700 Years Ago a Plague Was Ravaging Europe, and We’re Still Experiencing Its Consequences

Despite the fact that plague pandemics appeared in both the Middle Ages and in the modern world, the fiercest and most destructive was the one that ravaged Europe in the 14th century, killing a third of the European population of that time — about 25 million people! But it didn’t just bring on death: after the end of the pandemic, Europe started to change so significantly that the consequences of those events still have an impact on our lives today.

At Bright Sidewe can’t believe how much some historical events are interlinked and the pandemic of Black Death and its consequences are a great example of this.

Women became shorter on average.

Doctor Sharon N. DeWitte from the University of South Carolina (USA) along with a group of scientists researched the remains of 800 people who lived before the pandemic of the plague and after it ended. The results of the study showed that the plague known as Black Death made people healthier on average and increased life expectancy: the next generation started to live up to the age of 70-80 which was extremely rare before.

700 Years Ago a Plague Was Ravaging Europe, and We’re Still Experiencing Its Consequences

This can be explained by the fact that the disease mainly killed people who had a weak immune system and the ones who survived had stronger defense mechanisms, so they produced healthier offspring.

Additionally, scientists found out that the plague had an influence on the puberty of girls — it made it happen earlier. This may also have contributed to the fact that women today are shorter because during puberty, the growth of bones decreases.