Researchers studying global warming claim they have found proof of the biblical plagues which were first reported in the Bible and in the flick “The Ten Commandments”.
The move will anger religious groups because the researchers claim that the plagues were not caused by a psychopathic thunder god punishing Egypt for its treatment of workers, but a chain of natural phenomena triggered by changes in the climate and environmental disasters that happened hundreds of miles away.
In a new series to be broadcast on the National Geographical Channel, archaeologists will say that the the plagues occurred at the ancient city of Pi-Rameses on the Nile Delta, which was the capital of Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Rameses the Second, who ruled between 1279BC and 1213BC.
The city appears to have been abandoned around 3,000 years ago and scientists claim the plagues could offer an explanation.
Climatologists discovered a dramatic shift in the climate in the area occurred towards the end of Rameses the Second's reign.
After looking at stalagmites in Egyptian caves they have been able to rebuild a record of the weather patterns using traces of radioactive elements contained within the rock.
Rameses' reign coincided with a warm, wet climate, but then the climate switched to a dry period.
Professor Augusto Magini, a paleoclimatologist at Heidelberg University's institute for environmental physics, said after Rameses' reign the climate suddenly rose which could have caused the river Nile to dry up.
These conditions would have been perfect for the arrival of the first plague, which Stephan Pflugmacher, a biologist at the Leibniz Institute for Water Ecology and Inland Fisheries claims was the result of a toxic fresh water Burgundy Blood algae.
The arrival of this algae set in motion the events that led to plagues of frogs, lice and flies.
This led to the fifth and sixth plagues which were diseased livestock and boils.
The last plague was an eruption more than 400 miles away which triggered the eighth and ninth plagues that bring hail, locusts and darkness to Egypt.
This eruption was Thera, a volcano that was part of the Mediterranean islands of Santorini, just north of Crete, which exploded.
Nadine von Blohm, from the Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Germany, has worked out that volcanic ash could have clashed with thunderstorms above Egypt to produce dramatic hail storms.
Dr Siro Trevisanato, a Canadian biologist who has written a book about the plagues, said the locusts could also be explained by the volcanic fallout from the ash.
The volcanic ash could also have blocked out the sunlight causing the stories of a plague of darkness.
Lastly the death of the first born was caused by a fungus that may have poisoned the grain supplies, of which male first born would have had first pickings and so been first to fall victim.
However what is strange is that all these plagues were only written about a couple of thousand years after they happened. The stories were written down by Jews in captivity in Babylon, and there are no references in Egyptian literature about them.