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Apocalypse Predictions Are Nothing New: A Look Back At Doomsday Theories

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People waiting in the night the end of the world in Bugarach village.The small village of Bugarach in the foothills of Pyrenees is,according to a prophecy of an ancient Mayan calendar,the only place on Earth saved from apocalypse on the evening of December 21,2012 on December 20, 2012 in Bugarach, France. Miviludes,the French Governement's dedicated sect watchdog,are investigating the likelihood of apocalyptic sect activity or ritualised suicides due to the prophecy.  (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

People waiting in the night the end of the world in Bugarach village.The small village of Bugarach in the foothills of Pyrenees is,according to a prophecy of an ancient Mayan calendar,the only place on Earth saved from apocalypse on the evening of December 21,2012 on December 20, 2012 in Bugarach, France. Miviludes,the French Governement’s dedicated sect watchdog,are investigating the likelihood of apocalyptic sect activity or ritualised suicides due to the prophecy. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After incorrectly predicting the end of the world last May, Harold Camping is back, and he says this time, the Rapture is real. 

Doomsday worrywarts have a long history of predicting the end of the world. From biblical times to the present day, there have been many scenarios of our ultimate demise.

Here are just a few:

Mayan Calendar

The Mayan 2012 prophecy says that a series of cataclysmic events will destroy the planet on December 21, 2012, the date when the Mayan calendar officially ends.

EXTRA: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare: FAQ’s From NASA

According to the website, www.december212012.com, the end of the world might come in a variety of ways in 2012, from severe global climate change to a worldwide pandemic to a “galactic alignment” when our solar system passes through the Galactic Equator.

Picture taken December 20, 2012 in the French southwestern village of Bugarach of 1,231 meter high peak of Bugarach - one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world allegedly ends according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendar. French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews not to converge on the tiny village.   AFP PHOTO / ERIC CABANIS        (Photo credit should read ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Picture taken December 20, 2012 in the French southwestern village of Bugarach of 1,231 meter high peak of Bugarach – one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world allegedly ends according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendar. French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews not to converge on the tiny village. AFP PHOTO / ERIC CABANIS (Photo credit should read ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)

But the Mayan 2012 prediction has become more of a Western ideology and pop culture creation than anything else.

In fact, many scholars and modern-day Maya believe the 2012 doomsday theory is nothing more than a misrepresentation of the Mayan calendar.

Nostradamus

Arguably one of the most well-known prophets is Nostradamus, a self-proclaimed seer of the future from the 1500s.

There are many who believe that a number of Nostradamus’ predictions have come true in the past few hundred years, from the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany to the death of Princess Diana and the 9/11 attacks.

LINK: 2012 – A Scientific Reality Check

So it’s no surprise that the prophet has a large following of people who believe in his 2012 divination.

Similar to those who accept the Mayan calendar theory, Nostradamus says in 2012, the world will end in fiery brimstone caused by a comet. But like most of his predictions, he doesn’t say anything too specific about our last days on Earth.

Y2K

Remember Y2K? We all thought the world was going to end in 1999 when computers’ internal clocks had to switch over to the year 2000. The fear was that computers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between dates in the 1900s and the new millennium.

PHOTO GALLERY: End Of The World Flicks Featuring NYC

Planes were supposed to fall from the sky, atomic bombs would launch spontaneously and nuclear reactors would melt causing mass destruction and chaos.

I think we all know how that one turned out.

The Zombie Apocalypse

There really is a theory that a worldwide zombie outbreak will lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

The zombie apocalypse has taken over pop culture in recent years, with movies like Zombieland, 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead and Resident Evil, just to name a few.

GUIDE:Your End-Of-The-World NYC Plans

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks, is a comprehensive guide to understanding zombie behavior. It also teachers readers how protect their homes from zombie attacks and how to survive in the wilderness if the living dead take over your town.

If you live in New York City, you may think the zombie apocalypse has already happened. A hoard of zombies crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge last year and invaded the city to promote the new AMC television series “The Walking Dead.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Zombies Invade New York City

The Center for Disease Control launched a zombie survival campaign on its website, complete with an official zombie survival kit and tips for staying alive during an infestation of the undead.

In truth, we really don’t know if or when the world will end. It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow or it could be millions of years from now.

But one thing’s for sure, we won’t run out of doomsday prophecies any time soon.

Have you heard of other doomsday predictions? Let us know in our comments section below.

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