What you need to know about the coming Maya apocalypse

Believers in Maya philosophy and science in Mexico give the world a few reasons to stay positive about the apocalypse slated for Friday.

Maya zodiac (theilr, Flickr)

Self-proclaimed official 2012 Web site December212012.com pledges to prepare netizens for the end of the world, which it maintains is Friday. 

Food and clean water will be scarce and public utilities will be nonexistent. The world governments cannot and will not be able to assist in your continuing well-being and you will more or less be on your own,” the site – launched some six years ago – warns.

December212012.com aims to outdo world governments – and perhaps nature – with a few choice retail items, to include an 'East German Gas Mask,' priced at US$36.32, and a retro, green Kikkerland Crank Emergency Radio, for $22.89 –- originally $31.99. 

A pot of gold at the end of the... world

2012 has indeed become an industry in its own right. Hollywood blockbuster 2012, which featured John Cusack dodging calamity at an eventful end of days, catapulted rumors that the end of the Maya calendar would mark an apocalypse into the English-speaking consciousness in 2009. The film has grossed nearly $800 million between its opening and the apocalypse that some say is slated for the end of this week.

In China, where the film enjoyed tremendous success at theaters and sold quickly at Chinese counterfeit film shops, word of a pending end drove the inhabitants of two counties in Southwestern Sichuan Province to sell shops out of candles and matches Wednesday, according to a report from state media China Daily.

And in 2011, Mexican President Felipe Calderon inaugurated the 'Mundo Maya (World of the Maya) program,' designed to help the Central American nation's tourism capitalize on the end of its indigenous forefathers' calendar. Perhaps ironically, Mexico's economic leadership will only know if the program was successful when it – one would hope – tallies tourism monies in 2013.

Where there's a potential apocalypse, it seems, there's money to be made – from Hollywood, to the Yucatan, to small-town China.

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