As the calendar nears the fateful end of Mayan timekeeping on Dec. 21, 2012, the pole shift hypothesis is one possible contender for bringing about the end of the world. Is it a possible event? If so, would you be able to survive it, or is all the doomsday prepping for naught?
Actual Science: Poles do wander
Science Magazine explains the mechanics of what it terms "true polar wander." This phenomenon was thought to occur by an uneven distribution of weight within the planet's mantle. In order to keep earth spinning properly within the cosmos, the poles would have to shift locations to deal with the weight issue. Scientists believe that the last polar wander occurred 800 million years ago, when the North Pole relocated by 50 degrees during a time span measuring fewer than 20 million years.
Cataclysmic Pole Shift: What it might look like
Zeta Talk details the mechanics of a rapid pole shift, which takes place in hours and weeks, not millions of years. Would-be survivors should note that just before the actual shift takes place, the earth would literally stand still. Next comes a red dust storm. Now the earth's core will move independently from its mantle, which eventually shifts to keep pace. The resulting earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and firestorms will ravage the earth's crust. This pole shift is said to come about because of a passing planet.
Survival: Where should you set up a Shelter?
Africa's higher areas will not be submerged by water, but there are going to be rampant diseases spreading over the continent. Botswana and Zambia are hot properties. India is doomed, but the central Himalayas offer safety. Europe is a hit or miss proposition, since the multitude of inactive volcanoes and the ever-present ocean waters offer plenty of avenues for destruction. The high mountains or northern Spain are an insider tip. Alpine foothills offer safety during the actual pole shift, but survivors must travel to higher ground within two years. The United States in particular faces a grim fate as well. The west coast is imperiled, and Santa Barbara, Calif., may offer a temporary reprieve. Arizona holds some promise, as does Colorado.
The Survive Pole Shift site offers advice along the same lines. Citing the warnings of controversial Catholic priest and frequent Art Bell radio show guest Malachi Martin, would-be survivors are urged to head for the mountains, abandon coastal areas, and move at least 300 miles inland. It also pays to be aware of tectonic plates and stay away from them, learn how to homestead self-sufficiently, stock up on food and vitamins with a shelf life of five to seven year, and buy firearms. An investment in an osmosis water filtration system is always a good idea.
Rapid Pole Shift: Probable, credible, or debunked?
If you are a conspiracy theorist, NASA's explanation will not hold a lot of water. If you are on the fence or have a more open mind, consider that the possible pull of another planet -- which NASA insists has not been discovered -- would not result in rotational pole shifts or geological events, but merely alter the earth's orbit.
Of course, there is no telling what types of havoc an orbit change might wreak.