Is the end of the world really nigh? Authorities reassure Russians over Mayan Armageddon prophecy amid reports of 'unusual behaviour'
Some parts of Russia, which is often said to have a penchant for mystical thinking, appear to have been spooked by the Mayan predictions
As the 21st of December nears, Russian authorities are attempting to quell fears that the world will come to end amid panic over what some experts claim are the predictions of the Mayan Calendar.
According to the New York Times, there have been scattered reports of unusual behaviour from across Russia, reportedly prompted by predictions of Armageddon.
The reports include "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 Mayan-style archway in Chelyabinsk in the south.
According to some experts, ancient Mayans predicted that the 21st of December would signal the end of a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar.
Some parts of Russia, which is often said to have a penchant for mystical thinking, appear to have been spooked by the prediction.
As a consequence the Russian government's minister for emergency situations has sought to calm panic over the prophecy, saying he had access to "methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth," and that he could say with confidence that the world was not going to end in December.
He did, however, make clear that Russians are still vulnerable to "blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply."
Russia’s chief sanitary doctor has also issued similar attempts to calm panicky members of the public, one official has also reportedly suggested prosecuting Russians who spread rumour of the prophecy.
Russia may be the most extreme example of prophecy panic so far, but other countries are also experiencing problems.
In Ukraine the Orthodox Church has issued (a not quite reassuring) 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 France, authorities are taking steps to prevent access to Bugarach mountain, which is thought by some esoterics to be a sacred place that will protect them from the end of the world. Reports claim websites in the US have been selling tickets to access the mountain.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Amal Alamuddin: Human rights lawyer's legal chambers upgrades website following George Clooney wedding
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Stephen Fry: Girls who had sex with rock stars at 14 wouldn't call themselves victims – they were proud of it
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: To be considered for this position you will n...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: We have opportunities for Cov...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to tea...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...