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2012 End of the World
Catastrophe and Revival
The Oval Plaza & the 1st Exhibition Gallery
July 12, 2012 – February 24, 2013

                Unknown – the source of fear, the breeding ground for rumor
Many books, television shows and films say that the world will end December 21st, 2012. They say this comes from the Maya calendar. The Mayans, whose empire peaked between 250 and 900 AD in Mexico and Guatemala, were noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its highly advanced art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. They produced awe-inspiring temples and pyramids, highly accurate calendars, mathematics and hieroglyphic writing, and a complex social and political order. However, during the Post Classic period, around 750 AD, the Mayan civilization started to collapse. And, while their Long Count calendar stretches all the way back to 3114 BC, it ends suddenly on December 21st, 2012. That’s why 2012 phenomenon has become the most widely speculated topic.

Probably, you have heard much about the end of the world predictions. You might be wandering whether there are any true facts behind them. The National Museum of National Science presents the special exhibition “2012 End of the World – Catastrophe and Revival” to lead you to debunk the myths from historical, astronomic, and scientific viewpoint.


Replica Chichen Itza
Calendar Pyramid
2012 End of the World – Catastrophe and Revival organized by the Museum’s director Sun Wei-hsin prominently features a nine-meter replica Chichen Itza calendar pyramid soaring in the center of the Museum’s Oval Plaza. A functional doomsday clock on the top of the pyramid is counting down to December 21, 2012. Inside the pyramid, hundreds of pictures built into a 5-minute panoramic experience are provided by Oficina de Enlace de Mexico en Taiwan. A maximum of 50 visitors are able to witness the splendor of Maya culture and its heritage through cutting-edge visual technology at the same time.

Contrary to the ancient atmosphere filled in the pyramid, here in the 1st exhibition gallery, visitors will feel the future through exploring our solar system in a stunning and completely new view. This exhibit invites visitors to explore the emerging portrait of our magnificent universe and discover the latest scientific information on the small bodies in the solar system. Visitors will also recognize developments in Earth surface processes and landforms from pieces of precious fossils of different geologic ages, which are out of the Museum’s paleontological collections. Anyway, 2012 End of the World – Catastrophe and Revival offers enhanced exploration and educational enjoyment of the solar system and beyond.

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Gallery View
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Prognathodon Fossil

“In the past 540 million years there have been five major mass extinctions throughout geological history,” said Sun at the exhibit’s opening ceremony, “Mass extinctions seem to be a Phanerozoic phenomenon. Many species went extinct while other organisms arose.” “Humans have harmed the Earth in numerous ways. It is hoped that our visitors will be inspired by this exhibition and prepare to think about our own responsibility for ‘helping’ our earth,” he concluded sincerely.

How do we fit into the cosmos? Is there any other intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos? Is the world moving to catastrophic destruction? Or will a transition to a new era of a spiritually established society take place? Take a journey through the mysteries of the Maya in this landmark exhibition. Think about what we have done to our planet and how is our responsibility to help it. 2012 End of the World – Catastrophe and Revival will bring you a fantastic experience!


2012 End of the World – Catastrophe and Revival is organized by the National Museum of Natural Science in cooperation with Graduate Institute of Astrophysics, National Taiwan University and DELTA. Generous support is from Oficina de Enlace de Mexico en Taiwan, Discovery Channel, Graduate Institute of Astrophysics, National Central University, and Culture & Education Foundation, NMNS.
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