top of page

What Would Happen If Humans Suddenly Vanished? 🎥

At the turn of the 20th century, the world population was estimated at approximately 1.6 billion. Perhaps, with a stable population at this level, we could all aspire to and maintain a standard of living akin to that in the United States, Western Europe, Australia and so on. This may have been sustainable. As things stand, modelling shows we need several earths to meet our collective needs; we are exceeding and undermining the regenerative capacity of the earth. We are in the midst of the anthropocene (relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment), where we are the greatest factor influencing the earth's systems.

And never in a good way. Animal extinctions, holes in the ozone and ocean acidification are only a few examples of the enormous impact humans have had on our one and only planet earth.

Given the ever rising environmental problems due to climate change, e.g. polluted oceans, increasing temperatures with heat waves, droughts, missing topsoil and so on, we might sometimes wonder what our planet would be like if humans suddenly disappeared. How long would it take for our traces to vanish? Would certain areas revert to ‘Gardens of Eden’? Would the seas again fill with fish? Would our concrete cities crumble to dust from the force of tree roots, water and weeds? If such questions could be answered, would we be more engaged in physical and/or mental activities in order to collectively achieve a result to “save” our precious “Blue Marble”?

The following video leaves us with a lasting impression...

🎥 (5:21)

Credit to TED-Ed

Human beings are everywhere. With settlements on every continent, we can be found in the most isolated corners of Earth’s jungles, oceans and tundras. Our impact is so profound, most scientists believe humanity has left a permanent mark on Earth’s geological record. So what would happen if suddenly, every human on Earth disappeared? Dan Kwartler investigates.

Lesson by Dan Kwartler, directed by Globizco Studios.

If you enjoy this lesson, we highly recommend reading "The World Without Us." A discounted ebook version is available here:

Check out our book rec page to learn more:

For further reading, here are some of our related blogs:

January 2020: Doomsday Clock Ticks Down to 100 Seconds

There is Only One Earth - ‘Ignorance is Not Bliss’

Earth Day 2019 - 2 Steps Forward, 3 back?



Discover Magazine, 2015 (viewed 09.02.2020)


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page