In search of the colossal volcano that reached Europe in Century XV


It was in the 15th century that a volcano brought the Earth to a new “Ice Age”, which caused the death of millions of people and changed life in Europe. Its exact location has never been discovered.

In Germany, the heavy rain caused the bodies buried in the cemetery to surface. In Poland, people were crossing the streets in boats. The castle of the mighty Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary of Jerusalem did not survive the floods and entire villages were flooded by water. It was thus for four months, after a dense, blue and humid cloud had concealed the sun at noon on October 10, 1465, when a natural phenomenon, located thousands of miles from Italy, drew attention to the sky in the same the day when the monarch Ippolita Maria Sforza married with king Afonso II of Naples.

After five centuries, the BBC recalls, scientists rediscovered this story buried in the ice, there was a peak of acidity stored on the polar ice that witnessed a volcanic eruption of such magnitude that it threw the Earth into a small Ice Age. The fish died trapped inside frozen lakes, no flower sprouted and no grass germinated. Where once there were rivers, there were only ice-bridges where the people of Bologna fled on horseback. After more than half a millennium since this eruption, there remains an issue, what was and where is the volcano that caused all this.

The records of the fifteenth century guarantee that there was indeed an explosion and that it could be heard 2 thousand kilometers away, the same that separates Portugal from Luxembourg. The chemical analysis of the ice also ensured that the volcanic eruption makes the Tambora disaster of 1815 a simple match even though this eruption released energy equivalent to 2.2 million atomic bombs, including Little Boy in Hiroshima, Killed about 700,000 people and left tracks on both the Antarctic ice and Greenland ice. About the “mystery rash”, we only know it was the worst.

Even so, scientists can predict the size of the natural phenomenon based on the records they have, the “mystery rash” will have released large amounts of sulfur into the atmosphere and it reacted, it rained at the poles in the form of sulfuric acid, hence the records Left on ice. Scientists know it was so, for a simple reason, in addition to a volcano only an asteroid would leave this fingerprint. There are no more signs of impact of this kind in those regions.

In the year 1950, a team of archaeologists traveled to Tongoa, Vanuatu, and heard that formerly that island was linked to Epi (neighboring island) through a land mass named Kuwae, which would also be the caldera of a volcano. The day after the great earthquake, the volcano erupted in a cataclysmic event that knocked Kuwae to the bottom of the sea and further separated the two islands. Now, they guarantee the sites that inherited reports of survivor Ti Tongoa Liseiriki, is a crater in the ocean with one kilometer in diameter. Another layer of ash that covers the two islands, released by gases and rocks released by the caldera at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per hour. However, in 1950, when this story was heard, there was still no knowledge of the mysterious volcanic eruption of 1465.

Years later and still without clues that directed the scientists to the location of the volcano. In 1993, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory took a step forward, “No, the eruption had not occurred in 1465,” they concluded. In fact, it had occurred in 1453, the same year that crops did not feed in Sweden, where no tree grew in Europe and thousands of people froze to death in China because of an event never before understood or witnessed. It snowed on the Yangtze River, the Yellow Sea froze and the Aztecs faced the greatest hunger since prehistory.

With this information, a team of French went to Vanuatu and estimated that the amount of magma emitted by Kuwae was sufficient to fill the Empire State Building 37 million times, and the volcano had expelled ashes at a height of 48 km. With these data, the French denied NASA’s thesis and say that when studying the trees that died at that time, the eruption would have occurred between 1420 and 1430. And then, the mystery seemed to be resolved, the volcano was Kuwae and had entered an epic eruption Before the mid-fifteenth century. Until New Zealand disagreed.
Karoly Nemeth, a New Zealander at Massey University, was reticent about the theory and flew to the site to look for signs of the eruption, which could trigger climate change. But he did not find them. Although large, Kuwae had not released sulfur high enough to cause sulfuric acid rains at the poles. It did not come near Tambora, Kuwae had not thrown debris more than 1 kilometer in height, only that it had entered small eruptions, sometimes in a short space of time. Still, Tambora would have been more serious.

In 2012, news from Antarctica arrives. In Law Dome, where it is usual to snow much, scientists have been able to project a real timeline and thus signal the great volcanic eruptions of the last two thousand years. In this way, they concluded that in the fifteenth century, volcanic records show two large eruptions, one of which in 1458. This coincides with a time in 1453, when the Earth cooled considerably and Kuwae was very active. Still, scientists say that this data proves nothing and is merely “circumstantial”. After all, this may not have been the year of the catastrophic natural event and Kuwae may not have been responsible.