There have been countless predictions over many centuries about the end of the world.
Will it come in our time?
We don't know -- and predictions of dates when the world may end have rather obviously proved untrue, since we're still here.
But some ancient Mayans who lived in areas that now are part of Mexico seemed to suspect that the end could come in 2012.
There is a 1,300-year-old stone tablet suggesting that a Mayan god named Bolon Yokte -- a god the Mayans linked to war and creation -- is supposed to descend from the sky in what on our calendar would be late December 2012, about a year from now.
Some are interpreting that as a sign that the world will end. Others, including archaeologists in Mexico, say that Dec. 21, 2012, merely represents the end of one in a series of 394-year Mayan time cycles -- and the beginning of another. In that case, mankind presumably will live to see 2013.
Did the Mayans know something the rest of us don't? Well, if their prophecy turns out to be accurate, we now have less than a year to finish doing whatever it is we feel is important.
Meanwhile, Mexico is looking to enjoy hefty tourism profits as people from around the world flock to the country in coming months.
But in case the Mayans were wrong -- or were misinterpreted by modern man -- you might not want to spend your life savings.