(Reuters) - - Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could
signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll.
The end of the Mayan calendar, which spans about 5,125 years, on December 21, 2012 has sparked interpretations and suggestions that it marks the end
of the world.
"Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven
thinks the end of the world is coming," said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for
"Perhaps it is because of the media attention coming from one interpretation of the Mayan prophecy that states the world 'ends' in our calendar
year 2012," Gottfried said, adding that some Mayan scholars have disputed the interpretation.
Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely with only six percent of French residents believing in an
impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina.
But only seven percent in Belgium and eight percent in Great Britain feared an end to the world during their lives.
About one in 10 people globally also said they were experiencing fear or anxiety about the impending end of the world in 2012. The greatest numbers
were in Russia and Poland, the fewest in Great Britain.
Gottfried also said that people with lower education or household income levels, as well as those under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in
an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect.
"Perhaps those who are older have lived long enough to not be as concerned with what happens to their future," she explained.
Ipsos questioned people in China, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, the United States, Argentina, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, France, Spain,
Belgium, Canada, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Great Britain, Indonesia, Germany.
I put this in the survival forum for what i consider obvious reasons, if these numbers are accurate in the poll and if only 1% of those people in the
poll take actions in a panic specificly the dec 21st date we are talking about possibly tens of thousands nation wide in a panic. That would be a SHTF
for sure, consider that in your city a couple hundred to thousands go crazy and start panicing, emptying grocery shelves, filling anything that holds
gas and water, i see it possibly creating a snowball effect while also creating the herd mentality escalating the problem. Masses of panicing people
grabbing anything they can, attcking those who have what they feel they need, this is one of the things i had feared, what if people actualy believe
2012 is the end, the reaction of people under the mass panic, that is my worry, i had really hoped the numbers were'nt that high. I would like to
hear your comments.