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The apocalypse, by the numbers

The Mayan "Long Count" calendar gives some the impression that the world will end December 21

Story highlights

  • Some believe the world will end with the Mayan "Long Count" calendar December 21
  • The Mayans used three different types of calendars
  • More than 200,000 people Googled "end of the world" terms on December 20
  • 52 million tourists are expected to visit Mexico during "Year of the Maya" in 2012
1 in 10 - People around the world who believe the world might end in 2012, according to a May poll by Reuters.
3 - Different types of calendars used by the Mayans.
5,125 years - Length of the Mayan "Long Count" calendar.
144,000 - Days in a b'ak'tun, a cycle in the Mayan calendar which restarts around December 21. That's about 394 years.
52 million - Tourists expected to visit Mexico during the "Year of the Maya" in 2012, according to the Mexican Ministry of Tourism.
200,000+ - Searches for "End of the World" and related terms on Google on December 20, the top search as of this writing.
200 - 300 - Calls per week NASA has been receiving recently from people asking if the world really is about to end.
36 - Percentage of Americans who believe increasing severity of recent natural disasters is a sign of the apocalypse.
6 - Times since its discovery in 1989 Asteroid 4179 Toutatis has passed "close" to the Earth. The nearest to us it came was 962,951 miles away.
$50,000 - $120,000 - Price of a luxury underground bunker, sold by Atlas Survivor Shelters.com
189 - Residents of Bugarach, a French village receiving hordes of visitors who believe the only safe place to hide during the apocalypse is inside a "sacred" mountain there where extraterrestrials live.
69 - Peak position of "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," by R.E.M., on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in 1988.
2 - Dates in 2011 Christian broadcaster Harold Camping predicted as dates of the end of the world, May 21 and then October 21.
27 - Percentage of respondents to a National Geographic survey who felt somewhat likely that a catastrophic event would happen on December 21, 2012.
27 - Percentage of those surveyed who said they make sure to "resolve feuds with loved ones" first if there was a possibility the world might end.
8 - Percentage of those who thought they could only survive about a day in a doomsday scenario with supplies they had at home.