Scientists debunk six 2012 end-of-the-world myths

Last Updated: Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 12:55

Washington: A team of scientists has debunked six myths about the world supposedly ending in 2012 according to an ancient Mayan prophecy.

According to a report in National Geographic News, the first myth debunked by scientists is that the Maya calendar doesn’t end in 2012, as some have said, and the ancients never viewed that year as the time of the end of the world.

The second myth is that in 2012, breakaway continents will destroy civilization.

In some 2012 doomsday prophecies, breakaway oceans and continents will dump cities into the sea, thrust palm trees to the poles, and spawn earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other disasters.

Scientists dismiss such drastic scenarios, and say that magnetic evidence in rocks confirm that continents have undergone such drastic rearrangement, but the process took millions of years.

The third myth is that some sky-watchers believe 2012 will close with a “galactic alignment,” which will occur for the first time in 26,000 years, with some fearing that it will somehow expose Earth to powerful unknown galactic forces that will hasten its doom.

“There is no ‘galactic alignment’ in 2012, or at least nothing out of the ordinary,” said David Morrison, senior scientist with the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

He explained that a type of “alignment” occurs during every winter solstice, when the sun, as seen from Earth, appears in the sky near what looks to be the midpoint of the Milky Way.

The fourth myth is that a mysterious Planet X, aka Nibiru, is on a collision course with Earth , or at least a disruptive flyby.

It’s said that a direct hit would obliterate Earth. Even a near miss, some fear, could shower Earth with deadly asteroid impacts hurled our way by the planet’s gravitational wake.

But, according to Morrison, “There is no object out there. That’s probably the most straightforward thing to say.”

The fifth myth is that in some 2012 disaster scenarios, our own sun is the enemy, as it’s rumored that it will produce lethal eruptions of solar flares, turning up the heat on Earthlings.

“As it turns out the sun isn’t on schedule anyway,” said Morrison. “We expect that this cycle probably won’t peak in 2012 but a year or two later,” he added.

The sixth and final myth is that the Mayans had clear predictions for the world ending in 2012.

But, many scholars who’ve pored over the scattered evidence on Maya monuments say the empire didn’t leave a clear record predicting that anything specific would happen in 2012.


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First Published: Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 12:55

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