6 Isolated Groups Who Had No Idea That Civilization Existed

#3. The Old Believers


In 1978, Soviet geologists looking for iron ore deposits by helicopter spotted a wood cabin in the remote woods of Siberia. When they returned to the cabin on foot, they found a family dressed in burlap, eating out of hand-carved vessels and apparently living off the forest. Family members huddled in astonished fear, yelling "This is for our sins!" at the newcomers. The family, the Lykovs, weren't the only ones living like this. Other, similar groups remained in isolation in the Siberian taiga at least up until 1990, largely unaware of the modern world.

Listen, we don't care what their sins were: Nobody deserves burlap underwear.

Though the upside is that if your ass ever itched, you could scratch it by simply walking.

How Did They Avoid the Modern World for So Long?

They're members of a Russian religious sect called the Old Believers, which split from the mainline Russian church in the 17th century over dogmatic changes and a particularly contentious game of Monopoly. Since then, groups of Old Believers have been fleeing from the Russian government for centuries. Some escaped overseas, some sought asylum in other countries, while others looked around the vast, empty, unfriendly expanse of Northern Russia and said, "What about just going over there? Nobody goes over there."

Via 9bytz.com
"Finally, a safe place to set up our medical marijuana clinic."

And they were correct: Vast tracts of Siberia are so human-hostile that a few Old Believers are probably hiding there today, and we may never find them -- because seriously, it is friggin' cold up there.

#2. The Mashco-Piro Tribe

Via Washington Post

The Mashco-Piro tribe recently started making time-displaced, half-naked guest appearances beside a Peruvian river popular with Western tourists. Nobody knows why the tribe suddenly started showing up at the river, but according to specialists, so far they have mainly shown interest in metal cooking pots and machetes. So we're going to say it's either a whole tribe of Iron Chefs, or else they're melting the stuff down to build some kind of primitive machete-tank.

"Giant knives. Yep, that's the only modern invention we need."

How Did They Avoid the Modern World for So Long?

Peru's government opted for the controversial "not attacking all new people with chainsaws" path of diplomacy. They tried to limit exposure for the tribe, presumably not willing to risk facing the wrath of the Mashco Machetank, and banned tourists from going ashore on the river to make contact. Unfortunately, now private operators in Peru have started offering "human safaris" where oblivious tourists with a misplaced sense of entitlement to all of human history can deliberately seek out uncontacted tribes. In short, Peru tried to do the right thing and not screw with a whole group of people by sending in anthropologists and greedy developers, but now an entire society's only impression of the civilized world is fat Dutch tourists in fanny packs snapping Instagram photos of their "savage" wangs.

The Mashco-Piro, understandably, are less than keen to make further connections.

#1. The Pintupi Aboriginals


In 1984, a small group from the Pintupi tribe ran into a white person in the desert. This doesn't sound too strange, until you consider that this was the first time anyone in the indigenous group had seen a white person, and that Australia was first infested by honkeys all the way back in 1788. One Pintupi later said that he mistook the "pink man" he saw for an evil spirit at first. Then, learning what pink dudes did to the rest of the aborigines on the continent, decided to stick with that assessment.

Luckily, the Pintupi missed the race-massacre window by a few decades, and instead their first meeting with the white man involved being invited into a Toyota and then going for a joyride in the desert while Australian rock band Midnight Oil blasted on the radio.

Via Herald Sun
"And right there is where the stupidest thing that ever happened to me took place."

Because Australia is just chill like that these days.

How Did They Avoid the Modern World for So Long?

They were two things: nomadic, and in Australia. Pretty much either of those traits involves possibly not seeing another human being for decades. When you put them both together, you basically get a tribe of Aussie ninjas. In fact, the group almost didn't get discovered at all. Shortly before they ran into white people for the first time, the Pintupi attempted contact with a group of Westernized Australian aboriginals. Unfortunately, the nomads' appearance, which included belts made out of human hair and six-foot-long spears, was bizarre enough to scare even Australians, a people who voluntarily live in Nature's end boss level. One of the Westernized Australians fired a warning shot into the air with a rifle, and the Pintupi fled.

Via Globalwhisperer.com
They're laughing because they just made a white guy shit his pants.

The freaked out Westernized aboriginals then drove to the nearest town and told the story to a bunch of white dudes there, who, in true white dude fashion, fixed the problem with a road trip and the power of rock 'n' roll.

C. Coville's Twitter is here.

For more people who went against the grain, check out The 6 Biggest Badasses Who Lived As The Opposite Sex. Or learn about the 5 People Who Screwed Things Up for Everybody.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Hilarious Highlights from the FBI Gang Name Database.

And stop by LinkSTORM to discover which columnist has been peeing in jars for 10 years.

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