Erin Attfield is optimistic the world will still be around tomorrow. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
The world ends tomorrow morning, according to some.
Which is a bit of a shame, because things were going so well.
The Mayan Mesoamerican calendar clicks over a 5125-year cycle
at 12.11am tomorrow (tomorrow being December 21, 2012, on the
other side of the international date line), sparking Doomsday
fears around the world.
An anti-Armageddon ceremony is being held in Bolivia and an
end-of-the-world party in Sydney, while a Hong Kong
restaurant is hosting a last supper, where diners will only
be charged if they are still alive at midnight. However,
Dunedin appears disconcertingly underprepared for the end of
''It's all a bit of a joke among my friends. If I thought the
world really was really ending I'd be opening up my Christmas
presents early,'' Dunedin retail assistant Erin Attfield (24)
University of Otago classics lecturer Prof Robert Hannah
attended an international astronomy symposium in Peru last
year which examined the 21.12.12 Doomsday phenomenon.
''I think whenever we pass a millenia there's usually a fair
bit of Doomsday thinking. I suspect the same panic occurred
when 1000AD first passed. It's something that people find
fascinating and plays on the insecurity in the human
psyche,'' he said yesterday.
The Mayan calendar passes a round figure, or bak'tun, every
394 years. The last time it occurred was in 1618.
''The Mayans used the calendar as their way of counting the
passage of time and it turns around like a wheel, just like
our four seasons do. We don't attach prophecies to our four
seasons,'' Prof Hannah said.
''But, it's economics as well. People are making a killing
out of this.''
The End of the World As We Know It, or Teotwawki as it is
being promoted, has been a boon for Central American tourism.
US space agency Nasa was still moved to dampen fears of
Armageddon this week, after being swamped with panic calls.
''Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than
four billion years and credible scientists worldwide know of
no threat associated with 2012. December 21 will be another
day,'' Nasa spokesman Dwayne Brown said.