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6 Times the World Came Close to Annihilation

By Steven Romano Apr 9, 2014

4 of 7

The Great White Plague

Picking up where the Black Death left off, 17th century Europe found itself combating a microscopic monster responsible for the death of roughly 30% of its population. And this struggle lasted for (hold on to your underwear, now) an unprecedented 200 years! Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria behind the Great White Plague, was difficult to avoid as coughing, sneezing, or making some neighborly smalltalk were all, unwittingly, methods of transferring the disease. And similar to the circumstances surrounding the Black Death, close quarters and general filthiness contributed to TB’s spread. You’d think Europe would've learn something the second go-around, but no.

Tags: science, slideshows, the end of the world, extinction, annihilation

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About the Author
Steven Romano

Like Captain America, Steven Romano is just a boy from Brooklyn. When he isn't contributing to The MindHut and other geeky websites, Steven's hard at work writing his first novel and comic book scripts. Follow him on Twitter @Steven_Romano, and swing by his blog: stevenromano.tumblr.com

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.