Lately, you've probably heard rumors that the world will end on December 21, 2012. You've probably brushed them aside as piffle on par with theories about Barack Obama being a lizard overlord. Yet, polling data shows that 12 percent of Americans believe the end is indeed upon us, while 14 percent of people worldwide think Earth will be a goner in their lifetime.
So, first things first: Will the world in fact end on December 21?
No, almost certainly not. [Update, 5:30am EST, December 21: Still here! So far, so good.] Superstition suggesting otherwise is based on junk science, Nostradamus (sort of), and flawed readings of the Mayan Long Count calendar. A comet is not going to hit us that day. Earth will not collide with the fictional rogue planet of "Nibiru." And if there are belligerent alien forces plotting against mankind, that's probably a ways off.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't any good questions left to ask. Here's everything else you wanted to know about the supposed 2012 Mayan Doomsday but were far too afraid to bring up: