[ View the story "Apocalypse No?" on Storify] Apocalypse No? Why do so many people believe in end-of-the-world scenarios?
Storified by The Stream · Thu, Dec 20 2012 10:58:37
Since the Mayan calendar's deciphering
five decades ago
, debates have ensued about an impending apocalypse that is set to begin on its last recorded date - December 21, 2012.
Sony Pictures released the 2012, a film depicting what an apocalypse would looklike if it if were to take place today. The premise of this film revolvesaround the effects of a solar flare, just one of several proposed doomsday scenarios.
2012 - Official Trailer 4 [HD]trailers
Although Mayan end-times are not rooted in biblical scripture, the idea of an apocalypse has held a grasp on the religious and secular alike.
#MyLastDayOnEarth would be spent reflecting on God's abundant grace and mercies upon my life and the gift of family, friends etcJeremy Yorke-Okyne
#MyLastDayOnEarth I will pray till dawn. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. And post my last tweet," I was here". #endoftheworld @AJStreamعائشة بنت خليفة
According to an
poll, 20 per cent of people who believe that the world will end in 2012 reside in China.
apocalypse predictions received widespread coverage in #China, thanks in part to the success of the Hollywood disaster film “2012”Cuba_Freedom
As a response to the alarm, Chinese national Liu Qiyuan has created seven pods built to withstand a catastrophe.
This video, provided by World Official News, shows Qiyuan giving a tour of one of his creations:
Tsunamis Man Builds 'Noah's Ark'worldofficialnews
In Russia, thirteen per cent of people believe the world is ending in 2012. People have rushed to buy sugar, matches, and candles. Below a video by
No One Told Russians the Mayan Apocalypse Isn't Realslatester
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechenya
to the panic: "People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming. Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"
The Mayan reaction to the apocalypse however, echoes a sense of calm. Via
Yeh Kinil added: "Why get panicky? If something is going to happen, it's going to happen."The Associated Press: Mexico's Mayas face Dec. 21 with ancestral calm
Mayans Don't Even Care About the Mayan Apocalypseslatester
In the United States, reactions tend to be quite different. Major corporations such as
are using it as a ploy to increase revenue:
JELL-O Funpocalypse Fun to the Rescue :60JELLO
PM Julia Gillard Addresses the End of the Worldtriplejtv
Lorenzo DiTomasso, Author of the forthcoming book "The Architecture of Apocalypticism" explains why people are so fascinated with doomsday scenarios:
The apocalyptic worldview springs from a desire to reconcile two conflicting beliefs. "The first is that there is something dreadfully wrong with the world of human existence today," he said. "On the other hand, there is a sense that there is a higher good or some purpose for existence, a hope for a better future." Viewing the world as a flawed place headed toward some sort of cosmic correction reconciles these two beliefs, DiTommaso said.The Draw of Doomsday: Why People Look Forward to the End | Apocalypse & Armageddon | May 21 Judgment Day & 2012 Doomsday Hype | LiveScience
Former Harvard child psychologist Steven Schlozman believes that the considerable amount of panic may be related to
such as terrorism, war, and climate change.
Ive been reading posts-since-this-hurricane. .ppl believe that its a sign of Armageddon, therefore revealing symptoms of fear and confusion.BIG MOHAMMED
Blogger Silvia Casabianca
that some see the apocalypse as "the opportunity to sort righteousness from evil...purify the sinful and arise as a phoenix from the ashes"
In preparation for The End, millions are
to Central America to partake in festivities that will include a host of spectacles.
Mayan Tourist 5AJstream
Doomsday video-games have also been released:
The DOOMSDAY Teamtage OFFICIAL Trailer - By OpTic 2baropticnation
Another group getting ready are called "
," who are described as "regular people with jobs (who) are increasingly fearful about the future - their paranoia compounded by 24-hour cable news". A programme on National Geographic details the lives of these survivalists.
Courtesy of National Geographic:
Doomsday Preppers Season 2NationalGeographic
As a prepper I don't live in FEAR that something will happen - I PREPARE just in case something does happen. #preppertalk #preppers #momsSurvivor Jane™
Long Term Food Storage Roomusfreedom22
National Geographic also created a video game for people to see how long they would
in an apocalyptic situation.
Get Your Prepper Score | National Geographic ChannelGet Your Prepper Score
Via a January 2012 National Geographic
Question 9_Topline reportAJstream
75 per cent of those who answered said they have done something to prepare for a natural catastrophe, with over 3 million preppers
to be in the US. Robert Vicino, a real estate agent, has begun an advertising campaign around the hype. His company, Vivos,
from the apocalyptic scenarios:
INVITED TO SURVIVEterravivos
Doomsday scenarios have
before, but have not received as much traction as the December 21st iteration. Daisy Yuhas, a writer for Scientific American, attributes this to the
Relatively few studies exist on the individuals who start and propagate these theories. Douglas points out that research into the psychology of persuasion has found that those who believe most are also most motivated to broadcast their beliefs. In the Internet age, that’s an easier feat than ever before.Psychological Comfort Of Apocalypse - Business Insider
The "End of the World" has caught fire on socialmedia. There have been 60 million
posts referring to it on the popular Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo. This screenshot from Topsy shows how the useof the phrase "End of the World" has skyrocketed on Twitter in thepast month.
Netizens have created a vast amount of memes, images, and videos connected with doomsday.
Content from ApocalypseAJstream's Apocalypse set
In light of this attention, and citing fears of serious anxiety in
, NASA has worked hard to dispel the rumours of the apocalypse, going as far as to create a
Beyond 2012: NASA Seeks to Debunk Doomsday Prophecynasaames
Prominent United States astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also offered his opinion in this YouTube video:
Neil deGrasse Tyson - World to End In 2012...or NotForaTv
End-of-world prophecies for 2012 are hoaxes perpetrated by the scientifically illiterate on the scientifically under-informedNeil deGrasse Tyson
Y'all should know by now that if the World were going to end for any cosmic reason, I'd tell you how and I'd tell you when.Neil deGrasse Tyson
Want to see for yourself? Then click
this IBTimes link
on Friday for live-feeds of various places throughout the world.