Much has been said about the Mayan calendar and about how that particular timekeeping system says 2012 is the year the world ends. But that aside, there's not much we know about it, right? So: FHM investigates.
1) The Mayan Calendar is actually a complex system of cogwheels, representing different calendars, which were used in conjunction.
2) Unlike the Gregorian 12-month calendar (the base date of which is the year Jesus of Nazareth was supposedly born), the Mayan Calendar is cyclic as opposed to linear.
3) The Haab (civil calendar) rotated in a 365-day cycle and within it revolved the Tzolk’in (Divine Calendar) in a 13-day cycle—together landing on a specific combination that completes a Calendar Round or 52 Haab years.
4) Interlocking with the Haab wheel is the Long Count Calendar, which counts the days since a mythological starting point dated at August 11, 3114 BC.
5) It takes 5,125.36 years before it completes this “Great Cycle,” arriving again on the first/base date of 22.214.171.124.0. So when’s the Long Count Calendar scheduled to reset? You guessed it: December 21, 2012.
6) We’re currently on the Fifth Great Cycle and the previous four, while scientists have found very little to work with, most probably ended amid great climate changes.
7) If our calculations are right, the end would probably hit us on 11:11 a.m. at the arrival of the Winter Solstice, which was important to the Mayans.
8) People talk about a great astronomical occurrence, magnetic shifts, the return of Planet X or Nibiru (which according to the Sumerians was the home planet of the Anunnaki, the race that supposedly created humanity), and large solar flares happening on the 21st of December. Is our civilization doomed? We’ll let you know on December 22, 2012.
First published in FHM's January 2012 issue