Have We Found a Reasonable Explanation for the Biblical Plagues of Ancient Times?

Whether you are religious or not, you will have heard of the Biblical Plagues. These plagues play a major role in most forms of religious text, especially within the context of ancient Egypt. However, for many of us who perhaps have less faith in religious truth, the concept of these plagues has always seemed, well, odd. Some of the plagues can be explained with some rational thinking, though, that science has gleaned from watching our world for so many years.

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Take the River Nile running red with blood. This sounds utterly terrifying, and something that could only take place with the help of a deity. However, while this Biblical passage might make some eyebrows raise, some logical standpoints mean this could have been the case!

Indeed, other ancient tales, like one of the tales of Sekhmet, an Egyptian goddess, alludes to the red-running Nile are made again. The legend claims that Sekhmet was intent on slaughtering all of humanity, so the quick-thinking Ra filled the Nile with a red-colored beer. Sekhmet essentially got so drunk and fell asleep that by the time they slept off their hangover, they forgot all about their murderous intent. 

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What turned the Nile red, though?

So, the main logical theory proposed for a red river is the burgundy blood theory. According to Greta Hort, the climate of Egypt during the reign of Ramesses II saw the climate around Pi-Ramesses shift from a tropical climate to the arid lands that we know today. This meant that the Nile would have gone from a rapidly flowing river into something slower, boggier, and muddier.

These conditions would be ripe for the collection of flagellates, which would thrive in such conditions. These algae would then be able to add to the blood-red coloring of the Nile that has been spoken about. Extremely toxic, too, this would lead to the death of the fishes as explained in the old plague tales.

This would have forced the frogs to escape the river before their death, and frogs are a major predator for insects which then would have flourished with the frog’s population-checking the bugs. Over time, this would lead to more diseased livestock, thus making a lot more of the plague sensible and logical.

Who knows? It might still have been an act of biblical strength. It might also have been a logical consequence of everything listed above.