UN denies selling China doomsday ark tickets

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2012, 5:36pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 December, 2012, 9:30pm

The United Nations has denied distributing tickets for an ark to save people from the apocalypse, it said on a Chinese social networking site on Friday.

“The United Nations sincerely has not issued any boat tickets,” said a post on the UN’s verified account on Sina Weibo – a website similar to Twitter – above pictures of passes onto the ark which sport the organisation’s name and logo.

The novelties, titled “United Nations 2012 China Tibetan Noah’s Ark tickets”, are widely available on Chinese auction websites and each retail for around 10 yuan (US$1.60) – although their face value is 10 billion yuan.

They went on sale ahead of a Mayan prophecy that the world could come to an abrupt end on December 21.

One ticket stated that ark boarding would take place “at the departure port 15 minutes before the close”.

Doomsday predictions have been widely discussed in China, thanks in part to the success of the Hollywood film “2012”, which depicted a Chinese-built apocalypse ark and set box office records in the world’s most populous country.