We’ve probably all heard about the Donner Party, right? They were a group of American pioneers who were traveling to California from the Midwest from 1846-1847. It is said that delays occurred due to multiple issues, resulting in the party becoming snowbound in Sierra Nevada’s mountain range. Due to the lack of resources, particularly other animals to eat, people began to starve. Others ended up dying from the extreme cold or even due to some sort of sickness. That led to several bodies, already dead, that were just going to sit and rot. Thus, most of the remaining people decided to eat the bodies of these dead pioneers. While eating already deceased members was one thing, they also killed two Native American guides for food too.
Cannibalism in this era was seen as a pretty bad thing to do, especially killing someone for this purpose. However, cannibalism was a pretty common practice and certainly a dark side of human evolution. This practice was relatively common among the Neanderthals as well as other human species. Notably, several major South American and African societies took part in this. Some of them were even part of rituals or ceremonies. In fact, the name comes from the Caribs or Caníbales, which was a name given by the Spanish (or Christopher Columbus) to a Caribbean tribe thought to have ritualistically eaten other humans. Again, this might be a dark side of human evolution to us today but for many ancient societies, it was pretty normal to see.