R.E.M.'s doomsday anthem It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) has been given a big sales boost thanks to last week's (21Dec12) Mayan apocalypse prophecy.

The ancient race declared the world would end on 21 December, 2012 - but the date came and went without incident.

However, radio station programmers across the U.S. decided to have a little fun with the prediction and filled the airwaves with the disbanded group's 1988 hit.

As a result, music fans picked up on the fun and snapped up the track on iTunes.com and other online digital services, swelling downloads from 3,000 the previous week to 19,000 during the 17-23 December sales week.

The flood of interest gave R.E.M. another hit - the song re-entered the Rock Digital Songs chart at number 18 and Alternative Digital Songs at 14, according to Billboard.com.