No, the Mayans Never Said the World Would End on December 21


Dec. 21 2020, Published 12:35 p.m. ET

world ending
Source: Getty Images

Well, Distractify readers, it’s been real. The world is ending Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, according to a Mayan “prophecy”… according to a YouTube user named Pastor Paul Begley.

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Yeah, no, we don’t believe any of this either. But at least these doomsday predictions are good for a laugh. And honestly, the way 2020 has been going, would any of us be surprised if the apocalypse happened as well?

Pastor Paul linked the end of the world to Jupiter and Saturn’s conjunction.

Pastor Paul discussed the possibility of the world ending on Dec. 21 back in June 2020, according to the Evening Standard, which calls the YouTuber “an American evangelical pastor and conspiracy theorist.”

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pastor paul begley
Source: Instagram

Pastor Paul Begley

In the video, Pastor Paul mentioned the previous prediction that the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012, the newspaper reported. And he claimed that Mayans are “reorganizing” around a new doomsday date, Dec. 21, 2020, during “the great conjunction when Jupiter and Saturn come within 0.1 degrees of one another and create the brightest star in the skies since the star of Bethlehem.”

He went on: “The Mayans are now reorganizing and saying this could certainly be the end of the world as we know it.”

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That “great conjunction” is actually happening…

Pastor Paul got one thing right, at least: Jupiter and Saturn will pass within a tenth of a degree of each other in the western night sky for about an hour after sunset on Dec. 21. The two planets have one of these “great conjunctions” once every 20 years or so, but this particular conjunction marks the closest Jupiter and Saturn have come since 1623. It’s also the first time a conjunction this close has been visible since 1226, as Vox reports.

But the Dec. 21 conjunction — which happens to also fall on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year — won’t create “the brightest star in the skies since the star of Bethlehem,” as Pastor Paul claimed. 

“Jupiter and Saturn will appear like a binary planet in the dusk sky,” writes Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan. “However, they will not suddenly look like a brilliant ‘Christmas star’ … They look like two planets close together.”

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… but the Mayan “prophecy” about Dec. 21, 2020 is a myth.

Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, said the supposed Mayan doomsday date of Dec. 21, 2012, was “a misconception from the beginning,” as NASA reported in an article titled “Why the World Didn’t End” and published on Dec. 22, 2012.

“The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date,” the astronomer added.

That same year, archaeologist Dr. William Saturno discovered a series of numbers painted on walls in the ruins of a Maya city in Guatemala — and the numbers referred to dates far in the future. 

“The ancient Maya predicted the world would continue, that 7,000 years from now, things would be exactly like this,” William said in a press release, per National Geographic. “We keep looking for endings. The Maya were looking for a guarantee that nothing would change. It’s an entirely different mindset.”

Wait, his name is Saturno? Saturno is just one letter off from Saturn. It’s a sign! The end is nigh!

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