August 6: The worst year in history

If you think 2020 is rough, take a look at 536 AD.

Source: Saamir Ansari
Published: July 2020

The worst year in history

Circulated: August 6, 2020

2020 is one of the bleakest years in a generation. However, when speaking of the worst year recorded in human history, scholars and researchers agree on 536 AD.

  • That year, a massive volcanic eruption choked the atmosphere with ash.

  • Darkness loomed 24 hours a day, for two years.

  • Global temperatures plummeted, spawning the coldest decade in 2,000 years.

  • Crops failed worldwide, and famine was rampant, ushering Europe into five centuries of economic, cultural, and demographic decline, a period historians call the “Dark Ages.”