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Death By Dance

In the July of 1518, the Dance Plague started in city of Strasbourg. People gathered in streets and started dancing unreasonably. It became impossible to stop them. Sweeping all over the city, this disease even caused deaths due to exhaustion. Countless people danced together to death.

Author: Pragya

Strasbourg, a city in France, a city of epochal Cathedrals and baroque clocks. A peculiar and bizarre outbreak struck the city in the year 1518.

It was a usual day in July; cool breeze flew all over the city. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a woman named Frau Troffea started dancing on the street. Strangely enough, there was no music accompanying it. Initially, the public reacted with laughter and claps. It appeared to be an unusual source of free entertainment. But surprisingly the woman continued to dance her feet off for a week. She was unstoppable, as if some spirit had taken over her. It seemed the urge to dance would end by a week.

But what followed this was something beyond imagination. More people joined her each day. By the end of the month, about 400 people were dancing on the streets relentlessly. The physicists and researchers struggled to reason this joyful disaster. Who knew the expression of happiness could turn into a widespread natural disease as claimed by the minister.  It was also suggested that maybe the cause was hot-blood. The ruler ordered to build a stage for the people, thinking the people would dance off their limits and leave. Musicians were invited to play in order to pace up the process. But instead of controlling the mania, it resulted in mass escalation, for who could deny the luring offer of death by dance. Historians say approximately 15 people died each day.

After four months of endless dancing, the plague terminated astonishing everyone, just the way it had started.

The Mystery Of the Dance Plague still remains undiscovered and unfolded. But it continues to be a remarkable piece of history that tells us how happiness and death are inseparable sometimes.

People could even die of delight. 

By thoughtstains

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