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40 Strange Historical Facts That You Didn’t Learn In History Class

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The cobra effect of the black cat extermination

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It’s not often we get to combine two strange historical facts into a new strange historical fact! But this particular historical fact is still debated, so take it with a grain of salt. So, the Pope who thought that black cats were the devil incarnate and ordered their extermination en masse really screwed the pooch, apparently. Once people started killing off all the cats, there were no rat catchers around to curb the rat population. Rats, specifically black rats, were instrumental in the spread of the Black Plague, which killed HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people across Europe in the 1300s. Like we said, there is some debate on the validity of this particular story. But some historians believe that the cat purge contributed to the plague, at least peripherally.

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