advertisement
advertisement
  • 11.13.09

Infographic of the Day: We’re All Gonna Die in 2012! Um, No

Supposedly, the Mayans predicted earth’s collapse on 2012. They didn’t.

2012

Today sees the opening of 2012, a disaster movie predicated on the idea that hundreds of years ago, the Mayans predicted a carousel of global catastrophes, set to strike on December 21, 2012.

advertisement

Ordinarily, you’d assume that this was pure Hollywood fantasy, but it’s actually the other way around: There’s actually a coterie of people that believe in this prophecy. The movie is, if anything, a clever marketing ploy riding the coat tails of an idea popular among the crunchiest of conspiracy theorists.

The idea first bubbled up in pop culture in the 1970s, thanks to a book by Jose Arguelles (who also happened to love LSD). But recently, the idea’s caught fire again, thanks to Daniel Pinchbeck’s 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. The book marshals everthing from crop circles to quantum theory, in service of the Mayan doomsday prediction. Leaving aside Pinchbeck’s brain-dead interpretations, there’s just one problem: All that Mayan “history”? It’s all nonsense. Infographics designer David McCandless has gathered all the beliefs of 2012 adherents, as well as counter arguments by experts, and produced a definitive chart of all the misapprehensions. A selection:

2012
2012

For more of McCandlesses work, see our slideshow of his new book, The Visual Miscellaneum.

For the full-size 2012 graphic, click here.

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

More

Video