Human catastrophe hidden in history

  Starting from the Stone Age when wood was used to make fire and ropes to record things, humans have lived on the earth for millions of years. In such a long period of time, human beings have received gifts from nature and developed a brilliant civilization step by step. However, before the natural interface, human power is still insignificant. Whenever there is a drastic change in the natural world, or when human behavior violates the laws of nature, natural and man-made disasters will come and form disasters.
  Some huge disasters, such as the Black Death in medieval Europe and the locust plague that lasted for 25 years during the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty, claimed countless lives, caused tragic turmoil, and even subverted the powerful empire. These catastrophes brought terrifying tragedies that made us unforgettable and unforgettable forever, so their stories have been passed down from generation to generation and can be deposited in historical records.
  However, there are some calamities that have not attracted enough human attention. Historians have counted a few more secret human catastrophes—either they have caused huge losses but are little known; or they are still in progress but silently. Although these catastrophes also have the tremendous power to change the destiny of mankind, they have been sealed for a long time in the long history.
  Almost destroyed the human Toba
  human on Earth has existed for millions of years, in such a long time, the evolution of humanity seems to be smooth sailing, but scientists have found that is not the case, in fact, mankind is facing more than once on the verge of The danger of extinction, the most dangerous of which occurred in the eruption of Mount Doba more than 70,000 years ago.
  Mount Doba is located on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is a veritable super volcano. There have been many eruptions in history, especially the one that occurred more than 70,000 years ago. At that time, Doba volcano released 2500 cubic kilometers of magma, almost twice the volume of Mount Everest. The eruption went straight into the sky and obscured the sky. Its power was more than 2,800 larger than the Eyjafjallajokull volcano that erupted in Iceland in 2010. Times. After the volcanic ash descended slowly, a full 15 centimeters thick spread on the ground throughout Southeast Asia. The Indian Ocean, the South China Sea and even the distant Greenland Ice Sheet were also deposited. It is estimated that the mass of material erupted by this volcanic eruption is two orders of magnitude higher than the largest volcanic eruption in human history.
  This catastrophe had a huge impact on the ecological environment of the earth. Because of the volcanic ash, the sun dimmed, and the average temperature of the entire earth dropped by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, and the temperature in some places even dropped by 18 degrees Celsius. This effect lasted for more than 200 years and accelerated the advent of the ice age. The two effects were superimposed, and the earth then experienced a cold age for more than 1,000 years. To make matters worse, the large amount of substances ejected by the volcano not only blocked the sun, but also sucked water vapor into the atmosphere, causing the global climate to become dry in the following years, causing many originally humid and wooded forests to degenerate. For the arid wasteland, many mammals have become extinct.
  Mankind suffered a devastating blow. At that time, human evolution was in a very critical period. Neanderthals and other early races were wandering in most parts of Asia and Africa, and Homo sapiens, the direct ancestor of modern humans, left Africa for the first time. However, At this time, Mount Doba blocked the journey of mankind to the whole world. According to scientists’ estimates, humans were almost wiped out at that time, and only a few people in the Central African Republic of Africa survived, and when the number of humans was the smallest, there might be only a few thousand. The “Gene Geography Project” studied the DNA of 700,000 people from 140 countries, and found that everyone evolved from the surviving groups in Central Africa. The number of these survivors was sorted out and analyzed through genetic differences. It is estimated that there are less than 2,000 people. This small group of survivors survived vigorously, and finally left Africa before sowing the genetic seeds of different races.
  After the violent eruption ceased, Doba volcano went into a dormant state, and the crater formed by the eruption gradually filled with water, forming today’s Lake Toba. Lake Toba occupies an area of ​​1,200 square kilometers, and the area is second only to Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia in Southeast Asia. However, the life of Mount Toba has not ended, it is not an extinct volcano. Monitoring of Lake Toba shows that the water in the lake has a higher temperature as it goes down, and the temperature has been slowly rising. This seems to be a sign of volcano Toba’s accumulation of energy in the dark. Scientists now prefer to see Mount Toba erupt from time to time, because for this super volcano, long-term peace is actually the most terrifying. In the end, it will often end in devastating disasters, just like Like that 70,000 years ago. Scientists are still worried about whether this super volcano that almost destroyed humans will be safe in the future, and it is unpredictable.
  The “Ice Age” that overthrew the Western Roman Empire
  In 395 AD, the Roman Empire was split into East and West parts, but the newly born Western Roman Empire was already in danger. The Romans followed the corrupt and degraded social culture of the old empire. The politics remained turbulent, the economy continued to decline, and the army became increasingly corrupt. At the northern border, new and more serious threats have emerged. The increasing population of Germanic tribes began to move south. They crossed the Rhine into the empire, further increasing the threat to the Romans. In order to appease the Germans, the Roman commander on the border of the Rhine specifically divided the land for them to plant, and absorbed these barbarian tribes in the form of mercenaries. However, the Germans did not obey the Roman officers, they only supported their tribal leaders, and the Germans hated being restrained.
  Finally, this expediency caused the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The Germanic tribes continued to riots, fighting along the increasingly receding borders, they invaded Gaul, the Balkans and the Italian mainland. For decades, the city of Rome was looted many times. In 476 AD, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire was killed and the Western Roman Empire was completely occupied by Germanic tribes. Although these barbarians hope to maintain stability and continue the order of the Roman civilization in the past, what they leave behind is chaos and destruction, and most of Europe has retreated to a more backward and barbaric era.
  There is no doubt that the German invasion was the direct cause of the rapid demise of the Western Roman Empire, but behind the collapse of the empire, there was a force far stronger than human beings-the ice age. Detailed archaeological records show that between 100 and 700 AD, Europe was in a cold period. This cold period reached its extreme value at the beginning of the 4th century. This period coincided with the demise of the Western Roman Empire.
  The extreme cold and drought prevented the Germanic barbarians in the north from sustaining their lives. Their livestock died and the land could not be cultivated. When the Germans left their homeland, it was not only the soldiers who could fight, but the entire village, including women, children and the elderly, were forced to leave. The Rhine River was originally a natural barrier to protect the Western Roman Empire, but the weather was extremely cold. The entire Rhine River was frozen, and the thickness of the ice was enough to allow a large number of people to cross. In 406 AD alone, more than 80,000 Germans crossed the river safely. When the Huns invaded Eastern Europe, more than 100,000 people crossed the river every year. The Western Roman Empire was unable to stop hundreds of thousands of barbarian tribes. The fortresses were conquered, looted and burned one after another. The empire perished in just a few decades.
  The “man-made drought” that destroyed the Mayan civilization In
  1839, the American archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens came to Mexico for an expedition. He hacked through the jungle and tried to find the remains of some ancient civilizations. After several sleepless nights, he saw pyramids, ditches and ancient temples decorated with ancient texts. These ruins seem to be the masterpieces of a civilized society, and they have been lying quietly in the jungle for centuries. As the US ambassador to Mexico, Stephens knows the local situation in Mexico very well. Most of the people here are illiterate and live in poverty. Who built these ancient temples? How did the builder disappear? Stephens continued to investigate Central America and Yucatan for many years before he realized that the ruins he found came from Maya civilization.
  Stephens found the traces of the Mayan civilization. Since then, the history of the Maya civilization has gradually been revealed: it emerged in the 15th century BC and reached its peak in the 6th and 7th centuries AD. However, in the 8th and 9th centuries AD, the Maya civilization suddenly and mysteriously declined and disappeared. This time became the biggest mystery left by the Maya civilization to future generations. Archaeologists suspect that drought is the real killer of the Mayan civilization. Because during the period when the Mayan civilization died, there was a super drought that lasted for more than 100 years, which led to food shortages and political turmoil. As a result, a large number of Maya people died and the city was abandoned.
  However, most people overlooked one point. The super drought that destroyed the Mayan civilization was not a natural disaster, but a man-made disaster. NASA archaeologist Tom Sever discovered that in the early 8th century, the drought began, but the urban population of the Mayan Empire was full. In order to supplement food, the Mayans uprooted the entire forest to expand the agricultural area. And increase crop yields. As a result, their deforestation in Central America (at this time the Mayan Empire had covered a large area of ​​land from Mexico to Costa Rica) exacerbated the dry weather in the region and deepened the climate crisis here.
  So how did these relatively primitive Mayan farmers change the climate? Meteorologists from NASA discovered that the Maya deforested large areas and produced large areas of bare ground. These bare ground cannot provide enough water vapor to form clouds and rain, and rain will be reduced, causing soil drought and raising land surface temperature by 5 degrees Celsius. The Maya’s own mistakes produced a nomino, step by step transforming the fragile tropical rainforest climate into a hot and arid desert climate.
  Finally, the self-created climate crisis destroyed a complex Mayan culture that was good at engineering. All traces of the Maya disappeared for thousands of years, until Stephens unearthed their city.