Nightly News   |  December 20, 2012

Will the world end tomorrow?

December 21st is the day many believe the ancient Mayans predicted the world would end. The hype has spread on social media, illustrating the world’s endless fascination with the end of time. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> about the end of the world tomorrow, we did some checking. one complications here is it's already tomorrow in australia. we checked on them tonight, they're all still around. the other complication is this. what did the mayans really mean? nbc's kristen dahlgren has the report tonight from mexico .

>> reporter: december 21st , 2012 . it's the day some believe ancient mayans predicted the world will end.

>> is time finally running out?

>> reporter: the hype spread on social media .

>> doom's day.

>> reporter: while hollywood played it big, so big, that people are flocking to the town of bucharach, france, one of the only spots to survive the apocalypse. but in the jungles of mexico , cradle of the mayan civilization , there is no such fear.

>> they didn't prove size anything happening.

>> reporter: dr. david stuart is the expert on mayan culture . he deciphers their complex calendar system . december 21st , 2012 is just the end of a cycle, kind of like new year's eve. so their calendar goes well beyond.

>> their calendar keeps going, way beyond 2012 . this is the thing that no one quite understands.

>> reporter: clearly, the calendar was important to the mayans . here at the ruins, there are over 100 carvings, most with significant dates. and yet not a single reference to december 2 1st, 2012 .

>> the ancient mayan never predicted anything about an apocalypse. that's something that comes from our culture.

>> reporter: not from ancient myth, but more modern fiction.

>> i think we've ininjected some of our fears and anxieties into their culture.

>> reporter: talk of 12-21 is so prevalent, nasa created a web page , debunking the theories.

>> there are no planetary alignments in december of 2012 .

>> reporter: it is not the first time we have seen doomz day predictions, and endless fascination with the end of time . likely to live on long after december 21st . kristen dahlgren, nbc news, giapas, mexico .

>> so it's okay to go ahead and make plans for the weekend.