2012: The End of Time?: Controversial date brings questions about apocalypse

(photos by Sebastian Sabev and Kevin Killeen)

Sebastian Sabev
Staff Writer

From the 1994 rapture prediction, to Y2K, to the 2011 rapture prediction, many have guessed when doomsday will arrive. Now, the trend continues as everyone is focuses on Dec. 21.

Dec. 21, 2012, marks the end of a 5,125 year “Grand Cycle” of the Mayan Calendar. Some have speculated this date will be the end of mankind. Books, movies, songs and theories have revolved around what will happen on this date.

The Mayan Calendar uses cycles known as Baktuns, which are each about 394 years long. 2012 marks the end of the 13th baktun. The number 13 is of huge significance to the Mayans, and some believe this relates to the end of the world.

Credible sources, including NASA, refute the suggestion of an apocalyptic event. Whatever may happen, the only thing we know is that the world will be watching on Dec. 21, no giant earthquakes or tsunami’s guaranteed.

The 2012 phenomenon has a huge impact on pop culture. People everywhere know about the predictions. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject, ranging from explanations on the situation to the “2012 Survival Guide.”

Perhaps the biggest hit was the 2009 hit film “2012,” which portrayed global disaster and the struggle for survival as the world is ending. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics but was still successful, grossing $769,679,473 worldwide, making it the fifth highest grossing film worldwide of 2009.

TV shows like the History Channel’s “Armageddon” and Discovery Channel’s “2012 Apocalypse” describe scenarios that might occur in the year 2012.

From a more humorous standpoint, “Saturday Night Live” created a mash up in which former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin became president in 2012, and how the world went downhill from there.

Songs have been influenced by it as well, with perhaps the most popular and direct being 2012 (It ain’t the end) by Jay Sean featuring Nicki Minaj.

Everyone has an opinion on what’s going to occur on Dec. 21, whether it will be the last day, or if it will just be another normal Friday, but while some will treat it as another day of the year, will take advantage of what might be the little time they have left.

“This could be the last night we have; gotta go off with a bang,” said senior Max Richardson.

Others have a different approach to what might be the end of the world.

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