It’s like Y2K all over again. People are making a fortune writing and talking about 2012. The movie 2012 was entertaining, if not largely implausible. Really, are you going to escape an exploding supervolcano? Or you can breeze through Apocalypse 2012 which is an amusing book that looks into all of the cataclysms we are overdue for and those who peddle end time theories. In any case, this whole “the world is going to end in 2012” started with the Mayan calendar.
The ancient Mayan calendar resets itself at the end of 2012. Technically it is known as the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar and once it reaches the end of the latest 144,000 day period on December 20, 2012, it will reset to zero.
Well, nothing. The Mayans didn’t claim the world was going to end.
Sounds like another Y2K bust. On the other hand, humanity hasn’t faced a civilization-wide disaster in some time. Maybe not in 2012, but we have been living scott-free for quite awhile now. The more we study ancient legends and the geology of the planet the more signs of global catastrophe we find. The last Ice Age and the Neolithic era of humanity may have ended because of an impact event (see Cycles of Cosmic Catastrophes). There’s a lot of debate about that one, but many ancient accounts seem to be referring to some major disaster.
In fact, there seems to have been more than one. The end of the Bronze Age may have been hastened by a similar event that ignited volcanoes around the globe and civil unrest. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is about when the events of the Exodus are dated (see The Miracles of Exodus). A global crisis would explain why the mighty Egyptians half-heartedly pursued the Hebrews and let them go to begin with. There’s also a biblical reference to Sea Peoples showing up about this time doing the invasion thing. Displaced from some destroyed land perhaps?
Maybe instead of worrying about 2012, people should be looking to the past to see how mankind made it through such disasters, how they shaped us and what we can learn.
Afterall, when we have localized disasters like hurricanes, floods and oil spills, we have nothing but chaos and confusion. What would we do if something really big happened?