The gist of a recent blog post by the U.S. government is that the world isn't ending and everyone just needs to calm down.
The post, entitled "Scary Rumors about the world Ending in 2012 Are Just Rumors," says the Earth won't be destroyed by a comet, another planet, or any other apocalyptic forces predicted by readers of the Mayan calendar and doomsday cults.
"The world will not end on Dec. 21, 2012, or any day in 2012," the post says.
The government says NASA has received thousands of letters from people who are worried about the world's impending end. The post quotes the senior scientist, David Morrison, saying he gets messages from young people as often as once a week, some of them saying they're so scared they've contemplated suicide.
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The myth originates from claims that people of the ancient Sumer civilization discovered a planet they named Nibiru that is headed toward earth, according to NASA. But that was predicted for May 2003. And then again for Dec. 21, 2012.
In a NASA video, Morrison says the entire theory is groundless.
"There's no evidence in Mesopotamian writing that this Nibiru was ever considered a planet," he says.
Morrison said he once received coordinates that supposedly marked the position in space of the asteroid, or planet, or whatever that person supposed the earth-destroying object to have been. As it turned out, they pointed to an empty piece of sky within the constellation Orion that anyone could see from a backyard at the right time of year.
Another video, entitled, "Just Another Day," says the Mayan calendar doesn't even end this year, it's simply the end of a calendar cycle with a new one starting immediately afterward. Much like how January 1st comes after December 31st.
The world was supposed to have ended last year, too, when a Christian group based out of California predicted the apocalypse in May, then again in October.
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The Canadian government doesn't appear to be issuing any similar public pleas for reason, even though a survey in May determined 9% of Canadians believe in the doomsday prediction.
The world may not end on December 21st, but NASA reminds us that the day does mark another winter solstice. So while you won't need to hide out in a cave, you should probably bundle up. This corner of Earth gets cold that time of year.