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5 Hysterical Reactions to Looming Mayan Apocalypse

December 21 has become shorthand for “apocalyptic end of the world scenarios.”
 
 
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December 21 is approaching--and with that, speculation over what will happen to the world is going into overdrive. That date is when the Mayan calendar ends, according to some, though others have begun to question that interpretation.

In any case, December 21 has become shorthand for “apocalyptic end of the world scenarios.”

People around the world have reacted to the impending date of doom with seriousness. So here are 5 hysterical reactions to the Mayan calendar ending--”hysterical” in both senses of the word.

1. Luxurious Bunkers

King-sized beds, a television and a library--what more could you ask for? Those amenities are included in villas in Vals, Switzerland, as theNew York Daily News points out, and would be a good spot to hole up until life comes back. Another luxurious bunker for riding out the end of the world is located in the Adirondacks, in New York. The Daily News notes that the “Adirondack Missile Silo” is beneath a log cabin in the mountains. “The underground former missile silo boasts a 2,000 pound steel blast door, a re-furbished multi-storey living space and enormously thick concrete walls and a recently fitted bathroom, should things get a little hairy there is even an escape hatch. The bunker was chosen by The Daily Mail as one of the best bunkers for surviving doomsday,” the Daily Newswrites.

2. Fretting About Unrelated Asteroids

The International Business Times wants to assure youthat “there is no reason to be alarmed” at a 3-mile long asteroid that recently came near Planet Earth. But its headline screams: “Mayan Calendar End of the World? 8 Things to Know About 3-Mile-Long Asteroid 4179 Toutatis.”

Never mind the fact that “the Mayan calendar end of the world 2012 predictions does not mention asteroid Toutatis,” as the publication itself points out. It just wants you to know that you should be thinking about how an asteroid is coming close to the Earth at the same time that the world is supposed to end.

3. NASA Responds

The nation’s government agency responsible for all things space felt the need to clarify to everyone that the world isn’t really going to end on December 21, 2012.NBC affiliate WPTV reports that “earlier this month, NASA posted a list of frequently asked questions about why the world won’t end in 2012, like some believe the Mayans calendar indicates. The post explained that Earth has been getting along fine for the last 4 billion years and there is no threat to our planet this year.”

NASA also takes a couple of shots at those who claim that life-altering scientific events are predicted to happen when the Mayan calendar ends. "For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012," the government agency said in a blog post.

4. Boxing Match Predicts the World Ending?

TheInternational Business Times has another doozy: boxing watchers were relieved that former Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao lost his match last Saturday. The reason? Some believe that whenever Pacquiao wins, a catastrophic event happens. “It is believed that Pacquiao's wins are associated of the ‘13th day jinx’, wherein unfortunate events happen 13 days after his victory. In the Philippines where the eight-division world boxer resides, his triumphs are associated with some of the greatest accidents in the country,” the publication explains.

His boxing match occurred on December 8, 2012--13 days before December 21, when the Mayan calendar ends, according to some. But now that he lost, boxing fans who believe in this theory have no reason to worry.

5. Obama Victory Means No End of the World

A New Jersey councilman had some reassuring words for his constituents: the world is not going to end because Barack Obama won reelection. Edison Town Councilman Sudhanshu Prasad said those words at the end of a recent work day.

“Prasad, a Democrat, said that he wanted to make sure that nobody did anything rash with the end of the world allegedly coming up. He said that scholars who deciphered ancient Mayan calendars neglected to see the asterisk noting that if President Obama won re-election, the world wouldn't end,” reports NJ.com.  (Of course, there is no asterisk in reality, but who’s paying attention?)

Prasad added: “So I just want everyone to understand that the news is out, that 12/21/12 is not valid anymore.”
 

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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