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End of the world marked around the globe

The Associated Press

MERIDA, Mexico -- Doomsday hour is here, at least in much of the world, and we are, too.

According to legend, the ancient Mayans' long-count calendar ended at midnight last night, ushering in the end of the world. Didn't happen.

"This is not the end of the world. This is the beginning of the new world," Star Johnsen-Moser, an American seer, said at a gathering of spiritualists in the Yucatán city of Merida, an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itza.

As the appointed time came and went, there was no sign of the apocalypse. The social network Imgur posted photos of clocks at midnight in the Asia-Pacific region with messages such as: "The world has not ended. Sincerely, New Zealand."

Though the Mayans never really predicted that the world would end Friday, some New Agers were convinced that humanity's demise was imminent. Believers were drawn to spots where they thought chances of survival would be better. Such as:

FRANCE According to one rumor, Mount Bugarach in the Pyrenees was to be the sole place on Earth to escape destruction. A giant UFO and aliens were said to be waiting under the mountain, ready to burst through and spirit those nearby to safety. Bad news for those seeking salvation: Gendarmes blocked outsiders from reaching the peak.

RUSSIA For $1,500, a museum offered salvation in former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's underground bunker in central Moscow -- with a 50 percent refund if nothing happens.

BRITAIN Hundreds of people converged on Stonehenge for an "End of the World" party coinciding with the winter solstice. Arthur Uther Pendragon, Britain's best-known Druid, said he was anticipating a much larger crowd than usual, but he doesn't agree the world is ending, noting that he and fellow Druids believe things happen in cycles.

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