Last but certainly not the least on our list is the prediction that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, which marks the end of the Mayan calendar that spans 5,125 years.
This popular interpretation of a system of calendars - originating from the Mayan civilization that dates back to 2000 BC in a part of the Americas that ranges from central Mexico to northern Costa Rica - has ignited everything from fear and anxiety about doomsday cataclysmic events destroying the planet, to TV specials tracking UFO conspiracy theories.
A global poll by market research firm Ipsos in May found that nearly 15 percent of the more than 16,000 people surveyed in 20 countries believed the world would end during their lifetime, about one in 10 also said they were experiencing fear or anxiety about the end of the world this year.
Renowned scholars have tried to debunk the apocalypse claims, and U.S. space agency NASA has gone as far as to cite on its website that the world won't end on Dec. 21 and answer frequently asked questions about the prediction. Recent reports suggest that Guatemala's Mayan people themselves don't believe the doomsday myth. Maya alliance group Oxlaljuj Ajpop in Guatemala has accused the government and tour groups of perpetuating the claims to make money.The country's cultural ministry is holding a major event on the day, while tour groups are trying to sell doomsday-themed getaways. Click here to see other notorious doomsday prophets and cults.
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