Monday, March 08, 2010
if humans suddenly disappeared
Was watching – amidst a hangover so dire, it made donkey’s balls seem elevated - from a massive night on Friday, an apocalyptic documentary on The History Channel.
So there is stuff to watch on dsTV after all.
It was mindblowing. About what would happen when humans disappear.
Along a time line of 1 day to 10 000 years.
(Scientists say that on the 10 000 year mark, any traces of our existence would be gone. Save debris that have somehow been submerged below the rock or seabed, therefore fossilised and trapped in time).
Despite the doomsday soundtrack in the background, engineers, historians, and the likes predicted what would happen to some of the world’s biggest man-made structures, if we just disappeared. The computer graphics were somewhat terrifying.
I was glued. Glued.
Life After People doesn't show the actual apocalypse, but rather the natural disintegration of things in a rather Oh My Fuck manner.
Basically, although we hammer the Earth with our methane gas and bad bad eco ways, without the constant maintenance of our structures, and assuming the entire Earth didn’t disappear when we did (by way of meteor or the theories around 2012 being The End; supposing everything inanimate was still left.)
Funny enough, the Sistine Chapel ceiling was estimated to only fall/crumble/die after 500 years of no people. Was surprised by this.
Towers would be the first to go, for obvious reasons.
After 200 years, the Statue of Liberty’s arm would fall off, closely followed by her face. Embedding itself deep in the ocean sand, later fossilising.
Most buildings and roads would, after 5 years, be completely overgrown by wild vines and weeds; domestic animals would die after just 10 days, while wild animals would re-emerge into the cities.
Bridges would collapse after 50, and obviously cities that lie on a seaboard would disintegrate quicker – salt is the biggest natural corrosive.
Already, this has happened. In 1974, an island off Japan, in the Nagasaki precinct, lies completely skeletal, abandoned and it downright freaked me out. Coal stopped being mined here and everyone was evacuated. Leaving – 50 years after humans:
And Chernobyl, Ukraine, of course:
The ominous background track really left me concerned. And what for? We’d all be dead anyway.
Still: From Day 1 to 10 000 years ‘Tis a little cataclysmic…