Tuesday, March 6, 2012

We Already Survived The End Of The World! :-)

This year sort of served as good, ironic reminder as to just how ridiculous any Mayan centered doomsday prediction are for December 2012, since 2012 is also a leap year!  :-)

The Mayans did not have leap years, since it is a solar calendar, and is 365 days long.  The Mayan calendar we often hear so much about actually would have ended well before the December 21st 2012 date most people associate with "the end". Additionally, the Mayans never believed the world would come to an end at that time. It was simply a very notable point in their calendar system, not a prediction for the end of the world.
The Mayans used a long-count calendar for extremely long periods of time. The concept of leap-years is irrelevant to this calendar system, because it's not based on solar years, simply on math.

You know how we use a base-10 counting system? (10, 100, 1000, 10,000 etc.) The Mayans used a modified base-20 counting system for keeping track of days - the second cycle went up to 18 rather than 20. So they tracked days in cycles of 20, 360, 7200, 144000, 2880000, etc.

We're coming to the end of one of the 144,000 day cycles. Today (March 6, 2012) can be expressed at on the Mayan long-count calendar. This calendar will reach, on December 20, and then turn to on December 21. This happens roughly every 400 years. No big deal.


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