NASA received hundreds of phone calls daily in lead-up to 'doomsday'

gradient sun nasa flickr

It's December 22nd and Earth and its people have officially made it through the purported Mayan doomsday. But before the end came and went, it seems a large number of people looked to NASA to quell their fears. The Los Angeles Times reports that in the weeks immediately preceding the fateful day, NASA's phone lines were consumed by callers asking about our planet's potential demise; would we be struck by a meteor? Could the planets suddenly align in such a way that it would lead to widespread destruction? And what about that rumor of a worldwide blackout that, according to some fringe theorists, NASA itself had been predicting? Used to dealing with about 90 calls each week, NASA quickly found itself taking over 300 per day as December 21st drew near.

The growing hysteria eventually compelled the agency to set up a website addressing such concerns. "Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," the site reads. Thankfully that seems to be true, though we expect NASA may buffer up its phone staffing if and when humans come up with another "doomsday" point on the calendar.

The Verge
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