Correlation of seismic activity with the Mayan calendar

William C. Treurniet, January, 2011

Summary. Analysis of seismic activity showed that the properties of the deepest earthquakes varied in agreement with a model of the Mayan calendar recently proposed by Calleman (2004). According to the model, a periodic creative energy pulse originates from a fractal Mayan World Tree and resonates with the earth�s core. Emanations from the World Tree affect the ongoing reorganization of consciousness and matter. The model predicts that the depth of earthquakes nearest the earth�s core has varied periodically from 1999 to 2010 over successive 360-day intervals. This prediction was tested using an on-line United States Geological Survey global earthquake database. The predicted periodicity appeared from 1999 to 2006. However, from 2006 to 2010, the depth of the deepest earthquakes decreased linearly. The abrupt change in the pattern indicates that the dynamics of the deepest earthquakes changed near the end of 2006. This interpretation is supported by the pattern of changes in the earthquakes� magnitudes. According to the model, the observed linear trend means that the once pulsating creative energy field has been permanently switched on since about 2006. The data suggest that the creative energy field reduces the variance of random physical processes.


The world has recently become more aware of the existence of a calendar created long ago by the Mayan people of Central America. The main feature that has entered the public consciousness is that the calendar has an end which is fast approaching. The end of the calendar is said to be a time when human consciousness will transform to a new level, and humankind will enter a different relationship with reality. Some people also hold the view that this event will be accompanied by geological and meteorological upheavals in the earth environment.

Most of the written records of the Maya were destroyed by European invaders. Because of the gaps and ambiguities in the remaining historical and archeological records, there is disagreement about the exact end date of the calendar. The prevailing view of archeologists is that the end date falls on December 21, 2012. Carl Johan Calleman, a Swedish biologist, adopted a different view after studying the lore related to the calendar. His analysis (Calleman, 2001, 2004) concluded that the calendar ends on October 28, 2011. Calleman finds consistent relationships between periods of the calendar and significant events in recorded history and the paleontological record. These observations support his proposed structure of time as the basis of the Mayan calendar.

Calleman also proposed a testable model that explains why such significant events occurred when they did. In the model, a creative energy field more fundamental than electromagnetism emanates from the World Tree, a central creative principle in the Mayan tradition. Calleman (2001, p. 101; 2004, p. 50) understands the World Tree as an oscillator emitting creative impulses that influence the evolution of reality including human consciousness. He proposes that the World Tree has a fractal structure, so it exists at all levels of scale ranging from the center of the universe, to the center of galaxies, to the sun, to the core of the earth, to cellular structures in the human body, and even to the atom (Calleman, 2009). In general, the field interacts with matter to influence its organization. Since the core of the earth resonates with the World Tree, the model predicts that some seismic activity should vary in time with creative energy impulses emitted according to the structure of the Mayan calendar.

The Model

According to Calleman's (2004) interpretation, the Mayan calendar consists of nine embedded intervals called Underworlds, all ending on October 28, 2011. An Underworld is subdivided into 13 equal intervals, or Heavens, each ruled by a particular deity representing certain principles. Calleman sees opposing characteristics in the Mayan deities assigned to the successive Heavens of an Underworld. This prompted him to describe the 13 Heavens as a sequence of six Day/Night pairs plus a final Day. Each Underworld is embedded in the last Day of the preceding Underworld. This means that the length of an Underworld and its Heavens shorten exponentially from one Underworld to the next.

In Calleman's terminology, the Galactic Underworld began in 1999 and has a duration of 12.8 years. Therefore, each of the 13 Heavens in this Underworld has a length of 360 solar days. The previous Planetary Underworld began in 1755 and has a duration of 256 years. In this Underworld, each of the 13 Heavens lasted 19.7 years. Table 1 shows these properties for all nine Underworlds.

Table 1. Summary of the Underworld Parameters
Underworld  Duration  Beginning Date  Initiating Phenomenon 
  Universal    234 days    Mar 9, 2011    ?  
  Galactic    12.8 yr    Jan 5, 1999    World Wide Web 
  Planetary    256 yr    1755 CE    Industrialism 
  National    5125 yr    3115 BCE    Written language 
  Regional    102,000 yr    99,989 BCE    Spoken language 
  Tribal    2x106 yr    ~2x106 BCE    First humans 
  Familial    41x106    ~41x106 BCE    First primates 
  Mammalian    820x106    ~820x106 BCE    First animals 
  Cellular    16.4x109    ~16.4x109 BCE    Big Bang 

Calleman observes that the rate at which events unfold in a given Underworld seems directly related to the Underworld�s length. For example, most would agree that the rate at which telecommunications technology developed in the Galactic Underworld was much faster than the rate at which writing technology evolved in the Planetary Underworld. There is an analogy between writing technology and telecommunications technology, and this example shows how history tends to repeat itself in successive cycles, albeit at faster rates. Calleman notes similar analogies in other fields such as politics and religion. In the longer Underworlds, where the focus was on the evolution of life and the physical environment, the rates of change were correspondingly slower.

Calleman (2004) proposed a physical relationship between the creative energy field emitted by the World Tree and the crystalline core of the earth. He suggested that "the Nine Underworlds correspond to nine sequentially activated layers of iron crystals in the earth's inner core" (p. 59-60), and that "different layers are activated according to the preset pattern of the Mayan calendar". That is, the level of core activation decreases in depth with each successive Underworld. Further, the amount of core activation is greater during the Days when the creative energy impulses of the model are emitted. Since the field affects the material world, any physical correlates should appear most strongly in the earth nearest the core. Therefore, the model predicts that properties of the deepest earthquakes will vary systematically over successive Days and Nights of the Galactic Underworld.

Table 2 shows the beginning and end dates of each Day and Night in the Galactic Underworld. Happily, the duration of 360 solar days for each Heaven is a suitable time scale for evaluating how seismic activity varies over Days and Nights.

Table 2. Galactic Underworld Days and Nights
  Start Date  End Date 
Day 1  05-01-1999  30-12-1999 
Night 1  31-12-1999  24-12-2000 
Day 2  25-12-2000  19-12-2001 
Night 2  20-12-2001  14-12-2002 
Day 3  15-12-2002  09-12-2003 
Night 3  10-12-2003  03-12-2004 
Day 4  04-12-2004  28-11-2005 
Night 4  29-11-2005  23-11-2006 
Day 5  24-11-2006  18-11-2007 
Night 5  19-11-2007  13-11-2008 
Day 6  14-11-2008  08-11-2009 
Night 6  09-11-2009  03-11-2010 
Day 7  04-11-2010  28-10-2011 

Model test

The United States Geological Survey offers on-line access to the USGS/NEIC database containing global seismic information for any time period from 1973 to the present. The form provided allows one to select ranges of interest for the date, magnitude, depth, and intensity variables. Earthquakes were selected with magnitudes of 3 or greater and and a depth greater than or equal to 650 km.

A total of 522 earthquakes from January 8, 1973, to November 3, 2010 met these criteria. About 95% of these were near latitude -20� and longitude 180�. This location is approximately 300 km SSE of Fiji in the South Pacific. Figure 1 shows how the daily counts varied over this time interval. The counts were smoothed using a triangular kernel spanning 300 days. The smoothed data also shown in the figure were scaled by a factor of 50 to improve the aesthetics of the display.

Figure 1. Daily count of deep earthquakes. 

Figure 1 suggests the presence of two inflection points in the smoothed data near 4000 days and 8500 days after the beginning of the data. The step-wise increases in earthquake frequency could have been due to introduction of more sensitive instrumentation, but they could also indicate changes in conditions deep in the earth. The two intervals were compared by performing a spectral analyses on the smoothed data. Two arrays of 4096 data points were selected starting at days 5397 and 9493, the means were subtracted from each array, and a Hann window was applied. Then each array was analyzed with a 8192-point FFT after zero padding. Note that day 9493 is Jan 5, 1999, the beginning of the Galactic Underworld.

Figure 2. Spectra of smoothed earthquake counts
before and during the Galactic Underworld. 

Figure 2 shows the resulting power spectra. The spectral peaks in the first interval are relatively small compared to the dominant peak found in the Galactic Underworld interval. The dominant frequency has a period of 745 days/cycle. This is approximately twice the 360 solar day duration of each Heaven in this Underworld. A Day followed by a Night would constitute one cycle with a period of 720 days. Thus, the measured period deviated from the period predicted by the model by less than four percent. This is consistent with the hypothesis under test; that is, seismic activity varies according to the Day/Night cycle.

A more direct test of this hypothesis would be to count the number of earthquakes that occurred during each Heaven of the Underworld. Figure 3 shows systematic Day/Night differences in the first half of the Underworld. Except for the first Day, there were consistently fewer earthquakes during the Days than during the Nights. However, this oscillating pattern changed after the fourth Night (November, 2006) to a linear downward trend irrespective of Day or Night. In retrospect, the oscillating earthquake count from Day 2 to Day 4 is also visible in Figure 1 (days 10215-12014), as is the consistent decline from Night 4 to Night 6 (days 12015-13811). The onset of the linear trend in Night 4 may be evidence of a change in the dynamics of processes near the earth's core.

Figure 3. Earthquake count for each Day and Night interval. 

The differences between the Day/Night intervals can be evaluated statistically by comparing a fixed number of the deepest earthquakes during each Heaven. Figure 4 shows the mean depths of the ten deepest earthquakes in each Day and Night.

Figure 4. Mean depth of the 10 deepest earthquakes in each Day and Night interval.
Bars indicate +- the standard error.  

The changes in mean depth over successive Days and Nights shown in Figure 4 parallel the changes in counts shown in Figure 3. As would be expected, the number of earthquakes occurring below 650 km is correlated with the mean depth of the deepest earthquakes. Figure 4 also shows relatively small, non-overlapping standard errors around the means. These indicate that the mean differences between successive Day/Night intervals are statistically reliable. Therefore, we may infer that something fundamental changed in or near the earth's core around the end of 2006 when the oscillating pattern changed to a steady downward trend.

The creative impulses of the model might also systematically affect earthquake magnitudes. Figure 5 shows the mean magnitude of the ten deepest earthquakes in each Day and Night. Again, there seems to be a fundamental difference between the first and second halves of the Underworld. In the first half, the earthquake magnitudes were smaller during the Days than during the Nights. In contrast, the mean magnitude was greater during the fifth Day than during the fifth Night. Then it increased again during both the sixth Day and Night.

Figures 4 and 5 suggest that the earthquake depths are not independent of the corresponding magnitudes. During the first five Heavens, depth was positively correlated with magnitude (r= 0.78), while during the last five Heavens, the correlation was negative (r= -0.76). This supports the inference that something was fundamentally different between the two halves of the Underworld.

Figure 5. Mean magnitude of the 10 deepest earthquakes in each Day and Night interval.
Bars indicate +- the standard error.  

The oscillating pattern seen in Figure 3 was found in the period defined by the Galactic Underworld. For ease of reference, we will call this the W pattern. Would this W pattern appear anywhere else in the earthquake record? The question was examined by repeatedly shifting the onset of the Underworld one day at a time beginning in January, 1973, and counting the number of earthquakes during each Day and Night. The strength of the W pattern consisting of seven points was measured for each onset position by calculating the power spectrum of the counts. The power of the highest frequency given by an 8-point FFT is proportional to the strength of the W pattern. Figure 6 shows how the strength of this pattern varied from 1973 to the present.

Figure 6. Strength of the oscillating pattern for successive Underworld starting days.  

The largest peaks appear in a group centered around day 9500 in the graph of Figure 6 (i.e., about January, 1999). Although there are a number of peaks in the group, it is clear by inspection that these are responses to parts of the same pattern. As the onset time of the FFT input pattern advanced, it moved closer and closer to the position where the W pattern was strongest. Eventually, the window aligned with enough of the W pattern to give the first peak in the group. The size of subsequent peaks increased as more of the pattern was included in the window, and was largest when the W pattern was optimally aligned.

Since the peaks in the group are clearly not independent, the graph shows that the W pattern was localized in time. Such a grouping did not appear anywhere else at that strength. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the start of the Galactic Underworld is positioned near the center of the group of peaks. The Underworld�s start date of Jan 5, 1999, is only 13 days before the peak positioned at day 9507 (Jan 18, 1999). Not surprisingly, the input pattern that gave this peak is very similar to the first part of the pattern in Figure 3.

The peaks in an earlier group centered around day 7250 (about November, 1992) are much smaller and also much less well defined. Therefore, the oscillatory pattern represented by this group is more likely due to chance.


The fluctuations in daily earthquake counts seen in Figure 1 would likely be accepted as normal random variation by most knowledgeable people. Without the rationale provided by the Mayan calendar model, there would be no a priori reason to segment the record of the deepest earthquakes into 360-day blocks of time, starting at the beginning of 1999. The model predicted almost exactly the periodicity of the observed pattern and where it would be found. Figure 6 confirms that the predicted W pattern is only present in the Galactic Underworld.

Certainly, creative energy emitted by a World Tree is not a familiar force of nature. Although Calleman's model is unorthodox, it nonetheless clearly predicted observed effects that are not predictable in more conventional terms. This success indicates that the model has validity. Do the results also suggest a mechanism by which the creative impulse of the model might affect the properties of the deepest earthquakes?

Up to the fourth Night, Figure 4 shows that the deepest earthquakes were at a shallower depth during the Days than during the adjacent Nights. Consequently, a smaller number of earthquakes would be expected during the Days at depths below 650 km, and Figure 3 confirms that this was the case. With the exception of the first Day and Night, Figure 4 also shows that the depth distributions for these adjacent Days and Nights did not overlap. This would be very unlikely to occur by chance if strictly random forces were at play. Therefore, the observed systematic Day and Night differences in the mean depths must have been caused by a non-random periodic process.

Figures 4 and 5 show that the earthquakes during the Days in the initial part of the Underworld were both shallower and less intense than during the adjacent Nights. From Day 5 onward, however, the steady decline in the mean earthquake depth was accompanied by an overall increase in mean magnitude. That is, depth and magnitude were positively correlated during the beginning of the Underworld, and negatively correlated towards the end.

The model proposes that the creative impulse from the World Tree emanates from the earth's core during the Day intervals. The seismic data suggest that this emanation could have had the observed effect by reducing the variance or energy of random physical processes. In the initial part of the Galactic Underworld, the creative impulse emitted during the Days reduced the energy of random processes capable of precipitating earthquakes. During those Days, the ten deepest earthquakes were not as deep, and relatively fewer earthquakes were found below 650 km. Sometime after 2006, however, the depths declined continuously irrespective of Day or Night. This suggests that the creative energy field had switched on permanently, resulting in an expanding region near the core where the energies of random physical processes were reduced. But, as seen in Figure 5, the mean magnitudes increased even as the distance of the earthquakes from the core increased. This suggests that the influence of the creative energy field may fall off with distance from the World Tree resonator; in this case, the core of the earth.

The notion of a creative energy field as a damper on the variance or energy of random physical processes in the world is consistent with Calleman's interpretation of the Mayan calendar. The creative processes at work during the Days in the physical, biological, and social spheres could be facilitated by such dampening of random or purposeless activity. The field would work during the Day, not to cause creative action, but to remove impediments to it. For some reason, the field appears now to be continuous and increasing rather than pulsed. This may reduce the power of random processes in every level of the fractal World Tree, and we might expect to see fewer barriers to the expression of creativity.


1. Calleman, Carl Johan. Solving the greatest mystery of our time: The Mayan Calendar, London: Bet-Huen Books, 2001.

2. Calleman, Carl Johan. The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, Rochester: Bear and Co., 2004.