These types of messages were left centuries ago in several major rivers in Europe. This is what we know about the hunger stones, their meaning and why they are a bad sign about the drought that this continent is experiencing.
What is a hunger stone?
Hunger stones are inscriptions made on rocks on the edges of the stones to announce when poverty or calamity is approaching, as they are related to the lack of water, which affects agriculture and navigation.
The famine stones in Europe
Over the centuries, Europeans marked low water levels during droughts by carving lines and dates into rocks found along the Elbe River, which runs from the Czech Republic to Germany.
The idea was that if water levels dropped low enough to reveal an ancient carving, it would signal to locals that dry and hungry times were ahead, similar to those experienced in the marked year.
More than a dozen of these “hunger stones” have reappeared on the Elbe this year, amid a record European drought, explains a report from the AP agency.
The oldest water mark dates back to 1616. This stone is considered one of the oldest hydrological signs in Central Europe.
the river rhine dries up
The water level of Germany’s Rhine river dropped again over the hot and dry weekend, causing cargo ships to be unable to navigate it fully loaded, shipping brokers and commodity traders said on Monday.