cover image

Toba catastrophe theory

Supereruption 75,000 years ago that may have caused a global volcanic winter / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Toba catastrophe theory?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


The Youngest Toba eruption was a supervolcano eruption that occurred around 74,000 years ago[1] at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of the Earth's largest known explosive eruptions. The Toba catastrophe theory holds that this event caused a severe global volcanic winter of six to ten years and contributed to a 1,000-year-long cooling episode, leading to a genetic bottleneck in humans.[2][3]

Quick facts: Youngest Toba eruption, Volcano, Date, End ti...
Youngest Toba eruption
Artist's impression of the eruption from about 42 km (26 mi) above northern Sumatra
VolcanoToba Caldera Complex
Datec. 74,000 years BP
End time9-14 days
LocationSumatra, Indonesia
2.6845°N 98.8756°E / 2.6845; 98.8756
ImpactSecond-most recent super-eruption; impact disputed
Deaths(Potentially) Almost all of humanity, leaving around 3,000 - 10,000 humans left on the planet
Lake Toba is the resulting crater lake

A number of genetic studies revealed that 50,000 years ago human ancestor population greatly expanded from only a few thousand individuals.[4][5] Science journalist Ann Gibbons posited that the low population size was caused by the Youngest Toba eruption.[6] Geologist Michael R. Rampino of New York University and volcanologist Stephen Self of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa supported her suggestion.[7] In 1998, the bottleneck theory was further developed by anthropologist Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.[2] However, physical evidence refutes the links with millennium-long cold event and genetic bottleneck, and some consider the theory disproven.[8][9][10][11][12]