Apocalypse? Not Now, As World Survives

Sky News24 December 2012

An ancient prediction that the world would end on December 21 has failed to come true.

As the clock counted down to - and then passed - 11.11am on Friday, people around the world used the moment as an excuse for a party.

December 21 marked the end of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar, which some said represents the end of the world.

But the claim was dismissed by everyone from Nasa and the US government to the Vatican.

People who paid just under £1,000 to take refuge in the underground bunker of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin now stand to qualify for a 50% refund.

In the tiny French village of Bugarach in the Pyrenees, UFO watchers were left disappointed when aliens said to inhabit a jagged mountain failed to board a spacecraft and flee the Earth.

In Serbia, the place to be was Mount Rtanj, a pyramid-shaped peak, where local legend has it that the mountain once swallowed an evil sorcerer who will be released on doomsday in a ball of fire.

Old coal mineshafts were opened up as safe rooms for the dozens who arrived early.

Sirince, a small Turkish village known for its wine, was also being touted as a safe haven, thought to be because it is close to an area where the Virgin Mary is believed to have lived her final days.

In China, the authorities have been detaining more than 500 members of a fringe Christian group, Almighty God, who got into trouble after spreading rumours about the world's impending end, with leaflets, CDs, books and other material all being seized.

Closer to home, hundreds of people converged on Stonehenge for an End of the World party that coincided with the winter solstice.

In London, themed events included a Last Supper club.

Many scientists and historians argue that the Mayans had a cyclical sense of time, so the end of a calendar simply signifies the end of one period and the beginning of another.

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