Hundreds of other people across the world have been preparing for the apocalypse by flocking to Mayan ruins in Mexico instead, reports the BBC.

Last year, experts said a new reading of the calendar revealed that it did not in fact predict the apocalypse but instead the date simply marks the start of a new era in the calendar.

In China, police have arrested almost 1,000 members of a Christian group which has predicted that today will usher in three days of darkness. The group, called Almighty God, apparently urged its members to overthrow communism, and the state media has termed them an “evil cult”.

Nonetheless, the belief has gained considerable popularity in China, so much so that police in Beijing have posted an online notice telling people that “the so-called end of the world is a rumour”.

But just to be on the safe side, a farmer in Hebei province built seven survival pods which can contain 14 people each, made of fibreglass that can float on water and survive storms.