As Dec. 21, 2012 fast approaches, doomsday-believers around the globe are bracing for what they believe will be the end of the world.
A Chinese inventor built "survival pods" to help him through the mayhem. A contractor developed underground bunkers to safeguard their Italian owners. And fare finder website Skyscanner reports its customers are showing an increasing interest in one-way tickets to "Apocalypse safe havens."
According to NASA, many Apocalypse fears originate in the belief that Nibiru, a planet allegedly discovered by the Sumerians, would hit planet Earth in May 2003. When the world did not perish, however, new claims were put forward that Nibiru would hit earth on Dec. 21, 2012 -- the day the Mayan long-count calendar ends.
NASA has gone out of its way to rebuke the doomsday fears, arguing "the world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."
Several governments, too, have reassured their citizens that the Apocalypse is nowhere near. According to a New York Times report, Russia's minister of emergency situations Vladimir Puchkov reassured the country's citizens on Friday he is sure the world will not end in December and that "he had access to methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth.” And the Vatican's top astronomer Rev. Jose Funes wrote in the Vatican's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that the doomsday predictions are "not even worth discussing."
As we approach Dec. 21, HuffPost brings you live updates on the impending apocalypse -- or lack thereof. Check back for the latest news leading up to and through the big event.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misspelled the planet Nibiru. We regret the error.