Do you know about the biggest volcanic eruption earth? Well, the largest volcanic eruption was the Toba volcano that erupted in India around 75000 years ago. The eruption was so massive that it threw nearly 1,000 times as much rock as the eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980. The fall-out was so dangerous, it led to a decade-long “volcanic winter” due to the amount of ash in the sky and caused a millennial-long glacial period. This eruption is said to have caused the death of millions of organisms over the planet, with only a few thousand human survivors.
But new reports have claimed that the consequences of the eruption were not so tremendous as earlier reported and certainly didn’t leave humans on the border of extermination.
Recently, an ancient stone tool industry, discovered in northern-India, at a place called Dhaba, proposes that humans lived in the Middle Son Valley for almost 80,000 years, which points to their existence both before and after the catastrophe.
The tools were found even after the Toba eruption, which suggests that people in Dhaba were using stone tools that were comparable to the tools being used by Homo sapiens in Africa at the same time. The survival of the tools suggests that that humans indeed survived the catastrophe.
The Toba Volcano catastrophe theory is based on the fact that at that period of time, there was a severe drop in the genetic diversity of humans.
But through the years, the theory has been losing ground due to various revelations. The very first of which was in 2007, where stone tools found in southern India proposed the Toba eruption did not lead to extreme glacial climates. Another evidence of the same was found in 2018, where fossil evidence from South Africa suggested the impression that humans made it through the eruption.
While scientists agree that there was indeed a drop in the genetic diversity, their theory is based on the founder’s effect, which presumes that the loss in diversity was a result of humans spreading across Eurasia and branching off into smaller and smaller groups, which caused genetic diversity may dwindle.
A large part of the tools found in Dhaba resembles the African and Arabian methods from the Stone Age. Some of the tools were also found to be similar to that of the early humans in Australia.
The tools are unmistakably human-made, connecting the lines of early repositioning of humans from Africa to southeast Asia and then on to the great southland.