TIL about the weird Dancing Plague of 1518

in #hive-1635212 months ago

I have been spending an unhealthy amount of time these days doing pretty much nothing other than watching and reading about random shit on the internet .. I guess I am trying to avoid certain issues I have been procrastinating for a while now, plus it helps me from thinking about shit that cause me anxiety.

Anyways, here's an interesting piece of history I read about today. Totally weird and funny 🤣

It's about an event historically known as the "Dancing plague of 1518".

Here's the short gist:

The Dancing Plague of 1518, or Dance Epidemic of 1518, was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, Alsace (modern-day France), in the Holy Roman Empire from July 1518 to September 1518. Somewhere between 50 and 400 people took to dancing for weeks. source

Engraving by Hendrik Hondius portraying three people affected by the dancing plague (public domain)

Yes, fucking weeks ! The event started with one single woman dancing like a wild animal in July and then more and more people joined the fun until later in September when the weird phenomenon started to cool off.

The records are a bit mixed when it comes fatalities, if any, and whether people danced till they died from starvation, exhaustion or whatever. Some mention up to 15 casualties per day while others zero. Same is true for the total number of dancers ranging from 50 upwards to 400.

As for the causes, there are two theories. One is that it was due to food poisoning (ergotism) from a fungi producing an lsd like substance. Lel.

The other that it was mass, stressed induced
hysteria because reasons.

Feel free to visit wikipedia if you want to learn more about this bizzare story, although I think I covered the basics : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_plague_of_1518

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sorry to hear you are going through a stressful period ( I also have some anxiety inducing shit to deal with ). Maybe we should go dancing in the streets, I'm sure it would solve all our problems :)

OK - That has to be one of the coolest facts I've read in weeks!

Perhaps this is why the Puritans banned dancing! The hysteria!!

Quite interesting

That's so trueful. I think that the poison from the fungus cause it !

People dancing for weeks really sounds hilarious.

I have actually not settled down to know the origin of plague bit I think it's food poisoning tho.

Maybe it was aliens 🙈

Europe has that plague, known as choreomania, for centuries. The earliest account according to a source from Wikipedia outbroke in 1020 in Bernburg against a Church mass. wiki

Sometimes, these things happen abruptly, you can't control feeling like your anxiety, the chemical imbalance in the mind and drastic reduction ins testosterones, lowly sexual feelings also cause this to happen. Don't take it seriously 🤣🤣

Here is the dose of a meme to fend off your anxiety:

sounds like a rave



It's obviously that ergot lol must have been a shit loads folks was tripping for days

Mental health is so delicate, any trigger can leave one so paralysed with anxiety. I hope you find a way to conquer yours.

For a minute there you have somehow nursed mine. Lol. Maniac dancing sounds like something the current world requires but covid's aftermath would wipe more of us than wild fungus 😅

Meh I'll be ok. Probably 🤣

I know you will... :)

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Man, you really know how to find the most interesting topics on the whole internet. I mean you must really good at searching random stuff on google😂 Can't wait for the next episode!


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The Middle Ages and further back often appear to be very difficult periods of time. I’d like to think that among the people afflicted with dancing that there were some who were enjoying themselves, like a contagious concert of delights. The LSD thing makes the most sense but I find it hard to believe the effects would be constant instead of chronic since I’ve heard people having flashbacks but not something ever experiencing something constant. Maybe mass hysteria isn’t implausible either after the way the world’s behaved these last couple years.



That is in-sa-ne

Thanks a lot for sharing it!

- EvM