Hunger Stones Could Become Europe's Permanent Sad Landmark

A series of cyclones in early 2019 triggered heavy snowfalls and blizzards in Central Europe, which have already killed dozens of people. But a special sign of the times in this region are the ominous "hungry stones" that appeared here last summer.

The summer of 2018 forced the inhabitants of the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany to recall a thoroughly forgotten gloomy prophecy. Due to an unprecedented drought, rivers, like the vital waterway of the Elbe, were so shallow that the legendary "hungry stones" appeared from under the water.

Each such stone is a historical monument, dated and the original text of the past great droughts of Europe has been preserved. The oldest is dated 1417, and on the most famous stone near Decin, marked in 1616, is engraved "If you see me, then cry." And while tourists were taking pictures with unexpectedly opened sights, the region's economy went into recession.

What is even worse, man-made problems have been added to the old, natural misfortunes. The shallow waters of the Elbe uncovered ammunition from the Second World War at the bottom, adding work to the sappers. However, due to the fall in the water level, navigation on the river almost completely stopped and many tragedies were avoided. But if the summer of 2019 also turns out to be dry, the "hungry stones" could become a symbol of the beginning of an era of great disasters.