The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur on or around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and festivities took place on 21 December 2012 to commemorate the event in the countries that were part of the Maya civilization (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzáin Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala.
A date inscription in the Maya Long Count on the east side of Stela C from Quirigua showing the date for the last Creation. It is read as 126.96.36.199.0 4 Ahau 8 Kumku and is usually correlated as 11 or 13 August, 3114 BC on the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. The date of 188.8.131.52.0 4 Ahau 3 Kʼankʼin is usually correlated as 21 or 23 December 2012.
Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae were proposed for this date. A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 21 December 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world included the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth’s collision with a mythical planet called Nibiru.
Scholars from various disciplines quickly dismissed predictions of cataclysmic events as they arose. Mayan scholars stated that no classic Mayan accounts forecast impending doom, and the idea that the Long Count calendar ends in 2012 misrepresented Mayan history and culture. Astronomers rejected the various proposed doomsday scenarios as pseudoscience which is easily refuted by elementary astronomical observations.