Mayan apocalypse rumors had a large psychological effect on a man accused of attacking a school with a knife last week in China and stabbing 22 children.
Min Yongjun is accused of going into an elderly woman's home on Friday morning and stabbing her with a kitchen knife before going to a nearby elementary school in Chenpeng village. There he injured 23 children in a knife attack on the school before teachers and police stopped the man, The Associated Press reported.
The man was said to have slashed many of his victims, with gruesome injuries that included severed fingers and ears. Experts said that while such mass attacks are known to happen in China, they are commonly committed with weapons other than guns, like in Friday's attack. Private ownership of guns in banned in China.
An official from Guangshan county government on Monday said that police were evaluating Min's psychological state, but initial investigations said he was strongly affected by Mayan apocalypse rumors.
Some people believe that the end of the ancient Mayan calendar on December 21 indicates that doomsday is inevitable. Though many have laughed off the prediction, in come pockets the Mayan apocalypse is causing panic.
Others are trying to cash in off the hysteria caused by Mayan apocalypse predictions. A man in China has begun selling doomsday survival packs that he said are made to withstand tsumanis and can hold up to 50 people, Sky News reported.
There were other factors in the Chinese knife attack than the Mayan apocalypse, ABC News reported. The man was also said to be suffering from a mental illness.