The end of the world is nigh … again

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Since Roman times there have been predictions about the end of the world as a result of religious, economic, astrological or environmental events. As far back as 66 CE, the Jewish Essene sect of ascetics saw the Jewish uprising against the Romans in 66–70, in Judea, as the final end-time battle that would bring about the arrival of the Messiah.

With 2020 around the corner, these predictions are once again gaining airtime as a result of a combination of astrology, maths and history. The ancient Mayan calendar – as interpreted by modern scholars – predicted that the world was going to end in 2012. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, however, believed that the Mayan calendar’s apocalyptic end date of 2012 was based on flawed calculations, and that 2020 was the correct year.

The end of the world

“In many ways the Mayans were ahead of their time, but in others they were a little too clever for their own good. In this instance, they made the mistake of double counting bank holidays, meaning their calendar isn’t due to run out for a further eight years. People should actually be worrying about 2020, that’s the real end of the civilised world,” he said in an interview with New Scientist magazine.

His theory can be backed up by the same kind of evidence used in most other doomsday predictions: Unusual astrological events. On the summer solstice of 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere, a unique astronomical event will occur. There will be an annular eclipse of the sun, which in itself is not unusual, but the position of the eclipse relative to the galactic equator will be.

For conspiracy theorists, this is notable because the alignment over ‘mystical’ sites across the world will be exactly the same. On the morning of the solstice, Stonehenge will be aligned to the sun, the galactic equator, and the axis of the Milky Way. Later during that morning at Giza, the same astronomical event will play out, but this time relative to the Great Pyramid.

With the Sun and Moon in their respective positions relative to Earth, which is sitting on the Galactic Axis and centred on the Galactic Equator, a cosmological circle is formed. This is exactly where Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid would be if they were in space, and is the only time this alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun happens along the galactic equator in this way.

Some historians have postulated that the Mayan calendar ends on this date (or the original 2013 solstice) because it marks the end of a cycle, not necessarily the end of the world. Conspiracy theorists, however, keep finding new ‘evidence’ that the end is nigh.

The end of the world is nigh … again

Since Roman times there have been predictions about the end of the world as a result of religious, economic, astrological or environmental events. As far back as 66 CE, the Jewish Essene sect of ascetics saw the Jewish uprising against the Romans in 66–70, in Judea, as the final end-time battle that would bring about the arrival of the Messiah.

With 2020 around the corner, these predictions are once again gaining airtime as a result of a combination of astrology, maths and history. The ancient Mayan calendar – as interpreted by modern scholars – predicted that the world was going to end in 2012. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, however, believed that the Mayan calendar’s apocalyptic end date of 2012 was based on flawed calculations, and that 2020 was the correct year.

“In many ways the Mayans were ahead of their time, but in others they were a little too clever for their own good. In this instance, they made the mistake of double counting bank holidays, meaning their calendar isn’t due to run out for a further eight years. People should actually be worrying about 2020, that’s the real end of the civilised world,” he said in an interview with New Scientist magazine.

His theory can be backed up by the same kind of evidence used in most other doomsday predictions: Unusual astrological events. On the summer solstice of 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere, a unique astronomical event will occur. There will be an annular eclipse of the sun, which in itself is not unusual, but the position of the eclipse relative to the galactic equator will be.

For conspiracy theorists, this is notable because the alignment over ‘mystical’ sites across the world will be exactly the same. On the morning of the solstice, Stonehenge will be aligned to the sun, the galactic equator, and the axis of the Milky Way. Later during that morning at Giza, the same astronomical event will play out, but this time relative to the Great Pyramid.

With the Sun and Moon in their respective positions relative to Earth, which is sitting on the Galactic Axis and centred on the Galactic Equator, a cosmological circle is formed. This is exactly where Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid would be if they were in space, and is the only time this alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun happens along the galactic equator in this way.

Some historians have postulated that the Mayan calendar ends on this date (or the original 2013 solstice) because it marks the end of a cycle, not necessarily the end of the world. Conspiracy theorists, however, keep finding new ‘evidence’ that the end is nigh.

In his 2013 book End Times and 2019: The End of the Mayan Calendar and the Countdown to Judgment Day, author David Montaigne says that there's plentiful evidence to suggest that this year is the last for humans. He cites ancient visions noted by biblical who which describe a particular alignment of the stars – an alignment that is exactly the same as described by the Maya in one of their writings. Using computer models, he deduced that this will happen in December this year.

On his website, Montaigne says that a seven day period, starting on December 21 and ending on December 28, will mark the end of humanity. According to him, we will see the poles reverse during this time, leading to extinction events.

The Earth’s poles have reversed many times before, most recently 780 000 years ago. While this is a natural phenomenon, the period during which the poles are reversing is dangerous because the magnetic field protecting Earth is weak, leaving the planet vulnerable to cosmic radiation. This could lead to stillbirths, genetic abnormalities, and much higher incidences of cancer in the best case scenario.

Scientists know that this will happen, but are unable to predict when. This makes it extremely unlikely that Montaigne – a layman who previously predicted that the antichrist would come to Earth on June 6, 2016 – has an accurate timeline.

In his 2013 book End Times and 2019: The End of the Mayan Calendar and the Countdown to Judgment Day, author David Montaigne says that there's plentiful evidence to suggest that this year is the last for humans. He cites ancient visions noted by biblical who which describe a particular alignment of the stars – an alignment that is exactly the same as described by the Maya in one of their writings. Using computer models, he deduced that this will happen in December this year.

On his website, Montaigne says that a seven day period, starting on December 21 and ending on December 28, will mark the end of humanity. According to him, we will see the poles reverse during this time, leading to extinction events.

The Earth’s poles have reversed many times before, most recently 780 000 years ago. While this is a natural phenomenon, the period during which the poles are reversing is dangerous because the magnetic field protecting Earth is weak, leaving the planet vulnerable to cosmic radiation. This could lead to stillbirths, genetic abnormalities, and much higher incidences of cancer in the best case scenario.

Scientists know that this will happen, but are unable to predict when. This makes it extremely unlikely that Montaigne – a layman who previously predicted that the antichrist would come to Earth on June 6, 2016 – has an accurate timeline.