It seems a pretty curious aspect of humans to be so fascinated with their own demise, including a grand eschatological one. The world has been on the brink of ending for millennia if you follow the predictions of any civilization.
I read a book on 2012 a few years back called 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. It was a pretty interesting book that started on more rational premises and then wandered off into crazy territory. I’m extremely fascinated with various cataclysmic beliefs of cultures throughout history (Rapture, Ragnarok, even Thomas Malthus) and various suicide cults that coincide with some more microcosmic beliefs (Heaven’s Gate, Jim Jones, etc). It’s an interesting exploration of the human psyche for sure.
But maybe this nonsense will quickly go the way of Y2K and various other arbitrary end-of-the-world scenarios.