As a result of the current drought, the water levels of numerous rivers across Europe have dropped. Centuries-old warning messages have now appeared in the dry river beds in Germany and the Czech Republic, several research teams report. These rocks are known as “Hunger Stones”. They should warn of a bad harvest, a lack of food or high prices.
One of these stones lies in the Elbe, which flows from the mountains of the Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea. The stone, which dates back to a drought in 1616, can now be seen again in the dry river bed. The warning is, “If you see me, cry.”
Carved on these stones “among other things are the years of hardship and the initials of authors lost to history,” a Czech team of researchers wrote in a study published in 2013.
Experts do not expect the situation to improve in the foreseeable future – on the contrary: “We assume that the situation will worsen in most parts of Europe,” said the European Drought Observatory to Sky News.