On 21st December this year the doom mongers predict the end of the world (again). What is the prediction based on? The end of the long count Mayan calendar. The current long count ends on 20th December which the Maya record as 126.96.36.199.19. On December 21st a new long count begins 188.8.131.52.0.
The world as we know it will end but the good news is that a small part of the world will escape the death and destruction. In the French département (county) Aude, near the village of Bugarach (200 inhabitants), is the highest peak in the area called Pic Bugarach (1,230 m /4,035 ft). Only here will there be a safe haven.
In many respects the peak is out of the ordinary. It is made up of limestone. Nothing unusual in that except that the highest part of the mountain, where it would be expected to find the youngest rock is where in fact the oldest rock is situated. Geologically the mountain is upside down. The peak is covered in large areas of forest. Again not unusual but the forest is made of ancient box trees. The trees are very slow growing and the wood will actually sink rather than float in water. As with many other limestone areas there are numerous caves but Pic Bugarach includes over 30 with the system having been explored to a length of 5.5 km. The system includes an underground river and lake; The lake dry at the present time. On the summit and elsewhere there are esoteric carvings found on certain rocks. For many reasons the peak is both unusual and remarkable but whether it will offer shelter from the coming storm no one is certain.
The French authorities believe enough people are convinced and are already preparing for a massive influx of those wanting shelter from the Apocolypse. There is talk of access to the peak being denied during the month of December with roads blocked by police and cave entrances sealed with concrete 'plugs' positioned by helicopters - a huge over reaction according to some.