Black Death ‘Big Bang’ site located by scientists chasing killer plague’s origin

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Scientists believe they have finally narrowed down the "Big Bang" site of the notorious Black Death, which killed an estimated 50 million people.

Historians have been plagued with questions over the origins of the infamous disease, but appear to have narrowed down their search even further with a massive breakthrough.

Researchers believe they have found the genetic ancestor of the Black Death, which still infects thousands of people each year.

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Biological evidence published by those same scientists have revealed the location of the virus' origins, which were responsible for the Black Death and the millions it killed in the 13th century.

The terrifying plague which gave millions gangrenous, blackened lesions all over their body has been traced back to Central Asia, where scientists believe is the origin point for the virus.

Researcher Phil Slavin said that the virus, found in Kyrgyzstan "gave rise to the majority of [modern plague] strains circulating in the world today".

Although they've figured out the Big Bang area of the disease, pinpointing when and where it happened is proving rather difficult.

Clues as to the location of the Black Death origins date back to as early as 1885, with DNA testing from human remains at a cemetery used as a marker for the plague's location.

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Despite the ground-breaking discovery and research from Slavin, one expert who was not involved in the study has said pinpointing a time of origin would be "nebulous", NPR reported.

Hendrik Poinar said: "I would be very cautious about stretching it that far. Pinpointing a date and a specific site for emergence is a nebulous thing to do."

But Poinar praised the research for narrowing down the search to this area of the world, marking it as a huge moment in piecing together the "plague puzzle".

He added: "There was plague at that site 10 years prior to the strains that were circulating in western Europe, and I think that's an important part of the plague puzzle."


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