The end of the world has been predicted on numerous past occasions but conspiracy theorists believe the latest prediction could be the real deal. Purveyors of doomsday conspiracy theories, who previously claimed the world would end on December 21, 2012, have now said the world will actually end on June 21, 2020. The end times date was pulled from the Maya calendar, which was believed to end in 2012 after 5,126 years.
One Twitter user said: “The date the Mayan calendar predicted for the ‘end of the world’ (the end of an age) is in fact next week (June 21).
“The solar eclipse in cancer next week (June 21) occurs on the same day as the summer solstice.
“The Mayans believe this is a massive shift point for all of humanity.”
Another person said: “The end of the world next week. Remember the Mayan calendar? The one which predicted the end of the world on 21 December 2012.
“Well, a theory doing the rounds claims that the calendar was read wrongly the first time and the real doomsday is actually on the next Sunday, June 21, 2020.”
But the story has gone viral and has been co-opted by religious and biblical conspiracies about the end days.
For example, Christian evangelist and online preacher Paul Begley from West Lafayette in Indiana, US, has called the June 21 eclipse a sign of prophecy.
He said: “There’s three major signs in the heavens that are going to happen between now and the end of the year.
“The first one is June 21. We’re going to have a solar eclipse that’s going to go over the entire Holy Land.”
There is, however, absolutely no scientific evidence to back claims the world is going to end any time soon.
Nick Pope a former UFO investigator for the British Ministry of Defence tweeted: “Things may feel apocalyptic right now, but don’t panic, the world isn’t going to end on June 21, as some Mayan calendar theorists suggest.
“This unscientific nonsense is just as bogus as all the other previous (and wrong!) end of the world predictions.”
According to astronomer Phil Plait, the idea December 21, 2012, actually falls on this weekend is also wrong.
He added: “Second, that doesn’t matter anyway, because the 21 December 2012 date was converted from the Maya calendar to the Gregorian one in the first place.
“So there’s no reason to even bring the Julian calendar into this. It doesn’t make sense.”
The doomsday claims were also widely debunked by the US space agency NASA in 2012, after conspiracy theorists linked the Maya calendar claims to the hoax planet Nibiru.
NASA astrophysicist Dave Morrison said: “These hoaxes have nothing to do with NASA and are not based on NASA data, so we as an agency are not directly involved.
“But scientists, both within NASA and outside, recognize that this hoax with its effort to frighten people is a distraction from more important scientific concerns, such as global warming and loss of biological diversity.
“We live in a country where there is freedom of speech, and that includes the freedom to lie.
“We should be glad there are no censors. But if we will use common sense we can recognize the lies.”