535 AD Cataclysmic Event

Why is the global climatic cataclysm of the sixth century virtually unheard of?


There was a sign from the sun, the like of which had never been seen and reported before. The sun became dark and its darkness lasted for 18 months.  Each day, it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow.  Everyone declared that the sun would never recover its full light again.
Historiae Ecclesiasticae

Between the years 535 and 536, a series of major global climatic events that took place that could easily be described as a global cataclysm with catastrophic consequences. The above abstract is from the sixth century historian and church leader, John of Ephesus, in his historical work, Church Histories (‘Historiae Ecclesiasticae’).

John of Ephesus is not the only one that mentions this event. Procopius lived between 500 and 565 AD and he was a late antiquities scholar and one of the main historians of the 6 th century. He also refers to the strange behaviour of the sun and believed that it was a bad sign and the beginning of other events.

… during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.,
History of the Wars: The Vandalic War.

And we have yet another reference from the sixth century writer, Zacharias of Mytilene, who authored a chronicle that contains a section referring to the ‘Dark Sun’ for the period of 535/536 AD.

The sun began to be darkened by day and the moon by night, while the ocean was tumultuous with spray from the 24th of March in this year till the 24th of June in the following year... And, as the winter was a severe one, so much so that from the large and unwonted quantity of snow the birds perished... there was distress... among men... from the evil things,
Zacharias of Mytilene (Chronicle, 9.19, 10.1)

Krakatoa VolcanoThese three extracts are just a representative sample of numerous accounts from all over the world, written in the same period of time. In all cases, the sun was described as getting dimmer and losing its light. Many also described it as having a bluish colour. The effects were also observed with the moon – it wasn’t as bright anymore. The reduction of the light resulted in the reduction of heat on the planet; no rain and a very long winter resulted in crop failures and for birds and other wildlife to perish, as Zacharias of Mytilene writes. Famine and plagues struck many areas and there were a huge number of deaths.

In China and Japan, the event was also recorded in great detail. Massive droughts and thousands of deaths. The water wasn’t enough for the people and the land. Hundreds of thousands of square miles became infertile. In the Beishi chronicles, the official history of the Northern Dynasties, mentions that in 536, in the province of Xi’an, 80% of the population died and the survivors ate corpses to survive.

The catastrophic event struck Korea, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Australia.  While written records do not exist for all countries, archaeological and geological data revealed evidence of the climatic changes. Studies done on the trunks of trees, for example, showed that 536 AD had been the coldest in 1,500 years.

The important question in all of this is, why did it happen?  While there are no definite answers, one theory that has been put forward is that there was a large asteroid or comet impact which landed in the sea (if it hit land there would be evidence of a crater). Geologist Dallas Abbott is one proponent of this view and bases his view on evidence that he found studying ice cores from Greenland. However, this wouldn’t explain the dim light of the sun, and no tsunamis have been recorded for this period, which would have occurred if an asteroid landed in the ocean.

Another theory that has been put forward is a gigantic volcanic eruption – the dust thrown up into the atmosphere could have caused the dimming of the light.  One candidate is Krakatoa, located between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. Indeed, the Book of the Ancient Kings or Pustaka Raja Purwa, written in 1869, describes an ancient volcano.

There was a furious shaking of the earth, total darkness, thunder and lighting.
… Then came forth a furious gale together with torrential rain and a deadly storm darkened the entire world.
… When the waters subsided it could be seen that the island of Java had been split into two, this creating the island of Sumatra.

However, this manuscript refers to the year 416 AD and not 535 AD.  Nevertheless, the fact that it was written in the 19 th century could account for inaccuracies in the time reference.

Whether or not the answer will ever be found is unknown. It is unclear whether scientists are even continuing to pursue research on this event. One thing that is quite peculiar about this global cataclysm is that it is a very little known event. Why is it that this climatic event is not taught in schools? Why isn’t there a plethora of research examining it? Perhaps it is because it reminds us of our fragility as human beings and the fact that no matter how powerful and ‘advanced’ mankind becomes, we are still at the mercy of nature. 

By John Black


AD 536: The year that winter never ended

Global Cataclysm in 535 AD

Catastrophe: An investigation into the Origins of the Modern World, David Keys, Century, London

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Lyndon, thanks for the link. When evidence of different types, i.e. physical, tree-ring, ice core, etc., all point in the same direction, to a common point in time, I am baffled why so many do not just accept the theory, and wish to take a closer look, to satisfy their own skepticism. Instead, they jump on the ridicule wagon, to try and humiliate those of us that simply look at things, with our eyes wide open.

After Pumapunka, it was Caermead, that gave me the evidence I was looking for. No one can explain how building stones, weighing many tons, at Pumapunku, can be displaed by several hundred feet. In Britain, which has been invaded many times, we see the evidence of siege weapons, in partly demolished walls. Siege weapons are used to breach walls, to allow the invaders in. That is all. They do don continue the diege, to totally destroy the castle. The invaders wish to occupy, not demolish. Henry VIII went a bit further, in demolishing churches, and monasteries, but the structures are still recognizeable.

At Caermead, however, the white Marble Palace is shattered into thousands of pieces. This is not the work of an enemy. We can find similar destruction of marble at Herculaneum, and Pompeii. Pyroclastic flows will shatter marble, like tempered glass. That is what I see at Caermead, and the vitrified stones of the hillforts. But there are no volcanoes in Britain. Only a comet or fragment, exploding in the atmosphere, could possibly mimc the pyroclastic effect.

The comet also appears to be the source of the Welsh Dragon. Both the original graphic, and the oral description, from ancient texts, is just what we would expect from a 6th century narrative, of a never-before-seen heavenly event. Alan Wilson describes the dragon, and displays the graphic, in The Holy Kingdom, (by Adrian Gilbert).

The more I research ancient history, the more I realize that there was, and is, a deliberate effort, to deny any evidence, that suggests an alternative to the accepted historical timeline. The Flat Earth prophets are still around.

From your comments it appears that you have misread, where in the above article and the comments that followed has it been stated that the "Dark Ages" were called that because they were dark ? The terminology has been correctly used in the comments to denote a certain period in history where very little information exists (for whatever reason) for a devastating event, there was no "erroneous assumption".The article has correctly used certain historical quotations to show what the climate was like at that time and it just happened to be at times....dark, not everywhere only in certain areas and if it was volcanic then that should clearly show in the dendrochronological records. With regards to the UK what little evidence their is appears to favour a close pass of a comet however for other areas of the globe it could have had interaction with the tectonic plates as you have suggested.

Look up the meaning of the phrase "Dark Ages". Many make the erroneous assumption that this actually refers to a physical state ie., absence or dimunition of light. It is not meant in that sense.

Don Knox-Heffernan

Totally agree with you, we have to start filling in the gaps in our history and stop ignoring or discounting facts because they don't fit the conventional theory and thinking, Having been born and lived in South Wales i've always been fascinated by its "Dark Age" history eg why are most sites smashed to pieces and buried 2' under the soil ? ( Caemead ) to name one. The history of the Welsh flag ( Dragons having symbolic association in certain cultures with comets ) The vitrification of stone Hill Forts in Scotland ? I think the track of the tail was NE to SW also their is good evidence by marine geophysicist Dallas Abbott. of comet strikes in Australia circa mid 6th century & this The more publicity & discussion this topic gets the better maybe then we can get to the truth and i can learn about the real history of Wales. I'd be interested to hear if you find anything more about the South America sites.

I have only been studying the comet strike, across Britain, and impacting in Bolivia. However, at this time, there were Global events that caused havoc. As suggested in previous posts, perhaps there was something else going on. The Dark Ages have been known through history, ever since, well, the Dark Ages. There have been different interpretations, mostly related to the beliefs of that time.  It is only in the past several decades that researchers have been looking back at ancient scripts to find answers. We know from ice cores, tree rings, and demolished structures, that something big happened. That's why the ancient texts are being looked at for clues.

With respect to the comet, a six mile long debris field has been known about for generations. Thousands of 6ft diameter craters form a line several hundred feet wide, and over 6 miles long.. They have been a mystery. The destruction of Tiahuanaco, and in particular, Pumapuku, has also been a mystery. Now, all the puzzle pieces are coming together. Was Pumapunku destroyed by the comet? Was it the same event that destroyed Wroxeter, in England, and totally destroyed the Marble Palace in Wales?

I don't have answers, just many questions. I know a lot of researchers are now comparing notes, consulting historical "experts", studying ice cores, tree rings, and many other definitive indicators, and slowly the pieces are fitting together. Does it make sense? Yes. Is it proof of a comet, or "something"? Not yet, and not for some time. But the evidence suggests that something in the 6th century caused Global destruction. The answer will come. 


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