Nat Geo on the Maya Calendar, Predictions—And Why the World Won't End December 21
Decoding the Maya Calendar
Doomsday? No way. The ancient Maya said we’ll be around another 7,000 years or so.
Not a doomsday prepper in sight. Instead, today's Maya celebrate December 21 for its arrival of a new calendar—and a new age.
Unprecedented paintings and calculations have emerged from under the jungle—including evidence against the 2012 "doomsday myth."
It's remotely possible the world will end in December 2012. But don't credit the ancient Maya calendar for predicting it, say experts on the Mesoamerican culture.
Sure there's a lot of hype around the purported Maya doomsday, but some people have honest "end times" anxiety that has experts concerned.
Video: Newfound Paintings Debunk Maya Doomsday
Who Were the Maya?
The latest thinking suggests the mighty Maya Empire collapsed due to climate change, conflict—and maybe a trip to the beach.
Get the full story of the Maya Empire: The rise, the monumental splendor, and the collapse.
See the ancient empire's grandest monuments in a new light.
Their empire is long gone, but the Maya are very much alive in the Yucatán. See today's Maya in everyday dress and ancient raiment—bringing the past stunningly to life.
On TVThe Mayan Apocalypse 2012
Airing Friday, December 21, at 10 PM ET/PT
In this National Geographic Channel special, historian Paul Murton explores how the 2012 phenomenon has swept across the Internet, with hundreds of websites featuring frightening predictions.
Preview the show ►
Featured Maya Trip
Explore Maya sites with archaeologist William Saturno—behind-the-scenes access!