The Mongols Weaponize the Bubonic Plague (Killing Half of Europe)
If there is one thing movies and real-time strategy games have taught us about warfare, it's that superweapons are pretty much the Konami code of combat. The Americans had the A-Bomb, the good guys in Red Alert had the Chronosphere and the Karen in Burma had a John Rambo so pumped with HGH he sweat steroids and crapped jawbones.
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left...
With that said, you can really tell a lot about a people by their superweapons, and when it came to the Mongols, it's safe to say they didn't pull any punches. Hell, even their conventional weapons were pretty damn sick. For example, when they finally won their long war with the Jin, the roads of Beijing were "greasy from human fat," and the air was saturated with a poisonous fume like Mordor.
During the Siege of Caffa in 1346, the Mongol armies of the Golden Horde unleashed a weapon of war utterly unmatched in terms of its consequence: Yersinia pestis. You might know it better as the bubonic plague. Or, by its much cooler name: Black Death.
The disease had been enjoying a nice retirement in Middle of Nowhere, Central Asia, until the advancing Mongols had to mess up the migration routes of small rodents. By the time the Horde reached the city of Caffa situated in the Black Sea, their own soldiers were already dropping dead from the illness.
But of course that wasn't their fault. Their people picked up some microbes as they were stomping across the countryside. It's not like they intentionally spread the dis-
Oh wait. They did. When they saw how effectively the disease took out their own people, they reportedly started loading their diseased corpses into catapults and launching them over the walls of their enemies.
The enemy in this case, the city of Caffa, was a major shipping port serving the entire region. People fleeing the invasion and raining corpses jumped in their boats and sailed off in every direction. By the time they drifted back to their ports throughout Europe with news from Caffa, their boats were true ghost-ships with Y. pestis patients literally bursting "like pinatas."
The world's population at the time the Mongols started flinging infected corpses was around 450 million. By the time the Black Death got through with them a few decades later, it was as low as 350 million. Their little biological weapon campaign killed one out of every four or five people on planet Earth, utterly changing the face of human civilization and creating the modern world as we know it.
Take a moment to reflect on that. In a way, everything you see around you is indirectly the result of one particular group of assholes.
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