Top 10 Most Terrible Events in History

What events leave lasting scars on the world, changing its course and leaving us grappling with their consequences? History, unfortunately, is filled with such moments - wars that wiped out generations, plagues that ravaged populations, acts of terror that shocked the world. But which ones stand out as the most terrible, the ones that continue to haunt us and shape our understanding of humanity's capacity for both good and evil?

Is it the systematic genocide of the Holocaust, the global devastation of World War II, the sudden horror of the 9/11 attacks, or the devastating impact of the atomic bombs? Perhaps it's the Black Plague, which wiped out a third of Europe's population, or another event that has left an enduring impact on your understanding of history.
The Top Ten
1 The Holocaust The Holocaust was the systematic genocide of six million Jews and millions of others by Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945. It included mass shootings, gas chambers, and forced labor camps.

I knew an old woman who lived on my street when I was about sixteen. That would be around 1980 or so, and I remember she still had the numbers tattooed on her arm. That was devastating to me because I knew she had suffered horrors we could never begin to understand. She had seen things no one should see: family members gassed, shot, children murdered.

This was profoundly emotional for me and still is. This is by far the worst atrocity ever suffered by any one group of people - millions of Jews murdered just because they were Jews. Hitler was a maniac, but people loved him. That above all astounds me the most. As human beings, we are born with a sense of right and wrong - how did millions do this for him and believe in it?

2 World War II World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations. It resulted in significant geopolitical changes and the deaths of an estimated 70-85 million people.

In my opinion, World War II, along with the Holocaust, are the most horrible and tragic events in history. Approximately 52 million people lost their lives during the war, and it was all due to the belief of one race that they were the "Master Race." They believed that anyone who did not look a certain way, share the same religious beliefs, or who opposed them should be killed.

Six million Jewish people were killed by the Nazis, and another five million political prisoners, Romani, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others were also murdered in concentration camps and death camps.

Whoever had to live through that horrible time in history deserves to have World War II and the Holocaust be number 1 and 2 on this list. The inclusion of the birth of Justin Bieber on this list is ridiculous. Whoever added that should be ashamed of themselves. I want to thank all the people who served in the Second World War for bringing down the Third Reich. We should always remember and never forget.

3 The Black Plague The Black Plague, also known as the Black Death, was a devastating pandemic that swept through Europe between 1347 and 1351. It killed an estimated 25-30 million people, approximately one-third of the continent's population.

Way worse than 9/11, sorry Yanks. I know your aunt probably died, but listen, 9/11 involved thousands. This was millions. However, I think of this as possibly the worst event if the death toll is worse than WWII (I can't remember, have to Google it). But it is not the worst as a virus.

Because if it had happened within the last century, like the Spanish Flu did, it wouldn't have killed as many people as it did in the 1300s. Currently, I see the Spanish H1N1 as the possible worst virus in history. Maybe along with this, as there is still not major proof it wouldn't have killed as many people in the 1900s and 2000s.

But if COVID surpasses the Spanish H1N1, then I will officially rank it the worst virus in history and the second worst event behind World War II.

4 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four planes, crashing two into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in these attacks.

I was four years old when this happened, and let me tell you, I was crying like the world was going to end. Everyone thought I was smart for a four-year-old, and that I acted like a six-year-old, but I still cried like crazy. My parents were on the couch watching television, while I was running back and forth in the living room. My parents told me what had happened, but I didn't understand what a terrorist was, or what an accidental mishap was, either. I just understood their tones of voice were very serious, and I was a cheerful child. Just knowing that they were very serious made me upset, and when they started crying, I lost it.

I don't understand how anyone in their right mind could fly themselves into a tower, killing lots and lots of people. Don't tell me they weren't in their right minds, because I know they were. How could someone insane fly an airplane, pass security, and hit directly into the tower? I know they weren't being right with their right mind, but they were in their right mind. I just hate everything about the 9/11 attacks. When people joke about 9/11, I get offended. Since I wasn't alive during the Holocaust, I think that the 9/11 attacks were the worst events in history.

5 Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade involved the forced transportation of Africans to the Americas from the 16th to the 19th centuries. It is estimated that over 12 million Africans were enslaved and subjected to brutal conditions.

FYI, the slave trade has existed for tens of thousands of years, not just 400, and not just for African peoples. The Romans alone enslaved people from every nationality, and today in some small places, slavery still exists in the form of sex slaves and serfs.

Yes, America didn't contribute anything good in that department by continuing to use slaves until the Civil War, but it didn't start with Americans, and sadly, it didn't end with the abolishment of slavery. Because of the billions of people throughout time enslaved and the fact that almost everyone living today can trace their roots back far enough to where someone in their family was a slave, I think slavery is the worst act brought onto mankind.

6 Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki The United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. These bombings resulted in over 200,000 deaths and contributed to the end of World War II.

Well, innocent people literally melted during these bombs! Now, I know some people will say "America had a reason to do it," etc. But I know the reason very well but think about it, people that had nothing to do with the war melted and ended up dying! In fact, Koreans also died in the Hiroshima bombing! I feel so bad for those innocent people who died, including the survivors.

I hope something like this won't happen ever again!

I am Japanese, and I have seen photos of victims from this event. My mom told me countless times about how much damage the bombs caused and how war was pointless. In Japan, I saw countless books, movies, and documentaries about this, and it is sad that people can do things like this to each other.

Little kids, men, women, moms, dads, grandparents, all were killed without mercy. Imagine how the people slowly died from burns, radiation poisoning, and the like. I know it was done to stop the war, and I don't hate any American people for this, but I don't want this to ever happen again.

And why is this lower than Justin Bieber? Would you rather stop this event that killed thousands of innocent people or the birth of one lousy human being? If only this was taught in school in detail. Students should see the people with severe burns, melting skin, and those who look like a black lump in the shape of a human. It wasn't a quick death. We need to look at these tragedies in detail so as never to forget about how much pain and sadness it caused for people.

7 World War I World War I, also known as the Great War, was a global conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. It resulted in significant political changes and the deaths of around 17 million people.

The First World War is often overshadowed by the Second, which is believed to have created catastrophic devices, turned countries around, and killed millions. What isn't understood, however, is that the First World War started it all. King Wilhelm united Germany under Prussia, creating what was thought to be a great country. However, his son, Wilhelm the Second, dismissed his advisor and disregarded all his father's hard work.

Power was unable to quench his thirst, thus beginning a foolish domination of the European countries. True, the number of lives lost is incomparable to that of the events of World War II, but it was the loss presented by this foolish ruler and the greed of the countries involved that tore people to ruins, electing to power Hitler under the democracy, desperate for any salvation.

In other words, it was the foolish decisions of the second king, the catastrophic scale, damage, and backlash of this true war that ignited the flames in many hearts to follow a path leading to even greater ruin. Truly a terrible, and perhaps one of the most memorable, events.

8 Sinking of the Titanic The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Over 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives in the disaster.

Yes, I agree, the sinking of the Titanic wasn't as catastrophic as the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, but it is the only event that comes close. Generally, the reason why the Titanic is more talked about is that it was called "Unsinkable" by the media because of its size, while the Wilhelm Gustloff wasn't.

Also, the Titanic's sinking was actually avoidable. The reason it sank is that the Titanic collided with ice on the starboard side, which created a 300-foot gash in the hull, breaching six watertight compartments. The Titanic was designed to survive head-on collisions. Another factor is that Captain Smith went to bed during the collision. If he had been at the helm at that moment, he would have hit the iceberg head-on because he knew from his 40 years at sea that it would only breach two of the watertight compartments.

Additionally, there were surprisingly many shortcuts in the construction of the Titanic in Belfast. That's because Harland & Wolff wanted to build a ship of that size in a short amount of time and at a reasonable cost. So, they cut corners with many things, such as the bulkheads and especially with the rivets. They knew that they should be of better quality, but they bought the cheaper ones to save costs.

All this, along with a bunch of other reasons, is why this once wonderful ship now sits at the bottom of the North Atlantic, 400 miles from the nearest piece of land (Newfoundland).

9 Pearl Harbor Attack On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise military strike on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II and resulted in over 2,400 American deaths.

How is this below Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Granted, the death toll was higher, there were innocent people, but Japan's intention was to make America useless so that it couldn't defend itself. America wanted to end the war. Japan is technically responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki anyway.

If they hadn't bombed Pearl Harbor, America wouldn't have taken revenge. The Pearl Harbor attack isn't just tragic in itself but also in that it caused other attacks.

In my opinion, Pearl Harbor was worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and not only because I'm American. Even though more people died with the atomic bombs than with the surprise attack, our bombing of Japan actually made sense. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was completely uncalled for since, at the time, the US and Japan weren't even at war!

When we bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima, that was a last resort effort to end the war started as a result of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese warlords were extremely stubborn and refused to stop fighting, even though it was obvious they were losing. By dropping the atomic bombs, America could've even saved lives! After all, Japan wasn't about to just give up.

And not only that, but two days prior to the bombs, US planes dropped 700,000 pamphlets down to Japan warning the Japanese of the coming disasters. They chose not to take heed of the pamphlets, which is why so many got killed. They didn't do that for us before they attacked Pearl Harbor, now did they?

So yeah, even though I think that the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastating (and I really mean that. Sorry, Japan, I wish it didn't have to end that way), I still think Pearl Harbor was worse and should be ranked higher.

10 The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ The crucifixion of Jesus Christ occurred around AD 30-33 in Jerusalem under Roman rule. It is a central event in Christianity, marking the death of Jesus on the cross.

The God of the Universe, the perfectly holy being who is infinitely good and completely without sin, sacrificed Himself to save those dead in their sin. To save those who mock His name, who deny Him daily, who spit and turn away from His face, who are completely deserving of eternal death. Through His good grace, He paid the ultimate price.

I beseech anyone who sees this: turn from the path of destruction, the path of temporary, worldly lusts and wants, and follow the narrow path, for no cost on this earth is worth the infinite value of eternal communion and fellowship with Christ. Read "Hard to Believe" by John MacArthur for a better understanding. It certainly changed my life. It could help change yours.

The Contenders
11 Holodomor The Holodomor was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians. It was caused by the policies of Joseph Stalin's government.

People don't take the Holodomor as a serious tragedy, but as a Ukrainian, for me, it is a very painful memory. My grandmothers survived that time, but they still cannot forget how their children died in their arms.

More people died in the Holodomor than in the Holocaust, which is truly horrific. Ukrainian traditions and people were starved to death for vile reasons. Children, mothers, and pregnant women were shot if they tried to save or reach food.

In the notes of some journalists, they described how newborns and children were dumped in piles of bodies, looking more like bags of skin and bones, and then burned to ashes. It wasn't kept as a secret. People just chose not to accept the fact that this was happening.

12 Mongol Conquests The Mongol Conquests in the 13th and 14th centuries resulted in the creation of the vast Mongol Empire under leaders like Genghis Khan. These conquests caused widespread destruction and the deaths of millions of people.

Do you people just ignore the events in ancient and medieval history and focus on modern history? That can imply why this list is so biased. Sandy Hook above the Mongol Conquests, the Crusades, and slavery? Why do you people care more about the deaths of 26 innocent people rather than the deaths of millions?

They killed an insane number of people, raping, pillaging, and torturing villages from Baghdad to Beijing. If a city didn't surrender to the Mongols, the Mongols starved and burned the city, killing the citizens in droves.

13 The Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic downturn that began in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It led to widespread unemployment, poverty, and significant declines in industrial output.

My mum and dad were young when this happened, and they told me about how my mum's mum almost died in it. I told my mum about when we learned about it in school, and she burst into tears. Then she told me about how her mum died. I burst into tears also. Then my dad came in and started kissing my mum! I almost puked, though.

How is this so low on the list? Maybe it's not the worst thing that's ever happened in history, but it was pretty horrible.

This was a time of poverty and despair that caused many lives to start deteriorating.

14 Rwandan Genocide The Rwandan Genocide occurred in 1994, during which approximately 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed in a span of about 100 days. It was one of the most brutal episodes of ethnic violence in recent history.

The Rwandan Genocide is indeed one of the most traumatic events in history. It should be right under the Holocaust. How can one genocide be on top and the other be ranked lower than the birth of Donald Trump? Has his birth killed 10,000 people each day?

Some things shouldn't be joked about. I am a Rwandan, born and raised. Even 24 years after the genocide, people still scream and shout during commemoration events. Nothing can erase it from people's lives.

This genocide is living proof of the inefficiency of the UN. We hope nothing like this ever happens again in this world. We are waiting for the moment when France will gather the courage to admit their involvement in the preparation...

15 Sandy Hook Shooting On December 14, 2012, a gunman attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 26 people, including 20 children.

I can't believe this happened. So many innocent children were murdered that day. It's so sad. I am still in school, and I wish I had never heard about it. But, it doesn't matter if this incident only had 27 deaths. Everything that leaves a scar in history can't be undone.

I know it's selfish, but my friends and I sometimes worry because the school we go to had an incident last year where a kid brought a gun to school. Imagine being one of those kids? Also, the Columbine Massacre was absolutely horrific. I've heard about all that happened. Eric and Dylan should be locked up in hell, with people slicing their throats continuously, and they should feel it.

16 1918 Influenza Pandemic The 1918 Influenza Pandemic, also known as the Spanish Flu, infected about one-third of the global population. It resulted in the deaths of an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Approximately 5% of the world's population at the time died. The life expectancy dropped by 12 years. Terrible stuff, probably one of the worst 'disasters' in human history.

I am just grateful that I didn't live back then. But this is awful. A war had just ended and now a pandemic? What the heck.

So many people died. This is 30 times more deadly than a regular flu. This COVID-19 pandemic is nothing compared to this. Be grateful.

17 Donald Trump Elected President Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States on November 8, 2016. His presidency was marked by significant political controversy and polarization.

With the assumption of power of a superpower country, we expected him to exhibit higher degrees of responsible statements, and not further polarize America and the world with his racist remarks and policies towards ethnic-religious minorities of America and the Muslim world.

He is a horrible man, and I fear for my future in this country and for the whole world's safety. The sad part is I'm only 15.

Why him? That is all I ask myself every day when I see his face on the news.

18 Columbine Massacre The Columbine Massacre took place on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Colorado, USA. Two students carried out a planned attack, killing 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide.

The Columbine shooting was horrible. At approximately 11:19 AM, Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17) started shooting. They were dressed in black trench coats, which they did wear before, so it just seemed normal for them.

They had propane tank bombs planted in the cafeteria set to kill 600 people, but they couldn't wire them properly, so the bombs never went off. After the bombs were to go off, they wanted to shoot any survivors, but as you can see, it didn't really go as they wanted it to.

By 11:35 AM, they had killed twelve students and one teacher, wounding more than twenty people. At exactly 12:08 PM, they turned the guns on themselves and pulled the trigger.

In the end, they killed about fifteen people and wounded twenty-four. They wanted so much power that the world would shudder at the power they had.

19 Great Chinese Famine The Great Chinese Famine occurred between 1959 and 1961, causing the deaths of an estimated 15 to 45 million people. It was triggered by a combination of social, economic, and environmental factors, including the policies of the Great Leap Forward.

The largest famine in human history as well as the single deadliest policy ever to be put into place by a government. It probably led to thirty to forty thousand deaths per day, which is about ten to twelve nine-elevens per day.

The only thing it has "going for it" was that the famine was due to incompetence and ignorance as compared to direct malice or intent to kill, though it certainly would take an unimaginably cold or stupid person to let an event like this go on for three straight years.

The Holocaust killed 6 million in 6 years. The Great Leap Forward killed 60 million in 4 years.

20 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak The 2020 Coronavirus outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, led to a global pandemic. It resulted in widespread illness, significant mortality, and major disruptions to daily life and economies worldwide.

There are other things worse than the Coronavirus, but still, it's a terrible thing. So far, 2020 has been a horrible year! The 2020s are not off to a good start at all! The 2010s weren't off to a good start either. Jeff Conaway died in 2011 of cocaine. Kenickie's my Grease crush!

It is in a reasonable place, but it should be slightly higher. It had so many awful deaths. If it had happened at another time in history when we didn't have the tools to deal with it, this would have killed millions in months.

How in the world is this only number 93? I can't do any of my fun activities now because this awful virus had to come and kill thousands of people and close everything.

21 Nanjing Massacre The Nanjing Massacre occurred in 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Japanese troops captured the city of Nanjing, China. Over a period of six weeks, they killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 civilians and unarmed soldiers.

This should be ranked higher than the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Nanjing Massacre lasted for six weeks, whereas Hiroshima and Nagasaki lasted for two days. Nanjing killed more people than both Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

The Japanese killed 300,000 Chinese civilians in the most sadistic and cruel ways ever. People were burned alive, skinned alive, boiled alive, buried alive, disemboweled, mutilated, dismembered, beheaded, and castrated. It should've been ranked in 1st place, and the fact that Donald Trump's election is ranked higher than this event is just rude and disrespectful.

22 The Armenian Genocide The Armenian Genocide occurred during World War I, primarily from 1915 to 1917, and resulted in the mass murder and forced deportation of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. Estimates suggest that up to 1.5 million Armenians perished.

Turkey has a state-imposed denial of these "events of mass death of Armenians" being genocide. I would also like to point out that the Armenian Genocide also coincided with the less talked about genocides of nearly a million Greeks and three-quarters of a million Assyrians by the Ottoman Empire. These too are denied by Turkey.

I am half Armenian, and when my mom told me what the lavender flower meant for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, I was heartbroken. The Ottoman Empire almost wiped out all of the Armenians.

23 Second Congo War The Second Congo War, also known as the Great African War, lasted from 1998 to 2003 and involved multiple African nations. It resulted in millions of deaths, primarily from disease and starvation, making it one of the deadliest conflicts since World War II.

It's like the World War in Africa.

24 Plague of Justinian (First Plague Pandemic) The Plague of Justinian, which began in 541 AD, was the first recorded pandemic caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium. It resulted in the deaths of an estimated 25 to 50 million people across the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean region.

This was another plague (bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic) epidemic that occurred in the first millennium. Some people estimate up to half of the world's population was killed by this event. That's even more than the Second Plague Pandemic (the Black Death) and the Third Plague Pandemic.

25 Boston Marathon Bombings On April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring over 260 others. The attacks were carried out by two brothers motivated by extremist beliefs.

I actually remember that day, going home from a friend's, and hearing news about a bombing at the marathon. I thought the guys were so stupid, to blow up people that were running for a charity. I also remember some towns had to go under lockdown and the news wouldn't shut up about it.

My friend's mom was a couple of miles ahead of the bombs when they went off.

Seriously? Who drops a bomb with BBs in it to hurt an audience of people running?

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