A detailed study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that Mount Etna in Sicily erupted at Caesar’s death in 44 BCE. Some have speculated that this eruption may have resulted in a cold-weather period accompanied by crop failures, famine, and other natural problems. The resulting outcome of all this was civic unrest and violence all around the Mediterranean region. That situation seems intensely familiar as the coronavirus pandemic is a contributing factor of social dissonance and upheavals all around today’s world.
One problem: that eruption of Mount Etna, truly, just wasn’t all that big. Now, a thorough analysis of volcanic debris in Alaska, ash found trapped in Greenland ice cores, tree ring analysis in Europe and North America, and deposits in a cave in China all point to a truly massive eruption of Alaska’s Mount Okmok with worldwide implications.
The volcano let go with a mighty bang about the time Roman senators were too busy assassinating Caesar to take note. Evidence collected from all the locations noted above indicates that 43 BCE and 42 BCE were among the ten coldest years within the past 2,500 years of Earth history. With that, the audience seems to indicate that cold snap likely was caused by the ash and gas unleashed into the atmosphere by Okmok.
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