Many of us who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the chaos that the 2020s have brought into our lives so far believe this is one of the most stressful times to be alive.
While that may be very true, did you know that there is one year in history in particular that scholars say was the worst year to be alive?
It was the year 536 A.D., and let me tell you, a lot of crazy stuff happened that, upon hearing, might make you feel grateful for the year you’re living in now.
For starters, scientists and historians believe through research that hardly any sunlight was present during 536. It got to the point where no one could see their shadow, and it was as if the sun was totally absent.
A Byzantine scribe once wrote that the sun was absent for a period of 18 months, and it only appeared for around four hours during the day. But during those four hours, it was still extremely dark.
With no sun, there was no way for crops or food to grow properly, so fruit and other crops did not fully ripen. Sounds yummy, huh?
Additionally, throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, a strange fog descended and covered most of the land. So not only was it dark outside for most of the day, but it was foggy as well.
Researchers eventually discovered that a massive volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 could have been responsible for the fog and darkness as its ash spread to great lengths and affected the land surrounding it.
Not only did the volcanic ash make things look bad, but it also affected the entire climate. Crops were dying, temperatures were shifting, and it led to one of the coldest decades in history. This is referred to as a volcanic winter.