The latest Armageddon hoax has a marketing spin that LiveScience's Robert Roy Britt describes as a "sick twist." Sony Pictures went to elaborate lengths to disguise its movie plug on the "Institute for Human Continuity" website, which warns of "cataclysmic events that will devastate our planet" in 2012—a date that is also, not so coincidentally, the title of an upcoming Sony film.
The site mentions the movie, but that hasn't prevented legions of earthlings from worrying themselves silly. "An unsuspecting person who doesn't recognize the actors on the page might think the IHC is real, that the end is near, and that buying a ticket (to somewhere, on something, who knows?) is the only hope of survival," Britt notes.