists have proven that the black hole exerts a gravitational plane where the Dark Rift is located at the center and which is composed of stellar debris like asteroids, comets, meteorites and the like which pose danger to earth during it’s cyclic journey. Astrophysicists estimated that we entered the gravitational plane ten years ago that is why we have increased interplanetary warming (not global warming, this is a misconception), volcanic activities, more violent earthquakes, floods, abrupt climate changes and other calamities. From here on it’s the remaining more dangerous ten years for earth to exit the gravitational plane of the black hole. So, the misconception that planetary alignment is like the planets will parade into the black hole and be gobbled up is just pure rumor. What is one of the theories advanced by the scientific community is that the exit is more violent than the entrance to the gravitational plane. This is because as earth exits, it exerts it’s own centrifugal force against the Dark Rift’s centripetal force. It’s like a tag of war so the shaking or wobbling of earth becomes more violent and thus Polar Shift is highly possible. These Polar Shifts have been scientifically proven that occurred on earth three times already in the past. 12/21/12 is not like a marking or detonating mark that suddenly earth will explode on that particular day. Earth still has a dangerous ten year journey before we can call it transformed, purified, and renewed. And, during this period earth maybe hit by huge vstraying debris like asteroids, comets, meteorites, etc. In sum, anything could happen in any day, any hour, any minute, any second, or at a blink of an eye from hereon.

    With the foregoing consideration, the bloggers nonsensical tantrums here are too premature. We will have a bumpy ride ahead for ten ling years, itaga nyo yan sa bato.

  • My_Behind

    Look like they are all waiting for the mother ship.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace