NASA Patiently Explains Why the Mayan Apocalypse Is *Definitely* Not Happening

More

"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/.

Via Devour and Gizmodo

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

When Will Robots Take Over the World?

"In a sense, we're already becoming cyborgs."


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Video

The Origins of Bungee Jumping

"We had this old potato sack and I filled it up with rocks and dropped it over the side. It just hit the water, split, dropping all the stones. And that was our test."

Video

Is Trading Stocks for Suckers?

If you think you’re smarter than the stock market, you’re probably either cheating or wrong

Video

I Spent Half My Life Making a Video Game

How a childhood hobby became a labor of love

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In