A performer at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, England, plays a primitive tuba found in the ancient Viking part of town. According to Norse myth, the sounding of a certain specific horn heralds doom:
The horn belonged to the Norse god, Heimdallr, who was said to blow the mythical Gjallerhorn to warn that Ragnarok – the Viking apocalypse – will take place in 100 days. Experts are predicting the end of the world will take place on 22 February 2014, coinciding with the grand finale of the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival in the city of York.
“Ragnarok is the ultimate landmark in Viking mythology, when the gods fall and die, so this really is an event that should not be underestimated,” comments Danielle Daglan director of the JORVIK Viking Festival. “In the last couple of years, we’ve had predictions of the Mayan apocalypse, which passed without incident, and numerous other dates where the end of the world has been pencilled in by seers, fortune tellers and visionaries, but the sound of the horn is possibly the best indicator yet that the Viking version of the end of the world really will happen on 22 February next year.”
According to the legends of Ragnarok, the god Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir and the other ‘creator’ gods will fall, before the earth is born anew for its human population.
As scary and sensational as that may sound, I think this is actually just a promotional stunt for the Jorvik festival, which kicks off early next year. After all, the real Gjallerhorn (“Yelling Horn”, or “Loud Sounding Horn”) was not a physical trumpet, but a mythical one…and the player was not just any bearded hipster, but the God Heimdallr himself.
In other words, I think we’re still safe.