Hot Spots Draw Doomsday Believers

Posted Friday, December 21, 2012 --- 12:19 p.m.

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.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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