The Blue Hole in Belize could begin to explain why the Mayan civilization disappeared. This time laying to rest some of the otherwise wild theories about their disappearance. As it turns out though, the reasoning for their disappearance may be less dramatic, and more meteorological than previously expected. Scientists have discovered that after evaluating and taking samples from the Blue Hole in Belize that the sediment present shows that a massive dry spell ultimately spelled out disaster for the civilization.
This drought within the intertropical convergence zone ultimately meant that weather patterns that were typically wet, and very tropic – became dry, barren, and almost uninhabitable. At least to the standards of the Mayans’. Research shows that the dry spell lasted primarily between 800 A.D. and 900 A.D. and while it lasted just 100 years, which was all it took for the population to disintegrate. Once the civilization disintegrated it never recovered to the strength that it once had.
The Mayan civilization existed on the Yucatan peninsula between the years 300 A.D. and 700 A.D. They were widely-known as one of the most-advanced civilizations in the history of human life to that point, after they had developed their own writing system, a calendar, and built some of the most-impressive structures humans had seen to date. Even today, the pyramids that were built by the Mayans remain some of the most-impressive structures to ever come from human history. However, their skills were not limited to physical and communication. They were even incredibly advanced when it came to astronomy, and that was something that very few civilizations even considered dabbling in to that point.
The researchers and scientists drilled through the Blue Hole, as well as one in the Rhomboid reef. As they looked at the sediment that was present, they ultimately found that through drilling into the sediment they were able to see what types of content had been deposited into the Blue Hole hundreds, and thousands of years ago. “It’s like a big bucket. It’s a sediment trap,” said one of the researchers following the entire project.
The team went on to point out that “When you have major droughts, you start to get famines and unrest.” Ultimately, this is what spelled disaster for the Mayan civilization, and at the end of the day – what was the driving force behind their disappearance. However, a drought isn’t the most-outlandish theory, as to why the Mayans disappeared. Many have speculated for some time that this was likely the case, but now, science has backed some of those notions up with hard data that can’t be argued.