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Doomsday believers gather around world

Friday 21 Dec 2012 5:03 p.m.

Our world is going to end this evening – at least according to those who believe that the end of the Mayan calendar on the December 21, 2012 will bring on the apocalypse.

People around the world have been preparing, but scientists say we've got nothing to worry about.

Some people are descending on the Mayan ruins in Central America just to be close to the action, while others are just trying to make a quick buck.

But they're all gathering because of the Mayan long count calendar which, after 5125 years, runs out today.

What the Mayans never predicted, however, was the end of the world. They viewed time in cycles, not in a linear progression like we do, and each cycle had a beginning and an end.

That hasn't stopped people across the world preparing for the end. In Moscow you can buy tickets for a Cold War bunker – $1000 will get you shelter and one massive party to wait it out..

But others believe there's only one place you'll be truly safe – Bugarach, a small town in France. It has something to do with the shape of the mountain that looms over the village, which is believed to be an underground garage for UFOs.

But you'll be fighting for space with journalists and police.

A New Zealand psychologist says people believe because it gives them certainty in an uncertain world, and if nothing happens there'll be a raft of excuses.

“A lot of doomsday believers will say, 'Actually it would've happened if I hadn't actually believed – I held it back, and I will have to continue to do this otherwise it will occur,'” says Victoria University psychology lecturer Marc Wilson.

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