Mayans: Chill out, world not ending anytime soon

Sorry, Internet prognosticators, but the world isn’t ending in 2012. At least, it’s not going to end this year because of some crazy Mayan prediction. Archaeologists at the Mayan site of Xultún (in modern day Guatemala) have discovered a 2,000-year-old calendar on the wall of a scribe’s house. According to National Geographic, the calendar includes dates about 7,000 years into the future. That means the world will actually end some time around 9012, so ha!

Just kidding. In fact, the Mayan system of keeping track of dates and time has nothing to do with the world ending, just with cycles ending. Cycles of good times, bad times, feast times and famine times. Each cycle can be referred to as a “long count” and they really don’t measure anything we need to worry about. Just ask my favorite particle physicist, and 90s brit pop keyboard player, Dr. Brian Cox:

I mean, come on. It’s a system based on the number 20 because (most) people have ten fingers and ten toes! Listen to Dr. Cox!

Anyway, the calendar discovery is a big deal for a lot more reasons than just the awesome new “end date”. Archaeologists are adorable. Just check out what one of them said when they saw the calendar, “Oh my God, we have a glyph!” You, too, can OMG at some of the amazing murals the team down there discovered.

And if you are a real astronomy geek, check out the scientist-level coverage of this find over at Science.

Enjoy the next 7000 years!