Humans in India survived Toba supervolcano eruption; Here’s how 74,000 year-old event developed Homo Sapiens

FE Online
Toba eruption occurred about 74,000 years ago in a lake in Indonesia's Sumatra. (Representative image/ Reuters photo)

According to new research findings, human beings in India survived the Toba supervolcano eruption and continued to flourish after the debacle. The research report was published by the researcher of the University of Queensland, the University of Wollongong, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the University of Allahabad and others.

Toba eruption occurred about 74,000 years ago in a lake in Indonesia's Sumatra. The catastrophe had accounted for one of the most severe natural disasters in the last two million years. The eruption released emission that had gone up as high as 30 kilometres in the air. The intensity of the emission had created an ash blanket that covered the major part of India and some parts of Africa. Some schools of thought suggest that the eruption pushed Earth into volcanic winter that lasted as long as six years and the planet Earth had to endure a longish cooling period of a thousand years.

In the view of scientists, the Toba eruption played a pivotal role in human evolution. The scientists, who back these claims have a belief that the eruption made human survivors in Africa more adaptable against extreme circumstances. If this theory is to believe, the human survivors in Africa would have planned much more effective social, symbolic and economic strategies to cope with the harsh conditions. Those newly adopted strategies might have helped them regrow and flourish themselves in Africa and as well as to migrate into Europe, Asia and Australia around 50,000 years ago.

The researcher studied a unique set of archaeological records that spans over 80,000 years at the Dhaba site in the middle of Son Valley of northern India. The ashes from the Toba eruption were found in the Son valley back in the 1980s. The group of scientists found stone tool industry at the Dhaba site extending the 74000-year old Toba eruption.

The scientists found a strong resemblance between the lithic industry found from the Dhaba site and stone tools observed from the African Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Arabia. Hence suggesting the migration of Homo Sapiens from Africa to other parts of the world. Presence of mitochondrial DNAs and their observation as well helped the group of scientists to postulate their theory of humans survival against the Toba eruption.