11 ways people are panicking about Mayan doomsday

From backpacking to remote mountain villages to banning Coca-Cola, the reactions to talk of the end of the world are truly bizarre.

By Kim Peterson Dec 20, 2012 2:45PM
French gendarme answer journalists' questions as they start to ascent to control the access to the 1,231 meter high peak of Bugarach on December 19, 2012 ( ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)It doesn't take much to trigger apocalyptic panic from people. And this week, we can thank the ancient Mayans for the latest world-is-ending hysteria.

Some interpretations of the Mayan calendar have spurred a belief that the world may end Friday. That's because the calendar essentially rolls over Friday, similar to the way an odometer turns over on your car and shows a series of zeroes, according to NASA. It signifies the end of a large cycle of time, a bit more than 394 years, that the Mayans called a "baktun."

How did the end of a baktun turn into doomsday? Who knows. Even the modern Mayan people don't buy it, and say they're looking forward to the dawn of a new baktun, a new era, according to CNN.

Mayan doomsday has given rise to plenty of jokes. A new Jell-O commercial (watch the clip here) claims that its chocolate pudding will finally appease the gods and save us all. Others note the uncanny resemblance between the calendar and an Oreo cookie. There are lots of fun cartoons, like this one showing the Mayan calendar maker saying, "I only had enough room to go up to 2012." His friend responds, "Ha! That'll freak somebody out someday."

And freaking out they are. Here are 11 ways people are going bonkers about what may, but probably will not, be the end of the world:

1. Flying to Bugarach
It's gotten so bad that the mayor of this French village is pleading for help. "I am making an appeal to the world -- do not come to Bugarach," says Jean-Pierre Delord, according to the Telegraph. This tiny town of 200 residents is right by a French mountain that some people think will open up Friday and reveal aliens with spaceships arriving to save mankind. Bugarach is thought to be one of the few sacred mountains that will be saved in the apocalypse.

2. Building massive ice sculptures
Residents in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk are building a huge Mayan archway out of ice, The New York Times reports. Russians have turned the Mayan doomsday into somewhat of a national obsession, and are hoarding matches, kerosene, sugar and candles.

3. Banishing Coca-Cola
Bolivia has somehow made the unfathomable leap from Mayan doomsday to kicking Coke products out. The country's minister of external affairs has announced that it will boot Coca-Cola (KO) on Friday, since the date marks the end of capitalism and the renewal of a community-based society, Forbes reports. So Friday will be the end of Coke and the beginning of a locally made, peach-flavored soda called mocochinche.

4. Tying up children
An Illinois couple faces charges of child abuse and child endangerment after leaving their children bound and blindfolded in a Wal-Mart (WMT) parking lot, reports NBC News Chicago. The parents were reportedly selling off all of their belongings in anticipation of the end of the world and living out of their vehicle on the way to Arizona.

5. Buying pricey underground shelters
One company, Vivos, is seeing a brisk business selling space in underground shelters. On its website, Vivos says it has shelters that can handle anywhere from 50 to 1,000 people. The facilities are stocked for a minimum of one year of survival "to ride out the potential events." Supplies include food, fuel, water, medicine and a complete wardrobe of clothing and footwear in all sizes. One Vivos shelter in Indiana costs $50,000 for each adult and $35,000 per child, reports FortWayne.com.

6. Building special guns

One North Carolina gunmaker is building a special assault rifle for doomsday, CNN reports. Ryan Croft says the new gun is a hybrid of an AR-15 and an AK-47. He's also teaching his family how to live on a diet of algae, roasted mice and earthworms.

7. Planning mass suicide
There are reports that people are planning a mass suicide for Friday on an Argentinian mountain called Uritorco Hill. The event was publicized on Facebook's events page by an anonymous person, reports the International Business Times. So many people sent in RSVPs to the event that the family that owns Uritorco Hill decided to close the site and deny access to the mountain on Friday.

8. Taking ridiculously expensive vacations
One resort in Mexico is offering a a doomsday vacation package for just $79,000 per couple. The five-day "Ultimate New Beginning" package includes lectures, helicopter tours and a party on the beach.

9. Planning ridiculously expensive parties

There's no shortage of end-of-the-world parties. One hotel in Denver is offering a "party like there's no to-Maya" package, allowing guests to rent an entire floor for $12,021, NBC News reports. Takers will get freeze-dried food, gas masks and water-purification tablets. If you're lucky enough to survive, a morning-after brunch is included.

10. Talking NASA's ears off

NASA has been inundated with calls and email messages from people essentially wondering if they're going to die. For some reason, NASA has become the go-to source for people to get the lowdown on doomsday. A spokesman for the agency says it's hearing from 200 to 300 people each day asking about the end of the world, the Los Angeles Times reports. Normally, NASA gets about 90 inquiries per week.

11. Getting free macaroni and cheese

Kraft (KFT) is offering a free sample of macaroni and cheese to any Canadians who want to make that their last meal, reports Canada.com. The company has 20,012 freebies to offer, and three-quarters of those were claimed by Monday. People can request the Kraft Dinner by using the hashtag #KDapocalypse on Twitter.

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Tags: DramaGuns
Dec 20, 2012 11:01PM

Gee, when you clock winds down, does time stop too?


All pretty hilarious, except for the suicide stuff--but I guess someone has to win a Darwin Award and improve the gene pool. Well, except for Vivos, which is obviously a con game. Bet they cash all their checks before Friday!

Dec 20, 2012 10:35PM

Goodbye cruel  world.... from a sign that had a goofy looking guy in a toilet with his hand on the lever

Dec 20, 2012 10:25PM

Just Missed,

Damn, why can't one of those gigantic asteroids that cross our orbit be just a bit more 'accurate'? One good impact would certainly solve everyone's problems....quickly. Moreover, minus the 7 billion humans who have mucked it all up, our poor planet Earth would finally have a chance to regenerate and to heal. There's still time for everyone to enjoy their favorite 'Doomsday Eve' activities.  :-)


Peace ~

Dec 20, 2012 9:38PM
And now higher TAXES! Let me off this ride, I can't afford it.
Dec 20, 2012 9:37PM
Only God knows when the end is coming.  I am ready anytime.......we will all die eventually.....by sickness, old age, accidents, etc.  Today, tomorrow, next month, next year...who cares???
Dec 20, 2012 9:36PM
Just my luck, I'll wake up on the 22nd, and of course them bills will still be sitiing there.
Dec 20, 2012 9:34PM
What happens to my credit card bills??????
Dec 20, 2012 9:33PM
what a joke so many idiot's out there.  Id be more concerned about how the economy is changing and how the climate has been changing. Not this end of the world crap its entertaining at least.
Dec 20, 2012 9:33PM

The best part of this is that you don't have to worry about buying Xmas presents!  Since there won't be a Xmas anymore! 

All joking aside, I think it is a joke.  The world will go on, alas.....

Dec 20, 2012 9:32PM
i live in hawaii hope some of the people who run it disapears tomorroow
Dec 20, 2012 9:31PM
One thing for sure...the Mayan's built a magnificent pyramid to Kulkulcan over 5,000 years ago, without the use of heavy machinery, to exact measurements.  They must have known something about math and astrology to accomplish such a feat.  You just can't imagine, until you see it for yourself... provided, we survive tomorrow, Mayan time. 
Dec 20, 2012 9:09PM
Their are people working two jobs now that can't pay their bills and they can't work three jobs.
Dec 20, 2012 9:04PM
I do hope it wipes out Washington D.C. a good hour before the rest of us just so we can feel good about the good riddance for at least a short while.
Dec 20, 2012 9:02PM
I'll give anyone $100.00 dollars if the world ends tomorrow, as long as they are willing to send me $100.00 if the world don't end. Who wants a piece of the action? I promise I'll pay up if it all ends.
Dec 20, 2012 9:01PM
They say the price of milk will go from $3 to 6$ a gallon so will the price of everything else.
Dec 20, 2012 8:59PM
Think about it this way 90% of our computers are made in China what will happen when the price of our computers doubles.
Dec 20, 2012 8:58PM
The local news in the Dallas area reported the exact time of our demise . 5:11 am. I ain't staying up for that , i love my sleep :) BTW, that's central time , so you people on the east coast get ready but don't call me !

Dec 20, 2012 8:55PM
I cant wait,this planet needs a good flushing,and a do over.Unfortunately,we will be the one's to wipe us out with our nukes in the wrong hands.
Dec 20, 2012 8:49PM

Like the man said,if you happen to have any Mayan friends a new calendar would make a great Christmas gift.


Dec 20, 2012 8:48PM
Our life's are dependent on other people and if we don't learn how to be independent of other people our life's will end.
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