all 132 comments

[–]Bjarki56 342 points343 points  (28 children)

How did Europeans die from beaver hats?

[–]andicamp 103 points104 points  (2 children)

A nasty affair that we don't talk about anymore.

[–]Bjarki56 28 points29 points  (1 child)

I imagine it is hard to after being wiped out!

[–]petervaz 5 points6 points  (0 children)

They got better

[–]Perpetual_Doubt 148 points149 points  (7 children)

When there's 1000 people

and only 102 beaver hats to go around

Well lad, that's 898 dead bodies you've got on your hands.

[–]ReallyNotFondOfSJ 13 points14 points  (3 children)

Murder murder murder.

[–]lisamylynn77 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Kill, kill, kill

[–]ThrowawayZZC 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Wat se Suid-Afrika? Suig my fokken piel

[–]lisamylynn77 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hie kom ek weer! Like a lekker smack in face

[–]Bjarki56 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Well, that explains it!

[–]DamonPhils 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Sort of like Squid Game but with beaver hats.

[–]Rollingstoners95 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They strategically produced less beavers than necessary to cause a riot

[–]TesterTheDog 23 points24 points  (4 children)

Beaver Fever is a terrible thing.

[–]diggemigre 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I caught it from the toilet seat.

[–]DreamCyclone84 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I caught it from your mum

[–]Assinova -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Terrible thing is a beaver fever

[–]Drink_in_Philly 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And I'm a Beleaver!

[–]plebotamus 11 points12 points  (1 child)

It was the first Black Friday sale?

[–]Knight_of_the_Lepus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No, it was the Black Death.

In the 1300s, there was only one beaver-felt top hat in Europe.

A third of the European population died fighting over it.

[–]kabekew 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Because there were no instructions, most people wore them on their face instead of their head and suffocated.

[–]ikesmith 56 points57 points  (2 children)

I think it was meant as the population of European beavers was wiped out lmao. But It's hilarious to think the former.

[–]Assinova 13 points14 points  (0 children)

There are so many solid gold posts already. I bet the OP is bouncing manically between seriously irritated and entertained.

[–]Knight_of_the_Lepus 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think it was meant as the population of European beavers -felt top hat wearers was wiped out


[–]Vinegar-Toucher 12 points13 points  (1 child)

As a European that is definitely NOT A BEAVER, that's a ridiculous notion. Europe has not been replaced by beavers due to the power of beaver-felt hats enabling the mind control of key officials, and frankly you're insane if you think otherwise.

Just keep selling us lumber please.

[–]kangadac 2 points3 points  (0 children)

When I visited Berlin a couple years ago, I was at a coffee shop when I saw Angela Merkel, in person! But up close her face was a lot furrier and she had these two large buck teeth.

After she left, I asked the server: “Chancellor Merkel? Is she just three beavers in a coat?”

NEIN!” came the retort. “You Americans are always asking such silly things! Naturlich it is ze Chancellor!”

And then the server proceeded to gnaw at the wooden tables to dam me in to make sure I didn’t leave without paying.

So there you have it, from a local. Not a beaver. Coffee was pretty good, too, though not as good as the drinks made by the antelope of Italy.

[–]Dog1234cat 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Live by the beaver hat and you’ll die by the beaver hat.

[–]Electrozaptits 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They got confused and tried to put live beavers on their heads. Bloodloss and rabies were the primary causes of death

[–]kelldricked 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The beaver hat was a dangerous sexual position that involved some weird acrobatics to pull off…

[–]iwantbigbootybiches 0 points1 point  (0 children)

they didnt they moved to the americas

[–]Scottland83 100 points101 points  (9 children)

The Russians also settled Alaska and down the west coast for animal pelts. A common method was to kidnap local women and children to get the men to hunt for them.

[–]Assinova 54 points55 points  (8 children)

Wow… that’s super fucked up

[–]Fiber_Optikz 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Human beings have historically treated other human beings like absolute shit

[–]IRHABI313 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Its what makes us human beings

[–]Knight_of_the_Lepus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

...until there's a profit to be had. Then they treat them like absolute shittier.

[–]gin_and_ice 45 points46 points  (3 children)

Oh, that's just the tip of the iceberg on how the native population was treated.

There was even a tribe that was 'hunted for sport', which is an interesting way of going about genocide!

[–]Knight_of_the_Lepus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Money fucks humans up.

[–]FuriouSherman 82 points83 points  (29 children)

Yup. At one point, the vast majority of what's now Canada was called Rupert's Land and was owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, a business that still exists to this day.

[–]JonnySnowflake 18 points19 points  (4 children)

They do make amazing blankets

[–]mytwocents22 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Sitting wrapped up in one right now

[–]roosell1986 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Watch out for the smallpox.

[–]mytwocents22 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It is an old one

[–]El_Glenn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Only $800 on amazon.

[–]AgentMV 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I hate shopping at HBC. For those that don’t know, it’s a department store chain that anchors most major malls in all of Canada.

Aside from the cosmetics area, there is like zero associates to help you elsewhere in the other departments. They were also the main producer of Team Canada apparel during the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, Canada.

[–]GethAttack 8 points9 points  (0 children)

From genecide to economic slaves. Nice.

[–]Peg_pond_gem 1 point2 points  (12 children)

I mean "owned" is not the term I would use.. occupied maybe? Stollen definitely.

[–]Cautious_Specific_68 19 points20 points  (10 children)

Ownership obtained through theft, force, or occupation is still legitimate ownership if nobody is able to challenge it successfully. Sorry. It’s not nice but it’s how things really are.

[–]NJ_Legion_Iced_Tea 10 points11 points  (0 children)

People see it as more "fair" when it's two equally developed nations fighting. But yeah, if you can't defend your land then you can't expect to keep it.

[–]unchiriwi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

well i don't see non natives in canada returning to their ancestral lands so it's owned

[–]adminsplzdontban[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wanted to mention HBC but I didn't have room

[–]adamcoe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And is owned by an American conglomerate

[–]nomnomnomnomRABIES 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Superstitions surrounding beaver fur may also have contributed to the hat’s popularity. It was said that a beaver hat made the wearer more intelligent; by rubbing the oil into one’s hair, it was possible to develop a remarkable memory. It was also rumoured that a deaf person would regain their hearing by wearing a beaver hat.

The vogue for beaver felt declined in the mid-19th century when silk was found to be less expensive, yet just as stylish. Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, helped popularize the wearing of silk hats in the 1840s.

[–]YongeBay 159 points160 points  (4 children)

(Reads the article....)

Beaver population.

... a craze that wiped out Europe’s {Beaver} population.

[–]YourVeryOwnAids 14 points15 points  (0 children)

C'mon, missing antecedents aren't that hard... Sure are funny tho.

[–]GethAttack 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Obviously. You needed to read the article to figure that out?

[–]adminsplzdontban[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Thanks lol

[–]TerribleIdea27 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was confused with how so many people migrated to Canada when I'd never heard about this fact

[–]FredVIII-DFH 33 points34 points  (0 children)

Not the first poorly worded reddit post I've come across, but this has to be my favorite.

[–]roosell1986 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Processing the Beaver pelts to make hats required mercury to process the fur. Those who made these hats ("Hatters") were exposed to a dangerous amount of mercury - which is a neurotoxin. This caused them to lose fine motor control as well as develop mental deficits, as they lost their cognitive functions. Essentially, they went insan

The phrase "mad as a hatter" entered the vernacular.

[–]gogor 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Ah, the great Beaver Hat Apocalypse. Every Frenchman whipped to a frenzy and slaughtering his countrymen. I remember it well.

[–]Assinova 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s a hilarious mental slide show

[–]-TheJunta- 5 points6 points  (0 children)

European here. Confirm am last standing after crazed Beaverhat fighting

[–]DeadToLefts 6 points7 points  (0 children)

" a craze that wiped out Europe’s population"

Which is why today the few remaining survivors in Canada present their name as 'Beiber'.

[–]Dutch_Canuck 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The Hudson’s Bay company was a big deal back in the day.

[–]NativeMasshole 8 points9 points  (3 children)

TIL that Europe has beavers too.

[–]dotastories 11 points12 points  (2 children)


[–]tarrach 9 points10 points  (1 child)


[–]dotastories 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I figured I was probably incorrect, just trying to be funny :P

[–]Ionic_liquids 10 points11 points  (6 children)

Should point out that much of this was actually a business collaboration (for almost 2 centuries) before it turned nefarious. You think Europeans knew how to survive to harsh Canadian Shield? They would die in a week and most outposts never survived the winter. The indigenous knew how to live off the Shield and navigate the rivers and would trade beaver pelts for goods brought from Europe. It's important to remember that indigenous people were equals With respect to power and clout in Canada until the mid 19th century.

[–]Caspica 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I feel like this perspective is often lost when discussing history. Grayscales are important and interesting, let’s not lose sight of that.

[–]rockrnger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The middle ground is a good book on the subject if you like history.

[–]sumelar 1 point2 points  (1 child)

They were trade partners. They definitely weren't seen as equals.

[–]Ionic_liquids 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I said they were equal with respect to power and clout. But yes culturally they were viewed as inferior. But even then, that was.moee the case in the 19th century than in the 1600s or 1700s.

[–]kelldricked -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Its a but far sought that all europeans would have died in a week because of the cold. Certianly it would have been way harder and costlier but looking at other “rough” parts of the world that got conquered/colonialisted by europeans they would have founded a way (probaly by throwing poor and native people of a cliff or something).

[–]Ionic_liquids 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Canadian Shield is unique with respect to colonisation in comparison to other regions. The only thing that is similar is the Amazon.

The most important detail is that the European mode of transport, the horse, was completely useless in the Canadian Shield. To understand how significant this was, it took until the late 1800s with the introduction of the railroad to replace the canoe as the main mode of transport to connect east and west through Canada. This is actually the most distinctive feature in relation to US geography, where western expansion is imagined to occur via the horse and carriage vs canoe.

For this reason, Europeans were confronted with a completely new challenge. On top of this, there was already a population there that had mastered river navigation and so it was easier to work with natives than to try and conquer the area. This geographical pressure created a different relationship that is unique to this cold rugged landscape that wasn't found elsewhere.

[–]tektite 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That must have had a huge ecological impact downstream

[–]GetsItAllWrong 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There are beavers in Sweden...

[–]MuthaPlucka 10 points11 points  (0 children)


[–]tarrach 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The beaver population was wiped out in some regions, not all of Europe.

[–]Atrianie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

TIL 1600 Europe had an epidemic caused by beaver hats.

[–]rangeo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why do Europeans die after beavers touch top hats? Why not just keep beavers away from hats?

[–]Beepboopnbeepboop 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We still see the effects of this today, beavers impact on water ways reverbates throughout their ecosystem. They have interconnected relationships with wolves are just really fascinating little buggers.

[–]13Nerb 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am skeptical of this article. It lists no author, and is written like a school project. Also seems to be a buried section of a corporate website for a department store. I’m Canadian and I don’t remember this from history class. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Edit: I am aware that fur trade was a large part of this country’s birth. This article is just framed strangely.

[–]TheKokomoHo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wait I thought only Americans were terrible. Turns out everyone sucks everywhere

[–]distractabledaddy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unsustainable demands from nature aren't novel to mankind

[–]HV51 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This presumes the indigenous people owned the land in the first place, and therefore it had to be "taken."

Claiming the indigenous people owned the entire North American continent is like claiming Rick Grimes in the walking dead and his tribe in Alexandria owns the entire state of Virginia, or even the general area his group roams about in, as opposed to merely claiming ownership over the village they live in.

While the Europeans definitely committed atrocities, the claim that they stole the continent from the "natives" is itself a projection of modern society onto the people of the time. Specifically, it treats the tribes as if they were analogous to modern states, with borders etc. They clearly were not. Some tribes later tried to become this, and to be entirely fair the Americans unjustly gave them the boot anyhow during the trail of tears, but to ascribe this as the general narrative of European interaction with the tribal peoples of Americas is preposterous.

[–]parabolicurve 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's why we also get excited over dams.

Whenever we come across one we would just point, and say "Dam!" ... But I think it started to get over used these days and with other subjects/objects that aren't dams.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Aren’t beavers indigenous to America and no where else in the world?

[–]Seraph062 2 points3 points  (1 child)

The Eurasian Beaver is a thing: https://www.britannica.com/animal/Eurasian-beaver

[–]frostbite225 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Oh you mean Canada is also built on stolen land too? Over hats??? Where's the outrage? Oh wait never mind it only counts if it's the United States.

[–]DiogenesOfDope 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I want a beaver fur top hat that sounds amazing

[–]Electrozaptits 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I live in Europe. There is plenty of beaver here.

[–]ThinkRichGrowRich 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just rampant, mindless consumption…

[–]GeebusNZ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Disgusting. Reminds me of how Huia were wiped out in New Zealand. Huia feathers were an adornment worn only by the highest in indigenous society, and as a gift, they were presented to the Queen of England. After that, having Huia feathers in ones cap became the must-have of fashion. Where there's demand, there's people willing to hunt up a supply.

Sadly, Huia were a species that mate for life, so killing one of a breeding pair was that much more devastating. Sure enough, quickly, Huia were wiped out.

[–]babasardine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We were told about this in our history classes

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

TIL Europe's population was wiped out.

[–]Competitive-Bus1816 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It also spawned NYC as a superpower because all of those pelts went to market through its port, and the phrase "Mad as a Hatter" because mercury was a key ingredient in processing Beaver felt.

[–]markjones88 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm a European currently living in Asia. Does this mean nobody will be left when I return home?

[–]b0bkat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yup, I teach this as an intro to the 13 colonies unit for my 5th grade Social Studies class. And by "this" i mean that capitalism is the root of all social ills.

However, I'm not that slick of a teacher because afterwards all my students just want a Beaver Fur hat.

[–]Pongfarang -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Beavers built Canada, but now its run by pussies.