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Posted on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Mayan Apocalypse: 3 other ways the world (probably) won't end

By Kyle Mattson

If you're reading this the world has not yet ended. In fact, you're probably at work counting down the hours until a long holiday weekend.


People gather in front of the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico Thursday as the sun sets in the final day of the Mayan calendar. (AP Photo/Israel Leal)

Although the Mayans may have been wrong, the end of the world chatter reached near Y2K levels the last couple of weeks. It also has given many another reason to party this holiday season, sans the ugly sweaters.

We may have crossed one doomsday scenario off the list, but there's no shortage of other possibilities that may bring the demise of the human race. With the help of blockbuster movies, scientific studies, religious writings, and of course, the internet, we've all considered how the world may end. Here are three scenarios we're probably safe from here in Ann Arbor at least:

Robot Take Over - I'll admit one of my favorite movies of all time is Planet of the Apes (the original), while a world dominated by monkeys that actually shop at Ikea is considered as highly unlikely by many, the fear of take over by robots seems a much more tangible risk. There already may be technology advancements which allow cars to drive themselves and frightening military contraptions run through forests prompting Human Rights Watch to publish a case against killer robots. Luckily, at the current rate of artificial intelligence it appears that robots will continue to be confined to hunting down dust bunnies on our hardwood floors rather than the lives of our loved ones.

Zombie Apocalypse - The bad news, zombies have already invaded Ann Arbor. The good news, we've all survived so far. Even better, it is probably one of the disasters we are most prepared for. Guided by films and books for surviving a world filled with the living dead there's a good chance we'll be able to contain the epidemic before it puts the entire world at risk. So the question is not will we be able to defend a zombie outbreak, but if we can survive the current zombie pop-culture obsession.

Alien Invasion - This one is a bit more up in the air. Even if you are a die-hard extraterrestrial believer, there still is the question of whether any alien vistors will be of the the Reese Pieces-loving nature or laser-wielding, world-domination mindset. Considering this, I would say it is unlikely we have a justified reason to be fearing glowing lights hovering over the state. Plus, if War of the Worlds taught us anything we have bacteria on our side to back us up just in case.

Now that we have those out of the way, how do you think the human race could face its eternal fate?



Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

If you believe the Bible, you know that the human race won't end. It is the wicked that will be removed from the earth.


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 1:20 a.m.

hahahaha ... that's great, then we have nothing to worry about other than a fascist GOD


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

aw it's always fun to talk about world destruction ... esp just before the holidays :) Asteroid impact is unlikely since the military can scan the skies and take out an incoming 'roid. Pandemic while is devastatingly simple way to kill people (if you think of the agent as a greater predator than humans) will most likely be "cured" by our science (from many diff countries) before it gets outta hand. Nuclear war ... could be along with religious apocalypse if you look at it from a "crusader" point of view of christianity vs islam but but too many independent countries. Nah ... the only thing the world countries have in common is to "grow and prosper" which means to take a greater toll on the world ... afterall, WE are the infection that has run rampant across the earth ... even as cute as we are :) We will destroy the body and then go down with the ship ... unless we can find another host to destroy .. .we just have to work together on this. Course if there are other infections in the galaxy ... the Death Star will no doubt knock us out !!!


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

My little world comes to an end when there's no more Jack Daniels and Fox cancels "COPS".


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 6:58 a.m.

I visited Chichen Itza (Not "Chicken;" you say it: Chee-Shen-Eat-Za) on two occasions. Awesome! Thought-provoking, viz the Big Brains of the ancient Mayans. The steps up El Castillo ("The Castle") are arranged so that, at the Spring Solstice, they cast the shadow of a snake. The snake is the symbol of the Mayan people. The eagle is the symbol of the Aztec people (Mexico City and Montezuma). Today, on the paper money of Mexico, there is an Eagle, perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak! much for "uniting a nation!" When you visit the Yucatan, you will quickly discover in the restaurants, that the waitpeople disdain Mexico City tourists, but love the Yankees. Disclosure: I am not into the "Calendar Cult;" I am a simple amateur anthropologist.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

The world will end with Kim Kardashian is awarded a Nobel prize


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

The world will end when our sun ends. People who believe in these reoccurring end of the world predictions are 'weapons grade stupid'.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

I dunno... I'm still kinda worried about Y2K...


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

I don't think the Earth will end until the sun eats it up. Any of the answers in the list could be the end of our human race, though. I assume roaches will still be here long after we disappear.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

I heard an Mayan expert on NPR and he said that the Mayans never predicted the end of the world, they were simple predicting the end of an epic - the end of a certain kings reign. All the end of the world stuff was all made up by people that like to get excited about dooms day.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Only the asteroid answer is realistic, that one could truly wipe out humanity. The rest would only dent it, admittedly I do not consider the religious apocalypse as a viable answer.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

CLIMATE CHANGE is already happening. The way things are going, by the end of the century, it could be quite serious (rising seas, displaced populations, extreme weather events, loss of species, crop failures, hunger . . . ), and within a millenium or two, it could do us in. Let's take common-sense measures to STOP CLIMATE CHANGE. Oh, and while we are at it, get rid of the NUCLEAR WEAPONS.


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

Larry -- lighten up. This article is a humor piece.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

Don't you remember? The world ended at 12:01 AM this morning. Perhaps you failed to read the memo attached to your Matrix update.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

How did you miss the opportunity to reference "Maximum Overdrive" in scenario number 1?


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

From the sheer inanity of blogs like this one ...

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

YOLO. ;)


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

Fact is that if the Mayans could predict the future there would still be Mayans


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

tdw--there still are. They moved to Ypsi Twp.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

That was just a little joke.lighten up a little

Martha Andrews-Schmidt

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Tens of thousands of Maya still live in México, Guatemala and other parts of Central America. I personally know dozens who live in and around Cancun and the Yucatan. For many of these folks Mayan is their first language, and 27 dialects of Mayan are spoken today.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

there are still mayans


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

The rapture, when only God knows.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

From the way the media talk about it, I figure the world will end when we go over the so-called "fiscal cliff."


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Yea-- paying taxes like we did during the Clinton years ( a balanced budget ) would be the end of the world. How far can the tea party drag this country down?


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 1:06 a.m.

It will as we know the world today!!!