18 Historical Events That Still Need Explications

#7 A Mysterious “Dancing Plague” That Made People Dance to Their Death

In 1518, a “dancing plague” struck Strasbourg, Alsace. Also known as the “dance epidemic”, this weird condition took over 400 people’s bodies and made them dance without rest. Some of these people even died of heart attacks, exhaustion or strokes. It all started in July of 1518 when one woman named Mrs. Troffea started dancing uncontrollably in the middle of Strasbourg. She was later joined by 34 people and soon after the plague spread to around 400 people.

At one point it would kill around 15 people a day. Doctors and authorities realized this was not caused by supernatural causes and claimed this epidemic was due to “hot blood” but instead of treating the patients, doctors advised them to basically “dance it out” by building them a wooden stage. It is believed that the modern marathon runner would not be able to survive this type of intense workout. To this day scientists are not quite sure what caused this terrible epidemic, it might have been due to food poisoning caused by the toxic products of ergot fungi or it might have been a case of mass psychogenic illness.

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