Monday, January 30, 2012

Is 2012 the End of The World?

Planet Earth
Expiration Date: Possibly 12/23/2012 ?
With the end of January, we have officially elapsed one-twelfth of 2012.  Depressing, right?  Numerous predictions have been made about end of the world scenarios for 2012, including a break-up of the continents, a change in the Earth's polarity, Planet X or a giant meteor crashing into Earth, as well as the supposed prediction by the ancient Mayans calendar.  The way I see it, nothing happened at the millennium change with Y2K, so I have serious doubts that the world will actually end in December of this year. 

I am not the only person (obviously) to have doubts that the world will end by any of the numerous myths.  Both NASA and National Geographic have released statements on the web about these myths. 

As showin the the movie 2012, a city is being
taken into the sea as a part of an apocolypse.
Image courtesy Columbia Tristar Marketing Group
1.  A change in the earth's polarity is one of the numerous end of the world scenarios currently circling the internet.  NASA provides a very logical response, saying "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."  Now while many other websites about the supposed end of the world quote themselves to have support by credible scientists, I feel as if NASA will have access to the most credible of all credible scientists.  I mean, they sent man to the moon and all--that couldn't have been a fluke!  NASA also addresses the polar shift theory.  There is evidence to prove that the Earth has previously shifted it's polarity, but the shift took millions of years!  Consider this theory debunked! 

A graphical representation of what we
imagine the original supercontinent
of Pangea looked like.
2.  Pangea is the supercontinent we all learned about in second grade science class.  You should remember that the shifting of the continents took millions of years too!  I can't find verification, but I think that I was once given a comparison that continental drift is approximately the speed of finger nail growth.  That is pretty slow.  Sure...their may be a new super continent that will form on the earth again, one day, but I'll trust that the general public would be made aware if a catastrophe is quickly impending (that is if it could be predicted).  It's not like the movie 2012 is a reality and seats to survive the apocalypse are being sold to the richest people on earth!


Is this what it would look  like if
a giant meteor hit earth?
3.  Countless movies have depicted planets or meteors crashing into the earth--Armogedden, Deep Impact, Asteroid, Without Warning, etc.  Small metors regularly hit the earth--aka shooting stars or metor showers--these small meteors are able to burn almost completely before hitting the ground.  Rumors have circled the internet that this exact scenario will happen this year.  Is is actually possible for a larger meteor or a planet to crash into the earth? Probably.  Is it going to happen by the end of the year? I sincerely doubt it.  NASA tells us that if "Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye." Do you see anything moving visibly closer to the earth? I don't either.  Therefore I'm willing to believe that NASA is giving us credible information.

A sample of what the
Mayan Calendar looks like!
4.  Now, the Mayans on the other hand may have a schred amount of truth to their supposed end of the world prediction.  However, I still don't think it is enough evidence to cause any panic.  The ancient Mayans created a calendar.  Then calendar as has been found/studied ends in December of 2012.  It is not a calendar like the ones we use today.  As National Geographic tells us, the Mayans used a 'long count' calendar which is "1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years" long.  After such a time elapses, the Mayans believed a new era would be born--similar to our out with the old/in with the new New Year traditions.  The long count of the Mayan calendar simply ends at the 2012 winter solstis, where if the Mayans were still around, a new long count calendar would emerge.

Special thanks to my online sources:

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