If you thought you had enough to worry about this month – last minute Christmas shopping, endless snow-related train delays and awkward encounters at the office party – you should add one more item to the list: the end of the world.
That’s right. According to an ancient Mayan prophecy, the 21st of December 2012 – that’s this very Friday – may be our last day on Earth.
And what better place to discuss the possibly imminent end of the human race than in a creepy 13th century crypt situated beneath St Andrews Church in Holborn, whilst sipping premium vodka cocktails from skull shaped glasses.
Earlier this month, the Crystal Head Vodka team invited sceptics and believers to take part in a surreal debate on the upcoming end of the world.
Few companies could get away with such a kooky idea. However, as a drink (a spirit nonetheless) inspired by the much-debated archaeological legend of the 13 crystal skulls, Crystal Head Vodka made a fitting host for the event.
Attempting to bring some scientific reasoning to the proceedings, Professor Elizabeth Graham, a Mesoamerican archaeology expert from University College London, took on the tricky task of presenting the evidence in favour of the prophecy.
But even she had to concede that quitting your job and emptying your bank account in anticipation of the end of the world may not be the best idea.
Instead, she put forward the more palatable suggestion that the 21st December 2012 Mayan calendar end, known as the final day of the thirteenth baktun, marks ‘a new spiritual chapter for humankind’ rather than the end of life as we know it.
Unsurprisingly, this theory fell flat with the opposing debater Dr Stephen Law, a Philosopher from Heythrop College, University of London.
He dismissed all doomsday prophecies as ill-conceived superstition.
Remember Harold Camping’s end of the world prediction for 21st May 2011, which was conveniently postponed to 21st October 2011 when he woke up on the 22nd May? How about Nostradamus’ infamous prophecy of July 1999 Armageddon?
The evidence does appear to be stacked in Dr Law’s favour, but at least we won’t have to wait long for a definite answer.
In the meantime, what better excuse to make the most of the season’s festivities?
Image by Kim-bodia courtesy of Flickr