Monday, November 30, 2015

Americapox: The Missing Plague

Diseases brought by Europeans wiped out 90% of the people living in the New World, which allowed relatively easy conquest and colonization. That happens when long-isolated populations meet for the first time. Have you ever wondered why it didn’t go the other way? Why didn’t New World diseases wreak havoc on Europeans? CGP Grey explains how the differences between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres over the long history of civilization left us with plague, typhus, cholera, smallpox, and other diseases, but no “Americapox.” The transcript is at Grey’s website, and there’s a discussion at his subreddit. (via Geeks Are Sexy)


Barbwire said...

I think that maybe syphilis or gonnorrhea was the gift of the New World to the Old World. I don't remember which one, but definitely one of them.

Miss Cellania said...

It was syphilis. Not as fast or as deadly as smallpox, but certainly memorable.