The Mayan apocalypse is a week away and amid worries by some that the world may really come to an end on Dec. 21, NASA has released a video confidently debunking the myth.
"If you're watching this video, it means one thing: the world didn't end yesterday," the video says.
The video was meant to be released the day after the Mayan doomsday passed but NASA released it Tuesday to tell the public that they'll still be here next weekend. It also has an entire webpage answering common questions about the Mayan prophecy.
"The world will not end in 2012," NASA states. "Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."
According to NASA, the doomsday prediction began with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. Initially predicted for May 2003, the doomsday date was moved to December 2012 – a time when one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar ends.
The Mayan calendar, some say, ends on Dec. 21, 2012. But NASA says just like any other calendar, the Mayan one doesn't cease to exist.
"This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar."
The NASA video explains this in more detail. The Mayans had an expansive sense of time and their long count calendar was designed to keep count of long intervals (i.e. billions of years). It is the most complex calendar system ever developed. The calendar, NASA illustrates, resembles the odometer in a car where the digits rotate. The calendar can roll over and repeat itself. This repetition is key to the 2012 phenomenon.
According to Mayan theology, the world was created 5, 125 years ago (Aug. 11, 3114 B.C.). At that time, the Mayan calendar looked like 13 0 0 0 0. On Dec. 21, 2012, it looks exactly the same.
But, NASA argues, none of the thousands of ruins and standing stones of the Mayans foretell an end of the world.
Additionally, there are no known asteroids, comets or a rogue planet on a collision course with earth. The sun is not a threat either.
In conclusion, NASA states, "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."