The predicted end of the world fails to happen, although some doomsday "preppers" are still arguing over the exact time the apocalypse will come.

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A mistaken interpretation of the Mayan long count calendar led to panic in some parts of the world as believers prepared for the end of the world.

Hundreds of spiritualists gathered in Mexico, near the ruins of Mayan civilisation, waiting for the sunshine, which they believed would bring the birth of a new age. In Guatemala thousands gathered at Mayan ruins.

In the French town of Bugarach, thought to be the site of a UFO encounter, journalists gathered from across the world and police were drafted in to prevent believers trying to climb the mountain.

Believers in the prophecy also gathered at Serbia's pyramid-shaped Mount Rtanj believing its mysterious powers will save them from the Mayan apocalypse.

More doomsday predictions

For those who love to live in fear of their impending doom there are plenty more dates to put in your diary for a possible apocalypse.

US bible scholar F Kenton Beshore says he has unlocked secrets from the good book revealing the world will come to an end after 2018, with the return of Jesus.

Deceased psychic Jeane Dixon was an adviser to President Reagan and claimed to have predicted the assassination of John F Kennedy; she also claimed Armageddon would happen in 2020.

While most predictions revolve around the return of Christ, as prophesised in the Bible, the Kurdish Sunni Muslim theologian Said Nursi estimated the world would end by 2129.

The physicist Frank J Tipler claimed to have scientific proof of the existence of God and announced in 2007 that the second coming of Christ will take place in the next 50 years, meaning the apocalypse will coincide with another scientific prediction - technological singularity.

Some computer scientists have speculated that the singularity will take place in 2045. This is the emergence of greater-than-human super-intelligence through technology beyond which events cannot be predicted. Scientists have speculated that the emergence of super-intelligent computers could spell the end for humanity.

Another situation hypothesised by scientists is the grey goo scenario in which self-replicating robots consume all matter on earth, in the course of building copies of themselves. The theory is used to illustrate the potential dangers of nanotechnology.

In 5,000,000,000 AD scientists predict the sun will swell into a red giant destroying the earth, and in ten duotrigintillion years the universe will meet its ultimate fate, a state in which it can no longer sustain processes that consume energy.

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