If you were planning to take refugre on France’s Pic de Bugarach during the upcoming apocalypse, you’d better start building a bunker instead, because local officials will be banning all visitors on December 21, 2012. Éric Freysselinard, Prefect of the Aude department in south-central France where the mountain is located, cites safety reasons in his blocking of the site on that potentially pivotal, and crowded, day, AFP reports.
According to popular doomsday belief, the mountain will open on armageddon and aliens will come with spaceships to rescue the stranded humans, like the Carpathia at the sinking of the Titanic. Extraterrestrial saviors aside, the mountain is a fascinating geological oddity, which, unlike most mountains, has rocks that are older at the top. Scientists speculate that the peak of it inverted and collapsed to the bottom of the mountain during its eruption, but its mysterious “upside down” nature has only fueled its mystical aura.
Any believers who show up for the escape vessels will be met with 100 police officers and firefighters, who will also be tasked with preserving order in the adjacent small village of Bugarach, whose population is just under 200. (Visitors to Bugarach had already reached to 20,000 in June, double the previous year due the the rise in apocalypse preparers, according to Reuters, and there’s even some graffiti of the alien rescue that appeared in the town.)
However, while Freysselinard stated that they are anticipating a large number of the “visionaries” and “a few people who believe in this end of the world” supposedly proclaimed by the Mayan calendar, they expect that the greater numbers will be the curious. More than anything, they are expecting “lots of journalists.”
— Allison Meier
(Image: Pic de Bugarach, via Nick Wright/Flickr)