Did a volcanic eruption nearly kill off ancient humans?

Short answer: We don't know. What makes this story by Erin Wayman interesting is the way it carefully breaks down an almost Hollywood-ready narrative and finds the fascinating uncertainty lurking underneath. The truth is, uncertainty is cool. Because it means there's more stuff left to discover.


  1. Thats interesting because the volcano coincides roughly with the human colonisation of Australia, which happened through Indonesia. Makes me wonder if the first Australians were pushed south by the disaster, and how far south they went. Did they cross the land bridge to Tasmania almost on their first push onto the continent?

  2. I dunno if a genetic bottleneck would make such a great Hollywood blockbuster. But it’s cool they’re questioning the established theory. That’s what scientists are supposed to do!

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