The Mayan Calendar & the (Unlikely) Apocalypse in 2012
As the clock ticks closer to Dec. 21, 2012, discussion regarding what exactly will happen to the world and human civilization continues to heat up. What are some of the wackier conspiracy theories about the year 2012?
The Mayans created a sophisticated set of calendars to help them plant crops, plan religious ceremonies and keep their history. How did they do it?
Every time disaster strikes, one man's name arises alongside the obsessive news coverage: Nostradamus. According to some folks, the famed French seer has predicted many of the planet's gloomy twists and turns. What did he have to say about 2012?
With everything from geomagnetic reversals to serious solar flares forecast for 2012, a person has to have a plan for scraping by at the end of the world. We're happy to help.
5 Bizarre 2012 Predictions
Nostradamus on 2012
2012 Survival Guide
How the World Could End
Doomsday theorists might expect 2012 to be a year of ray-gun-style solar flares, but their assumptions aren't at all backed up by science. What are solar flares, and what happens if they really do hit the Earth?
You've probably gotten accustomed to whatever little spot on this planet you call home. What would think if your hometown suddenly slid toward the South or North poles in 2012? Could pole shift play out any time soon?
Depending on whom and when you ask, everything from same-sex smooching to punk music portends the end of Western civilization. Do any of these cultural commentators have a case?
According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, it’s currently 5 minutes to midnight. It’s scarier when you know that midnight marks the end of life as we know it. What’s been nudging the time closer to 12?
An Internet search for "2012 doomsday predictions" will return enough apocalyptic prophecies to send you screaming into an underground bunker. Is it true that a flaming mass of rock will hit us in 2012?
As doomsday theorists look to the sky for signs of a 2012 apocalypse, some believe the planets will align in a way that will spell catastrophe to life on our tiny home turf. Are their observations backed up with sound science?
Some people believe that the world will end in the very near future -- Dec. 21, 2012, to be exact. It's a date that the Mayans predicted long ago would mark a period of great change, but should we be worried?
If the sight of a mushroom cloud burning above the horizon suggests that the nuclear weapon-equipped world might end with a bang, then nuclear winter presents the notion that post-World War III humanity might very well die with a whimper.
If the Earth is struck by calamity, will survivors find salvation in the proposed Doomsday Ark? The lunar-based vault will contain information that could help jumpstart a new civilization.
While some of us are stocking up on duct tape and bottled water, the government of Norway is preparing for the event that doomsday leaves some long-term survivors who need to rebuild. The Arctic vault in Svalbard is preparing for the worst case scenario.
Most scientists agree that man-made climate change is a real phenomenon, but most people respond to their dire warnings by figuratively sticking their heads in the sand. Could the problem lie in the severity of their message? In other words, are we scaring people into inaction?
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Want an in-depth look at how the world will end? Pick up a copy of "How The World Will End," one of HowStuffWorks' apocalyptically appropriate ebooks.
How much do you actually know about the unknowable? It's time to put your supernatural knowledge to the test. Pray you spent enough time in your bookstore's candlelit occult section.