|From 2011-11 (Nov)|
Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.
Most prophets of doom come from a religious perspective, though the secular crowd has caused its share of scares as well. One thing the doomsday scenarios tend to share in common: They don't come to pass.
Here are 10 that didn't pan out, so far:
With more and more technologies able to wreak mass destruction, a greater knowledge of what cosmic threats our planet faces, and more forms of media capable of trumpeting Armageddon, it seems as if there is more hype than ever about one supposedly impending apocalypse or another in 2012, despite all the failed doomsday predictions over the years.
Here are 10 apocalyptic scenarios that have raised fears about the end of civilization, in alphabetical order.
According to DiTommaso, the apocalyptic worldview isn't uncommon. At the extreme end are people like Camping or Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese doomsday cult that carried out sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway in 1995. But doomsday appeals to the secular and well-adjusted as well, through books such as Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" (Knopf, 2006) and movies like "The Terminator" (1984). Meanwhile, economic hard times and crises like Japan's earthquake and tsunami have spiked interested in survivalism and "prepping," or stashing food and supplies in preparation for a coming collapse.
Apocalpytic beliefs have been on rise for the past 40 to 50 years, said DiTommaso, who has been researching doomsday believers for an upcoming book, "The Architecture of Apocalypticism." What ties these disparate groups together is a sense that the world's problems are too big to solve, DiTommaso said."