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“Dancing plague”: a strange disease, remaining a mystery to scientists. Photo

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. ФотоThis strange phenomenon went down in history.

The dancing plague is an unusual phenomenon, which was observed in different parts of Western Europe repeatedly in the period from XIV to XVII centuries. The most notable incident of this plague occurred in the summer of 1518 in Strasbourg, France, where many people continued to dance until the dropped dead from exhaustion. We have collected interesting facts about this incredible phenomenon.

1. The case of Frau Trofea

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

A week before the festival of Mary Magdalene in 1518, Frau Trofea came out of his house and began to dance. She danced all day until late at night, until she collapsed to the ground in complete exhaustion. Although the woman and slept for hours, her muscles twitched in her sleep, though she continued to dance. When Frau woke up, she again started his bizarre dance.

On the third day of crazy dances, her shoes were soaked with blood, she was under extreme exhaustion, but could not stop. A few days Frau Trofea was taken to the temple to heal from disease. But it was too late.. she died. It would seem that everything has ended, but the unexpected happened — in a similar way to dance the beginning of another 30 people. A month later there were already more than 400. People danced for days, forgetting about food and water, until, until he died.

2. Dancing plague: the cause is unknown

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

As more and more people took to the streets in August, their legs twitching in a sort of eerie dance, scaring residents. The dancers seemed to have gone mad, and the audience excitedly forward different theories that could be the reason — God or the devil. Hundreds of people danced in the streets, sweaty and with bloody feet. It is believed that every day from the dancing plague died more than 10 people. Still no one knows what caused the dancing plague in Strasbourg and other parts of Western Europe, but there are many opinions about what could happen. Maybe it was mass hysteria, and maybe a real “plague”, caused by a virus.

3. The Opinion Of Paracelsus

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

The doctor and alchemist Paracelsus visited Strasbourg in 1526, just a few years after the happened plague dance. He first wrote about Mrs. Troffee and was the first who used the term “choreomania” to describe a dance disease. Paracelsus had his own opinion on the causes of the dancing plague. It turned out that the husband of Mrs. Troffee hated it when she danced. Paracelsus and some of the residents of Strasbourg believed that she began her dance just to annoy my husband.

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Paracelsus said that the dance of the disease was three reasons. First, she appeared for imaginary reasons. Secondly, people may have joined the dance due to sexual disorders. And finally, perhaps, some people were physical reasons for uncontrolled dance. Ultimately, Paracelsus believed that the unfortunate wife was the main cause of the dancing plague.

4. Social stress

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

One of the most likely causes of the dancing plague was the stress. Dancing plague appeared soon a terrible epidemic of Black death. It seemed as if the victims were involuntary contraction of the feet, that today there is a small proportion of psychiatric patients (although to a lesser degree). Stress could be caused by a spiritual reason, when people assumed that he or she needs to be punished by God for various sins. Also at that time there was a big tension between the various classes of society. And, given the widespread poverty and hunger, it is possible that there were groups of people who just “broke” because of the moral tension.

5. The bites of tarantulas

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

France was not the only country affected by the dancing plague. In Italy also there were outbreaks of dance mania, but in this country it was called tarantism. People believed that spontaneous dance caused by the bites of tarantulas. Bitten allegedly began to twitch and dance. It was also alleged that the victim of the bites tried to dive in cold water, and many of them died at sea. Although a tarantula bite is not poisonous to humans, the last known case of tarantism in Italy was recorded in 1959.

6. Treatment binding

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

Different methods have been used to try to cure those who suffered from dance mania. One of the most common methods was to bind the dancers. Victims of the disease, wrapped in tissue, like swaddled babies. At first, it prevented the victims from the fact that they were dancing to Erasure’s legs to the blood. Some of the victims also claimed that the tight tying of their stomachs helps to get rid of madness. Some even asked me to kick them in the stomach for relief.

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7. Darkness and starvation

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

Marcels recommended his own cure for the plague dance. He called the victims “whores and scoundrels” and believed that they had to go the worst way. First, he insisted that the victims should be locked up in a dark room (and the worse the room, the better). Second, the victim must have been starving and eating only bread and water. Have helped or not, but it is unlikely that such abuse was worse than the exorcism practiced by the Church against the victims of the dancing mania.

8. Children’s dance plague

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

Records show that in 1237 a large number of children were affected by the dancing plague in Erfurt, Germany. About 100 children began to dance uncontrollably on the way from Erfurt to Arnstadt, and then collapsed from exhaustion. Children found and returned to their parents. But that was not the end. Some teenagers died soon after, and those who survived to the end of his days lived with a tremor that never took place. No one knows what caused the outbreak of “plague”.

9. Dance St. Johns

«Танцевальная чума»: странное заболевание, оставшееся загадкой для ученых. Фото

Dance mania has struck Germany in 1300-ies, immediately after the epidemic of the Black death. Men and women took to the streets and convulsive dancing, to the horror of everyone around. They jumped foaming at the mouth, and seemed was possessed. The mania spread from one person to another. Some of the victims tried to feed their frenzy took place for a short time… but then came back again. The victim claimed that during the dance of seizures they have not even seen what is happening around them, heard nothing, and were forced to move, shout, and dance to exhaustion.

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