Mayan society was an ancient civilisation that loved nothing better than solving maths problems. Their mathematical systems were made up of dots, lines and shells and even though they hadn’t discovered numbers, their knowledge was so advanced that their calculations were more accurate than those of their European counterparts who had already discovered numbers. Along with sums and maths quizzes, the Mayans loved calendars, so much so that they cross-referenced the day by using three different types – one including the “long count” calendar that some reference as ‘the decider’ of today.
Upon the rediscovery of the Mayans’ long count calendar, modern mathematicians number-crunched, decoded and rearranged it on to our modern Gregorian calendar. It was discovered that the long count would end on the exact date of 21 December 2012.
For mathematicians it denotes the end of the current Mayan calendar cycle; for others it predicts the end of the world.
Scientifically, there’s no merit to the entire claim. NASA themselves even made an effort to debunk the millions of emails they claim to have received. Their response was complex but simple enough to state that there are no large concerns for the world at the end of the year:
“Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. 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… Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.”