While students may be sweating bullets studying for finals, some might say that the they may not live to see their final grades.
However, according to NASA’s website, the Mayan calendar doomsday that enthusiasts use to predict the end of the world Dec. 21 –– otherwise known as the apocalypse –– is false.
But Sam Smerbeck (sophomore-liberal arts) used social media sites to organize an end of the world party set to celebrate the doomsday, he said.
Smerbeck said that he doesn’t actually think the world is going to end, but said if it were the apocalypse, he would prefer his demise to be from a plague or a zombie attack, he said.
“I first heard of the Mayan doomsday myth in high school,” he said. “My last day on Earth would be mainly centered on being with my closest friends and family.”
There have been many doomsday predictions, but all have been based on false myths and unsupported facts.
David Webster, Penn State professor of anthropology, said in western culture, people have grasped hundreds of doomsday predictions.
The Mayans had three different calendars and the long count calendar, which ends on Dec. 21, began almost 6,000 years ago. The end of a calendar would simply bring about another cycle, he said.
“I would give $10,000 to anyone to spend however they like, but on Dec. 22, they would have to pay me back $20,000,” Webster said. “I think on Dec. 21, there will be a lot of human-induced goofiness.”
However, this doesn’t mean that the human race is in the clear because massive extinctions have happened in history before.
Jane Charlton, Penn State professor of astronomy and astrophysics, said the dinosaurs most likely died from a meteor impact that kicked a large amount of dust into the atmosphere and blocked out the sun, she said.
One fear is that a planet will run into Earth, as predicted by the Mayans. But Charlton said a planet could not hit Earth because they are locked in the sun’s gravity. It’s more likely that a comet would hit the Earth, she said.
“We are able to chart the path of asteroids and there would be warning about it,” Charlton said. “[Asteroids] might come close to Earth, but there isn’t one about to hit.”