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The Worst Droughts in Human Historical past and What Occurred After

Drought refers to low-level precipitation in a specific area for an prolonged interval. This might be the absence of rain or snow in that area, resulting in crop failure, drying up of water our bodies, and low soil moisture. Slightly look again into historical past reveals us that droughts have ravaged areas of the earth at totally different factors, wreaking horrible havoc on life and livelihood. 

This text discusses a number of the worst droughts in human historical past and what occurred after them. We additionally take the time to take a look at probably the most drought-prone nations on the planet at present. 

The Worst Droughts in Human Historical past

Worst Droughts in Human Historical past: Drought in Historic Egypt in 2200 B.C. 

Historic Egypt skilled a extreme drought in 2200 B.C.

Sediments and different archaeological proof have led scientists to consider that historical Egypt skilled a extreme drought. Historic Egyptians trusted the Nile’s flooding to irrigate their crops, however there have been intense crop failures when the Nile didn’t flood for an prolonged interval. The Pharaohs tried their greatest to mitigate this by numerous improvements, however ultimately, it fell aside. The drought and its aftermath are believed to have led to the autumn of the Egyptian empire. 

The Aftermath of the Drought 

The drought led to the autumn of the previous Egyptian empire in addition to different civilizations just like the Harappa and the Subir, that are present-day northwest India and Syria, respectively. Based on archaeologists, the drought led to famine and the breakout of battle and wars within the Egyptian empire that quickly spiraled uncontrolled and ultimately led to the empire’s collapse. 

Worst Droughts in Human Historical past: The Mud Bowl Drought (1931-1939)

Dust Bowl
The worst drought that ever hit the USA is the Mud Bowl drought.

NOAA George E. Marsh Album / public area

The Mud Bowl drought is often known as the worst drought that ever hit the USA and the whole lot of North America. The drought lasted a couple of decade, and it was characterised by extreme mud storms that killed folks and crops in the complete area. The Mud Bowl began in 1930 within the Southern Plains area of the USA, and big mud storms started to hit in 1931. By 1934, about 35 million acres of land that farmers had beforehand cultivated had been rendered ineffective for farming. On the identical time, about 125 million acres of land have been dropping their topsoil. For context, 125 million acres of land is in regards to the dimension of Texas. The Mud Bowl resulted in 1939 when common rainfall returned to the area. 

The Aftermath of the Drought 

The drought could have ended after a decade, however the aftermath of the drought on the economic system and the federal government have been felt for for much longer.

One of many fast results of the drought on the area was a large migration from the world as folks sought employment and sources of livelihood elsewhere. About 2.5 million folks migrated away from the Mud Bowl states – New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas. Oklahoma alone misplaced about 440,000 folks, lots of whom moved to California. Sadly, these migrants have been discriminated in opposition to and got menial jobs for horrible wages. They have been known as “Okies,” which quickly grew to become a discriminatory time period for individuals who grew to become refugees as a result of Mud Bowl, no matter whether or not they have been from Oklahoma or not. 

The Mud Bowl additionally affected authorities coverage because the nationwide authorities established a number of legal guidelines to alleviate the plight of these severely affected by the drought and take care of the environmental degradation that led to the drought within the first place. Two insurance policies centered on environmental degradation have been the Soil Erosion Service and the Prairie States Forestry Venture. These applications ensured that native farmers planted bushes on farms throughout the Nice Plains as windbreaks.

Lastly, the Mud Bowl additionally impressed arts and tradition. Musicians, novelists, and photographers all immortalized the plight and struggles that characterised that interval with their works. A distinguished instance was the Novel titled “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, which captured the discrimination and sufferings of the Okies. One other instance is Woody Guthrie’s first album titled “Mud Bowl Ballads.” 

Worst Droughts in Human Historical past: Drought within the Northern Nice Plains (1987-1989)

1654126129 328 The Worst Droughts in Human History and What Happened After - August 12, 2022
The drought within the Northern Nice Plains induced heatwaves and forest fires that have been fairly common.

Leaflet / Inventive Commons – License

A drought broke out in the USA within the Nineteen Eighties when low rainfall started to happen within the Northern Nice Plains. The drought quickly unfold east and west, and at its peak, it was stated to cowl about 45% of the USA. The drought was characterised by mud storms that led to the closure of faculties, amongst different issues. The drought additionally induced heatwaves and forest fires that have been fairly common. One distinguished instance was a fireplace that laid waste to about 1.2 million acres across the Yellowstone Nationwide Park. It could not have been as devastating because the Mud Bowl, however this drought was shortly one of many worst to hit America and the world. 

The Aftermath of the Drought 

The drought led to important financial losses, with specialists now putting the losses at round $39 million. There have been additionally large-scale crop failures and the disruption of educational calendars for academic establishments. 

What Nations Have the Most Droughts within the World In the present day? 

Drought land against a blue sky with clouds zengin

In the present day, thousands and thousands of individuals need to take care of droughts and their penalties worldwide. A few of the nations dealing with probably the most extreme of penalties embody: 


Over 2.3 million folks within the nation are affected by droughts yearly. The nation is primarily a desert and relies upon primarily on the Nile for water. 


That is one other nation that’s extraordinarily dry and barren. Stories state that at any time when a drought happens, about 60-80% of the animals in Afghanistan die from it. The droughts have affected about 2.5 million folks within the nation. 


A number of specialists have listed Eritrea as one of the crucial drought-prone nations on the planet. The nation can also be bedevilled by meals shortages which have uncovered about 1.3 million folks to hunger, migration points, baby malnutrition that impacts half of its kids inhabitants, and political instability. 

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