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 6:02PM
I choose to believe the Bible & what it says about the end times, God created this world so i believe that he will destroy it in his time & his way. if you are concerned what the bible has to say about this matter of the world being destroyed look in Second Peter Chapter 3  & read the entire chapter.
Dec 20, 2012 6:02PM
The Mayans calendar should have ended many years ago cuz they disappeared many years go. And if any1 wants to believe the Mayans prediction....a bunch of crazies that believed monkeys were messengers to the gods...well, go right ahead and be crazy w/them.
Dec 20, 2012 5:57PM
One more reason to chuckle when I hear people say humans are the smartest creatures on the planet. Not by a long shot!!
Dec 20, 2012 5:56PM
this all caused by coward conservatives wish they would leave this country asap
Dec 20, 2012 5:46PM
the end is near, send me all your money.
Dec 20, 2012 5:43PM
Yes, and they used to say the only things to go on for ever are Keith Richards and Twinkies. Close but no Twinkie.
Dec 20, 2012 5:41PM
I oppose the idea that the zombies will get us or the calendar will stop the clock.  As a patriotic american I must insist that we experience all of the possibilities for full satisfaction.  When I wake up tomorrow I expect to step out of my bed into ankle deep water a sign that the oceans are rising. As i reach for my coffee I want to dance with the rumbles of the earthquakes.  By tomorrow afternoon I want to be able to roast my hotdog's in the open fire of the tree's surrounding my subdivision.  I will be perched ready for the zombie's tomorrow night as they scramble over my back fence trying to get in the house for Raman noodle's.  We will continue on through the holiday's slurping eggnog, spotting for zombie's, roasting our hotdog's, keeping our eye's peeled for incoming asteroid's and swimming around the house until finally we can all drop off of the fiscal cliff together.
Dec 20, 2012 5:36PM
Are we living in the Dark Ages?  We are falling for anything and everything now, critical thinking is a thing of the past.
Dec 20, 2012 5:30PM


how 'bout...END OF THE CALENDAR !

The dude got tired and went home !

''Hey man, you've put over 5000 years on that dang thing already ...just give it up and go home now. "

Dec 20, 2012 5:28PM
Dec 20, 2012 5:27PM

If you can't trust your ancient Mayan mathmatician, who can you trust?


Dec 20, 2012 5:25PM
It's already the 21st in other parts of the world and I haven't heard anything yet,  does that mean that the 21st is only for America? LMAO
Dec 20, 2012 5:17PM
Doomsday, Fiscal Cliff, Assault Rifle Sales Soaring..Is this paranoia on a large scale.....ayup.
Dec 20, 2012 5:17PM
whew...and i thought this was a hoax..thanks aussie's.
Dec 20, 2012 5:09PM
I dont believe that the world will end tomorrow but I do think that something in our climate is changing and that we should be prepared to be self sufficient. Putting away food and water for that rainy day. Learning to be more self sufficient, turning our urban homes in to urban homesteads, etc. I do not want to have to depend on any government rescue in case of a crisis. 
Dec 20, 2012 5:08PM

the world is not doomed, only people who believe in this doomday thing will be doomed if they live

to see 2013. crazy people, y2k, all is a hoax. those mayans were taking drugs when they made the calender. they were knocked out by the time they made the calender.

                    nostradomus is another crazy from past who has on many predictions failed. well

nothing has happened so far. tis almost next day in other parts of the world. they are still alive.

what a waste of time creating this dooms day theory. when 21st passes, all the people will smile

and laugh at all those lunatics.

Dec 20, 2012 4:58PM
Dec 20, 2012 4:56PM
Dam why does my insurance bill come on the 19th.   Dam Myans.
Dec 20, 2012 4:52PM
TURN THE CALENDAR OVER!!!  We'll be good for another 2500 years!
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