Beirut, Lebanon- Thousands of people in the Netherlands say they expect the world to end in 2012, and many say they are taking precautions to prepare for the apocalypse.
The Dutch-language de Volkskrant newspaper said it spoke to thousands of believers in the impending end of civilization, and while theories on the supposed catastrophe varied, most tied the 2012 date to the end of the Mayan calendar, Radio Netherlands reported Monday.
De Volkskrant said many of those interviewed are stocking up on emergency supplies, including life rafts and other equipment.
Some who spoke to the newspaper were optimistic about the end of civilization.
"You know, maybe it's really not that bad that the Netherlands will be destroyed," Petra Faile said. "I don't like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse."
The Mayan Calendar
The Maya civilization existed in Southern Mexico and northern Central America between from A.D. 300 to 900. Its population totaled 5-16 million people.
The Maya have been called the "Greeks of the New World" by many historians. The Maya had some knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, ritual ball games for entertainment, and the use of their complex written language. Unlike Europeans at the time, the Maya had developed the concept of zero.
The Maya used a yearly solar calendar that was fairly precise, using 18 months and 20 days per month, with five additional unlucky days at the end, which totals to 365 days. The Maya did not take into account the additional 1/4 day, which we take into account through leap year, because it was not important for them. They additionally had a 260 day ritual calendar which worked in conjunction with the 365 day calendar to create a 52-year cycle. They also used a Long Count calendar which counts the number of days since the creation of the world on August 13, 3113 BC. This calendar returns to zero in 2012, which has caused an Apocalypse scare. However, this stems from a misunderstanding of the calendar, because the calendar is generally abbreviated to 5 places, when in reality there are over 40, so the calendar will continue after this date. The calendar is written with five numbers with a period between each, such as 220.127.116.11.1. Each of the numbers between the period represents a place, since the Maya number system was base-20. In this date, for example, the 1 represents 1 days, the 2 represents 2*20 days, the 3 represents 3*360 days, the 4 represents 4*7,200 and the 5 represents 5*144,000. Each digit except the second (2) and the last (5) goes to 19 before returning to zero. The second only goes to 18 and the last only goes to 13. The original date for the world was 18.104.22.168.0, which will be the same date on December 21, 2012, and the reason for the Apocalypse scare.
Nostradamus also predicted that the apocalypse will happen in 2012. But Nostradamus predicted the world is going to end all the time... so why 2012 should be the year many ask ?
Tags: apocalypse, Humor, Lebanon, netherlands, nostradamus