By now most people who follow Earth Changing theories such as supernovae and the Yellowstone super volcano are aware that a number of events in Earth’s history have contributed to what we would consider “apocalyptic events” if they were to happen in our own time. But few are actually aware of the Toba Catastrophe theory which could come close to bottle-necking human evolution and changing civilization as we know it for decades or even centuries afterward. And now with the Puyehue eruption the theory strikes close to home.
The Toba catastrophe theory is an alternative history of the human race suggesting that approximately 70,000 years ago an event – specifically the eruption of a super volcano in Indonesia – killed off all but approximately 15,000 humans and then the remainder somehow survived the event and then eventually became the human race as we know it today. It says all humans on Earth today are the descendants of a small group of people who were strong enough to survive one of the greatest catastrophes to ever face Earth. Unfortunately, this theory also suggests that an event such as the Toba eruption could happen once again and only a few members of the human race would be able to survive past the first few months as a winter cascaded down on the Earth and forced it into an extremely long winter lasting anywhere from one to ten years. And now the volcanic erruption at Toba has been the largest since 1991 when mount Pinatubo erupted. And the space between these massive volcanic events is getting smaller. Keep in mind that just prior to the eruption at Pinatubo there was an event at Novarupta in 1912 that was comparable with a VEI index of six. The VEI or Volcanic Explosive Index is a number between one and eight with one being a relatively small event and eight being a near extinction level or full extinction level event.
While Puyehue was large, measuring somewhere between five and six on the VEI rating, it was nowhere near the level of event that could destroy civilization as we know it – at least not as far as we understand it.
But then again, it was large enough to cause enormous changes in ways that we couldn’t even begin to understand before effective recording and information sharing methods were implemented. How could such a large scale event trigger others and affect our world? It’s said a massive volcano spreading ash across the whole world could even remove the possibility of summer in some areas – which may sound nice to those who love colder climates. But it could also have a serious adverse effect on the production of food as well.
So are we looking at an extinction level event in the making? Not this time, say the experts, and luckily the events are rare enough they’re not going to happen any time soon. But they were fairly unlikely when they did happen as well almost 70,000 years ago.