Funding the Age of Exploration

75,000 years ago the Toba supervolcanic eruption on the Indonesian archipelago ejected enough earth and magma into the stratosphere to cause a thousand-year winter and bottleneck the human population.

Some hypothesize the ensuing ecological pressure diffused the capacity for language among a small set of our common H. sapiens ancestors. For the preceding 400,000 years ours had been a relatively complacent and geographically parochial species, limited to small forays out of Africa; just 10,000 years later our fossils appeared in Australia.