Articles, Blog


December 30, 2019

Loss of lives is probably the hardest thing
to deal with. And when this happens on a large scale, it
becomes one of the darkest moments in history. But while many of these incidents happen because
of wars, epidemics are also responsible for taking away many people from this world. 10. The Black Death
Perhaps one of the worst pandemics to have ever threatened humanity the Black Death
cast its shadow over the entire Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. An estimated 75 to 200 million people in the
region lost their lives to the plague which was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is believed that the plague started in
the dry plains of central Asia and travelled through the silk road to reach Crimea by 1343. And from there, it was carried by the fleas
borne by the black rat to other parts of Europe and Asia on the merchant ships. The plague was identified in its victims by
the appearance of tumours in the groin and armpits and then progressed to other parts
of the body in the form of black spots. This was followed by high fevers and vomiting
and most of the victims were dead between 2 to 7 days of being infected. One of the worst effects of the plague was
that many considered the Jews, Friars, foreigners, beggars and pilgrims to be the cause of it
because of which they were persecuted by the higher class. But none of it mattered because there was
no known cause or cure for the plague at that time. Such was the impact of the plague that it
almost cut Europe’s population by half. The sight of Doctors dressed in ankle length
overcoats with bird like masks and a wide hat was a dread for the people of Europe and
Asia as it meant that the plague was not far from them. Thankfully, recent medical advances have made
it possible for the early detection of the plague and it can also be cured now. 9. The Plague of Justinian
The times of 542 AD in the Byzantine Empire was one of the worst imaginable. People were scared to wake up every day because
there was no way of knowing if they would live to see the dawn of another day. The reason was the Yersinia Pestis, the bacteria
responsible for the bubonic plague. What was worse was that it wasn’t the only
outbreak. Periodic outbreaks until the 8th century was
one of the reasons for the shifting power equations in Europe. It is believed that the epidemic first came
into the city of Constantinople through infected rats on the grain ships arriving from Egypt. And while it is uncertain how many people
lost their lives due to the plague, it is estimated that almost 5000 people died every
day in just the city of Constantinople alone! It was one of the worst calamities to have
befallen the people of the Byzantine Empire and even today, people shudder at the very
thought of the Plague of Justinian. 8. Typhus
As if war itself is not enough to cause massive loss of human lives, the epidemic typhus has
also resulted in adding to the casualties after a war. It is spread through human lice and is caused
by the organism Rickettsia prowazekii. The symptoms of the infection include severe
headache, fever, rash, cough, muscle pain and even death. The disease is spread when body lice feeds
off an infected person and when this lice jumps onto another person, the infection spreads. Typhus usually kills the lice, but it still
remains viable for several weeks. There have been many instances when typhus
has killed many people and some of the most gruesome ones are the Spanish siege of Moorish
Granada in 1489 where over 17,000 troops died due to it, and in Canada when it killed over
20,000 people in 1847. But perhaps the worst was during the World
War I when it claimed the lives of almost three million in Russia alone. Thankfully, a vaccine was developed during
the Second World War and that has seen a decline in the number of typhus cases. 7. The Russian Plague Epidemic
The bubonic plague is probably one of the worst things you can hear and the epidemic
reared its ugly head in central Russia between 1970 and 1972. The first signs of the plague were discovered
in January 1770 in Moldova when it was contracted by the prisoners of wars. When the prison doctors found out about the
outbreak, they ordered an immediate quarantine. However, while these quarantines were enough
during peace time, the war caused all the attention to be diverted to the borders. And hence, the plague spread to inside Russia. By September, 1971, the plague had gone from
bad to worse and it claimed over 20,000 lives in just that month. The people soon began to protest against the
mishandling of the plague by the government and it led to the Plague riots. It was a really bad time for the people and
the Russian Plague is one of the worst instances of the plague claiming innocent lives. 6. 1918 Flu Pandemic
The word flu doesn’t really induce fear, right? But imagine over 500 million people suffering
from it all over the world! In 1918, an unusually deadly influenza virus
gripped the world and it was the first of the 2 H1N1 influenza virus outbreaks in the
world. It killed almost 50 to 100 million people
in the world and it decreased life expectancy by about 12 years in the US. The epidemic is believed to have started in
a troop staging and hospital camp in France where doctors reported the onset of a new
disease with high mortality, which was later recognized as the Spanish Flu. And what was worse was that the virus was
air borne, which meant that anyone who was infected could spread it to others by just
coughing. And the huge troop movements during the First
World War saw the virus spreading to almost all corners of the globe. The flu was so bad that it infected almost
one third of the world and with its high mortality rate of 10%, it basically killed almost 3%
of the human population of that time. 5. 1916 Polio Epidemic
Thanks to the vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in the 1950s, polio is not so much of
a threat today. But in 1916, it devastated a lot of families
in the US. The epidemic was centred in New York with
the first case being diagnosed in Brooklyn. It caused mass panic with over 9000 cases
in New York alone. Altogether, almost 7200 people lost their
lives in the US due to Polio. There is no cure for Polio even today and
it was only a mass immunization drive started in 1988 that has seen it almost eradicated. In 1916, the mass hysteria saw to many cities
being closed off and people being scared of letting children out of the houses. In fact, over 80000 pets were also confiscated
when people wrongly believed that animals could spread the virus. Thankfully, polio is on its way to becoming
history but those suffering from it will never forget the fears! 4. Memphis Yellow Fever
During the 1800s, Memphis was almost a sewer city with extremely poor hygiene conditions. It was the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes
and subsequently, yellow fever. In the epidemic of 1828, over 650 were affected
and considering that the population was under a 1000 at that time, you can understand its
impact. But the worst yellow fever epidemic in Memphis
came in 1878 when over 17000 cases were reported when the population was 47,000! Yellow fever originated in Africa and came
via slave ships to the US. Memphis was an idea place for it to spread
and it caused major devastation and excursions from Memphis. Although there was an upside to it. Because of the fever, only 7 policemen were
fit for duty in Memphis and hence, it led to black men being enrolled in the police
for the first time in Memphis. 3. The First Cholera Pandemic
Imagine a pandemic starting in India and spreading to almost the entire of Asia. The first cholera pandemic of 1817-1824 was
a huge disaster which affected almost every country in Asia. It is believed that this pandemic began in
the Ganges River near Calcutta and spread wildly because of the kumbh mela where thousands
gather together. Soon, the disease spread to Bombay, the other
coast of India and from there to other parts of Asia with the earliest victims being diagnosed
in Siam. Thankfully, the spread of the disease stopped
in 1824 probably due to the cold winter which killed the bacteria in the water. There are no official estimates of the number
of deaths due to Cholera, but at least 30,000 were infected in Bangkok alone. 2. HIV
This is a pandemic that we are still dealing with. There is no cure till date and although it
has become somewhat manageable, it is one of the worst news that a visit to the doctor
can bring. The disease was first reported in 1981 when
increasing number of homosexual men started succumbing to minor infections. As of 2001, over 60 million people in the
world have been infected and since the virus causes the body’s immune system to shut
down, the fatality is quite high. An estimate says that over 25 million have
met their ends due to AIDS. The disease may have originated in Africa,
but today it affects people in the entire world and is spread mostly through sexual
contact. Let us hope that a cure or vaccination soon
develops! 1. The Antonine Plague
During the rule of Marcus Antonine of Rome, an illness spread which was highly fatal,
killing almost 25% of those infected. Almost 5 million people died in total due
to an illness which was probably brought to Rome by the troops who were returning from
campaigns in the Near East. While no one till date can actually say what
caused the illness, it is believed to be either smallpox or measles. It was probably because of this that many
turned to magic potions and spells to keep themselves safe from it. One of the impacts of this epidemic was that
Marcus Antonine gave a lot more emphasis on the building of temples and shrines devoted
to the Roman gods and when even that failed to check its progress, a lot of the people
started to turn to Christianity and that was probably the reason why Christianity spread
so rapidly in the empire at that time. If you think we missed out any great epidemic
which threatened human lives, do let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to subscribe to our videos!


  • Reply Insane Curiosity March 29, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Another great video ! And great topic , keep it up ! ?

  • Reply Jesus Espinoza Leon March 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm


  • Reply Zero2Hero March 29, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Hopefully we don't experience something like this in our lifetime!

  • Reply Origins Explained March 30, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Scary how easily stuff can spread!

  • Reply Peachy Planet March 30, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I would be scared to leave the house!

  • Reply Erica Davidson April 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Another good video look forward to more !

  • Reply Ken Hasibar February 18, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Wait. It started in Asia, moved its way into Europe, and then to Asia? You're reading some Wikipedia shit with some nice pictures and graphics. Try harder kid. ?

  • Reply Kuwatashima Cosplay March 12, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I had H1N1 in 2009…I was three

  • Reply Prophet YouTube March 14, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    What?  You forgot Islam…  I would also argue the biggest pandemic today is Islam, an infection of the mind, spreading hate, rape, and lunacy, almost like zombies!  –  or  or  or  or  or  or,  ZOMBIES!

  • Reply What am I doing with my life studios Mapping June 4, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Who is happy cancer isn’t spreadable

  • Reply What am I doing with my life studios Mapping June 4, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    What about Ebola it kills people in less then 2 days

  • Reply Brett B. August 26, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Wow, I figured you were a larger channel. Great job!

  • Reply Gregg Black September 10, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Only off by 200 years in the Russian Plauge Epidemic BTW.

  • Reply CopyKitten217 September 10, 2019 at 10:50 am

    What about the dancing plague of 1518?

  • Reply AVGVSTVS CAESAR September 11, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    I feel like the top 2 are obvious. The new world plagues, mostly smallpox which killed more than 80% of the people in the americas. And the black plague which killed a third none of the other ones you mention are comparable. Aids didnt kill 30% of europeans.

  • Reply WAYNE CADDELL October 1, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Is it possible that the outbreak in Constantinople was caused by Egypt?

  • Reply Paul West October 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    2019 and no deadly plague or does malaria carried by mosquitoes which kills millions yearly count for anything these days ?

  • Reply Jim Heiden November 5, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Some Of THE DATES Provided For
    These Epidemics Are MISTAKEN !

  • Reply Rob M November 24, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Shit narration

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