The increasing number of apocalypse survival groups all over the world and 2012 countdown clocks in cyberspace speak volumes about the popularity of the entire concept of apocalypse/end of the world. The recent phenomenon of millions of birds and fish dying in different parts of the world has only added to existing myths about doomsday, and brought the Mayan calendar, which is allegedly the root cause of the entire concept, back into the spotlight.
Basically, all the chaos about world coming to an end on December 21, 2012, is based on near-accuracy of Mayan calendar predictions about astronomical occurrences in the past. Most of the people out there spend hours together trying to figure out whether the Mayan prediction about the world coming to an end really holds ground, but fail to realize that the calendar doesn't speak anything about the doomsday in the first place.
Mayan Long Count Calendar
The Mayan civilization has been one of the most interesting chapters of the human history, and their achievements in the field of astronomy validates this fact very well. The Mayans used their knowledge of astronomy to create calendars which they eventually used to predict celestial occurrences of the past as well as future. While most of the calendars were short, there existed one long calendar in particular―the Mayan Long Count calendar, which was considered to be an important attribute of the Mayan culture.
Even today, historians consider this calendar one of the best-documented calendars of the ancient world. It was basically a non-repeating calendar which was used widely in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. At times, it is also known as the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar or the Maya Long Count Calendar. The belief that the world will come to an end in 2012 is attributed to this calendar.
2012 Mayan Calendar Predictions
Basically, the Mayan Long Count calendar was made up of 1,872,000 days, which would roughly amount to somewhere around 5,125.37 years. As per the Mayan prophecies, it was believed that life on this planet was divided into five great ages; each of which was supposed to end with a disaster. It was also believed that the end of the fifth great age would be severe enough to end the world. Some interpretations of the Mayan prophecies suggest that each of these great ages were made up of 5,125.37 years, while other interpretations suggest that the entire life was 5,125.37 years, which was divided into five great ages of equal years.
Each of these two different interpretations of the Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly predict that the world would come to an end in 2012. Those who believe that each of the great age is 5,125.37-years long, are of the opinion that the ongoing period is the fifth or last of the great ages, and December 21, 2012, marks its end. Similarly, those who believe that the entire period of 5,125.37 years is divided into five ages highlight the fact that the Mayan Long Count calendar began in 3114 BC, which means it will complete 5,125.37 years in 2012 AD and that will mark the end of the world. Incidentally, December 21, 2012, also marks the winter solstice for the northern hemisphere.
Are Mayan Predictions True?
Whether their predictions come true, is one question which is open for debate. Basically, everything depends on how these predictions are interpreted. A look at some of the predictions that have come true in the past reveals that nearly all of them were near-accurate―and not absolutely on the mark. These predictions were largely dependent on their astronomical observations. Considering that the Mayans were amazing with their astronomical observations, there is little scope to dismiss their predictions as outrageous, unless you have a good reason to do so. For instance, the Mayan astronomical observation about the synodic period of planet Venus being 584 days came quite close to the actual period which is 583.92 days. On the basis of their Long Count calendar, the Mayans predicted solar eclipse and lunar eclipse dates for the future very accurately.
In the end, there is no concrete evidence to believe that the Mayans predicted the apocalypse in 2012. The entire concept revolves around the misinterpretation that the end of Mayan Long Count calendar in 2012 will mark the end of the world. There is no doubt about the fact that Mayans were well-versed with astronomy and their predictions about celestial occurrences were also quite close. That, however, doesn't that the predictions that came true in case of astronomy would act as an evidence for us to believe that the end of Mayan calendar would be the end of this world.