11 Ancient Apocalyptic Myths

Zombies and epidemics are popular in fiction today, but such doomsday predictions have old origins.

1280px Leshan Buddha Statue View
By Ariel Steiner [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

Predictions of the apocalypse have been quite common in the last few decades, with widespread fears appearing with Y2K and the Mayan calendar ending in 2012. Small doomsday groups have at times gathered around the world for their various predictions of when the world is about to end. Survivalists prepare for an eventual collapse of society by learning survival techniques, creating contingency plans, and setting up well-stocked bunkers.

However, this fear of the apocalypse is not a new phenomenon. Ancient cultures from many different parts of the world had their own predictions as to when and how the world would end - some beliefs which have lasted until this day.

11. Aztec Worlds

Wikimedia Commons

The Aztecs believed that four worlds had already existed and been destroyed by the gods Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl, so they were thus living in the fifth world.

In the first world, Tezcatlipoca had turned himself into the sun, but when Quetzalcoatl knocked him out of the sky with a club he got mad and made jaguars eat all the humans. The two gods created a new world, but when the people stopped being religious Tezcatlipoca turned them into monkeys. Quetzalcoatl had enjoyed how sinful they had become, so he got angry about their fate and killed them all with a hurricane.

In the next two worlds, the gods Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue were tricked by Tezcatlipoca into destroying them using fire and floods. The fifth one, that we are still living in, was believed would be destroyed by earthquakes.

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