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Is this the end of the world as we know it?

By Robert McNeil

Published 12/11/2009

The world will end in 2012. This, as you might expect, is because of Mayan mythology.

The Mayans themselves think it’s poppycock, but a new film (called 2012) starring John Cusack is set to exploit the fears of millions of Armageddon-crazed Americans.

Hundreds of survivalist groups have already bought up land (generally quite high up) and are digging bunkers (generally quite deep down).

It's not just Mayan mania that's causing the feeble-minded to focus on 2012. A rare astronomical event will take place then: the December solstice sun will align with the centre of our galaxy. “Big deal,” I hear you say.

But what if it’s true? You won’t look so smart then, in 2012, with your head on fire. In Arizona, they’re already holding conferences on how to purify water, dispose of corpses and cook rat meat.

You'd rather walk about with your head on fire? Fair point.

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