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In a rather cruel media ploy, the creators of the upcoming science fiction movie “2012″ are purposely feeding the flames of internet panic about the ridiculous claims that the world will end in 2012. This viral marketing campaign has created fake science websites and encourages people to search for “2012” on the Web. While there are many websites, like Universe Today, which provide solid and methodical evidence that the 2012 hysteria is complete nonsense, hordes of other sites out there are full of gobbledygook and a gross misstating of what they claim to be scientific evidence that some astronomical event will decimate our planet. Why are these hoaxers doing this? For the oldest reason ever: for profit and notoriety. If you visit their websites, most are trying to sell books or videos.
For those reading this article because you have concerns about 2012, we encourage you to read our complete series of articles on 2012, and it won’t cost you a thing. The articles were written by Dr. Ian O’Neil, who has a PhD in solar physics. Additionally, below is a list of other resources that should help answer any questions or concerns you may have on this topic:
1. NASA scientist Dr. David Morrison Dr. Morrison, a world-renowned expert on the solar system (and asteroid impacts) has published a free pdf, “Doomsday 2012, Planet Nibiru and Cosmophobia,” a concise summary of the claims and answers containing solid scientific responses. It is published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as a public service.
2. Morrison also serves as the public scientist for NASA’s “Ask an Astrobiologist” service, where he answers questions for the public. You’ll find many questions and answers about 2012 there, as well as other space topics.
3. The 365 Days of Astronomy podcast has a couple of great, short podcasts that address the 2012 claims, where you can get lots of information in about 10 minutes of your time. Will the World End in 2012? provides an overview of all 2012 doomsday hoaxes, and “Ancient Astronomy: The Mayans” discusses the significance of the Mayan calendar and, briefly, how the world is not going to end in 2012.
4. The Griffith Observatory has a great, concise page on the different claims called “The Truth About 2012: The End is NOT Near,” written by astronomer Dr. Ed Krupp.
5. “2012 Hoax” is a website written by several professional and amateur astronomers that thoroughly discusses the various doomsday scenarios and crackpot websites. You can also follow 20 12 2012 Hoax on Twitter.
6. Gia’s Blog, written by science groupie Gia Milinovitch (also married to physicist Dr. Brian Cox) has a great page titled “Apocalympics 2012: Mayan ‘Prophecy’”
7. If English isn’t your native language, astronomer Florian Freistetter has written several 2012 articles in German. They can be found on his website, Astrodicticum Simplex. Of special interest, Florian has recently put together a “2012 FAQ” page in German.
8. Daniel Fischer has a webpage in both English and German, Ist Es Wahr? Nachrichten vom Rande der Wirklichkeit (Is it true? News from the Edge of Reality), which tracks articles related to all sorts of doomsday and conspiracy theories.
9. (Added later) With the release of the Movie 2012, NASA published a short page that answers several doomsday predictions with concise, scientific answers.