Research Shows Humans In India Survived The Catastrophic Toba Eruption 74,000 Years Ago
About 74,000 years ago a volcanic eruption at what is now Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia, created one of the most dramatic natural disasters of the past 2 million years. The plume of the eruption punched 30 kilometres or more into the sky, eventually blanketing much of India and parts of Africa in a layer of ash.Some scientists argue the eruption plunged Earth into a six-year “volcanic winter” followed by a thousand-year cooling of the planet’s surface. The long chill, the argument goes, may have resulted in the near extinction of our own species. One prominent theory says the eruption was a key event in human evolution. If this is right, the few human survivors in Africa would have developed more sophisticated social, symbolic and economic strategies to cope with the harsh conditions. These new strategies might then have enabled them to repopulate Africa and migrate into Europe, Asia and Australia by 60-50,000 years ago. Also Read: Brett Lee: Semi-finalists Showcase Strength In Depth At Women’s T20 World Cup
It is still unclear how intense the fallout from the Toba eruption really was, and how it affected humans. The debate has been running for decades, drawing on evidence from climate science, geology, archaeology and genetics. We have found new evidence that humans in India survived the Toba eruption and continued to flourish after it. The study – by researchers from the University of Queensland, the University of Wollongong, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the University of Allahabad and others – is published in Nature Communications today.