Conspiracy theorists looking forward to the destruction of the Earth by the planet Nibiru on Dec 21, 2012 may be in for a big disappointment, say scientists digging in the forests of Guatemala.
Archeologists have uncovered a new Mayan calendar that begins on Dec 22 and runs for another 5,125 years.
"This one's mainly pictures of cats," said William H Carpenter of the Carpenter Foundation for Armageddon Studies. "This suggests the Mayans were moving in a more commercial direction before being wiped out."
Labelled 'Furry Felines and the 14th Ba'k'tun', the calendar was unearthed in the remains of what some archeologists believe may have been a Mayan gift shop built for tourists.
Whatever the origins of the calendar, its existence suggests that we may see another New Year after all.
Arguments recently broke out between para-scientists about how the world will meet its fate. Speaking at the Which End Is Nigh? conference, hosted by the Carpenter Foundation near Reno, Nevada, Damien Onan, who holds the Chair of Homeopathic History at the University of Smethwick, courted controversy by claiming that it doesn't matter which catastrophe will hit us.
"With Homeopathic History," he said, "we have learned that the greatest purity of truth is achieved by repeatedly diluting facts until all trace of them has gone.
"What you're left with," he added, "is something that retains the memory of the real truth. It therefore doesn't matter that Mayan calendars do not continue past 2012 just because there are no Mayans around to create them. Nor is it relevant that there is zero evidence for the existence of Nibiru beyond some dubious connections to Babylonian texts."
He also discounted the idea of the Earth's destruction by the black hole at the center of our galaxy. "Scientists have actually proved that black holes exist," he said, "and that there's a high likelihood of there being one holding our galaxy together. Such a weight of evidence makes this an untenable scenario in a homeopathic context."
He concluded: "The important thing is that we have an unshakeable belief that the world is about to end, and that's worth far more than any amount of so-called data. I'm certainly not buying any Christmas presents."
Following the discovery of the new Mayan calendar, Mr Onan has been unavailable for comment, but his office commented that he was, "out shopping".