Armageddon flop: After all that fuss it really wasn't the end of the world

Events organised across the planet for people to either gather for the oncoming Armageddon or to celebrate together the continuance of the human race
  • @bobjwilliams

In perhaps the least surprising news of 2012 it would appear the world has not come to an end.

The end of a 5,126-year cycle of the Mayan "Long Count" calendar did not signify a coming apocalypse, and the predicted time of the world's end - 11.11am - came and went today without any significant reports of widespread doom.

The Maya measured time in 394-year periods known as baktuns and some anthropologists believed the 13th baktun would end today.

Events had been organised across the planet for people to either gather for the oncoming Armageddon or to celebrate together the continuance of the human race.

Many were drawn to locations where it is believed they have a chance of surviving the apocalypse.

One of the most prominent areas to draw people fearing the end of days was the town of Bugarach in southern France.

Some believed the town’s Pic de Bugarach mountain was due to open up releasing aliens who would rescue nearby humans from Armageddon.

In an unsurprising turn of events all was calm at the mountain today, with as yet no report of aliens or an opening-up mountain type event.

The village of Bugarach was reportedly quiet at 11.11am, apart from those who had flocked there for the 'event'.

The BBC reported that of the people assembled in the town the majority appeared to be journalists.

Elsewhere, a bunker in the Moscow, designed for Josef Stalin, was offering salvation from the end of the world for 1,500 dollars (£920), with a 50% refund if nothing happened.

And in Serbia, the pyramid-shaped peak, Mount Rtanj, drew cultists as a local legend has it that the mountain once swallowed an evil sorcerer who will be released on doomsday in a ball of fire.

The inside of the mountain would then become a safe place to hide as the sorcerer goes on to destroy the rest of the world.

In Mexico, meanwhile, thousands of mystics, hippies and spiritual wanderers are set to descend on the ruins of Maya cities to celebrate a new cycle in the Maya calendar.

"I see it as a changing of an energy, the changing of a guard, the changing of universal consciousness," said Serg Miejylo, a 29-year-old gardener originally from Connecticut.

Earlier this week, amid concerns over potential mass suicides, Chinese police arrested about 1,000 people for spreading rumors about Dec. 21.

Authorities in Argentina restricted access to a mountain popular with UFO-spotters after rumors began spreading that a mass suicide was planned there.

According to the New York Times, earlier this month, there were scattered reports of unusual behaviour from across Russia, reportedly prompted by the predictions of Armageddon.

The reports included "collective mass psychosis" in a women's prison on the Chinese border, panic buying of matches, kerosene, sugar and candles, and the building, out of ice, of a Maya-style archway in Chelyabinsk in the south.

In the Ukraine the Orthodox Church issued a message that 'doomsday is sure to come', but advised it would be brought about by moral decline and not the: “so-called parade of planets or the end of the Mayan calendar.”

In the UK some organisations took a light-hearted approach to the imminent burny end of days.

The AA advised travellers: "Before heading off, take time to do the basic checks on your car and allow extra time for your journey.

And an An RSPCA spokesman offered advice for animal lovers ahead of apocalypse saying: "Luckily for animals, they do not have the same fears of the future - or its imminent destruction - as us humans, so it is unlikely that our pets will be worrying about the end of the world.

"However, should the Mayans prove to be right, our message would be to spend whatever time you have left with your animals wisely.

Governments across the world had sought to reassure concerned people about the potential end of the world scenarios.

In the US an official government blog entry reassured Americans that "Scary rumors about the world ending in 2012 are just rumors".

In response to growing concern, Nasa published a video early - initially entitled 'why the world didn't end yesterday'.

The video, which was clearly intended for release the day after the 21st, begins: "December 22, 2012. If you're watching this video, it means one thing. The world didn't end yesterday."

It goes on to debunk a range of theories regarding the end of the world, among them the idea that the sun will irradiate the atmosphere or that another planet will smash into Earth.

The frenzy over the possible end of humanity wasn't missed by those who peddle disaster film fiction either, with at least two films being planned with the Mayan calendar's doomsday in mind.

Despite the rising levels of public anxiety scientists and experts were keen to reassure the public that the ending of the Maya calendar would not indicate the end of the world, anymore than the ending of their kitchen calendar does.

Lots of experts also pointed out that 21st December wasn't even the date the Maya predicted.

As the designated moment for the end of the world passed this morning there was a distinct feeling of anti-climax.

Perhaps, The World's End pub in Pudsey, Leeds, had it right in not making any special plans to mark the event.

A member of staff said: "There wouldn't be much point if the world was going to end."