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
213Comments
Dec 20, 2012 4:52PM
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The world is not ending tomorrow is jus a new beginning, every single word from the mayan has been twisted for people who doesn't know how to properly translate they words and calendar
Dec 20, 2012 4:46PM
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Look at the bright side , if the doomsday is in 21st  , We will not fall of fiscal cliff.!!!
Dec 20, 2012 4:40PM
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Mayan....think about it. Earths ending in May. An the day is ? Oh oh what year? That's the kicker
Dec 20, 2012 4:31PM
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the mayans couldn`t even foresee  their own demise .. why do you think they  can ours ? 
Dec 20, 2012 4:27PM
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Cant wait to die I hope it ends with a giant Meteor  hitting earth.  I will be watching the sky all day long for Nibiru.  I watched all of the sightings on Youtube of the earth Size Meteor and am so excited to see it come.  I sold all of my possessions even the wedding wring I bought for my girl friend sense well don't need it now.   1 day to go till Nibiru :)
Dec 20, 2012 4:27PM
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Ive been proven wrong, I honestly didnt think there were that many idiots out there.
Dec 20, 2012 4:23PM
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Its already tomorrow in Australia and its still there???
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