We all know about the Irish Famine of the 1800s, but here are some crazy facts which might shock you.
The Great Irish Famine, also commonly referred to as The Great Hunger in Ireland, is a time in history that substantially impacted the Irish nation, something we still learn about in detail to this day thanks to our education system.
This pivotal time in history was a horrifying catastrophe which resulted in long-lasting effects, including mass starvation and immigration, which led to a massive decline in the Irish population.
While you might think you know everything about the Irish Famine, look at some extraordinary and shocking facts. Here are the ten crazy facts about the Irish Famine.
- We all know about the Irish Famine of the 1800s, but here are some crazy facts which might shock you.
- 10. Other food sources − whatever they could find
- 9. A potato blight caused the Famine − the most known fact about the Famine
- 8. It could easily have been stopped − actions and inactions of the powerful
- 7. Two million emigrated − there was no hope
- 6. One million people died − one of the worst famines in history
- 5. The Irish Famine was never photographed − a crucial crossroads in time
- 4. The ports were kept open − a shocking fact
- 3. Boats were blocked at the harbour − an unbelievable thought
- 2. Many countries helped Ireland − help from abroad
- 1. The potato blight is now extinct − forever gone
10. Other food sources − whatever they could find
During the Famine, people struggled to nourish themselves, and when the worst came to worst, and the blight came into full effect, locals were forced to eat nettles, turnips, and rotten cabbage, and sometimes they resorted to eating grass.
These alternatives were not substantial, but they were the only choice for people.
9. A potato blight caused the Famine − the most known fact about the Famine
While the potato blight was making its rounds in Europe, what we do know is that it had devastating effects in Ireland.
At that time, Irish people depended solely on the potato, which was cheap and nutritious, but when this widespread disease tainted the crop, disaster struck, and many people experienced starvation.
8. It could easily have been stopped − actions and inactions of the powerful
One of the top crazy facts about the Irish Famine is that it could have been stopped so quickly, yet the British government in power increased the effects dramatically with their actions and inactions.
Food that could have been distributed to help impoverished locals was exported overseas.
7. Two million emigrated − there was no hope
Between 1845 and 1855, around two million Irish citizens emigrated to other countries to escape mass poverty, which added to the considerable decline in the Irish population.
Unlike other famines where a section of the country was affected, all Irish people had to either leave or risk disease or starvation.
6. One million people died − one of the worst famines in history
It is estimated that around one million people died from starvation and epidemic disease during the Irish Famine between 1846 and 1851.
This resulted in eight of the population being killed, which is still one of the worst famines in world history.
5. The Irish Famine was never photographed − a crucial crossroads in time
The Great Famine came at a time when photography was a new concept. The human suffering during this pivotal time was never actually photographed, yet it had a long-lasting impact on how the world and its people experienced this period.
The Famine happened when the old world was evolving into the modern world, at a critical crossroads.
4. The ports were kept open − a shocking fact
One of the craziest facts about the Famine and one of the most surprising is that the ports were kept open in Ireland during this time, and the exportation of food continued to profit those in power.
Unlike in previous situations where the ports were closed and food was distributed to the locals, it was the opposite.
3. Boats were blocked at the harbour − an unbelievable thought
While Irish people struggled to survive with little food, various countries sent boats with supplies to the Irish shores, only to be turned away by those in charge.
One prime example is the leader of the Ottoman Empire, who sent a boatload of food intentionally blocked by the British.
2. Many countries helped Ireland − help from abroad
The Great Famine was one of the worst times in Irish history, but while Irish people went through a horrendous experience, many countries tried to help.
Some regions of the world that helped out included various Caribbean nations, India, the USA and the Ottoman Empire. You can check out an interesting article on the countries that helped Ireland here.
1. The potato blight is now extinct − forever gone
One of the craziest facts about the Irish Famine is that it was due to the widespread potato blight, but what is even crazier is that scientists now believe that the particular strain of the disease is now extinct.
What was once responsible for the death of millions of people has now disappeared, never to return.
While many crazy things occurred during the Great Irish Famine, these are the craziest facts about the Irish Famine, which are among the most shocking.