According to a recent survey by scientists the main reason behind the bubonic plague or Black Death was not so-called black rats.
It may not have been the pesky rats that caused the bubonic plague of the 14th century that claimed so many lives in Europe. Rather the real cause may have been gerbils from the Asiatic continent. Thus it is that history has to be changed due to new evidence that alters the lens through which we view it.
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The bubonic plague started some time in Asia and then spread to Europe where it truly wreaked havoc. Starting from the 14th century and for the next half a millennium, regular epidemics broke out and caused many deaths of men, women and children.
The past consensus was that black rats that were dirty and vermin-infested had fleas on their coats which jumped on to humans thus causing the lethal malady in the first place. But now that has been finally disproven.
After scientists examined the tree rings from that past era, they found that the epidemics occurred during the summer seasons when the black rats usually don’t breed.
Rather what did show up in the clues as to the real cause of the illness is that the weather situation in Asia was favorable to the burgeoning populations of the giant gerbil. And this overpopulation led to the spilling of these gerbils into European territory.
The actual causing factor was the bacteria for which no cure was known back then. Besides, since the commercial enterprise going on between the east and west was at its peak way back then, the bubonic plague was facilitated by contact between the two hemispheres and their inhabitants.
In order to corroborate this evidence, DNA tests will be done on skeletons of plague victims taken from that era. The Black Death ended when the 19th century with its miracles of modern medicine dawned.
Thus this new finding seems to turn the research on its head. It used to be thought that ugly large dark rats were responsible for the deadly pandemic. But now it seems that cute little gerbils from the East were the real culprits behind the whole outspread of the disease.
This almost radically transforms the view that not only scientists but the general public had of the 500 year old ailment that ravaged Europe in a devastating manner. It just goes to show that paradigm shifts are very common in science and today’s facts become tomorrow’s fictions.
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