If you haven't already heard, the world is supposed to end this Friday.
The Mayan Calendar, the most robust calendar ever made, suggests the world was created on August 11, 3114 BC. Then, the Mayan calendar would have looked like this: 13-0-0-0-0.
This Friday, on December 21,2012, it's supposed to look the. Exact. SAME.
This information has people all over the world concerned. Shelves in Russia have been picked over. People have bought bunkers. And NASA is receiving letters.
A lot of letters. Kind of like the letters children send Santa Claus at Christmas time.
David Morrison is a NASA scientist who runs an "Ask an Astrobiologist" column for the program's website. He tells the Awl he's received about 5,000 end of the world emails in the past four years. Lately, he's been receiving about 50 per week about this Friday.
"I don't know why they write to NASA at all," he told The Awl. "Probably because there's nowhere else to write."
It's hard for him to tell where most of the emails come from, but there seems to be a lot of questions coming from India and Pakistan. He says emails frequently begin like this:
"Dear sir, I know you work for the government and cannot be trusted since Congress has passed a law making it illegal for anyone to tell the public about an incoming near-Earth object, but…"
He says many of the emails he receives from the US that do include ages are from middle schoolers.
Morrison recited some of the concerns verbatim to The Awl:
"I know that everyone has been asking you the same question but how do I know the world is not going to end by a planet or a flood or something? I'm scared because I'm in 10th grade and I have a full life ahead of me so PLEASE I WOULD REALLY LIKE AN ANSWER TO MY QUESTION."
"I am really scared about the end of the world on 21 December. I'm headed into 7th grade and I am very scared. I hear you work for the government and I don't know what to do. Can someone help me? I can't sleep, I am crying every day, I can't eat, I stay in my room, I go to a councilor, it helps, but not with this problem. Can someone help me?"
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