With 2012, been and gone, we’ve decided to have a light hearted look at discoveries, bizarre events, and internet culture from 2012. Enjoy.

5. Sugar Found in Space

Astronomers studying a young star called IRAS 16293-2422, which is roughly 400 light-years away, made a startling discovery of sugar molecules floating in the gas around the star, which suggests the possibility of life on other planets. The term ‘sugar’ is used by scientists to loosely refer to organic molecules known as carbohydrates, which are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Colorful Clouds Near Rho Ophiuchi
Colorful Clouds Near Rho Ophiuchi
Image Credit & Copyright: Tom O’Donoghue

The discovery does not prove that there is life elsewhere, but it strongly implies that there is no reason for there not to be life. The discovery shows that carbon-rich molecules which are the building blocks of life can be present before planets have begun to form.

4. Crazy Russian Drivers

In 2012, there has been an increase in videos from Russian drivers, showing a range of accidents, scary driving and other aggressive behaviour on the roads, which some people have likened to a country where all the road users drive like Mad Max.

The videos have given rise to people assuming that in Russia, drivers are less skilled, with strong racial stereotypes of vodka to be the blame, but it turns out there is an actual legitimate social reason for the increase in videos.

Russians are fitting dash cams to their cars for a variety of reasons, with the foremost reason for insurance purposes. Apparently it is very difficult to claim insurance in Russia, with insurance companies unwilling to pay out in Russia, therefore drivers are arming themselves with dash cams to provide video evidence to make it easier to make any insurance claims. The video evidence alone, usually settles any claim, much better than eye witness reports.

Another area of defence that the dash cams are providing Russian drivers, is that the Russian Highway Patrol is apparently well known for brutality, corruption, and extortion, making an additional income from bribes, therefore the cams are helping to keep drivers safer from false accusations and unreasonable bribes.

3. Gangnam Style

The Internet user base gave rise to a surprise global hit for Korean Pop artist Psy with release of the Gangnam single and video on the 12th July 2012. The video has had he highest number of views on YouTube, with current views at 1,110,299,103, and is also he first video to ever reach over 1 billion views online.

The feel good music and comical dance created a global craze, with Gangnam Style officially topping most of the music charts around the globe, making Psy an international star. The music has been featured in many parodies and remakes, but was also linked to a fake Nostradamus prophecy, spread as part of an Internet hoax in December.

The hoax claimed that Psy was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which Nostradamus had supposedly predicted in 1503 with the following text;

From the calm morning,
the end will come
when of the dancing horse
the number of circles will be nine

According to Wikipedia; “Calm morning” is said to be in reference to PSY’s birth country – the “land of morning calm”, otherwise known as South Korea. “Dancing horse” refers to PSY’s Gangnam Style “dancing horse” routine, whereas the “nine circles” refer to the number of zeroes in one billion (1,000,000,000), which is nine. It was believed that once PSY’s Gangnam Style video on YouTube amassed a billion views, the world would end.

2. End of the World 21st December 2012

The internet circulated rumours of the end of the world by 21st December 2012 due to supposed predictions by the Mayans, all based on their calendar, which ended on the 21st December. This prediction was severely hyped online, with a range of theories on what the end will look like, from comets smashing into the planet, angels descending from the sky for the final call, aliens revealing themselves, and many more wild theories.

Since the date, has been and gone, the doomsayers failed to predict the continuation of the human race, however, amongst the doomsayers was a more reasonable and grounded voice of experts, including NASA, who rightfully pointed out, that just because the Mayan Calendar was ending didn’t signify the end of the world.

The Mayan Calendar runs in five cycles with 2012 marked as the last cycle. The five cycles of the Mayan Calendar are:

  • Age of Water. 1988 B.C. – 1188 B.C.
  • Age of Fire. 1188 B.C. – 388 B.C.
  • Age of Wind (Hurricane) – 388 B.C. – 412 A.D.
  • Age of the Jaguar. 412 A.D. – 1212 A.D.
  • Age of the Serpent. 1212 A.D. – 2012 A.D.: The last and most powerful king. The Spanish conquest occurred during this period.

However Mayans believed at the end of the cycle, the world didn’t end, it merely began anew, in a new direction, and a recent discovery at a largely unexcavated Maya mega-city, archeologists discovered a Mayan mural covered in Glyphs which shows a lunar table used to calculate planetry cycles, with the calculations including dates 7000 years into the future.

1. Strange Sounds Around the World

Strange sounds in the atmosphere were recorded from all around the world starting from January 2012, that many were suggesting this was the sound of the trumpets final call for the apocalypse, it could be aliens, or that it is HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) in action. YouTube went into overdrive with a series of videos uploaded by users, some legitimate, and a lot of videos faked.

Scientists have proposed theories regarding the sounds, more grounded in reality, rather than bible prophecies, with several scientists agreeing that it is a real phenomena. Geophysicist and Professor, Dr Elchin Khalilov has stated;

We have analyzed records of these sounds and found that most of their spectrum lies within the infrasound range, i.e. is not audible to humans. What people hear is only a small fraction of the actual power of these sounds. They are low-frequency acoustic emissions in the range between 20 and 100 Hz modulated by ultra-low infrasonic waves from 0.1 to 15 Hz. In geophysics, they are called acoustic-gravity waves; they are formed in the upper atmosphere, at the atmosphere-ionosphere boundary in particular. There can be quite a lot of causes why those waves are generated: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, storms, tsunamis, etc. However, the scale of the observed humming sound in terms of both the area covered and its power far exceeds those that can be generated by the above-mentioned phenomena……….In our opinion, the source of such powerful and immense manifestation of acoustic-gravity waves must be very large-scale energy processes. These processes include powerful solar flares and huge energy flows generated by them, rushing towards Earth’s surface and destabilizing the magnetosphere, ionosphere and upper atmosphere. Thus, the effects of powerful solar flares: the impact of shock waves in the solar wind, streams of corpuscles and bursts of electromagnetic radiation are the main causes of generation of acoustic-gravitation waves following increased solar activity.

Another probable cause is the news that the northern Magnetic Pole has been shifting, and recently the speed of the shift has increased to the East at a rate of 40 miles annually. The magnetic poles have completely shifted many times in Earths long history, typically every 400,000 years, and a new flip is currently overdue, with the last flip happening 780,000 years ago.

With the flip of the magnetic pole, this will cause an increase in severe weather events and super storms, but it also causes fluctuations in the magnetic field, which affects the ionosphere, and can cause these strange sounds.

Happy New Year

We hope everyone had a Happy New Year and enjoyed the festivities and we wish everyone all the best for 2013 🙂

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