There's no sense in denying it anymore, boys and girls. Get under your desks and put your heads between your knees, because the Mayans were right and we've only got months to live. Don't believe us? Check out this 100 percent real photo of a Mayan pyramid with a column of apocalyptic light shooting out the top!
OK, so the photo is actually from three years ago, and the column of light is (probably) not a sign of oncoming Armageddon. We hope.
What happened was this: Hector Siliezar took three photos of these two kids standing in front of Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in 2009. Only one of the photos shows this pinkish tower of world-consuming energy, and Siliezar claims he only saw it after looking at the photo, not while taking it.
So, if it's not a sign that the Mayan gods are calling us all home, what is it? A Lovecraftian Great Old One waking from a maddening sleep to send us all into frenzied worship? A mad scientist attempting to reanimate an ancient South American mummy? Someone building a really big lightsaber?
If we're to believe science, it's just an iPhone glitch.
"Of the three images, the 'light beam' only occurs in the image with a lightning bolt in the background," said Jonathon Hill of Arizona State University's Mars Space Flight Facility. "The intensity of the lightning flash likely caused the camera's CCD sensor to behave in an unusual way, either causing an entire column of pixels to offset their values or causing an internal reflection [off the] camera lens that was recorded by the sensor."
So everyone climb out of your fallout shelters and put the canned goods back in the pantry. Still, it's a remarkably cool image, isn't it? With the unsuspecting kids in the foreground and the forbidding storm clouds gathering in the background? But a scientist has now assured us everything is fine, so there's no need to worry at all. Unless the Men in Black got to that scientist first ...
OK, so worry a little.