If you're anything like me and you've heard murmurs about what a disaster of a day Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 is predicted to be, you've probably already cleared your calendar, hoping to be able to hunker down as much as possible in order to prevent some unspeakable stroke of misfortune from crossing your path before you've even had a chance to ring in 2018. Tell me Dec. 21 is going to be the unluckiest day of the year and I'll believe you. There's even more to the story, though, because there's a creepy Dec. 21, 2017 connection to the 2012 doomsday predictions that'll freak you out even more. Sorry!
Astrologers have been making plenty of ominous predictions about Dec. 21, 2017 this year — which also happens to be the day of the winter solstice — but there were some serious doomsday-style prophecies about the very same day going around just five years ago, for Dec. 21, 2012. Luckily, those prophecies didn't prove true, though — so while all of this is extremely creepy, I can't help but feel a glimpse of hope that Dec. 21, 2017 won't turn out to be quite so horrible, either. A girl can dream.
But first, here's a refresher on what people thought was going to happen in December 2012. The panic, to put it simply, was over a prediction that the world was going to straight up end on Dec. 21, 2012. The prediction was rooted in centuries of history and in an interpretation of ancient Mayan calendars: As explained by National Geographic, the ancient Mayan long-count calendar appeared to end on Dec. 21, 2012. This calendar started in 3114 B.C. and spanned more than five thousand years, so the fact that it appeared to conclude so definitively was understandably jarring. Many took this to mean that the world would implode or undergo some other disastrous event, eliminating life as we know it and wiping everything we love off the Earth in one fell swoop. (Another interpretation was that it would mean a sort of spiritual "rebirth" for humanity, but humans tend to like jumping to the worst possible conclusions.)
If we want to get a little more specific, in the Mayan calendar system, Dec. 21, 2012 appeared to be the end of a calendar period they called the "13th B'ak'tun." After the 13th B'ak'tun, their calendar abruptly ended. This was further indication to some that the end of days was really coming — especially given the fact that, according to National Geographic, some Mayan scholars once cited a stone tablet found at an archaeological site in Mexico as proof that there was greater significance to the end of the 13th B'ak'tun. While the glyphs carved into the tablet are partially damaged, some translations suggested that the Mayans believed a god would descend when this period came to a close — aka, on Dec. 21, 2012. It was unclear what would actually happen if and when that god arrived, but the mere notion was enough to fuel the armageddon panic of five years ago.
Luckily for all of us, concerns about the end of the world coming in December of 2012 proved unfounded. As it turns out, the end of the Mayan long-count calendar simply represented the completion of one cycle and the beginning of another. Just like turning to the December page of your wall calendar indicates that it's time to get a new wall calendar, the peaceful passage of Dec. 21, 2012 was positive proof that the Mayan calendar would simply begin again while the world kept on spinning.
Well, now, it looks like we're having to deal with some mass hysteria about Dec. 21 once again — this time in 2017, due to the fact that some astrologists have predicted it's the unluckiest day of the year. This, some say, is due to Saturn and the Sun both entering Capricorn around the same time, which means that no one should expect much good luck.
Some are taking it a step further, though, which is where the creepy Dec. 21, 2017 and 2012 doomsday prediction connections come in. Apparently, there is a community that believes a massive planet called Nibiru is going to crash into the Earth and kill all of humanity. The Metro recently reported that, according to Nibiru believers, Dec. 21, 2017 was set to be the new end of the world date.
Additionally, according to the Daily Express, some believed the Dec. 3, 2017 supermoon was a sign that the end of the world was set to occur later in the month. Whether you believe in any of this or not, the fact that there are multiple predictions that the world is going to end on Dec. 21 is pretty creepy.
That said, it's also deeply unlikely that anything other than a bit of bad luck is going to occur on Dec. 21, 2017. Hey, nothing happened in 2012, right? What I hope you'll take away from this — other than the fact that it's pretty awesome that those 2012 theories were wrong — is a bit of hope. I know that the predictions are unnerving. Unluckiest day ever? Doomsday? Full body chills! But if we can survive the so-called end of days back in 2012, I have a feeling that this Dec. 21 will pass too — if, of course, we can get over how creeped out we are.
This story has been updated from its original version.