Would You Survive In a Different Historical Era?

If history has
taught us anything, it’s that no matter where
you are on the timeline, there are about a
million different ways you can meet a sudden,
gruesome, and often bizarre end. Today, we’re exploring how
long would you last living in a different era. Even if you hopped
in a time machine with a stash of
supplies based on months of meticulous research, there’s
still a pretty good chance you’d be a corpsified
within days after arriving at your destination
completely unprepared for that era’s death
blow of choice. Let’s take a trip around
the historical block to some of the most prominent
places and times in history and see how long you think you’d
last against the era’s most lethal dangers and see
what you could survive. Before we get going,
make sure you subscribe to the Weird History Channel– do it. All right, great–
let’s get going. You’re at 14th century
Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance. It’s so lovely here. Dante Alegre has already
been thrown out of the city and was busy writing his
enemies into the Divine Comedy, and the famous dome of the
Santa Maria de Flore cathedral is still a few decades
from being built. The famed Medici family are also
just beginning to rise to power and will eventually
sponsor great minds like Leonardo, Michelangelo,
Machiavelli, and even Galileo, even though he wasn’t endorsed
by Tupac or the Ninja Turtles. But you’re also in the
birthplace of the Black Death. Hot on the heels of the Great
Famine during which roughly a quarter of Europe’s
population starved to death, the rat-borne plague
rolled through Florence, killing nearly 60% of the
great city’s population. That means you have worse odds
than a coin toss of contracting the Black Death and succumbing
to it in three days, then being rolled
into a mass grave, before being exhumed
and eaten by wild dogs. Yes, all of those things
actually happened. The time train just let
you off in Istanbul. No, it’s Constantinople. And the 500s, the capital of
the Eastern Roman Empire and was the wealthiest city
in the entire world. Emperor Justinian
the great is busy trying to restore the empire
to its former greatness, which includes creating civil
law, as we know it today, and launching a building
program that will create the famous hockey Sofia Church. Unfortunately,
you’re going to have to deal with another thing
bearing Justinian’s name. The Justinian plague–
one of the worst outbreaks in recorded history. The Justinian plague wiped
out half the population of Constantinople and went on to
kill almost 50 million people. Worse yet, the disease kept
returning to wreak havoc for the next 250 years. Man, oh, man, that
is one nasty bug. Not a chance you have any
hand sanitizer, do you? London in the 1660s is fresh
out of two decades of civil war and is now in the restoration
with the monarchy back in charge under Charles
II, during a time of relative peace. So take in the sights and
maybe go visit Isaac Newton at Cambridge while he’s working
on his undergraduate degree and see if you can get
him to quit the books for a few rounds of alcohol. This is nice– just make
sure you don’t share his cup. By now, you should
have seen this coming. It’s the summer of
1665, and London is about to be absolutely
crushed by the great plague, losing a staggering 15% of
its population over just a few months. If you manage to make
it through that somehow, you’ve got the
Great Fire of London to look forward to
the very next year during which 80% of the city
will be burned to ashes. Not a great decade to
be in foggy London town. Skipping through the time stream
to North America in the 1600s will have you rubbing elbows
with the pilgrims and Captain John Smith, as they settle
in Massachusetts Bay and Jamestown, respectively. Despite what Thanksgiving
at Disney’s Pocahontas will have you think, you’re
in store for some particularly brutal winters and the start
of a centuries-long, bloody conflict between the
European settlers and the Native Americans. The settlers didn’t only
bring guns and buckled hats to the new world. They also brought smallpox–
a disease completely unknown to the continent,
burning through its victims in as little as 12 days with
painful, contagious blisters. Smallpox eradicated as much as
95% of the native population, killing 70% of indigenous
people in New England in a single outbreak
between 1633 and 1634. Let’s get out of here. Ireland in the 1840s has its
share of breathtaking views, so be sure to visit
the cliffs of Moher, the newly built Muckross
House while you’re here. Just tried to ignore
the fact that you’re under the thumb of Great Britain
as a colony of lesser-thans and that there isn’t much
prosperity to go around, and you might have an OK time. That lack of prosperity
is about to get much worse when the Irish potato
famine strikes in 1845. Thanks to one of the worst
food shortages in history, one million people are
going to starve to death or die of typhus over the
next few years, and 2 million more are going to flee
Ireland permanently. The famine was so bad, it took
Ireland’s population until well into the next
century to recover. That’s not quite the luck of
the Irish we were hoping for. Rome in the first century
BCE is the golden age of the empire, which means
it’s a pretty good time to be a Roman, as long as you
don’t miss the republic too much. Augustus is in charge
now, and his reign as Rome’s first emperor
ushers in the Pax Romana, a period of relative
peace in the Roman world that lasts almost 200 years. So kick back and
eat some grapes– as long as you’re not kicking
back during the summer that is. Summertime in Rome is also
called the sickly months during which outbreaks
of malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and
gastroenteritis kill about 30,000 every year. Even if you did remember to
bring a bunch of antibiotics with you in the
time machine, you might get cracked in the head
with a flying chamber pod or mugged by a gang
of thugs if you wander the streets at night. The absence of street lights and
abundance of narrow alleyways made Rome citizens less
cautious about casually dumping their excrement or
assaulting a lone traveler. When in Rome, in the
first century, get out. China in the 200s
BC has just come out of a long period of war
between multiple kingdoms, so it’s a good thing you stopped
at Wendy’s before firing up the old time machine. The Qin dynasty
is now in control and China’s first
emperor, Qin Shi Huang, promises to bring peace and
social reforms to the nation. Unfortunately, the emperor’s
version of social reforms means enslaving approximately
one million people to build a great wall, a
grueling task that killed almost all of its workers. If you managed to
avoid Great Wall detail by getting a job
as an intellectual, you still might end up as one
of the nearly 500 scholars the emperor buried
alive to avoid dealing with any criticism
of his government. If your flux capacitor
happens to run out of plutonium in
1860s Virginia, you’d find yourself in the capital
state of the Confederacy right in the middle of the
American Civil War. It’s a pretty deadly place to
stage a historical vacation but maybe not for the
reasons you think. Sure, the fighting killed
as many as 850,000 people during its relatively
brief span of four years, but the war also spread
malaria-like endemic jam on toast. The diseases carried
by mosquitoes, which enjoy extensive
breeding grounds in the swamps and
rivers of the south, conveniently where much
of the war was fought. Over one million
cases of malaria were reported during
the Civil War, and the disease has killed an
estimated 50 billion people throughout recorded history. Hopefully, it brought
plenty of OFF bug spray and a really big
Citronella candle. France’s Belle Epoque has
been going strong for decades by the time 1910 rolls around,
and the Industrial Revolution is in full swing. You could take a
ride on a street car, make a call on a fancy
new telephone device, or even go see a movie
at the cinematheque. Just try not to think
too hard about what’s going to happen to Europe
in the next few years. The Great War–
or a World War I, as it would later be renamed– is waiting just
around the corner. From 1914 to 1918, France
will suffer 1.4 million dead and over four million
casualties out of 45 million. If you’re French
and you’re going off to fight in the
trenches, you have a 75% chance of returning home
or never coming home at all. And if you manage
to survive the war, you have an outbreak of Spanish
influenza to look forward to, which 300,000 people would
succumb to in France alone. The 20th century– hey,
TripAdvisor, not a great time for traveling to Europe. Welcome to the capital of
the newly liberated United States of America. Philadelphia is serving
as the proxy capital city while Washington DC
is under construction and is steadily growing
into a major city under the leadership of
President George Washington. You can catch a
glimpse of him and see if that old wooden
teeth thing is real. While you’re looking
for the president, be careful where you
step because you might step on a stack of bodies. Trade with the West Indies
has brought mosquitoes laden with yellow
fever to Philadelphia, and the tropical
disease would leave 5,000 dead from violent
hemorrhaging in 1793. Flare-ups are common
in the summer months throughout the
rest of the 1790s, so it might be best
to stay out of Philly until the Eagles are playing. Even then, you might get a
beer bottle thrown at you. India in the 1770s is
firmly under British rule. More specifically, under the
rule of the British East India Company, an international
trade joint stock company whose shareholders were allowed
to vote on public policy over most of the subcontinent. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. This is a very bad
time to be in India. And if you’ve been
paying attention, you know things are about to
get even worse thanks in part to a massive drought that
went ignored by the company. Famine spread throughout
the Bengali region, resulting in the deaths
of 10 million people– one third of Bengals population. The famine gave way to a
smallpox epidemic, which further devastated the area. The British East
India Company promptly responded by raising taxes
and doubling their profits over the next decade
because it’s a bad idea to let businesses
run governments. Britain in the 1850s is
drunk with wealth courtesy of the Industrial Revolution
with steam and coal fueling aggressive expansion
and dazzling new machinery and factories
dotting the landscape that will one day influence
JRR Tolkien’s vision of Mordor. It’s the beginning
of the Victorian era, and the Great Exhibition
of 1851 showcases all the exciting new
products and inventions that rich people
will get to enjoy over the next few decades. Aside from the fact
that putting children to work in those factories
was totally acceptable at this time, gruesome accidents
with an incredibly high price of all this amazing
new technology. 40% of all accidents recorded
at the Manchester infirmary were factory related,
but the Victorian era brought a much heavier hitter
in the form of tuberculosis– a withering disease that could
draw its victims’ suffering out over several months
before it would ultimately take their lives. In 1851, the same year as the
Great Exhibition, one fourth of every death in both Europe
and America was caused by TB. Progress looks a lot like
Doc Holiday in Tombstone I’m your Huckleberry. No matter where you park your
DeLorean, every era of history has a deadly plague, war,
fire or ruler to deal with. Which one do you think
he could have beaten and which do you think
would have put you down for the count? Let us know in the
comments below. And while you’re at it,
check out more videos of our weird history.

Comments 100

  • What era would be your choice?

  • The one thats now

  • and dont forget, constantinople is attacked and destroyed

  • The TMBG references with Istanbul (Not Constantinople) is why I'm still living.

  • So you’re telling me after spending months preparing I somehow didn’t bring antibiotics?

  • My penicillin doesn’t work

  • jews in this age

  • The irish famine wasn't just a food shortage, it was also a genocide: the english could've very well given food to the starving irish but they didn't, because racism. And no, the population still hasn't recovered: pre-famine ireland had a population of 8 million. Nowadays it's still 4million.

  • Why don’t we ever talk about Africa in these videos ??

  • what i learned from this video: learn to tie a noose before time-traveling.

  • While Europe was in the throes of the Black Plague, Africa was thriving. The European colonizers compassed the whole world spreading disease and filth that wiped out entire native populations.

  • 2 words: I'm vaccinated

  • i loved how you included virginia in the 1860’s! that’s exactly where my family would have been and hearing what they went through and what was happening at the time really puts things into perspective

  • erm, I mean this in the least disrespectful way possible but… I wouldnt wanna go to india now..
    also thats why ya had so many kids back in the industrial era, they didnt always make it.
    also two or three wives because.. ya know… didnt always make it xD fuck history is sad.

  • so many plagues holy crap

  • First of all there was no potato famine, all the food from Ireland was shipped out by the British under arm guard so the Irish people starved and were forced to eat potatoes.
    In 1779 a book was written called a modest proposal which was basically a cook book for the Irish on how to properly base and cook their children specifically babies .
    Hundreds of years later they said it was a satire,
    But anyone with a functioning brain knows it wasn’t.

  • The obvious answer it's not the Europeans civilization fault due to a lack of sanitation. I believe they don't know what sanitation means or what it can do for them. They are not familiar with what we know now than before. Besides they had no control over what has or haven't happened. These were difficult times people go through life surviving and fighting wars, battling diseases. That is what makes us be human for we go through every situation and faults. No one controls the problems that are developed. We can't change the past, we need to look forward and remind ourselves we aren't living the worst time line. We are who we are today and that's all it matters.

  • Send anti Vax parents and let the history do the work

  • Send anti Vax parents and let the history do the work

  • Yes the question is, would I survive if I was plopped into a different era suddenly… I still wonder if I would have a greater chance of survival. In general, I've been fortified with vaccinations, sanitation, and vitamins and nutrition for 30 years. A modern person's immune system is probably stronger common though of course there would be threads that we couldn't imagine or prepare for.

  • Okay but what about Egyptian times?

  • "It's Pompeii, and it's volcano day!"

  • Retitle this video to “would you survive going back to a historical era right before a deadly plagued spread?”

  • I love how the music transition fits soooo well with the tone

  • Ok now show me a list of historial times/locations where they were safe and beautiful to visit.

  • If you can figure out time travel you can surely find a way to deal with disease and violence.

  • Can anyone tell me what that creepy song is?

  • Would it be a great idea to have anti vaxxers go to this trip?

  • Going back in time to another era would cause a ripple in time rebutting would literally be different when we come back I can’t even imagine, saying one word to Isaac Newton and next thing you know ain’t no more motion or something

  • It just goes to show, the best era to live in, is the era YOU'RE in!!

  • No, because I am black and needless to say I don't think that needs an explanation.

  • I love his lil snarky comments😂

  • I think o could survive the London fire all the rest would surely kill me , I know now complaining about my era is wrong compared those barbaric times

  • Just remember: there are more dead people than the people recorded being alive in the last century. And u think humans would find a way to find permanent peace would ya?

  • short answer is no. long answer is absolutely not.


  • That would’ve been exactly my answer:
    “No matter which timeframe, I’d be dead, if I don’t manage to stay hidden and self-sufficient”

  • I'll go to Switzerland

  • I think the only one i would most likely survive is the china era . IM GONNA GO LIVE IN THE FOREST WITH THE PANDAS 🐼!

  • Ancient Egypt would theoretically be the best place for survival rates. Decent medicine, nice education, pretty good hygiene, manageable jobs, the Nile River, etc. (Black people would also be completely welcome and have a fair chance due to Egypt being in Africa). If you are a woman, you've lucked out.

  • Everything's gangsta until that scary music starts. 😂

    Man, disease kills more people in record history than wars and conflicts.

    But what if, when you're going to the past, your highly evolved immune system that's been exposed to more advanced viruses, bacterias and other microscopic things would be the cause of getting people in the past sick and creates a new plague? Ancient astronaut theorists says yes. 😂

  • Fantastic video!

  • This video has no chill

  • I'll go to some aztec town, because of europian immunities, and spread random diseases. (If I could have time machine)

  • Would go to Medina and Mecca in the 600s AD to meet the prophet Muhammad PBUH or back in the 1600 BC in Mesopotamia to meet Abraham

  • As a woman I’d rather not go back more than a few years. But if I had to go back further I’m sure I’d beat the plague simply by bringing plenty of soap and boiling my water. Knowing germ theory makes me far better prepared. Although being a woman again they’d probably execute me as a witch

  • Lol that music is more louder than your voice

  • Why would most of these disease s be bad especially if you'd be vaccinated against them, or at least I hope you are.

  • Part 2 pls

  • Now what!!!!!!!!!!!.

  • Give me air conditioning or give me ALL the deaths!

  • Something that anti vaxxers should not do, time travel

  • You wouldn’t be infected by the Black Death if you used a time machine because your body would be immune to it

  • I think you forgot about Poland during WWII as milions of people died there (not only jewish)

  • I wouldn't last a day with out electricity, fresh water, and all my products. Probably be ….burned as a witch, servent, die in child birth, definitely stink with body odor, riddled with lice, sold as a slave, no thank you. The late 1960's would be a blast.

  • Sounds like all of the African leaders at this point.

  • US in the 1950s

  • If I had a time machine . I would come back with Apple and Google stocks as they had just started selling and I would come back with shit tonnes of gold. But before I leave for these ears I will first got to a coin shop and stock up on money from the era .

  • Dem, der millennials blah, blah, snowflakes and smartphones

  • even if you were to pick what might seem as the safest era, even the late 1800's to 1970's had hidden killers like paint made with lead and green colored wallpaper made from arsenic and glow in the dark watches made with plutonium. I would have to choose Ireland during Roman rule, since it was the one place they couldn't keep a hold on. I may die from some neighboring clan but at least not under Roman rule.

  • The answer is no

  • 2:59 might as well

  • so…biological warfare, human contamination, greed and carelessness of the environment….yeah we've come so far.

  • Tattoos, hella piercings, and bright blue hair….I’d be burned at the stake.

  • No blacks allowed no penicillin stinky people… nah I'm dead

  • Or go to Rome with guns

  • I couldn't survive any era but this one.

  • Let me try surviving this one before I answer that question

  • Thank god for vaccination

  • So the most important thing in my time machine would be a year supply of penicillin.

  • Just a little note on the “Irish potato famine”

    Ireland didn’t have a shortage of food. They had their food taken from them by English landowners and it was sent to England.

    It wasn’t a famine, it was a forced starvation and a genocide by the English.

    Didn’t help much when other countries attempted to aid Ireland and they were stopped from doing so by the English.

    England whitewashed the history books.

  • take antibiotics

  • Without antibiotics I'd be dead around my mid-twenties. So, anytime before the creation of antibiotics would be deadly for me.

  • VicksVapoRub for bugs.


  • If I could change the currency of my current money into that of the old times, I’ll just be a rich young genius who created medicine for himself and survived the Black Plague 🤷🏾‍♂️

  • So that's where thoughts and prayers started.

  • This is just a cherry picked list of disasters and plagues. Neat video though.

  • If you are a woman, don't time travel, unless it's to the future.
    Edit: we are overdue for a major disease outbreak. Could be nipah, hanta, zika.. anything..or could be extensively drug resistant tuberculosis..

  • the background music is amazing! where can i find it/similar? thank you!

  • Being a Type 1 Diabetic….I would've died in my 11th year in every era. So nope I wasn't meant to survive these brutal eras. I was born into an era AFTER insulin was accidentally discovered. I absolutely love your channel and content. Keep it up. And this is coming from a former history teacher!! "Party On Wayne….Party On Garth"!!!!!

  • Sooo much death, yet there is soo much f'n traffic everywhere. We human beings are a plague ourselves. Lol plus we also like to destroy everything.

  • I'll add my bit of weird family history. My great grand parents lost 10 of their 11 children in 1918 to the flu. I can't imagine the pain they felt watching their children die one after another. My grandfather did get sick, but he recovered completely. It's said my great grandmother was very devoted to him after that. Unfortunately he did pass from cancer before she died. Fate can be cruel.

  • Fuck i love this channel ! And i Love History !

  • me long before watching this video: my answer is no 😛
    1300- no as I was born by c-section and the first record of a mother and baby surviving that was in the 1500s 😛
    500- see above answer 😛
    1660s – I mean maybe as most of my ancestors are from ireland and scotland
    1840s – depends on if I were in scotland vs ireland I suppose 😛
    ancient rome – see first answer XD
    200 bce- no
    1860s- I'm canadian so probably yes 😛
    1910- I mean also am canadian and a woman so I wouldn't have been in the war 😛

    1790- um maybe? 😛

  • Note to self:

    When I am writing about surviving in another historical era,I need to make sure I somehow tackle the fact that there is a rampant amount of disease that can kill you. Perhaps I could make some magicians make a mana infused viruses that Eliminates foreign viruses and diseases within the body.

    This will have to be a process that are place over a long period of this. Look into the build your island game for reference.

  • Very good! Love all your clips

  • The music shifts kill me every time lol

  • i wish this was arranged by time 😬

  • Probably not, Bye.

  • The luck of the Irish is bad luck… or they'd have no luck at all.

  • Dont we have medicine that can treat or prevent the plague now? Id just take back one of those for myself (sticking to the whole not altering the past thing)

  • Also if youre in the early 1910s make sure you dont take ANY ships unless youre 100% sure youre not accidentally going on the Titanic

  • travel to ancient sparta,,and be killed during apogee…

  • I’m black sooo …

  • I don't understand why yall don't make some of Yalls videos into a series.
    Like this video topic could've been a series, each video focused on an Era, and that way you could spend more time explaining the plague of that time – what caused it, how many it killed, how they eradicated it, etc.

    After every Era yall mentioned I had more and more questions left unanswered.
    Making it a series would also give yall more subjects, and videos to cover.
    I've noticed that several videos from yall would be better suited as a series.
    How yall are doing it, giving very little facts, and conclusions before skipping hundreds of years to the next one just isn't satisfying. 😒

  • RIP to all those that lost their lives fighting for their countries, and Thank you to the ones that survived the hell, and made it home.

  • 12 years old kid listening to old style music: man im so cool and better then everyone because listen to old song, i must be born in the wrong generation
    The great depression, plague, sexism, racism: im about to end this kid whole career

  • You : Oh, what a lovely place !

    History : – P L A G U E –

  • Seeing as I'm a gay canadian any time before 1969 I'd be either jailed or dea

  • Sounds like fate grand order to me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *