Cashing in on the 'apocalypse'
Friday 21 Dec 2012 10:35 p.m.
It may resemble a giant snow ball but Chinese man Liu Qi Yuan is convinced his capsule will save lives should the world end tonight.
Mr Liu spent more than two million Yuan designing and building seven of the pods, which can carry 30 people each and navigate on water with a standard Yamaha engine.
He says he wants to be prepared, just in case.
“So many people don’t prepare. They only think about it after the event has happened. I think this is wrong. There is a Chinese saying that goes, ‘it’s better to be prepared for nothing, than be unprepared for something’,” he says.
And just what could that something be? One Chinese doomsday cult says they've got it all sussed.
They've been publicising that three days of darkness will follow tonight, and that everyone should overthrow communism in the meantime.
Almost one thousand members of the group have been arrested.
There are true believers around the world, and hundreds are expected to head to the French village of Bugarach where – it’s rumoured – their mystical mountain will split open and spew aliens who will then save those nearby.
But hope for believers has created a headache for locals.
“For the last three to four days, with roads being closed, it is affecting the residents of Bugarach, the people here are angry with what's going on,” says one villager.
There are plenty of other destinations claiming they'll be the only place spared come 12:11pm tonight.
In one Serbian mountain region, for example, hotels are cashing in by selling themselves as the best place to survive the apocalypse.
There’s also a Turkish village which claims it's the only place safe from impending doom, and while you're there you might as well buy some souvenirs.