In the last few thousand years, humans have had a powerful impact on Earth. Within a geological blink of an eye, we exploded out of Africa to colonize virtually every inhabitable space on the planet. We dammed the rivers, we domesticated animals, deforested many areas, changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and the seas… the list goes on. But, what would happen if humans suddenly become extinct in the future?
One may think “humans are so intelligent, so it’s very unlikely that the entire human race will be gone”. But, in fact, there is a strong chance that it will happen, and probably not in the long run!
The Earth is always changing. “The only thing that is constant is change“, as Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC) the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher once said. Unfortunately, things do not always happen the way we would have wanted. Here are 10 recently lost natural wonders that have been disappeared in recent centuries or even decades.
Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest object in the sky that we can see with the naked eye. But if you don’t know where to look, you won’t notice it. But if it were much brighter, its appearance in the sky would be sensational. The moon is a good reference about what we’d see in the image below:
When it comes to big numbers, very big numbers, the human brain is weak. In fact, our brains cannot deal with really large numbers. That’s why when the subject is Earth, planets, Solar System, galaxies, and in general, the Universe, we cannot truly conceptualize the things. A lot of people think we’re “conquering” space (we are far, far away from that – and maybe we never will), or the “aliens” are regularly visiting Earth as if it is just an hour’s drive from there. In fact, these people don’t truly understand what are they talking about, how big is the universe, how far the stars are, and how the Earth is a tiny, tiny spot in a vast space we are still striving to understand.
If the population of the world was only 100 people, instead of 7.4 billion, while the statistics remaining the same, what would today’s society look like? A video published by GOOD Magazine (produced and written by Gabriel Reilich, animation by Jake Infusino) answers that question.
The Earth is getting more crowded every single day. As of August 2016, the world population was estimated at 7.4 billion. Our planet is already overpopulated, and despite the growth of the population begun slowing, the situation will be worse: the United Nations estimates it will further increase to 11.2 billion in the year 2100.
Here is a video published by the American Museum of Natural History showing the World’s population through time.
“It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’ resources, even as we approach 11 billion?”
Earth is an amazing place full of stories, beauty an natural wonders. Here is an amazing drone footage of Iceland and Norway, from volcanic landscapes and geysers of Iceland to the fjords of Norway. The video is titled “Nord” (Catalan, Danish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish for north), captured during a summer trip to Norway and Iceland in August 2016. The accompanying music is also beautiful. Enjoy!
In 240 BC, the Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician, music theorist and librarian Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276 BC – c. 195/194 BC) calculated the circumference of the Earth without even leaving Egypt. Here’s how:
Eratosthenes knew that at local noon on the summer solstice (at the time of the longest day, about 21 June in the northern hemisphere) in Syene (modern Aswan, Egypt), the Sun was directly overhead – Syene was in fact slightly north of the tropic, though (1). Local noon is – technically when the sub-solar point is somewhere over your meridian, it’s noon for you. So, on that day, Syene is the sub-solar point of Earth (the sub-solar point on a planet is where its sun is perceived to be directly overhead). To learn more about the local noon and the subsolar point, see the article titled “How Earth Moves“.
A beautiful video, once again, from Michael Stevens, titled “How Earth Moves”. Michael explains many concepts, including “sub-solar point”, “sidereal day vs solar day”, or “how Earth moves in the space” etc, and he is doing it in a very simplified manner. Enjoy!