The ending of the 5,126-year-long cycle of the Maya Long Count, b’ak’tun 13 became the subject of worldwide speculation. It could correspond with a global transformation of Consciousness, a spiritual evolution, leading the World into a New Age.
According to the Popol Vuh, we are living in the fourth World. The Popol Vuh describes the gods first creating three failed worlds, followed by a successful fourth World in which humanity was placed. In the Maya Long Count the fourth World began on 11 August 3114 BC, and would reach the end of its 13th b’ak’tun (Maya date 126.96.36.199.0) on 21 December 2012.
The idea that the year 2012 presaged a World cataclysm, the end of the World, or the end of human civilization, became a subject of popular media speculation as the date of 21 December 2012 approached. This idea was promulgated by many pages on the Internet, particularly on YouTube.