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Wait. The world is not going to end this week?

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You can all breathe a sigh of relief because it turns out, the world will not come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012.

We've got it all wrong. MinnPost's Catherine Watson says, "Somewhere along the starry path of the Milky Way, I think a congregation of ancient Mayan gods must be laughing their fancy headdresses off."

The anxiety building up around the end-of-the-world rumor has some brushing up on Mayan anthropology.

Here's a brief lesson thanks to MinnPost.

Dec. 21, in Mayan terms, can be compared to what we celebrate on New Year's. It's the end of a unit of time, the Maya are marking the end of a 400-year baktun.

Much like the end of our calendar, time doesn't stop, but continues to the next unit of time or year, in our case.

Here's why Dec. 21 is an even bigger deal for the Maya: in addition to the end of the baktun, it's also the end of the Long Count--a unit of nearly two million days. So, Dec. 22 is the first day of the new Long Count and a new baktun--not the beginning of the end.

Apocalyptic predictions date back to the Bronze Age and they've, obviously, always been wrong. WCCO explores why people continue to predict the end of the world.

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