End of the world: Gangnam Style?

If the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are about to descend on Earth, it seems one might be riding in from South Korea on an invisible steed to the tune of "Gangnam Style".

South Korean social networks and websites have been buzzing in recent days over a prediction attributed to the 16th century French seer Nostradamus, that suggests the singer Psy is not the smiling, benign 34-year-old rapper he appears.

"From the calm morning, the end will come when of the dancing horse the number of circles will be nine," reads the "prophecy" being circulated on websites, Facebook and Twitter.

An obvious fake, the quote has its origins in a video posted online in November by a Frenchman who claims to be writing a thesis on Renaissance-era literature and just happened to stumble upon Nostradamus' supposed prophecy.

The only hiccup is this so-called thesis writer is actually Simon Gosselin, a blogger and videographer who invented everything for fun.

"Three weeks ago, I was with a friend when Psy's video became the most popular in the world," he told AFP.

"We said it was a sign that the end of the world was approaching and invented the prophecy."

His joke subsequently became the basis for a spoof five-minute "documentary" posted on YouTube that ties Nostradamus and Psy to the December 21 apocalypse prophesied by the Mayans and has garnered nearly 1.5 million views.

The interpretation is compelling.

South Korea is known as "land of the morning calm", the dancing horse is Psy's signature dance style and the nine circles refer to the nine zeroes he will rack up when the "Gangnam Style" video passes one billion YouTube views.

The number of views currently stands at nearly 972 million, and it could reach the billion mark on or around December 21.

The "documentary" features an ominous narration that notes Psy's "cultural domination over Western civilisation" with images of the singer dancing with Britney Spears and UN leader Ban Ki-moon.

"The evil that is enticing and looks cool will bend people's minds with contagious behaviour," it adds over footage of flash mobs doing the horse-riding dance in Paris and Rome.

The parody has gone down well in South Korea, with people perhaps looking for some light relief following a North Korean rocket launch last week and ahead of a presidential election on Wednesday.

"It's hilarious ... apparently circulating a silly rumour on the Internet is a universal thing everywhere in the world," tweeted one observer styled d_ijk_stra.

"Now Psy is getting linked to Nostradamus? It shows just how popular Psy has become!" added fleschekim.

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