The primary theory for this supposed end of the world seems to rest on the Ancient Mayan calendar. The Mayan Long Count calendar is separated into periods of about five thousand years, known as “Baktun”. According to the calendar, we currently live near the end of the 13th Baktun, which will end on the December 21, 2012. Many believers of the 2012 Apocalypse theory fear that the end of this period of the extremely accurate Mayan calendar will coincide with the end of the world.
What many fail to realize is that the calendar does not simply end on that date. Instead it starts over again with the beginning of the 14th Baktun. The date of this renewal is also the date of the winter solstice, during which the sun will align with the center of the Milky Way galaxy for the first time in 26,000 years. Some believe this event will cause disasters on Earth, but no scientific evidence exists to support this claim.
There are numerous other theories which claim to predict the end of the world in 2012. Some notable ones include a prophetic code hidden within the Bible, a prophecy by the 16th-century Frenchman Nostradamus, and a supposed pattern found within the ancient Chinese I Ching. The History Channel has aired documentaries on both the Nostradamus and Mayan theories.
With the first month of 2012 well under way, many will likely be reminded of the 2012 theory. Most will give little more than a passing thought to it. A small group will feel a bit doubtful, perhaps even fearful about the future. On the 21st most of us will be waiting to see either the theory debunked or proven true. In all likelihood we will still be here to chat about it with our friends on the 22nd.