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Hot spots draw doomsday believers

Friday - 12/21/2012, 2:19pm  ET

UNDATED (AP) -- People who are convinced that the world is ending today -- or who are just looking for an excuse for a party -- are gathering at some key places around the world that are at the center of doomsday rumors.

Many people are convinced that a 5,125-year Mayan calendar predicts the apocalypse today.

In an area of Mexico that was once the ancient Mayan heartland, spiritualists gathered before dawn today, awaiting a sunrise that they believed would mark the birth of a new and better age.

In France, residents of Bugarach in the French Pyrenees are walking around their village dressed like aliens, with tinfoil costumes, funnels, and fake antennae. They're poking fun at the rumor that their mountain peak will be the sole place on Earth to escape destruction. As rumor has it, a giant UFO and aliens are waiting under the mountain, ready to take those nearby to safety. But French police are blocking outsiders from reaching the peak.

The apocalypse has proven to be good for business in Russia, where doomsday rumors have prompted some people to stock up on candles, water and canned foods. Some shops are selling survival aid packages that include soap and vodka.

In Britain, hundreds of people converged on Stonehenge for an "End of the World" party that coincides with the Winter Solstice.

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GRAPHICSBANK: Kukulkan Pyramid over a replica of the Sixth Monument, textured, lettering "DOOMSDAY", finished graphic (21 Dec 2012)

APPHOTO LMD111: People soak up the sun after its rise at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, in southern England, as access to the site is given to druids, New Age followers and members of the public on the annual Winter Solstice, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Doomsday hour is here and so still are we. According to legend, the ancient Mayans' long-count calendar ends at midnight Thursday, ushering in the end of the world. Didn't happen. "This is not the end of the world. This is the beginning of the new world," Star Johnsen-Moser, an American seer, said at a gathering of hundreds of spiritualists at a convention center in the Yucatan city of Merida, an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (21 Dec 2012)


APPHOTO XMD109: This photo shows a view of the Pic de Bugarach mountain near the town of Bugarach, France, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Although the long expected end of the Mayan calendar has come, the only group of visitors that the small French town of Bugarach had received were not New Age enthusiasts or sagacious Mayan elders, but the members of the press corp., coming en masse to report about the end of the world legends and sometimes disrupting the peaceful lives of Bugarach villagers.(AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic) (21 Dec 2012)


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