Game development veteran Richard Garriott is known for his extravagant ventures, having spent $35 million on a trip to the International Space Station in 2008 and thrown a Titanic-themed party where he sunk a barge into Lake Ausin at the end of the night. So when it came time to commemorate the end-of-days as predicted by the Mayan calendar, the Ultima creator went all out.
On Dec. 21, 2012 — the day the Mayans predicted would be the end of the world — Garriott threw a lavish soiree at his 65-acre property along Lake Austin with a replica Mayan pyramid and four different tents that each featured scenes of imagined end-of-the-world scenarios.
"A naked woman painted like a zebra lounged in a glass box as actors passed out creamy alcoholic drinks and chocolate-dipped bananas to the crowd."
At $1,000 a ticket, attendees could experience the Salvation Sideshow tent, which was decorated with fire and brimstone and hosted a production that featured more than 100 volunteers. There was also a hedonism tent where, according to Texas Monthly, "a naked woman painted like a zebra lounged in a glass box as actors passed out creamy alcoholic drinks and chocolate-dipped bananas to the crowd." There was also an alien tent that featured neon-colored drinks and a Science area.
Proceeds from the soiree went to the X Prize Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps fund projects that "spur innovative solutions to some of the world's most complicated problems."
Garriott and his wife Laetitia wore matching, custom-made green feature headdresses to the party.