Catastrophes have repeatedly occurred on earth that led to mass extinctions. One of them happened about 66 million years ago, when the Chicxulub asteroid crashed into our planet. According to scientists, the power of the explosion was 6.5 billion times greater than the power of the nuclear bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima. It was this event that caused the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs.
After the explosion, the so-called nuclear winter began on Earth, which lasted several years. Many living creatures, including the surviving dinosaurs, died of starvation, as plant growth stopped due to the lack of sunlight and heat. However, not all plant food has disappeared on the planet, and it is this food that will help humanity survive in the event of future disasters.
How real is nuclear winter?
Due to the current tense situation in the world, a nuclear war in 2023 no longer seems as impossible as it used to be. With the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the START treaty, the situation became even more alarming. If the war does happen, its consequences could be comparable to those of an asteroid impact.
For example, a 1983 article written by scientists studying the possible consequences of nuclear war stated that if thousands of nuclear bombs were used, the level of sunlight on the planet would decrease by more than 90 percent. This will lead to a strong decrease in the average temperature on the planet.
Although a nuclear war will not cause the complete extinction of mankind, however, a sharp cold snap will make farming impossible even in regions that will not be affected by nuclear explosions. According to some scientists, famine will begin on the planet even if the nuclear war is limited.
Also, do not forget that a threat from the volcanoes, can plunge our planet into darkness and cold. For example, 74-75 thousand years ago, the supervolcano Toba erupted. A huge amount of sulfur dioxide was released into the atmosphere, as a result of which only 10% of sunlight reached the Earth’s surface. According to some data, at that time the population of the planet was reduced to 3-10 thousand people.
What can humans eat in the event of a nuclear war?
In addition to the above dangers for humanity, one should not forget that sooner or later the situation that occurred 66 million years ago may repeat itself. That is, someday a large asteroid can crash into the Earth. Therefore, scientists have long been engaged in questions of survival in the event of an “apocalypse”. Fortunately, fossil records helps in this.
Many studies have shown that during the mass extinction 66 million years ago, when many plants stopped growing, mushrooms thrived on Earth. Therefore, according to some experts, they are of key importance for the survival of people in a nuclear winter.
After a nuclear war, trillions of trees will surely die. Of course, people will not be able to eat trees, but trees can become food for fungi that do not require photosynthesis. According to some calculations, a 3-foot-long, 4-inch-wide log should produce 2.2 pounds of mushrooms in four years, as reported by Business Insider. This, of course, is not much, but given the number of trees, people will be able to grow mushrooms in sufficient quantities. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the world’s population will decrease.
The leaves of the trees, in their opinion, will also go into use, to brew tea. The taste, of course, will not be good, but the broth can become a source of vitamin C, as well as other important substances. In addition, the leaves can become food for ruminants.
Scientists suggest eating rats
According to Brian Walsh, author of The End Times, whatever remains of trees after growing mushrooms can be fed to rats, which are able to digest wood. As a result, the survivors will be able to eat meat.
Rats are small animals, but they multiply quickly. Therefore, the idea of rat farms does not seem so absurd.
And finally, insects. Many insects will be able to survive a nuclear winter, making them a valuable source of healthy and easily digestible protein. They do not sound very appetizing, but in the event of an apocalypse it will not be up to prejudices and stereotypes.
But cannibalism, according to scientists, is not a way out of the situation. One 2017 study says that in three years there will be only one person left on Earth if people start eating each other, as reported by the Journal of Physics Special Topics. It is better in this case to eat mushrooms and rats.