The world will end on Sunday according to reading of Mayan calendar

An image of a meteor striking Earth. (Supplied)

The world will end in less than a week, according to a reading of the Mayan calendar.

The global coronavirus pandemic, social unrest, geopolitical tensions, aviation disasters in Iran and Pakistan, and natural disasters in Australia and the Philippines have combined to make 2020 many people’s worst year of their lives.

And just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse, one interpretation of the Mayan calendar puts the end of the world on June 21, 2020 – this Sunday.

The Mayan calendar is an alternative system of counting time to the Gregorian calendar, which is used by most people in the world, and other systems such as the Islamic or Julian calendars.

The calendar was devised by the Maya civilization, a term which refers to the peoples who inhabited the Central American area of modern-day Guatemala and Belize, southeast Mexico, and western Honduras and El Savador before the arrival of European colonialists.

A Mexican man wearing a pre-hispanic costume walk next to the kukulkan pyramid at the Chichen Itza archaeological park, in Yucatan state, Mexico on December 20, 2012. (AFP)

A Mexican man wearing a pre-hispanic costume walk next to the kukulkan pyramid at the Chichen Itza archaeological park, in Yucatan state, Mexico on December 20, 2012. (AFP)

While Europeans conquered the Maya and destroyed most evidence of their history, in the 1990s archaeologists began to piece together more knowledge about the civilization’s calendar system.

Unlike the Gregorian or Islamic calendars, the Maya calendar was not based on cycles of the moon or the sun directly. Instead, they had three calendars for different purposes.

The Maya long-count calendar is the one that has attracted attention from Doomsday theorists – people who believe in a catastrophic end to all life on Earth. According to their reading of the calendar and interpretation of the Maya belief in “world ages,” the calendar said that the world was set to end on December, 2012, the date which marked the end of a 5,126-year-long cycle.

While their prediction was evidently wrong, last week a scientist accused of being a conspiracy theorist reexamined the calendar – and suggested that the correct date for the end of the world was in fact this week.

People perform a ritual in front of the pyramid of Kukulkan at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Yucatan State, December 21, 2012. (Reuters)

People perform a ritual in front of the pyramid of Kukulkan at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Yucatan State, December 21, 2012. (Reuters)

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New reading: End of the world June, 2020, not December, 2012

Paolo Tagalogun, described online as both a scientist and conspiracy theorist, made the prediction in a series of tweets last week.

His revision is based on comparing the Maya calendar against the Julian calendar, which was the prominent calendar used in the Roman world, most of Europe, and European colonies until it was eventually replaced by today’s Gregorian calendar from 1582 onwards.

“Following the Julian Calendar, we are technically in 2012 … The number of days lost in a year due to the shift into Gregorian Calendar is 11 days… For 268 years using the Gregorian Calendar (1752-2020) times 11 days = 2,948 days. 2,948 days/365 days (per year) = 8 years,” said Tagaloguin in a now-deleted tweet, as quoted by media.

This eight-year difference apparently shifts the end of the world from 2012 to 2020, and from December 12 to June 21.

However, many experts are wary of using the Maya calendar to calculate the end of the world, regardless of the date.

Rather than the end of the world, the end of the long-count calendar represents only the end of an era, according to Emiliano Gallaga Murrieta, the Chiapas state division director of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, who was interviewed by National Geographic.

“It is like for the Chinese, this is the Year of the [Rabbit], and the next year is going to the Year of the Dragon, and the next is going to be another animal in the calendar,” Gallaga said.

As of Monday, no world leaders have commented on the supposed imminent catastrophe.

An indigenous during a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the new Mayan age, in Copan Ruinas, 400 km northeast of Tegucigalpa, on December 21, 2012. AFP

An indigenous during a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the new Mayan age, in Copan Ruinas, 400 km northeast of Tegucigalpa, on December 21, 2012. AFP

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Last Update: Sunday, 21 June 2020 KSA 07:53 - GMT 04:53
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