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Find out how humans almost became extinct 72,000 years ago.
The population of human beings on the planet reached over 7 billion in October of 2011.
But scientists believe that at one point, human beings almost went extinct.
After the eruption of a supervolcano called Toba, the number of people in the world dwindled severely, and we were almost completely annihilated from existence.
The supervolvano erupted around 70 thousand BC, on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, and is the largest volcanic eruption that we know of in geological history.
The effects of the eruption reportedly lowered the global temperature dramatically.
Geneticists have noted the devastation to the human population of this time, and in 1998 University of Illinois anthropology professor Stanley Ambrose wrote his theories about Toba and the effects of the eruption being the cause of the lack of genetic diversity in people.
His work was published in the Journal of Human Evolution.
The supervolcano also devastated wildlife, including deforesting parts of India 3 thousand miles away from the location of Toba.
Science writer Sam Kean, says the dust, ash and vapor that was created by Toba’s eruption "dimmed the sun for six years, disrupted seasonal rains, choked off streams and scattered whole cubic miles of hot ash across acres and acres of plants."