Despite many conspiracy theories, Internet campaigns and propaganda, NASA scientists do not believe there will be an apocalypse on Dec. 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, calling it a "manufactured fantasy" about a doomsday.
On Wednesday, NASA astrobiologist David Morrison was part of a Google+ Hangout where he and other scientists debunked many of the rumors floating around that the world will end and all life will cease to exist within the next three weeks.
"There is no true issue here," Morrison said. "This is just a manufactured fantasy."
"While this is a joke to some people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned," he said. "I think it's evil for people to propagate rumours on the Internet to frighten children."
Morrison said he was enlisted to answer questions from the public regarding science for the past decade but has seen an influx in questions about the end of the world after Christian radio host Harold Camping forecasted the apocalypse.
"These are questions about astronomy and planets and life in the universe," he said. "And that went along fine until about four years ago when suddenly I started getting these questions about the end of the world."
"One touching letter was simply," he said, "'My best friend is my little dog, please tell me when I should put her to sleep so she won't suffer in the apocalypse.'"
Morrison admitted some of the letters have been disturbing, as the public should not be alarmed for the end of the world.
"I'm disturbed by letters from kids who are afraid. I think that is the worst part of this hoax. And it is a hoax."
"I have received letters from young people who say they are contemplating suicide; I've received a few from mothers who say they're planning to kill their children and themselves," he said.
Morrison said he is most excited for Dec. 22, when he says he will wake up and the hoax will be over.
"I've become sort of obsessed with doomsday 2012, and I'd be glad to drop it," he said.
Fears for the alleged apocalypse came about because Dec. 21 marks date of the winter solstice on the Mayan calendar, signaling the end of the cycle called the 13th b'ak'tun. Scholars of the Mayan calendar have said ancient Maya do not believe this day would be apocalyptic but rather may have a cosmic event that some interpret to mean the end of life.
NASA said there are no asteroids, rogue planets or solar flares that could hit and threaten life on Earth in December. Don Yeomans, a planetary scientist who tracks near-Earth objects at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said there is no object threatening the Earth at this moment, except an asteroid which will pass far from Earth at about 3,963 miles away on Feb. 13, 2013. NASA also dismissed claims that Earth's magnetic field will reverse or will fall into a black hole, along with other doomsday theories.
In fact NASA has had forum which explains scientifically why the world will not end for perhaps another billion years or so, which it has maintained since January 2012.