We are days away from the dreaded Mayan apocalypse date, and the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans top the charts for most panicked over the end of the world.
In America, people are buying increasingly more survival shelters. The U.S. government has already advised citizens not to get too worked up, as reports of an apocalypse are just rumors.
"At least once a week I get a message from a young person, as young as 11, who says they are ill and/or contemplating suicide because of the coming doomsday. I think it's evil for people to propagate rumours on the internet to frighten children," David Morrison, astronomer at NASA, tells the Telegraph.
The hi-tech, fully-equipped underground survival shelters business is blooming, manufacturer Ron Hubbard says. The facilities should be able to stand solar flares, radiation and electromagnetic pulses. Hubbard mentions he is not even a believer in the world ending in 2012. Even so, he will still be in hiding on that date, just to make sure.
"We've gone from one a month to one a day. [...] I don't have an opinion on the Mayan calendar but, when astrophysicists come to me, buy my shelters and tell me to be prepared for solar flares, radiation, EMPs. [...] I'm going underground on the 19th and coming out on the 23rd. It's just in case anybody's right," he notes.
In Russia, in Omutninsk, Kirov region, people are rushing to buy supplies and kerosene. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tells the population not to be worried, but still leaves a window that conspiracy theorists can have a field day with.
"I don't believe in the end of the world. [...] At least, not this year," he stated in a press conference.
Chinese residents are stocking up on candles for the coming doomsday. Since someone posted on Sina Weibo that 3 days of darkness are to come, shop owners in the Sichuan province are being flooded with customers.
"At first, we had no idea why. But then we heard someone muttering about the continuous darkness," one attendant explains.