The U.S. government's official web portal has a message for all Americans, both young and old: The world will not be coming to an end in 2012. Rather than ignoring conspiracy theorists who fear that the Mayan calendar predicted an impending apocalypse on December 21, 2012, officials have apparently decided to tackle the rumors head-on. In a blog post published on USA.gov on Monday, the government assures citizens that doomsday rumors are patently "false."
"False rumors about the end of the world in 2012 have been commonplace on the Internet for some time," the article reads. "Many of these rumors involve the Mayan calendar ending in 2012 (it won’t), a comet causing catastrophic effects (definitely not), a hidden planet sneaking up and colliding with us (no and no), and many others."
Watch NASA debunk these rumors in the following video:
The article goes on to assure readers that the world is not poised to end on December 21 "or any day in 2012." This certainty will put people like Lu Zhenghai, a Chinese man who has built a massive "ark" to ensure he and his family survive an alleged flood he believes is coming later this month, at ease (then again, it's unlikely he's seen this blog post, as he's still fast at work building his vessel).
While some may laugh off the government's attempt to put people at ease, the article takes a serious tone in stating that these apocalyptic rumors have actually instilled quite a bit of fear in the populace, specifically children. The blog post goes on to note that NASA has purportedly received thousands of letters from individuals concerned about the end of the world.
"At least a once a week I get a message from a young person ― as young as 11 ― who says they are ill and/or contemplating suicide because of the coming doomsday," explained David Morrison, a planetary astronomer and senior scientist for NASA.
Here's another video debunk based on the Mayan calendar:
Considering this serious fact -- that some young people are scared out of their mind -- the government's blog post takes a different tone than the 2011 tongue-and-cheek warning that the the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention gave about an impending zombie apocalypse.
You can read NASA's question-and-answer section, which covers fears about the end of the world here.