7 Apocalypses That We’ve Already Survived

Aidan Herklotz

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Worried about World War III coming up on the horizon? Forget about it! Humans have already survived tons of apocalypses. So, in no particular order, here are seven major apocalypses that we have already survived.

7) Smallpox Spread in the Western Hemisphere.

When Europeans arrived in the Western Hemisphere ( i.e. Mexico, America, Canada, Brazil, the West Indies, etc.) they brought many useful things, but also many deadly diseases. The worst of these diseases was Smallpox which quickly spread to the Europeans and Native Americans, reportedly killing every three out of ten people who got the disease. And if you did survive the smallpox, you were most likely scarred or disfigured for life. In the late seventies, smallpox was officially eradicated. The last person to have smallpox was one Ali Maow Maalin who was a hospital cook in Somalia. He was diagnosed with the disease in 1977. He was put into quarantine by a smallpox eradication system and survived. He then devoted his life to curing polio and died in July of 2013.

6) The Bubonic Plague.

The spread of the Bubonic Plague (or Black Death) across Europe was easily one of the most devastating pandemics in Earth’s history. It spread from rats who carried the sickness biting Europeans and infecting them. The estimated death toll from the plague is anywhere between 75 and 200 million Europeans. It wiped out roughly sixty percent of the world’s population at the time. After this, it took 250 years for the Earth to reach its population before the plague. There was also another bubonic plague outbreak in China during 1855 which killed another 10 million people. Technically, the bubonic plague still exists in the world today, it’s just extremely rare.

5) Solar Flare in 1859.

While it may have not affected the world too much, a solar storm did hit the Earth in 1859, it just didn’t do anything to us, probably because we didn’t have any electronic devices. Luckily, two astronomers in Australia did record the event, their names were Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson. If we were hit by a solar flare today, it would have crippled our modern, advanced power grid, leaving us without lights, internet, communication, and anything you need electricity for. We would have a grade A Y2K17 on our hands. Good thing that a solar storm didn’t barely miss us in 2012, oh wait! A solar flare DID almost hit us in 2012! And according to NASA, if the 2012 solar flare had started six minutes earlier than it did, then we would be picking up the pieces.

4) The Ice Age.

It is extraordinary that us humans survived the Ice Age. We can barely survive below freezing temperatures nowadays, and we have blankets, heaters and hot cocoa. Just imagine having to live in a frozen wasteland when those things weren’t invented yet! Back then (around thirty-thousand years ago) when the world was a tundra and all the plants were dead, the only subspecies of humans that lasted through the Ice Age were homosapiens. We know this because, according to the Science Research Journal, recently discovered fossils date back to 37,000 years ago which proves that, somehow, we lasted through the Ice Age! Brrrr.

3) The Tunguska Event.

Space is not nice to our little ol’ planet Earth. It has a tendency to throw a lot of planet destroying, world crippling stuff at us (looking at you, solar flare). In fact, in 1908, a giant meteorite rocketed into Tunguska which is in the middle of Siberian Russia which is pretty much just a giant wasteland. Scientists say the impact is 1,000 times stronger than the A-Bomb and uprooted eighty million trees. That’s a whole lot of oxygen. The space where the meteorite hit is still bare of all trees, plants, and wildlife in general. After the blasts, Russians living hundreds of miles away said they heard a loud “booming” sound, and there were reports of windows breaking in nearby towns.

2) Shaanxi Earthquake.

In 1556, the Shaanxi Province of northern China was hit by an earthquake which killed sixty percent of the population. The Earthquake was so insanely earth-shattering that it reached a whopping 7.9 on the richter scale. That is nearly ten times as powerful as the Haitian earthquake in 2010. A giant sum of 830,000 Chinese people died in the earthquake. 

1) Toba Supervolcano.

It was 75,000 years ago in present day Lake Toba, Indonesia. A supervolcano beneath the land erupts, destroying everything around it. This was the Toba Supervolcano. If you thought everything else on this list was destructive, buckle up, you’re in for something big. This eruption was 100 times greater than the most destructive recorded super eruption which is the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. The Toba Eruption was the closest humanity has ever come to extinction, and it immediately vaporized 2800 kilometers of surrounding rock. When Mt. Saint Helen erupted in 1980, it only destroyed a single kilometer of rock. All of the dust kicked up by the explosion blacked out the sun’s light for an estimated six years. Experts of volcanic eruption called this explosion “Mega Colossal.”  When it erupted 75,000 years ago, it dropped the population to just 3,000, and the adults able to breed fell to as low as eighty! Those eighty men and women are one of the prime reasons that we’re alive today.

Obviously, there are way too many possible apocalypses to count down on this little list, so I apologize for not adding your favorites, that is if you have a favorite world-destroying apocalypse. Even if nuclear holocaust seems inching closer every day, just remember, us humans have been through a lot worse.