On This Day in History: January 23
The deadliest day in history
Have you ever wondered what might be the single deadliest day in world history? Doesn’t matter if you have or not, because I’m going to tell you regardless. And it was a whopper, shattering, quite literally, every other recording of deadly days for us mostly hairless bipeds by a wide margin. If you were in the province of Shaanxi in China on January 23, 1556, then it sucked to be you.
--On This Day in History Shit Went Down: January 23, 1556--
It was the motherfucker of all earthquakes. Its epicenter was in the Wei River Valley, but it destroyed an area over 500 miles in diameter, killing approximately 60% of the population in that region. The death toll resulted in part from the types of dwellings people in the area lived in. Called a yaodong, they are still popular today in China. They are part cave, part house, carved out of a hillside. During the earthquake many of these collapsed and crushed or suffocated those inside.
It is believed that 830,000 people died.
Modern estimates put the quake at an eight or higher on the Richter scale. In addition to collapsed homes, it caused massive landslides, adding to the death and destruction. Mountains and rivers moved. New hills were formed, and others collapsed. There have been many more powerful earthquakes in history, but this one hit a densely populated area filled with homes that were easy to collapse, resulting in the terrible toll.
And being that Christians are so tolerant and understanding (sarcasm), a Portuguese friar of the Dominican order named Gaspar da Cruz visited China later in the year and said that the earthquake was a punishment for their sins. He wrote the Chinese were guilty of “a filthy abomination, which is that they are so given to the accursed sin of unnatural vice.” Basically, the Chinese had sex in a way that he, and supposedly Jesus, didn’t approve of, and so the Lord sent a mighty shaking of the Earth in his rage over some anal and oral sex.
A month later there was a great comet that flew over Europe. Da Cruz saw it as a sign of more bad shit to come for the world, including the birth of the Antichrist, probably because people were doing it in the butt too much.
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