The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has seen call volumes triple at times as anxious Americans continue to bombard the agency with inquiries about whether the world will end tomorrow.
Nasa administrators have, in response, set up a website in an attempt to debunk myths associated with Mayan predictions of the end of the world.
The space agency typically receives around 90 calls a day on a variety of topics, but has been been fielding 200 to 300 inquiries of late dealing with predictions relating to some interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar.
Some believe the 21st of December will signal the end of a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count – and will bring about the apocalypse.
Dwayne Brown, an agency spokesman, told the LA Times that the questions range from whether a rogue planet will crash into Earth, to people saying they have “embraced it so much” they want to hurt themselves.
Nasa has made an effort to set the facts straight, setting up a web page that has reportedly drawn 4.6 million views.
The site, which features a video titled “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday”, which appears to have been prepared for the 22nd, addresses a range of scenarios including, total blackouts, planetary alignments, polar shifts and “a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction.”
“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,” the website says.
Elsewhere on the internet things are, predictably, less calm.
The website – December212012.com, features tips on survival and advertisements for gas masks, first aid kits and hand-cranked radios. The Facebook page for the website has received 14,000 likes.
Elsewhere it was reported that there has been a surge in one-way flight searches on the internet, particularly to the South of France and Turkey.
People who believe the world will end have been heading to two small villages – Bugarach in the South of France and Sirince in Turkey, in the belief that they will be protected from Armageddon.
While the residents of Sirince, which has a population of just over 600 appear to be embracing the boost to local business, French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics not to head to the tiny villlage.
Routes will be blocked to the nearby Pic de Bugarach, a French mountain where it is rumoured the hilltop will open and aliens will emerge with spaceships to save humans who are nearby.
Source: The Independent