A tiny French hamlet is expected to be inundated with mystics and news crews ahead of today's rumoured Mayan apocalypse.
Hundreds of new age fanatics, sightseers and media crews are expected to descend on Bugarach in southern France, believing it will be one of the few sacred areas to be sheltered from the cataclysm which they say will accompany the end of the Mayan calendar.
Scientists are mocking the idea, saying the end of the Mayan calendar simply means the start of another one.
And the mayor of Bugarach, which has a population of just 200, has made an appeal to the world to stay away.
"Don't come here. You'll only be making things hard for yourself, and there's even a risk of physical danger. So just don't come," he told reporters.
At last count some 250 journalists were accredited for the much-anticipated event, outnumbering the 200 or so locals, who were becoming increasingly irate.
Local police are blocking routes to a nearby mountain where rumour has it the hilltop will open and aliens will emerge with spaceships to save humans.
The origins of Bugarach's supposed immunity are unclear, although the area has been steeped in legend for centuries.
It was once inhabited by the mysterious medieval heretics the Cathars, and is even said to be the burial site of Jesus and possibly Mary Magdalene.
The local mountain, the Pic de Bugarach, is said to be upside down, containing older layers of rock at the top than at the bottom.
More recently those myths have morphed into claims the mountain shelters an alien spaceship that will take off on Judgment Day, or even that it conceals a door to another world.
In 2011, the French government's anti-sect watchdog Miviludes warned of a possible influx of new age believers, after spotting six settlements in the area and noting that messianic groups had been holding conferences at local hotels.
Since then, media speculation has raged.
As a precaution for Friday authorities have closed off access to the village and mountain and drafted in extra police.
Some locals are even cashing in on the exposure, setting up a makeshift "End of the World" bar and selling a local wine labelled "Bugarach - The End of the World - I Was There."
Just in case the world does end, however, they've thoughtfully laid on a first-aid tent.
Judging by appearances though, if the prophecy does come true the only people saved will be locals and the hordes of international media. Whether they will make a fitting post-apocalyptic population, only time will tell.