How does a whole civilization of people living in towns and cities simply disappear? Where did they go? What caused their destruction? Will they ever come back? And if so, did they bring us a souvenir? Many societies over the ages have mysteriously disappeared. And strangely They often seem to have one thing in common… Suspiciously advanced technological abilities. From the Mayans of South America To the Indus people of India. So many of the world’s missing civilizations Seem to just… Pick up sticks and leave at the height of their powers. So lets see if we can figure out where they all went to. In our list of: Seven Mysteriously Missing Civilizations. [Intro Music] Number 7: The Mayans. The Mayans are the perfect example of a flourishing nation With so much going for them, who simply cease to exist… They’re the Heath Ledger of civilizations! Dying way too young, after burning pretty darn bright in their early years. So what happened to them? This is very much up for debate. And whilst some vestiges of Mayan Culture and blood lines Still remain today It is nothing compared to how important to the world they could have been. Parallels have been drawn to the Ancient Egyptians When analyzing how intelligent the Mayans were. Because their understanding of math, writing and architecture Makes them astonishingly advanced compared to their peers. At one point, Mayan cities had a population density comparable to Los Angeles! But whilst many accuse the invading Spaniards of the Mayan decline. The truth is, the rot started to set in much earlier. Political collapse. War and climate change have all been blamed for destroying the Mayan way of life from 900 A.D. onwards. But we really have no concrete evidence to say for certain what the primary cause of their decline was. What could possibly be so destructive that it could wreck an entire nation? Whatever it was, by the time the Spanish rocked up in the early 16th century what remained of the Mayan civilization, was ripe for the picking. Number 6: Ancient Arsonists. Between 6,000 and 3,000 B.C. A strange civilization existed in the regions of modern day Romania, Ukraine and Moldova. These people are known as the Cucuteni-Trypillians. And whilst potential reasons for their disappearance include: Climate change or the expansion of the nearby Kurgan culture. It may also have something to do with the weird habit of burning down their own houses! Every 60 to 80 years, the people of this neolithic society would raise their entire settlements to the ground. Before rebuilding every last one on the ashes of the old buildings. Everything inside their homes was made of perishable materials. Allowing some kind of ritual cleanse and rebirth to take place. It sounds a little bit like a juice detox program. Except somehow more..uh..Earthy! At 5: The First American Metropolis. You may think densely populated cities only came about after the arrival of European settlers. But before that, there was actually a major Indian settlement of around 40,000 people. Located close to the Mississippi River. We call this place, Cahokia. And the remains of this 6 mile wide city can still be found around Illinois today. Cahokia was founded around 600 A.D. By an unknown tribe hailing from the Mississippi culture. And was the largest settlement North America had ever seen. Until the growth of Philadelphia in the 1800’s. It was an interesting city surrounded by huge mounds of earth. And even a section of the Mississippi River diverted to help with irrigation and drainage. This is wildly at odds with the nomadic existance of many other local cultures at the time. So the people who lived here clearly intended to stick around. But.. Stick around, they did not! As by 1,200 A.D. this city started to decline. Even before Europeans came poking their noses around. So, why did everyone just up and leave? Where did they go?! Were there even more Native American cities than we know of? And would the indigenous people of North America have stood a better chance at resisting the European invasion if they hadn’t abandoned these settlements? Number 4: The Home of the Minotaur The Minoan civilization existed on the Greek island of Crete. From as early as 5,000 B.C. And was the purported home of mythical King Minos and his half-man, half-bull stepson The Minotaur. Who was born after King Minos’ wife was apparently… Seduced by a bull! The palace of Knossos is believed to be part of the labyrinth in which Minos, the world’s WORST stepdad supposedly kept his bastard, Minotaur. And as a major city of commerce this was just one of many elaborate buildings built by the Minoans. But whilst they began to experience a boom period around 1,600 B.C. The Minoan society mysteriously collapsed 150 years later… Earthquakes and volcanoes frequently struck the area so many believe this to be the cause of the Minoan downfall. But there is no documented evidence of any geological events occurring at this time. The famous Linear A script we’ve covered previously is an undecipherable Greek writing system know to be from the Minoan period. So perhaps when we manage to decipher this it might reveal the mystery of what caused the end of the Minoan people. But if you ever play the game Civilization, and you start on Crete you might want to move a few squares over. Because when it comes to destroying societies this place seems kinda cursed. Number 3: The Mycenaean Mystery. When the Minoans packed up and moved out of Crete the Mycenaean people of the Greek mainland decided to head over to the island and squat for a while. And when I say a while, I mean about 350 years! Which is a pretty short stay for a whole civilization of people. Unless they’re sleeping on your couch then it’s a long time. But despite founding several large settlements on both Crete and mainland Greece the Mycenaean people also disappeared mysteriously, like their Minoan cousins sometime around 1,100 B.C. Once again, natural disasters or war has been blamed. But their collapse came just before the Greek dark ages. A period of time when historical records were not kept. This is a shame. Because evidence left behind of Mycenaean society reveals them to be highly advanced in engineering, military infrastructure and architecture. Advancements, which may now have been lost forever. Thanks to whatever disaster befell the Mycenaean people. At 2: The Clovis Culture. The earliest people to settle North America are believed to be the Clovis. Who lived there more than 10,000 years ago. These were a typical hunter-gatherer group. Who hunted mammoths, mastodon and many other species which are now extinct. So thanks a bunch, you Clovis jerks!! The only evidence we have for their existence is limited to a small number of artifacts such as bones and stone blades, known as Clovis Points. Which were often found embedded within mammoth skeletons. But if we could find out more about the Clovis people we may finally start to understand how the Americas first came to be populated. By studying the DNA of an infant Clovis boy named Anzick-1 researchers have discovered a genetic link to the later Native American tribes who the Europeans encountered. And, mostly wiped out. When you also consider that Native American DNA shows that their genetic ancestors were Asian. This lends credence to the hypothesis that humans first settled North America by crossing from Siberia. Over a now submerged land bridge at the Bering Strait. A fascinating piece published in the Journal of Science in 2014 further claimed that these people were stuck on the Bering Strait for 10,000 years! Before finally reaching their destination 15,000 years ago. That’s a long way to wait in the departure lounge! Gee, I wonder if they brought a book? So it seems likely that perhaps the Clovis people didn’t disappear after all. And that they simply developed to become Native North and South Americans! Which, technicality means the Clovis don’t belong on this list. But guess what? This entry took way to long to research and it’s far too interesting to leave out. So suck it! Number 1: The Indus Valley People. We recently covered the disappearance of the Indus Valley people in our video of The Top 7 Historical Mysteries. But lets take a more detailed look at this amazingly advanced group. Who it seems got bored of existing one day and decided to give up! At their zenith, the Indus Valley people were known as the Harappan. And having settled huge swaths of Asia in 2,000 B.C. This civilization of 5 million people was gone just 1,300 years later. European tribes and climate change were both blamed for the destruction of the Indus Valley society. But as well as having a mysterious ending these people had an equally interesting beginning. We know nothing of how this society came to be. What there dialect was. And we also can’t decipher any of the writing they left behind. Unintelligible handwriting?! They must have been doctors! ..ehm.. Which actually isn’t that inaccurate. As they did understand many complex medical techniques. As well as having a great eye for city planning. Their sophisticated settlement designs were flourishing at a time when Europeans were still trying to figure out which hole in the ground was for food and which one was for pooping. The Indus Valley people were also pretty big on equality, by the looks of it. Their cities had no religious buildings or iconography. And a study of building materials and property sizes indicate there was no class divide between rich and poor. The Indus Valley people were perhaps the original communists. So was that why they failed? Or did another civilization of jocks come along and wipe out this race of ancient geeks? [You are now smarter:)] So that’s our list. Why do you think smart civilizations keep getting destroyed? What happened to the people of Crete? And which will be the next civilization to mysteriously disappear? Well.. If our video on The Top 7 Scary Future Space Events is any indication… We’re all royally boned! So why not take a look and brighten your day by realizing the futility of all human endeavor.