You know how it's been said for years that the Mayans predicted the world would end in 2012? Well, forget all that: A new discovery shows that the Mayans did no such thing.
A cottage industry has sprung up around the idea that the Mayans—known as precise and detailed timekeepers—had pinpointed the end of the world happening on Dec. 21, 2012, because that's when their calendar stopped.
But according to the Washington Post, archaeologists have discovered a small building in the ancient Mayan city of Xultun that contains calendars that stretch much farther into the future—at least 7,000 years—and lay waste to all those books, movies and other ways people have made money off the "2012" theory.
The building was discovered thanks to the efforts of a undergraduate student who, in 2010, stumbled into it during the first official excavation of Xultun, which had never been professionally explored before, even though it was discovered in 1915.
The student, Max Chamberlain, had a hunch that he could crawl through trenches left behind by thieves and possibly find some Mayan paintings. Although the head of the expedition was skeptical, Chamberlain went ahead with his plan and hit the jackpot.
Not only did he find a mural of a Mayan king that has now been confirmed as the oldest preserved Mayan painting, but he also discovered what appeared to be a workroom for a calendar maker—along with the calendars that blow a hole in untold numbers of apocalyptic warnings that we need to settle our affairs before December rolls around.
So it looks like you'll have to figure out what to get your loved ones for Christmas after all, and make sure you have a date for New Year's Eve. As for when the Mayan calendar ends next ... let's talk again in 7,000 years.