Author Alexandra Mishlanova
Humans have inhabited Earth for roughly a couple of million years now. If we think about our planet as a living being, then one day it can just get rid of humanity like an annoying guest.
Here at Bright Side we are not going to talk about “how,“ ”why,” or “when” that might happen. But what exactly would happen if we all vanished in the blink of an eye?
It would all start with transportation crashing down: trains, buses, and cars would continue until they hit something, and it would all look like that memorable picture of the morning when Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right. Except for all the people, of course.
As the minutes passed by, power plants would run out of their coal supplies. The spookiest blackout in history would start as all the lights, computers, and power plants gradually shut down. That’s when airplanes would start falling down, but it would take several more hours until those who initially went on auto-pilot would start to land. And that would be the end of the Amelia Earhart era.
It would all stay relatively calm until the chemical plants started to release gases into the environment. The reactors in nuclear power stations around the world would not be cooling down, so they would burst into flames, emitting significant doses of radiation that would cause unpredictable mutations.
In less than a week, nature would slowly start recovering as there would be nobody to control the weed spread on land and sea. Pets would try to escape along with the luckiest of those who stayed at the zoo. Neither know how to hunt, but ancient instincts and hunger would put all the links of the food chain back where they are supposed to be. Until then, Madagascar movie-style chaos would reign.
It would take only 15 years for roads to get covered in moss. With every decade, more vegetation would spread over the cities, turning them into picturesque ruins. Human houses would rot, and seasonal weather water-ice cycles would crack the concrete and cause dams and bridges to fall down. In only 150 years, London would be completely covered by swamps as it was before the Roman times.
After 230 years, the partly destroyed Eiffel Tower might be a shelter for wild boars. The Statue of Liberty would no longer proudly raise her right hand. The North American Plains would be inhabited with vast herds of cattle, reindeer, and bison. Cities on the east coast would gradually be destroyed by constant hurricanes, and the south coast of the USA would be washed away by floodings.
“The planet will be here for a long, long, long time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm… The planet is fine…. The people are fu**ed.”George Carlin
It would take 500 years for the forests to regain their position on the planet. But even after another 500 years, there would still be visible traces of human structures like the 4 legs of the Eiffel Tower or the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
After 25,000 years, instead of global warming, Earth would face another Ice Age. This time it wouldn’t bring such a dramatic impact on animal species, and most of them would adapt to the new conditions. Human traces would only be found buried in the soil, never fully degraded. Who knows if anyone will ever find them and what conclusions they would make.