Mythbusting: 2012 Unmasked

For the past two years one of the hottest topics in the media has been the impending doom that we are set to face on December 21, 2012. Not only have people been obsessed with discussing these theories, but they have also occupied recent entertainment trends and popular culture. Movies, television shows, and even music have all been influenced with 2012 mania. Because of this new trend in popular media, I have been with a year of constant annoyance and frustration. Although the root of the coming apocalypse varies depending on who you’re talking to, many of the theories entail the rise of a virus that transforms humans into flesh eating zombies, which have been the root of my nightmares since I was twelve. I am anti-apocalypse, meaning that I have a serious hatred for all equations that end with myself and everyone that I know being killed within the next couple of weeks. Along with my detrimental fear of zombies I just don’t see what is so cool about the idea that the world and everything that we know to be stable perishing in the near future. My extreme disdain with doomsday mania has made me curious to discover why others are so enamored with it.

You can stare at the stars all you want, but the world isn’t going to end.

To kick off this rant I’d like to start by discussing the main apocalypse theories that are floating around out there right now. Firstly there is the belief that because the Mayan calendar ends with the year 2012 so will the world as we know it. Every calendar has a stopping point; ours comes to a halt on December 31.  Just as our end marks the beginning of another calendar, the end of the Mayans current calendar, known as the “Long Count”, is also the beginning of another long count period. The Mayans believed that the ability for the world to successfully make it to the end of world cycle was an achievement and, in fact, a celebration. There is no archeological evidence that the Mayans ever equated the end of this cycle to the end of the world. Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Florida is quoted with saying that linking the end of the Long Cycle to doomsday is, “a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.”  Due to all of the doomsday themed media floating around these days, executives have been making bank on the naiveté of the suckers who are piling in to consume this junk.

Let’s move on to the internet sensation of planet X. Many predict that due to the winter solstice the poles will shift and it will lead to a fatal collision with a planet known as Nirubi, or planet X. As we all learned in 8th grade science class, the winter solstice is the time at which the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky. It occurs every year around December 21 or 22 and has never brought any harm to our planet. Doomsday fanatics have also linked the solstice with the prediction of an on-coming pole shift. The last shifting of earth’s magnetic poles happened around 800,000 years ago and all the information that we have on when and what will happen is simply speculation. The basic hypothesis states that the northern and southern poles will switch places, but the shifting process will take years to complete and all life on earth will be exposed with no magnetic poles to shield us from dangerous particles and other intergalactic junk that’s floating around out there. Many think that this could render all of our electronics useless and send us plummeting into a dark age, and also leave us vulnerable to a planetary collision. Why is this complete bullshit? Let’s start with the fact that there is no planet X. The basis for the existence of this planet was not based on sightings by credible sources, it was completely fabricated by internet trolls and conspiracy nuts who get their kicks from seeing just how susceptible people really are. Also as all of the information on pole shifts are derived from speculation we have no way of knowing when the next shift will take place. Its arbitrary link to 2012 was only created because of all of the other doomsday theories that were floating around cyberspace. Moreover, scientists have stated that if the planet were in danger of coming into contact with a planet in the near future it would be visible to telescopes and the naked eye, which it is not. Come on people did Y2K teach anything?

Nostradamus, the human fortune cookie

The last set of myths that I plan to Hulk smash are the predictions of Nostradamus. Since the printing of his book, Les Propheties, in 1555 people have been following the predictions of the Frenchman and citing his writing like it’s the Bible. In this book he makes predictions about the future and major events that earthlings will supposedly experience. Nostradamus was a devout believer in judicial astrology, a pseudo-science where predictions are made based on the calculation of planetary bodies and their relation to the earth. If you are someone who considers Nostradamus to be credible source you will be interested to know that in the preface he states that the predictions that has made extend from the year 1555 to 3797 and nowhere in the text does he hint at or state that the world is set to end in the year 2012. I, on the other hand, believe that Nostradamus was the equivalent of a human fortune cookie making vague and pointless statements that could lend themselves to any situation. However, if his fans are still holding on to these predictions then I’m sure if they go outside on a starry night with a ruler and telescope they can prove to us all that his theories were valid after all…….or not.

Since I refuse to even think about zombies much less research theories about a possible uprising of those sick creatures, our exploration of doomsday theories has officially come to a close! After reading blogs of doomsday fanatics and watching far too many episodes of Doomsday Preppers I have come to the conclusion that people, like the media, are just nuts and love to obsesses over anything. People have been predicting the end of the world since it began and I do not see that changing any time soon, not even when we wake up on December 22 and realize we were all flipping out like fools over nothing!

Photo credit: (1)  / // /  (2) WikiCommons. All via Creative Commons License. 

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