The end of the world as we know it?

Dec. 21, 2012, is rumored to be the end of the world. From ancient Romans and religious figures to the Mayans and their calendar, the idea of Earth ceasing to exist has been around for centuries. Do these predictions hold any weight? Well, they haven’t yet. Earth still exists. But maybe this December prediction will prove different.

In an interview by NASA with NASA scientists answering popular 2012 end of the world questions, the scientists state, “Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012.” Well, that’s a relief.

Badgets in Bed Infographic
This prediction came that Nibiru, a planet that may or may not exist (probably not), would crash into Earth in 2003. That clearly didn’t happen. This doomsday date was then moved back to 2012. This combined with the end of the Mayan calendar cycle got people to merge these two ideas and come up with a doomsday that would actually happen. If a nonexistent planet did not crash into earth in 2003, maybe 2012 will be more promising. NASA states that Nibiru and other “wayward planets” are just an internet hoax, and if there were to be planets or other flying objects headed towards Earth they would know for at least 10 years before it happened. On the off chance NASA missed a flying object hurdling towards Earth, we would be able to see it with our naked eye by now. Now that the theory of Nibiru has been proven wrong, let’s consider the other factor to this doomsday theory: the ending of the Mayan calendar.

The Mayan calendar did not stop existing because it runs out of days. NASA equates this to a kitchen calendar that doesn’t stop existing when it ends in December every year. It is only a cycle that is ending, just as a cycle of a year (365 days) ends. The only thing occurring December 21, 2012 is a winter solstice—that happens every year though. Maybe the Mayans were mistaken and meant the calendar to show the next planetary alignment that would cause the end of the world. NASA says no to that as well since there are no planetary alignments for at least a few more decades, and an alignment would have no affect on the end of the world.

With planetary alignments and calendars off of the list of possible destructors of Earth, the final popular theory of how the world will end is the polar shift theory. This theory states that when the magnetic polarity of Earth changes (which is about every 400,000 years) Earth’s rotation will reverse. NASA says these two phenomena are completely unrelated and therefore will not happen. Instead of Earth’s rotation reversing, it is also theorized by doomsday predictors that there will be a lapse in Earth’s magnetic field that will then subject all life to huge solar flares that will fry everyone up. NASA, as consistent as ever, denies this theory as well. NASA theorizes that very little change will happen after the magnetic polarity shift.

Theories may changes over decades—no water left by 1985, Nostradamus, a hen with messages on her eggs—but the only consistency is that they do not occur. If NASA can disprove the theories that are rampant on the Internet, then perhaps it’s sufficient enough to convince people of the fallacies involved in trying to predict the unpredictable. Unfortunately, people will always believe Internet hoaxes. It may be the day when people fully stop believing that the end happens—that would be a twist. Until then, we still have to go to class.

Article by Adrienne Trumbo
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