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Doomsday predictions fell flat on December 21, 2012, as many people expected the end of the world as supposedly indicated by the Mayans. The origins of what is now called the '2012 phenomenon' lie in the Mayan Long Count calendar cycle. The ancient Central American civilization followed a calendar system which spans about 5,125 years starting from 3114 BC and reaches the end of the cycle on December 21, 2012. The Long Count calendar kept time in units called Uinals. 20 days made one Uinal, 18 such Uinals formed a Tun, 20 Tuns made up a K'atun, and 20 K'atuns formed a B'ak'tun. In Mayan legends, the end of an age would correspond with the end of 13 B'ak'tuns. Time would then be reset and the end of the calendar would be of utmost significance. Experts differed in their interpretation of this phenomenon. While some believed this simply means that the Mayan Long Count calendar will reset, others believed that the 'end of age' is equivalent of an apocalypse prediction.

In 2012, reports from the US said that over 3 million Americans were preparing for the end of the world. National Geographic Channel ran a series called 'Doomsday Preppers' featuring the preparations of some of these people. 46-year-old Robert Bast of Melbourne, Australia, had spent over $350,000 in trying to survive the end of the world. In Brazil, the Mayor of the City of São Francisco de Paula, Décio Colla, Rio Grande do Sul, led the city in its preparation for the end by building up a stock of food and other supplies. In the city of Corguinho, a special colony was built for survivors of the apocalypse.

Real estate agents made a huge profit by turning old war bunkers in the Mojave Desert into luxury living quarters. In Indiana the sales of Doomsday bunkers were high.Preppers across the world stocked up on food, often enough to last them half a century, ammunition, water, and all essential supplies. While NASA had clearly refuted such rumors, Doomsday predictors were disappointed on Dec 21.

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