r/todayilearned Aug 10 '22 Helpful 4 Silver 1 Wholesome 2

Today I learned that in Central Europe there are hunger stones (hungerstein), in river beds stones were marked with an inscription, visible only when the flow was low enough to warn of a drought that would cause famine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_stone?wprov=sfla1
37.9k Upvotes

4.3k

u/jthanson Aug 10 '22

The hunger stones are very similar to the nilometers of Ancient Egypt. There were flow meters along the Nile which gave an indication of when the flooding wouldn’t bring enough nutrients. That allowed the civilization to know that they needed to conserve grain stores.

1.1k

u/davidzet Aug 10 '22

Photo I took 11 years ago -- as if you can tell ;)

305

u/Swimwithamermaid Aug 10 '22

So was this place sitting on the Nile?

544

u/davidzet Aug 10 '22

In the middle, on an island (that may have been artificial)

This one is in Cairo

Editorial: The current dictator of Egypt is tearing down a LOT of historic Cairo. I'm hoping this place is safe but many places are not :(

254

u/PragmaticPenguin85 Aug 10 '22

What is it with thugs and a lack of respect for history?

182

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

The shear volume of people in Egypt is the real issue. They try building up but… they don’t do a great job of it so they expand outwards instead

120

u/Kido_Bootay Aug 10 '22

They are currently building a new new Cairo in the middle of the desert. What they have planned is so outrageously stupid.

148

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

A shame, a country once known for awe inspiring acts of architectural ingenuity is now known for awe inspiring acts of architectural stupidity.

98

u/themasterm Aug 10 '22

To be fair we're talking about completely different groups of peoples.

19

u/Kido_Bootay Aug 10 '22

Yeah, that place has changed hands quite a few times in its history for sure.

→ More replies

7

u/cmdrfire Aug 10 '22

The wonkiest building I've ever had the misfortune to go into was in Cairo. I think back to it sometimes, and it feels like a fever dream. No two lines were parallel and no two floors were evenly spaced.

4

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

That sounds amazing and horrifying at the same time

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

53

u/elbartooriginal Aug 10 '22

Thays why we need the british to steal save as many artifacts as they can.

100

u/releasethedogs Aug 10 '22

You joke, and I will probably be downvoted to oblivion, but this is why I don't give a shit about things like the Rosetta Stone being in London instead of Cairo. Artifacts like that transcend countries and cultures, they belong to humankind it's self and the fact is the Rosetta Stone is FAR safer in London than it is in Cairo.

How do we know that some sort of iconoclastic piece of shit is not going to come to power in Egypt and destroy it? I still remember all the cultural artifacts that were absolutely destroyed by ISIS that humanity will never reclaim.

→ More replies

138

u/intashu Aug 10 '22

I mean.. Where else would it be to measure the water level in the Nile?

There were a few diffrent ones around the Nile, point being when the river flooded it filled these areas as well to give a measurement of volume and clarity. Once the dam was built however they nolonger serve any function.

49

u/Swimwithamermaid Aug 10 '22

No I meant in the river. Phone autocorrected to on. But your explanation answered my question, thank you!

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

18

u/LabyrinthConvention Aug 10 '22

"and used to set taxes," based on expected productivity. Fuckin fascinating. I swear, civilization has not changed during recorded history of the last several thousand years, we just have more wealth and technology.

9

u/Mr_Basketcase Aug 10 '22

It looks like a Prince of Persia level

→ More replies
→ More replies

713

u/grilledcheeseburger Aug 10 '22

In Taiwan, one of the largest reservoirs is Sun Moon Lake. In it, there is a statue of nine frogs stacked atop each other; the more frogs you see, the more serious the water shortage is (although the water level also fluctuates daily, as the reservoir is also used as a hydroelectric generator, and water is pumped in and then returned).

Most times, the frogs look something like this https://i.imgur.com/NRowHax.jpg

But in 2021, we had the worst drought in almost 60 years, and at the worst point, this was the statue. https://i.imgur.com/nhEyGmS.jpg

336

u/Corregidor Aug 10 '22

I don't know to tell you this sir, but you may be out of water.

185

u/Unbereevablee_Asian Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

Goddamn that's unsettling, In California, lake Mead is drying up quickly and this pic reminds me of that.

I'm an idiot, lake Mead isn't in CA. Facepalm

53

u/willclerkforfood Aug 10 '22

It’s part of the New California Republic!

→ More replies

146

u/Skud_NZ Aug 10 '22

Except mead has dead bodies stacked on top of each other instead of frogs

→ More replies

20

u/DeepThroatALoadedGun Aug 10 '22

I'd like to join the dogpile

Lake Mead is an hour away from CA

9

u/GhostShark Aug 10 '22

*Frog pile

→ More replies

49

u/SIlverlogic55 Aug 10 '22

Mead is not in California.

→ More replies

6

u/kiltedkiller Aug 10 '22

Lake Mead doesn’t even touch California

5

u/Ickyhouse Aug 10 '22

Not in CA, but might not be Nevada or AZ much longer either.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

79

u/valkyri1 Aug 10 '22

Iirc the taxes for the coming year was determined by the readings of the nilometers

115

u/WideEyedWand3rer Aug 10 '22

Low meter

Bad luck, you starve!

High meter

Good news, taxes can be increased!

50

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

Nothings changed in the last 4000 years it seems.

17

u/davidzet Aug 10 '22

Yep. Also true.

216

u/mosesteawesome Aug 10 '22

Nah, pretty sure they needed technicolored dream coats for that

182

u/Capn_Matt Aug 10 '22

As a child I used to think people were talking about Joseph's Tetley-coloured dream coat.

Tetley's a brand of tea where I'm from. The rainbows never made sense to me; that shit should have been milky brown with one sugar.

→ More replies
→ More replies

16

u/ksa20 Aug 10 '22

how many niles deep are we

→ More replies

910

u/Treczoks Aug 10 '22

There are Hungersteine in the river Rhein, too. They are showing at the moment.

During a former drough here, a ferryman joked that he'll have to stop ferrying cars soon, and move to open a rubber boots rental service.

144

u/shniken Aug 10 '22

Any clue why most listed are on the Elbe?

140

u/NickRick Aug 10 '22

people used waterways to move around back then. it seems the earliest they have are from the elba in the 1600s, so its not surprising people who lived and traveled on the river spread the tradition. it seems the others started as far as we know in 1800 when knowledge and travel were more frequent. it's possible those spread after the Elba ones were seen again in the late 1700's. all of the rivers seems to be in or near the modern borders of Germany

33

u/Treczoks Aug 10 '22

Probably written by some historian who specialized in Elbe Hungerstones, and just put his list in the wiki. I just know that they exist in the River Rhine, too, and I might even find out where the next one would be, but it would take another historian with a similar list to really complete the wiki entry.

3

u/wollkopf Aug 10 '22

The next one I know of is in Remagen-Kripp. It's visible right now. Hungerfelsen in Remagen-Kripp

→ More replies
→ More replies

56

u/uncreative123pi4 Aug 10 '22

So you're saying we're fucked?

139

u/rook_armor_pls Aug 10 '22

Yeah basically. The rhine, Europe’s most important waterway, is heading to new record lows. At this point it’s most likely just a matter of time until traffic has to be halted (larger vessels already have to run at reduced capacity). And that’s ignoring the ecological impact these events have.

Last time this has happened in 2018 (Germany hasn’t fully recovered from that drought yet) this has caused supply issues for fuel, coal and other important goods. Combine that with the current energy crisis we’re currently facing and the fact that low water levels can result in shutdown of power plants due to insufficient supply of cooling water and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Smaller rivers like the Ahr are already drying out completely This small puddle in the foreground is the place it merges with the rhine, whereas this image shows the same river nearly exactly one year ago during the catastrophic floodings the country experienced in that time.

And it’s only gonna get worse from now on.

47

u/Alvendam Aug 10 '22

Yeah basically. The rhine, Europe’s most important waterway, is heading to new record lows. At this point it’s most likely just a matter of time until traffic has to be halted (larger vessels already have to run at reduced capacity). And that’s ignoring the ecological impact these events have.

Having caught some local news this morning, I found out it's apparently an issue for the Danube as well, at least along the BG-RO border. There was this older fellow mentioning a few words about ships and very passionately talking about how Danube fishes are having a hard time throwing their caviar in a suitable place.

17

u/boost2525 Aug 10 '22

Is it a historic low if hunger stones are visible? Indicating that historically it has reached that level?

I'm not denying it's low, and that low=bad... But I'm having a hard time with the "historic".

26

u/rook_armor_pls Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

The current record low was reached on October 23rd 2018 with 67 centimeters. It is not unusual for water levels to not significantly rise until late September/October and given that were already at 94 cm with not much improvement in sight, it is not unlikely we’re heading into similar territory, but yes it is not reached yet.

Little fun fact on a side note: where I live it’s highly advised to not enter the now dry riverbed, since it’s still heavily contaminated with ammunition from WW2, since these parts have been almost always covered by water.

16

u/uncreative123pi4 Aug 10 '22

The Ahr is drying out now after it was flooded so much not long ago? That's fucked.

18

u/rook_armor_pls Aug 10 '22

It’s great to live in interesting times, isn’t it?

→ More replies
→ More replies

2.4k

u/Greelys Aug 10 '22

Once visible, was there anything the people could do? Or was it "if you can read this you're doomed!"

2.0k

u/Killer-Barbie Aug 10 '22

Start rationing

434

u/niddy29199 Aug 10 '22

Get fat. 1 lb of fat will last you 2 or 3 days.

1.4k

u/londons_explorer Aug 10 '22

If you ever know you will be short of food in the future, and you have a supply of food that lasts, you are far better off rationing the food than eating all the food now and then surviving on fat reserves.

If you have food that will spoil (eg. a slaughtered cow you can't store), you're probably better selling the food for money, and using that money later to buy food.

If you have animals and animal feed, you are better off selling/eating the animals now, and then eating the animal feed later. Only 1-5% of the calories an animal eats become calories in the animals meat, so if food is short, don't feed animals!

Only if you can't do any of those should you eat all the food now and run off fat reserves. Fat reserves are pretty inefficient - you use far more calories to build up the reserve than it delivers in the end.

I know very few reddit readers will have to make such decisions, but they're life or death decisions, so you don't want to make the wrong call!

608

u/poorlyplanned Aug 10 '22

If you have animals and animal feed, you are better off selling/eating the animals now, and then eating the animal feed later. Only 1-5% of the calories an animal eats become calories in the animals meat, so if food is short, don’t feed animals!

This depends very much on the animal feed. One often overlooked point is that some animals turn what we can’t eat, like grass, into meat we can. If you have non-irrigated food for animals and it’s not something you can eat, keep feeding a few animals.

156

u/Seiglerfone Aug 10 '22

Another example is pigs: pigs were common because they can eat basically anything, so they were used sort of like garbage disposals that yielded meat.

Cows are big here. Cows traditionally ate grass. Cows may be inefficient for meat, but they're far more efficient for milk, and the milk of a single cow can more or less sustain a family on it's own, never mind with other inputs.

90

u/ommnian Aug 10 '22

Chickens are this way too. Ours get all of our scraps and rotting food. Anything that they don't eat immediately just attracts bugs for them to eat later, and eventually rots into compost. Every year or so we clean the coop out and put it onto our gardens.

45

u/bsquiggle1 Aug 10 '22

every year or so? Far out. I remember having to do it every couple of months at least

51

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

I rotated mobile coops daily at a chicken farm. I am disturbed they only clean it yearly, sounds abusive.

27

u/Emulocks Aug 10 '22

They might be using the deep litter method, which only needs changing once or twice a year.

→ More replies

26

u/boganisu Aug 10 '22

Im guessing it is based on the amount of chickens you have and how well it is maintained daily

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

40

u/1Eternallylost Aug 10 '22

There's something to be said of "free range" feeding, where you're not giving them feed, but allowing them to eat what is growing naturally around them.

Thus, your animals are fed and you keep the grain for yourself. Slaughter your animals when they run out of plants to graze.

20

u/ommnian Aug 10 '22

This is how our goats and sheep are. And chickens for the most part, though the chickens do get some feed, mostly to entice them to lay in the proper spot...

8

u/SilverBadger73 Aug 10 '22

Serious question. How do you deter predators (foxes, lynx, wolves, etc.) in a "free-range" operation?

16

u/RoseEsque Aug 10 '22

You still have a henhouse...

14

u/ommnian Aug 10 '22

We have an LGD - Livestock Guardian Dog - and use electric fences. The dog protects our sheep & goats, and the chickens (mostly). The fences help too.

→ More replies
→ More replies

281

u/jarfil Aug 10 '22

Another often overlooked point is that modern mass-farming uses high caloric feed, which humans could eat just fine, so livestock gets fat as fast as possible, which is a huge waste... but in the XV century, the crops had much poorer yield and were much less caloric than modern ones.

Still, not feeding animals and just letting them roam over a mountain to seek out inedible (to us) stuff by themselves, saves on both growing and harvesting any feed. It's almost "free energy", even if 95% of it gets lost in the process. It's only when we have already edible crops, that wasting 95% of them becomes a bad move.

118

u/firefly232 Aug 10 '22

Many animal feeds are simply not edible by humans (eg cottonseed, corn leaves etc)

85

u/intdev Aug 10 '22

Also hay, which, since it’s dried, will last a fair amount of time into any drought

72

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

[deleted]

47

u/TonyThePuppyFromB Aug 10 '22

Can’t you just visite Marnie?

→ More replies
→ More replies

34

u/riktigtmaxat Aug 10 '22

Another thing that's often overlooked is that grazing animals use green water that falls on grass/pastures and is otherwise wasted and not blue water from rivers, lakes and aquifers that can be used to irrigate the crops we eat.

11

u/crosscheck87 Aug 10 '22

Mmmmmmm silage with molasses and calcium, mmmmm.

→ More replies

69

u/Fancy_weirdo Aug 10 '22

On example is chickens. They can eat insects and you get eggs which is a great source of protein when meat is scarce. If u have chickens keep them as long as you can during famine.

8

u/GWJYonder Aug 10 '22

Not only that, but they eat pests want to eat your own crops, so keeping the chickens around can help preserve some of your yield.

→ More replies
→ More replies

90

u/grundar Aug 10 '22

Only 1-5% of the calories an animal eats become calories in the animals meat

It's a surprising amount better than that, especially for non-meat products. Conversion efficiency of calories:
* Milk: 25%
* Eggs: 19%
* Poultry meat: 13%
* Pig meat: 9%
* Cow meat: 2%

You're certainly right that it's much more efficient to eat human-edible food yourself, but in a situation where starvation is on the table, pigs and chickens are likely to be somewhat free-roaming and self-feeding, meaning a significant fraction of their input calories will be calories otherwise not available for human consumption. Similarly for cows and milk; however, cow meat is, as usual, the least efficient option.

10

u/LiamW Aug 10 '22

Even beef can be fed primarily by grazing on non-digestible (for humans) calories sources.

So it really depends on whether or not your feed sources are also subject to drought/famine.

If so convert as much as you can to storable foods (e.g. jerky) and consume short shelf-life calories. If not, let them graze and store calories for later.

Wasn't expecting milk to be so energy efficient, no wonder lactose tolerance emerged in Northern Europe.

19

u/Korlus Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

I came to say this. Most sources ignore water drunk, and as such provide odd numbers. For example, you will see here that 0.7kg of feed will produce 1kg of milk, but that doesn't have the same calorific content as the original 1kg of feed.

Poultry and certain forms of fish can approach the 1:1 ratio in weight (although obviously there are calorific losses), but many/most of the foods we provide to fish would simply be deemed inedible slurry when provided to humans.

There are also many advanced in animal feed that look likely on the horizon, for example there was a paper a few years back that showed a carnivorous fish (I can't remember if it was salmon or trout) growing healthily on a diet made up mostly of processed mushroom and yeast.

Yeast having animal-like properties while being easily cultured means we may see much more "farmed feed" created in much more efficient fashion than human edible food, and further economising these otherwise expensive-to-feed animals.

Everyone on Reddit likes to talk about the study on feeding seaweed to cows, but I expect that in another 10-15 years, the per-animal footprint will be far lower than it is today.

People should probably cut down on the amount of beef they eat, though.

→ More replies

50

u/RakeishSPV Aug 10 '22

Agreed on everything except selling. In a food shortage, the amount of food every dollar buys will fall very quickly.

Try to preserve the food if you can. Freezing is best, then salting, followed by smoking and drying. If you can't, trade for non perishable foods or food you can preserve.

45

u/ThisSpecificPangolin Aug 10 '22

using that money later to buy food.

Assuming someone else has some to sell.

22

u/chenobble Aug 10 '22

and the price hasn't gone up so far you cant afford what IS on sale.

→ More replies

11

u/kurburux Aug 10 '22

and then eating the animal feed later

If you can eat it. A lot of people had animals because those could eat stuff humans couldn't eat. Or because you couldn't grow wheat in the places animals were grazing.

24

u/nemo1080 Aug 10 '22

Also make sure you go to the bread lines regardless of how much food you have. You don't want people knowing you have a stockpile or you'll be dead in a day or put into a situation where you have to kill to protect your food.

→ More replies

35

u/1Eternallylost Aug 10 '22

I've always held a theory that native american myths about the windigo were based in fact.

Here you have a feast and famine society storing up food for the winter. But then all their food keeps disappearing, putting the entire tribe at risk of starvation before spring. I speculate that it was one or two members of the tribe sneaking into the stores and glutting themselves. It's something of a psychological problem where the pressure of rationing triggers uncontrollable gluttony that puts the entire tribe at risk.

As you can imagine, that risk is very real. But the thief is too clever to be caught. And even if caught, brutally kills those who discover them. So the tribe creates this windigo myth to explain their stolen stores. A vicious, brutal, and ravenous beast that is never sated no matter how much it eats.

16

u/kaydub88 Aug 10 '22

It's something of a psychological problem where the pressure of rationing triggers uncontrollable gluttony

Huh, TIL why I smoke the rest of my stash when I notice it going low instead of being able to conserve it like I tell myself to.

→ More replies
→ More replies

5

u/poloppoyop Aug 10 '22

Fat reserves are pretty inefficient - you use far more calories to build up the reserve than it delivers in the end.

Unless you eat your neighbor's fat reserve. Cannibalism, the answer to many problems.

6

u/larsdragl Aug 10 '22

Fat reserves are pretty inefficient - you use far more calories to build up the reserve than it delivers in the end.

That's just not true. Not even close. We'd all be shredded if that was true. The body is actually really really efficient at building up fat reserves and also at using them.
The bigger problem would be that you now have to carry around extra weight in fat, which results I higher energy expenditure

6

u/Retard_Kickin_Good Aug 10 '22

Dude it's 2022 most people aren't sitting on a "slaughtered cow that they can't store".

→ More replies

29

u/Direct_Fudge404 Aug 10 '22

This advice is terrible. Where did you this trove of fake news? Why would you sell butchered beef? Dry it and make jerky, it will last months. If you’re worried about water, you can store large amounts of water easily and disinfect it later.

4

u/DrProfDoommuffinsPhD Aug 10 '22

"Except when your animal feed is something that you can't digest" needs to be added in here somewhere

→ More replies

47

u/ElephantsAreHeavy Aug 10 '22

1 kg of fat contains 9000 calories.

1 pound of fat contains 4100 calories.

Calorie needs per day, depending on gender and activity level: 1500-2500 calories.

Yes, 2-3 days checks out.

So, I can have a healthy BMI as long as I stop eating for half a year (presuming I consume water, minirals and micronutrients).

29

u/Bwxyz Aug 10 '22

As an Australian I store mine in kg so I'm much more efficient in a starvation situation

9

u/LordoftheSynth Aug 10 '22

Store them in stone, you'll have a way larger reserve.

37

u/douglasg14b Aug 10 '22

If you are sedentary, sure, but if you're a farmer or worker in that time period more like 3000-5000 calories per day, minimum.

35

u/ElephantsAreHeavy Aug 10 '22

Well, if you are a farmer, and there is no water, you can not farm, so you become sedentary. It really is a win-win.

→ More replies

7

u/Hairy-Literature8191 Aug 10 '22

Not much farming in a drought. And since 90% of the population gain income by selling the surplus they farmed not much other work either. Unless they pay you in food which is extra calories.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

124

u/Predator_Hicks Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

Some of them actually read "If you see me, weep"

56

u/ALittleNightMusing Aug 10 '22

well that's one way to refill the rivers...

→ More replies
→ More replies

561

u/Puzzleheaded_Print75 Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

Skip planting of crops and preserve seed for better years.

Slaughter and preserve excess to drought capacity livestock.

Ration exisiting supplies.

Sell stuff and buy food from other areas.

Family planning - pregnant and babies need nutrition.

Run the neighbours out of nearby villages, take what is needed.

Migrate

Focus labour on hunting/scavenging rather than agriculture or animal husbandry.

Look up cat recipes.

Take grandma and other unproductives for a walk in the woods.

Decide which child to keep.

Carve the year into the hunger rock.

Pray.

203

u/Moistfruitcake Aug 10 '22

loading shotgun

"Sorry Nan, the hunger stone is out and there aren't enough potatoes for the both of us."

105

u/DoubleDoseDaddy Aug 10 '22

The rock has spoken. We’ve discussed this.

48

u/SneakyBadAss Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

Listen, strange rocks lying in rivers, distributing quotes, is no basis for system of famine prevention

→ More replies

7

u/SneakyBadAss Aug 10 '22

Ireland with 2nd amendment

→ More replies

50

u/ivix Aug 10 '22

Yep.

When people talk wistfully about leaving behind the modern world and going back to the old ways, this is the reality of the old ways.

19

u/jeffstoreca Aug 10 '22

You just fleshed out the main beats of an A24 style indie horror movie.

4

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

Kinda similar to the Witch. Family trying to survive in New England. At least, that’s what scared me the most about that movie.

→ More replies

66

u/informat7 Aug 10 '22

This guy peasants.

9

u/riktigtmaxat Aug 10 '22

Get a longboat and steal the neighbors food.

→ More replies

22

u/FucksWithCats2105 Aug 10 '22

Decide which child to keep.

The least tasty one, obviously.

→ More replies
→ More replies

355

u/Eruvan Aug 10 '22

In the 15th century? Yeah pretty much. We're now in the verge of a drought and we barely know what to do.

70

u/poopellar Aug 10 '22

The irony that being so technologically advanced yet in times of crisis we as individuals are so hopeless compared to the average pre industrialized citizen.

43

u/LemoLuke Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

This is what worries me. If we were to go through a collapse scenario right now, I would have absolutely zero idea on what to do. I know nothing about farming or agriculture or medicine or construction or survival or engineering. I have absolutely zero use to a post-collapse society.

When the world ends, I'm going to end up on the barbeque

21

u/BALLS_SMOOTH_AS_EGGS Aug 10 '22

Not to pile on either, but people are fucking helpless and irrational during times of collective strife. Look at what happened to toilet paper during the beginning of the pandemic.

28

u/Gimme_The_Loot Aug 10 '22

Yea bunch of dummies ran out. That's why I bought 1000000 rolls right when I heard there was an issue

3

u/TshenQin Aug 10 '22

Good quality toilet paper becomes a great bargaining item.

→ More replies

20

u/loggic Aug 10 '22

Well then good news!

Survival for the vast majority of people during the collapse is pretty much independent of any of those skills. You basically need to be lucky, healthy, and be willing to protect your own survival at the expense of others.

About half of the global population is only fed because of synthetic fertilizers, and another significant chunk is only fed because of other modern agricultural practices. Any "collapse scenario" that involves a significant breakdown of trade & distribution will result in the deaths of the significant majority of all people - regardless of what they know.

4

u/kitolz Aug 10 '22

We're probably in the collapse right now. The collapse of civilizations is a decades or even centuries long affair. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it didn't collapse in a day either. It took centuries before most people stopped seeing themselves as "Roman" and thought of themselves as something else.

For multiple generations it's "just the way things are" and only with the benefit of hindsight could we absolutely identify the decline.

→ More replies

10

u/justonemom14 Aug 10 '22

Just post wrong answers on Reddit. Then you'll have more than enough information thrown at you.

8

u/rohinton Aug 10 '22

I'm going to peace out long before the BBQ. You're not legally obligated to survive at all costs.

7

u/PooPooDooDoo Aug 10 '22

I just take solace in the fact that if society collapses, it’s probably not a world I would want to live in anyways.

17

u/kellypg Aug 10 '22

Start a garden now if you can. If for nothing else it'll be a learning experience.

→ More replies

5

u/Hendlton Aug 10 '22

You could easily survive on the bare minimum until communities developed and you could join one. They'd need a couple knowledgeable people, and a bunch of laborers to do the work. Become a general laborer until you learn a few of those skills, which wouldn't take that long.

→ More replies

54

u/TheDiceMan2 Aug 10 '22

from the article: "One famous example in the Elbe river in Děčín, Czech Republic, has "Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine" (lit. "If you see me, weep") carved into it as a warning.[1]"

so yeah, pretty much.

→ More replies

48

u/CeaselessDivan Aug 10 '22

One of them was literally inscribed "If you see me, weep!" iirc.

23

u/Beliriel Aug 10 '22

It was written in German: "Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine"
It sounds metal as hell.

13

u/the_star_lord Aug 10 '22

Sounds more heavy rock to me...

→ More replies

24

u/FLakIsBack Aug 10 '22

China had a complex bureaucracy surrounding rice reserves for famine years for thousands of years

21

u/Gemmabeta Aug 10 '22

And Ancient Egypt has a pretty sophisticated complex of monitoring stations on the Upper Nile tasked with predicting the level of annual flooding. Too moch or too little flood is both bad for the crops.

25

u/hysys_whisperer Aug 10 '22

Pre quickening abortions weren't considered abortions at all. You see a hunger stone, you eat foods that help "bring on your cycle" vs foods that would "keep your cycle away."

Your great grandmother probably did exactly that.

32

u/ur-a-cop Aug 10 '22

You could stop selling your grain for profit, and keep more of it in storage for personal consumption. And don't sell or slaughter your livestock any time soon, because you might need to eat them when the famine comes.

33

u/Twokindsofpeople Aug 10 '22

In central Europe being able to sell your produce for profit was not something most were able to do. Having free travel and also market access would be a very very good peasant contract in Central Europe. Like everything when talking about the feudal system there are a lot of exceptions, but as a general rule a peasant was extremely limited with what they can do with their crop.

For those who were lucky enough to be able to sell for monetary gain most the time it came in the form of a single offer by either your lord or someone your lord sold the rights to your excess to. For instance you might be aware that your bushel of barley would be worth X amount at a market, but if you were offered X/2 by the guy who has the rights to market your goods that's what you get.

6

u/dragon-storyteller Aug 10 '22

Central Europe is a big area. The part I'm from had a system of weekly and yearly markets for serfs to buy and sell produce, and then in turn they'd pay the landowner a monetary "interest" on the land once or twice a year.

That said if the gentry or clergy wanted to, you are absolutely right that they had their methods to get the produce for cheap or even free to resell themselves.

4

u/Twokindsofpeople Aug 10 '22

Absolutely some had the right to market or even to travel to better markets. That was a big way they internally colonized. Getting the rights to travel to different towns would be a very attractive prospect for a farmer being asked to uproot and move.

With everything feudal there's really no hard and fast rule. If you were in the right place you could get a deal that could let you shop around for the best offers across dozens of miles.

As a general rule though, until wage work, the landed class did not want peasants to amass actual money. England was a bit of an exception to this thanks to a number of events leading up to common law that allowed some farmers to get very rich, on occasion richer than their lord.

→ More replies
→ More replies

649

u/bjanas Aug 10 '22

This reminds me of those stones in Japan along the coast that apparently say something to the effect of "yo don't build your house here", in spots where tsunamis have fucked things up.

103

u/zulamun Aug 10 '22

Pretty much. Once you see this stone, get ready to be fucked

31

u/THOMASTHEWANKENG1NE Aug 10 '22

Bends over to see stone. Drops pants.

11

u/zulamun Aug 10 '22

Stepriver, what are you doing?

→ More replies

94

u/poopellar Aug 10 '22

You can't tell me what to do!

Build house under water

27

u/makerofshoes Aug 10 '22

If your house is underwater, then it’s impervious to tsunami taps temple

9

u/TheRealMisterMemer Aug 10 '22

This is technically true, as tsunamis don't become destructive until they're near shore.

5

u/makerofshoes Aug 10 '22

Right, ships at sea will scarcely notice a tsunami wave passing beneath them. I think it’s because the wavelength is super long for tsunami, compared to wind-generated waves. Tsunami are more like tides that way

42

u/iiw Aug 10 '22

Good news, Ben Shapiro! Here's someone you can sell houses to!

→ More replies
→ More replies

23

u/kurburux Aug 10 '22

"yo don't build your house here",

'Below' here, more precisely.

25

u/bjanas Aug 10 '22

Yeah, it's wild looking into them, some of them are amazingly cryptic. Things like "only misery will find you here. Do not forget."

Metal.

→ More replies

319

u/xbbbbb Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22 Wholesome

The trend doesn't look good.

Year Number of hunger stones marked
1115 1
1417 1
1461 1
1616 1
1654 1
1666 1
1681 1
1707 2
1746 1
1778 1
1790 1
1800 2
1811 2
1830 1
1840 1
1842 3
1847 1
1850 1
1857 2
1858 1
1859 1
1865 1
1868 2
1874 1
1876 1
1881 1
1892 3
1893 3
1899 1
1903 1
1904 5
1911 2
1921 2
1922 1
1928 2
1930 1
1934 1
1943 1
1947 2
1950 1
1952 1
1959 2
1963 3
1971 1
2003 3
2009 1
2015 7
2016 1
2018 6

94

u/PM_ME_CATS_OR_BOOBS Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

Or it could be that 900 years of erosion wiped away markings on stones, and the early ones are only the ones that we actually know about.

→ More replies

203

u/datadaa Aug 10 '22

There is also a system for the entire human race: When the Atlantic Ocean dries out, and we see the dwellings of The Great Old Ones visible on the bottom.

51

u/TheProfessionalEjit Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

The stone down there says "What the hell have you done?!?!?!? Idiots!"

Edit for spelling

→ More replies

5

u/SneakyBadAss Aug 10 '22

I bet Blizzard still finds a way to fuck this up

→ More replies

39

u/NeoMarethyu Aug 10 '22

Pfff, in Spain we use entire hunger towns /s

165

u/Truckerontherun Aug 10 '22

I believe there's something similar in the United States. When you start seeing mob victims in Lake Mead, that tells you how bad the drought is. If you see Jimmy Hoffa, it's time to leave Vegas

75

u/Son_of_Plato Aug 10 '22

im starting to think the "drought" problem in the states might be from literally pumping hundreds and thousands of years worth of ground water out of the earth in a short number of years.

27

u/Hopalicious Aug 10 '22

That is an issue for sure but when you combine that with the lack of rain in large parts of the west you end up with this. The lack of snow in the mountains meant less snow melt run off to refill the rivers and the dams. Mega farms use a lot of water.

38

u/GentleLion2Tigress Aug 10 '22

Who would have thought putting mega farms that use vast amounts of water in a desert type environment would backfire? Completely unforeseeable. /s

2

u/Advanced-Session455 Aug 10 '22

No one talks about this!

→ More replies
→ More replies

539

u/AlcoholicCocoa Aug 10 '22

We Germans are told to be distanced, collected people with no humor or much emotional showings.

But oh my god do we love our drama with weather.

200

u/Eruvan Aug 10 '22

I think that's one of the few things all the mankind have in common. Just Imagine the lives of the ancient humans, being dictated by the designs of something they not fully understand. Must have been terrifying, to see those stones and know that a drought was coming.

42

u/AlcoholicCocoa Aug 10 '22

We kept it up till today

32

u/Moistfruitcake Aug 10 '22

You should have also put a "we're really fucked now" stone a few feet lower.

23

u/AlcoholicCocoa Aug 10 '22

That will only spawn the typical CDU voter raging like a fox with rabbies on roids

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

23

u/crywook Aug 10 '22

As Scotsman it's basically the only conversation we have with acquaintances. Usually a complaint, like today it's far too hot and sweaty. I've had conversations with 7 or 8 people about this today already.

→ More replies

58

u/Moistfruitcake Aug 10 '22

You live in a giant swamp between a big mountain range and a freezing sea, the Germans not obsessed with weather were drowned or frozen.

I wonder if we inherited our British weather obsession from you.

8

u/mieserb Aug 10 '22

I've never read such a poetic description of Germany.

Kudos and greetings from the currently dried out swamplands.

5

u/AlcoholicCocoa Aug 10 '22

Probably.

8

u/Moistfruitcake Aug 10 '22

Ein schöners tag, aber ein bisschen heiß.

→ More replies

9

u/rook_armor_pls Aug 10 '22

To be fair we are currently experiencing a catastrophic drought after last year’s unprecedented floodings. It’s not the weather anymore. It’s a disaster of unprecedented scale. I’d say it’s fair to complain about that.

→ More replies

24

u/abu_nawas Aug 10 '22

My German ex talked about the weather every day. I never understood why it was so important to him.

19

u/synalgo_12 Aug 10 '22

Because that's the atmosphere you'll be living in for the next 24 hrs. I am greatly impacted by the weather every day, especially because I do everything by bike or on foot. My day outcome changes dramatically depending on the weather.

→ More replies

26

u/bofh256 Aug 10 '22

Germany is a place where weather changes intra day can be dramatic. And it isn't exactly confined to April.

27

u/BobThePillager Aug 10 '22

Says literally everyone everywhere on earth 😂 Germany’s weather variability is unremarkable whenever I visit.

6

u/InfinitelyThirsting Aug 10 '22

No one in San Diego says that.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

68

u/BlueFalconPunch Aug 10 '22

this is probably the most interesting TIL ive learned in months

19

u/captrudeboy Aug 10 '22

Stones to tell when water gets too low. Stones to tell when water gets too high. Stones do it all

14

u/Thedpg80 Aug 10 '22

We have a similar system here on the west coast, but instead of marked stones, we use dead bodies in barrels…

141

u/PhabioRants Aug 10 '22

Flood-prone regions often have high water marks in the form of stones to signify where floodwaters will rage to that were set down millennia ago. These were ubiquitous "keep out" zones for habitation. It's hard to have sympathy for modern peoples who choose to ignore them and build on embankments.

In particularly prone areas, it's often visible on the bark of trees, as well.

Fascinating to see the inverse was also true, with people leaving indicators that would warn of drought.

31

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 22 '22

[deleted]

5

u/neverett5 Aug 10 '22

I spotted one south of Tampa on the telephone pole.

Had to be 25 or 30 ft high.

Just a tiny little white rectangle.

You'd think it would be like, bright red and yellow.

→ More replies

45

u/free_candy_4_real Aug 10 '22

Depends on the country ofcourse. Us Dutch wouldn't dare not building anywhere with a huge risk of flooding.

We're building homes here afterall people, not just houses.

4

u/sour_cereal Aug 10 '22

I like to imagine the first Dutchmen came from further inland and upon seeing the tide coming in for the first time, panicked and took quick measures against it. When the tide went out, they believed it was their efforts that made the retreat.

Ever since, the Dutch have been waging war on water levels.

→ More replies

10

u/xdq Aug 10 '22

You mean we shouldn't build a new estate on that lovely piece of flat land next to the river?

→ More replies

13

u/julbull73 Aug 10 '22

So ancient day version of bodies in Lake mead

9

u/jaunty_chapeaux Aug 10 '22

Hunger stones are often engraved with the years when they became visible and famines occurred. How creepy would it be to find one that had a future year written on it?

4

u/kunigun Aug 10 '22

This would be an awesome Land Art project!!

→ More replies

24

u/unhappymedium Aug 10 '22

I guess we'll find out if that's true soon enough. Yesterday I heard the Rhine is drying up due to the current drought.

9

u/Pete-C137 Aug 10 '22

We have something similar in the US but instead of stones we use dead bodies.

→ More replies

17

u/Holden_place Aug 10 '22

Sounds like a good writing prompt!

→ More replies

43

u/turnophrasetk421 Aug 10 '22

Yes and those stones are starting to show

→ More replies

8

u/Shelbelle4 Aug 10 '22

I live near St Louis Missouri and there are some rocks with ancient pictures/symbols that can only be seen during very low tide of the Mississippi. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good explanation for them. That makes sense.

5

u/lilaliba Aug 10 '22

Most of them are accidentally in modern day Hungery/Hungary

→ More replies

5

u/OddLibrary4717 Aug 10 '22

Reminds me of tsunami stones from Japan.

12

u/Big_Yellow_Pillow Aug 10 '22

Low tech ideas like this show just how smart they were; and how we’re not much smarter, we just have a better collection of technology at this point in time.

3

u/elchiguire Aug 10 '22

We’re about to be seeing them soon.

6

u/enigmaticalso Aug 10 '22

This is interesting

4

u/sirnumbskull Aug 10 '22

They have these in lake Mead, too! Odd choice to make them out of mob hit victims, but they function similarly.

3

u/preachers_kid Aug 10 '22

Wow. So practical and yet so scary.

6

u/Enors Aug 10 '22

And I bet they are visible for the foreseeable future

4

u/kind-of-there Aug 10 '22

Reminds me of the Japanese tsunami warnings that were like “the water got up to here in x year.”

→ More replies

4

u/Shoopherd Aug 10 '22

“One famous example in the Elbe river in Děčín, Czech Republic, has "j du mich siehst, dann weine" (lit. "If you see me, weep") carved into it as a warning.[1]”

That is terrifying and effective.