Preparing for the End of the World

Tomorrow marks the end of the 13th cycle of the ancient Mayan calendar, giving rise to rumors about the end of the world. Worries about a looming apocalypse are nothing new in human history, but 21st century reactions to the possible destruction of the planet (or human civilization) vary widely, from "preppers" who cultivate self-sufficiency, to groups offering prayerful wishes, to entrepreneurs who have found a growing market for their survival gear. Regarding tomorrow's fateful date, the descendents of the Mayans themselves appear to regard the milestone as simply marking the end of an era, not the entire world.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Matt Eich

    Americans at Work: A Husband Captures His Wife's World

    This week, our “Americans at Work photo essay features photographs of Melissa Eich, a speech pathologist in Charlottesville, Virginia, taken by her husband Matt Eich.

  • Safin Hamed / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 2/18–2/24

    Flooding in California, unrest at town hall meetings across the U.S., the Naked Man Festival in Japan, continued fighting in Iraq and Syria, the end of a long-term protest in North Dakota, horse racing on a frozen Swiss lake, and much more.

  • Guillermo Arias / AFP / Getty

    10 Days Along the Border

    Earlier this month, Agence France-Presse photographers Jim Watson and Guillermo Arias traveled the length of the U.S.–Mexico border.

  • Stephen Yang / Getty

    Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Burn Their Camp Ahead of Evacuation

    For months, protesters have camped in the frigid North Dakota winter, opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Recently, state officials ordered them to evacuate the campground, located on federal land, due to spring flooding.

Join the Discussion