World survives predicted Mayan apocalypse unscathed
As thousands of people around the world anxiously awaited the end of the world on "Doomsday" December 21, the predicted time of the world's end came and went without major incident.
The end of the Mayan Long Count calendar on December 21st was thought by many to herald the apocalypse, with the end expected by many at 11.11 GMT.
The date marks the end of an era that lasted over 5,000 years, or 13 "bak'tuns", according to the calendar.
Events around the world to mark the date included gatherings at Mayan ruins, holy sites in southern Mexico, a sacred mountain in France, Stalin's bunker in Moscow, and Bugarach in the French Pyrenees, where doomsday believers waited for aliens to whisk them to safety.
But dawn broke in Mexico and the morning passed peacefully in France, where journalists outnumbered those seeking salvation and a party atmosphere prevailed.
Fears of mass suicides, power cuts, a magnetic shift in the poles, and a collision with a previously unsighted planet hurtling toward Earth circulated on the Internet in the run up to the day.
Scholars and scientists and even modern Mayans sought to debunk the myths, pointing out that the end of the 13th bak'tun in the civilisation's calendar was simply the beginning of a new cycle. Speculation persisted however, and authorities around the world took action over rumours and planned gatherings.
However, Maya experts and scientists have maintained that the civilisation's calendar had not predicted the world's end.
"The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning," the Telegraph quoted Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, as saying.
"The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date," he added.