"December 22, 2012. If you're watching this video, it means one thing: the world didn't end yesterday," this video begins. Yes, NASA is so confident the world won't end that they released the video early. Pretty sassy for a bunch of earnest scientists.
What about those dire predictions? "The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning," Dr. John Carlson, Director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, says. The ancient civilization's math is complex but they did not predict the world would end this month. Their calendar doesn't even end in 2012! What about potential hazards like a collision with an asteroid or "rogue planet"? That's not on the horizon either. If you're still skeptical, watch the video below and check out the Awl's very entertaining interview with Dr. David Morrison, the NASA scientist responsible for fielding all your dumb questions via email:
The emails started filtering in at a trickle, but after a few years of what he called “relative peace,” it’s become a deluge. He estimated that over the past four years, he's gotten over 5,000 emails related to doomsday. Lately, the column has been receiving about 50 emails a week, most of them about the apocalypse ...
"I have become somewhat obsessed with it," [Morrison] said. Even if the interactions don't usually go beyond two emails, he never tires of hearing the responses. "It's the depths of their commitment that's so amazing, that they will go to such mental contortions to try to think of a way to preserve their beliefs in spite of evidence to the contrary."
For more videos from NASA, visit http://nasa.gov/.