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Cities That Vanished

The story of the ruined city of Pompeii is one of the best-known examples of a city that suddenly ceased to exist. One moment it was a thriving metropolis, then an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 buried the city in volcanic ash. It was accidentally rediscovered in 1749 and excavated, revealing a time capsule of city life during the era of the Roman Empire.

It’s not just ancient cities that vanish, however. The following collection includes a city that disappeared just this past August. Even as the seven billion residents of Earth begin to run out of physical space to populate, there are virtual places to be abandoned – former online frontiers such as Geocities: The Deleted City.

There are many different ways a city can disappear: It can fall victim to catastrophe, become submerged by rising water or simply be zoned out of existence. In some cases, no one knows why a once-thriving city was wiped off the map. Click ahead and prepare to feel unsettled by the transience of human settlements.

By Colleen KanePosted 9 November 2011

Jason Minshull | Creative Commons