What would happen to the world if there were no more humans
If doomsday struck, and humans were wiped off the face of the Earth, what would happen to our planet?
According to a recent video, it won’t take long for Earth to ‘reset’ itself – but the process would be terrifying.
Within a few hours most of the lights would turn off and within months, nuclear disasters would strike across the planet. After thousands of years the only evidence of our existence would be in the form of stone structures like the Great Wall of China or Mount Rushmore.
‘The reason is irrelevant, just imagine the results,’ the narrator of the video, from viral YouTube channel ‘#Mind Warehouse’, says.
The video was put together using footage created by National Geographic. The video animations came from Life After People, a television series on which scientists, structural engineers, and other experts speculate about what might become of Earth should humanity instantly disappear.
A few hours after humans disappear, most of the lights around the world will shut off because most of the power stations will not be able to run. Fossil fuels power plants would run out of fuel and solar panels would eventually get covered in dust. The only power plants still running would be hydroelectric stations.
‘On the west of the United States, the generators of Hoover Dam are activated by the water flow from Lake Meade,’ the narrator says. ‘Thus, it can be left unattended for several months, or even years.’
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF HUMANS WERE WIPED OUT: A TIMELINE
A few hours later: most of the lights around the world will shut off because power plants would run out of fuel and solar panels would eventually get covered in dust. The only power plants still running would be hydroelectric stations.
Two or three days later: most underground train systems would flood because the pumps keeping water out would stop working.
Ten days later: pets and farm animals would die off while packs of big dogs would form to hunt down other animals.
A month later: the cooling water in nuclear power stations would have evaporated. This would lead to a series of disasters across the world, stronger than Fukushima and Chernobyl.
One year later: satellites around Earth will start to fall from their orbit, creating strange ‘stars’ in the sky.
Twenty five years later: vegetation will cover the world with some cities being buried in sand.
Three hundred years later: metal buildings, bridges, and towers will start to break apart because of corrosion.
10,000 years later: the only evidence of our existence will be the things we’ve made with stone like the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China and Mount Rushmore.
Two or three days later, most underground train systems would flood because the pumps keeping water out would stop working.
After ten days pets and farm animals – including billions of chickens and millions of cows – would die of starvation, while packs of big dogs would form to hunt down other animals.
A month later, the cooling water in nuclear power stations would have evaporated. This would lead to a series of disasters across the world, stronger than Fukushima and Chernobyl.
‘But overall the planet would recover from the radioactive contamination rather fast and easily,’ the video says.
Earlier this year, Columbia University astrophysicists Michael Hahn and Daniel Wolf Savin explained how life on Earth will slowly begin to decline in an essay entitled ‘How to Survive Doomsday’ published in Nautilus.
If Earth avoids a life-ending event – like self-inflicted nuclear apocalypse or an extinction-sized asteroid – the scientists say humans have less than 500 million years left on the planet.
This comes well before the planet is predicted to be ‘melt’ 6 billion years from now, when the sun swells to become a red giant.
The predictions seem grim, but the researchers say there are a few ways humans can potentially save the fate of our planet. One such idea is to physically move the orbit of Earth.
‘If we fired a 100 km [62 mile] wide asteroid on an elliptical orbit that passed close to the Earth every 5,000 years, we could slowly gravitationally nudge the planet’s orbit farther away from the sun, provided that we don’t accidentally hit the Earth,’ the authors write.
One year after the disappearance of humans, satellites around Earth would start to fall from their orbit, creating strange ‘stars’ in the sky.
Twenty five years later, three quarters of cities will be covered with vegetation, with some cities being buried in sand – like Dubai and Las Vegas.
The air in cities will become cleaner and visibility will improve.
BIGGEST THREATS TO HUMANITY
The apocalypse may be a popular subject of sci-fi films, but there are some very real scientific theories in danger of becoming reality.
These include being blown to smithereens as an asteroid smashes into Earth and a highly infectious pandemic that wipes out huge swathes of the global population within days.
Humanity is in a precarious state and never more than a hair’s breadth from being wiped out, if the hordes of Doomsday fanatics are to be believed.
But while many scenarios may seem in the realm of fantasy, a new report suggests there are a number of global catastrophic risks which we could do with preparing for much better.
According to the report, top of the list for 2016 are climate change-related catastrophes, natural pandemics – such as bird flu – and nuclear war.
Other risks include man-made virus, failure of geo-engineering – such as adding iron to oceans to absorb atmospheric carbon – as well as the threat of catastrophic disruption from artificial intelligence.
Without humans, whales will thrive and breed to the maximum capacity the ocean allows.
Three hundred years later, metal buildings, bridges, and towers will start to break apart because of corrosion.
10,000 years later, the only evidence of our existence will be the things we have made with stone like the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China and Mount Rushmore.
SIX TIPS TO SURVIVE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE FROM NEUROSCIENTISTS
Scientists have dubbed the condition of being a zombie ‘Conscious Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder’, or CDHD, which they describe as an acquired syndrome in which infected people lack control over their actions.
Don’t fight: Zombies wouldn’t have the neural responses to care about pain, so unless you could shoot to kill, it would be best to run for it.
Keep quiet: Zombies with ‘CDHD’ would have very little memory and poor concentration, so if you hid, something else would likely capture their attention, keeping you safe. The different definitions for CDHD are explained later in this article.
Distract them: Damage to zombies’ posterior parietal cortex would mean that they couldn’t concentrate and would be at the mercy of whatever grabs their attention. Try fireworks for a quick getaway.
Out-run them: This only would only work with CDHD-1 zombies, who would only be able to lumber along clumsily.
Don’t try reason: ‘CDHD presents with a massive dysfunction of the language circuits in the brain. This means that zombies can’t understand what you’re saying, nor can they talk back,’ the neuroscientists warn. Their ‘fight’ reaction would dominate, leaving you pleading with an angry hungry zombie.
Mimic them: Zombies wouldn’t be able to recognise faces so they identify each other by movements and sounds. ‘If confronted with a herd of the undead with no clear avenue of escape, do what Shaun and his friends did in ‘Shaun of the dead’ – act like a zombie. Do it with enough accuracy and you can wander through the herd undetected,’ Professors Verstynen and Voytek say.
IS THE SUN GOING TO DIE?
When the sun’s time comes and it starts to run out of fuel, its core will collapse as the outward force – due to fusion – can no longer balance the strong inward force of gravity.
At the same time, its outer envelope will inflate, expanding the star into a red giant, and engulfing the orbits of Mercury, Venus, and potentially, Earth.
Eventually, the dying sun will transform into a dense white dwarf surrounded by a dazzling planetary nebula.
The sun’s fuel supply will start to run low about five billion years from now, but Earth will be inhospitable long before.