Five Great Things You Didn’t Know Came from Horrific Tragedies

Henry Stennett writes on

In Japan they have an ancient saying: “The most beautiful flowers grow only in the shit of Godzilla.”

And you know what? They’re right. Great things not only happen despite horrible disasters, but often because of them. We’re not saying that we’re glad these horrible things happened, or that it was even worth it. But a lot of what’s great about the world today is a result of history’s darkest hours. Like…

#5. The Black Death: We know this statement is going to be pretty controversial down in the comments section, but we’re going to say it and stand by it: the Black Death was bad. We want to make it clear right off the bat that when we talk about a silver lining, we are not advocating that the Black Death be brought back. We would not support any such proposal.

The Black Death, a.k.a. The Plague, utterly ravaged humanity, killing between 30 and 60 percent of Europeans, and dropping the population of the entire world by 20 percent by some estimates. The Plague came in three forms. Bubonic was the most common and easiest to spot: Sufferers developed huge buboes under the armpits, on the neck and in the groin, which grew to the size of a small apple or egg.

Death often occurred less than a week after infection. Pneumonic was the second most common form, and it infected the lungs. It also had a mortality rate of 95 percent, which seems impressive until you learn that Septicemic Plague, the third variety, had a mortality rate close to 100 percent, and even today there is no cure for it.

The only reason that the two latter examples were rare is because they killed so quickly that you didn’t have time to pass it on before you died. Much like attacking Bruce Willis on Christmas, if you contracted Septicemic Plague, your life expectancy was about a day, and the end was not going to be pretty.

The Silver Lining: The birth of the freaking modern world.

So how could one of the deadliest pandemics in human history have any positive outcomes?

Well, before the plague there had been massive overpopulation in many European countries, the likes of which the world really hadn’t seen to that point. Along with it came famine, poor sanitation, overcrowding; all of which helped to accelerate the progress of infectious diseases like, well… like the plague. Disease, starvation and predators make up Mother Nature’s three-pronged population control failsafe, and things had gotten to the point where it was going to be the Plague or lions.

Illustration: The Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411) via Wikimedia Commons

Read the other four “Great Things You Didn’t Know Came from Horrific Tragedies” on

10 Comments on "Five Great Things You Didn’t Know Came from Horrific Tragedies"

  1. Disillusioned | Nov 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm |

    The entire world's population could fit on the continent of Australia with each man, woman and child receiving one quarter of an acre of land to farm. With half of Queens land left over. That ALL the world population.

    Over population is a myth. It's a myth to satisfy justify the West's greed and give excuse for starvation on this planet.

    • people who cant feed themselves should starve, otherwise you condition people to be weak and dependent,
      the west has what it has because it took it though seemingly having a later start at civilization and less mineral wealth.

    • so the worlds population could feed themselves year round with one quarter of an acre per person? plus have enough resources and space left over for everything else (a roof, clothing?)

  2. Monkey's Uncle | Nov 16, 2009 at 12:28 am |

    Finger pointing is almost a sport. Who's fooling who?

  3. Sounds like we need another plague

  4. Keep up the good work man. Perhaps something more virulent? Haha

  5. Pantheist Functionalist | Sep 16, 2011 at 4:50 am |

    Captain Trips, anyone?

  6. Pantheist Functionalist | Sep 16, 2011 at 12:50 am |

    Captain Trips, anyone?

Comments are closed.