The Toba Event

Something that grips everyone and sparks a little interest in them if not a lot, is a calamity. There’s a reason why a newspaper headline that says, ‘500,000 dead’ is more popular than ‘Bunny rescued from clutches of Madman’. Although the latter makes you feel all fuzzy and warm inside, the former is what you feel is something you might have to deal with someday, or something that’s a real issue that could potentially affect you in one way or another. Of course, that would be true if everyone got past the ‘it-can’t-happen-to-me’ syndrome.

There have been events in the past that have obliterated life on earth. The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is that asteroid that smacked into earth and made a Michael Bay explosion look like bubble-wrap popping. For those of you who don’t know who Michael Bay is, I’ll throw a few movies he’s directed at you. Transformers. Armageddon. Bad Boys. The Island. Whenever someone talks about extinction, people think dinosaurs. Some might think about the dodo too, awesome bird wasn’t it? Throw it at someone’s face in the middle of the night and they won’t sleep for the better half of a decade.

Onto business now. Roughly 75,000 years ago something pretty insane happened. I’ll sum it up for you quickly. Fwish. Boom. Fizz. Shhhzt. Everyone’s dead. Except for about 6,000 people. No one’s sure how many people survived, because back then they were too busy trying not to get caught in the volcanic ash and die. You’d figure someone walking around with a register calling out names to mark them present or absent wouldn’t have survived too long. The Toba Event, as it has been called, proposes that a supervolcano erupted in Indonesia and everyone was screwed. The earth plunged into volcanic winter for a shitload of time, and the global temperature dropped by about ten degrees, which should make you shit yourself because climatologists tend to become suicidal over one or two degree changes.

I think after everyone gets over the asteroid collisions, 2012, tsunamis and zombie epidemics, there might be a movie about a supervolcano eruption. I wonder how mankind will be able to survive that. Bruce Willis goes into the depth of the volcano using a sophisticated vehicle and just freezes everything down there? Vin Diesel stuffs a giant cork in the volcano’s top? Would make for a pretty assuming movie. In case there’s an idiot out there reading this post and thinking about Tommy Lee Jones in Volcano, you should know that the film was about a volcano that erupts in downtown Los Angeles and threatens only the city. I’m talking about the entire planet here. Interesting how not very many people seem to know about this event but half the world knows about the asteroid collision. Interest in dinosaurs? Just plain Hollywood education?

Well, there we go, wasn’t that simpler than Wikipedia?

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