Why Did The World Not End?: The 2012 Phenomenon

    The world will end in 2012, it was said. It is difficult to remember the old years, or what we believed in, in the years past. But there sure is one thing that we all still remember. Or rather the chaos that was created because of it. Everyone was scared, there was panic among the people and some were happy to have fun during the “end of the world”.

    But what caused the entire world to believe that 2012 would be our last year? What triggered such a worldwide belief in doomsday?

    It was named the “2012 phenomenon” and was a range of beliefs in the end. The coming of the end is mentioned in many religions of the world. The time when the world will be destroyed, for the coming of a new and better world. Or that the world will be destroyed to punish humans for their wrongdoings. 21 December 2012 was supposed to be the doomsday entry for one such belief, and as the world works, all other beliefs were made to match this day.

    The planet of Nibiru

    2012 phenomenon
    Source: Space

    Nancy Lieder, the founder of the website ZetaTalk, in 1995 put out that she was chosen by extra territorials of the Zeta Reticuli star system to warn humankind of their coming doom. It was said that a disastrous event would take place, destroying most of humanity. A huge planetary object, which was later called Nibiru, was to collide with Earth or pass it by closely, changing its poles. The date for this was predicted to be 2003, but when nothing happened in 2003, the date was postponed.

    This theory of Nancy Lieder gained a lot of traction on the internet and was linked to the 2012 phenomenon later.

    Planetary Scientists and astronomers have rejected this idea as pseudoscience and internet hoax. According to them, if any planetary object big enough to destroy Earth were to come so close, the orbits would’ve shown up well before in time. Nothing of the sort has been ever recorded.

    The 2012 Phenomenon

    When nothing happened in 2003 and life moved on, it was hard for the netizens to let it go. When the talk about doomsday to happen in 2012 started, they were quick to connect the dots and postpone their dates to 2012.

    The Mayan Calendar

    Source: Discover Magazine

    The Maya believed that the world we live in, was the fourth creation of God, having failed three creations before this. It was also believed that the third world lasted for 13 b’ak’tun or 5,125 years. 21 December 2012 was calculated by the astronomers as the conclusion of b’ak’tun—a period in the Mayan calendar.

    The end of the third world and the beginning of the fourth was marked as Zero Date in the Long Count (the calendar). In 1966 Michael D. Coe, the foremost of the Mayanists of the late 20th century wrote in The Maya that “there is a suggestion … that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the 13th [bʼakʼtun]. Thus … our present universe [would] be annihilated … when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion.”


    Source: Chaa Creek

    There have been many objections to this theory from various perspectives. Other scholars of the Mayans have said that the completion of the Cycle was a cause of celebration for the Mayan people and there is no evidence to suggest the end of the world. The whole doomsday angle to the Mayan beliefs was added by the internet and pseudoscience.

    One archaeologist said that the Maya predicted the world to last for 7000 years and that things would remain the same as they are now. while we look for endings, they were looking for a guarantee that nothing will change.

    NASA had an open forum to help people and answer their questions, decreasing their anxieties.

    “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.”

    Reaction of the World to the 2012 Phenomenon

    Source: European Space Agency

    A worldwide panic was seen as the news continued to spread. Every and all kinds of rumors were spread and, in a time, when people took everything the internet had to offer as the holy truth, it only increased the anxiety. One suicide related directly to the end of the world fear was reported and people were hoarding candles—preparing for the upcoming darkness—and food.

    People who believed in doomsday, were like a cult, spreading fear all around and preparing for the “inevitable end”. Many said that the world would end once the YouTube video of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” would receive over a billion views as he was one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Many books like Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol were published with the 2012 phenomenon as the theme. A. R. Rehman released a song called “Infinite Love” to instill faith and optimism in people before the doom.

    The World After 2012

    Source: Blogger

    21st December 2012 was seen as a party by many around the world. People collected in large spaces to be together when the world ended. They wanted the last day as the happiest day. Major events took place in the countries that once made the Mayan Civilization. An eight-foot digital clock was made in the Mayan town of Chiapas, displaying the count for doomsday on 21 December 2011.

    A total of 52 million foreign tourists visited the rural parts of Mexico in 2012, an increase from the usual about 22 million tourists. Various activities and rituals were arranged by the government, anticipating the influx of people. This angered many Mayan people as they felt excluded from their rituals.


    Source: Fanpop

    As we all have noticed, the world did not end in 2012. The real believers of the Mayan beliefs had already said that the end of the cycle meant the start of a new era. They prayed for a world that lived in harmony and was free of racism. They were never connected to the doomsday.

    The people of the internet and believers of doomsday, however, were a different story. Some identified their stupidity and moved into the new era, while others continued with it. The next precedented date was the November of 2017. But when even that failed, they have now focused their attention on the Corona Virus. According to them, the date of 2012 was a mistake and the real doomsday was June 21, 2020.

    As we are well past that as well, we know that the world is not in danger of ending anytime soon. We know that these people will, however, keep coming up with these dates, trying their best to end the world with predictions.  


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