November 19, 2012

Why 2012 Doomsday Theories Are Bullshit

By now I'm sure you know that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21st, 2012, and that this means the ancient civilization had mystical knowledge that the world would end on that date. There's even a movie about it. You should also know that this is complete bullshit, just like all of the apocalyptic prophecies of 1999 (and every other year ever). I'm sorry to inform you that the world is not ending. It probably should, but it isn't.

And now, in case you were clinging to a far-fetched belief that the Mayans knew something that we don't, there is proof that even the Mayans didn't believe the world would end in 2012. Newly discovered calendars show that the Mayans expected the world to keep turning for a very, very long time.

"The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future," says David Stuart, an archaeologist from the University of Texas, who worked to decipher glyphs discovered two years ago. "Numbers we can't even wrap our heads around."

The newly discovered calendars date back to a few hundred years before the Dresden Codex, the 11th or 12th century book from which came our previous understanding of the Mayan calendar. They're painted on the wall of a room that had been filled in and was only discovered because looters tried to ransack it. Usually paint doesn't last long in the Guatemalan rain forest's tropical climate, but preserved on this room's walls were colorful murals and the calendar.

The calendar seemed to be on the wall to help scholars get the info they needed without going through books. "It's kind of like having a whiteboard in your office where you're writing down formulas that you want to remember," Stuart said.

The 2012 doomsday predictions were based on previous calendars, which ended after 13 baktuns (periods of about 400 years). This one has 17 baktuns, and notations for larger calculations of time beyond that.

Like most superstitious beliefs, this was a result of lack of information.

The city of Xultan, where the murals and calendars were found, was discovered in 1915, but only a small fraction of it has been explored. Imagine what other secrets (and myth-busting information) the ruins may house.

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