While the idea of Earth ending is constantly worrying everyone, the idea of what would happen to the Earth if humans stopped existing doesn’t cross quite as many people’s minds. Whether it be Earth naturally taking us all out, man made causes like nuclear war, or anything else that has the potential to wipe us off the Earth, we should be able to know what could happen to the Earth after we’re long forgotten.
Earth in and of itself has been suffering for decades, and even centuries as humans have continued to inhabit and invent new ways to unknowingly destroy the Earth slowly. So what would happen if all of that stopped one day? Earth might have a fighting chance for starters. Other than that, most of human made structures would fall, wildlife would flourish again, and things would be drastically different.
Instead of moving more into the future, the Earth would blast to the past, before humans existed. That doesn’t exactly sound like a bad thing, especially for Earth. However, it wouldn’t all be completely the same, things would be way different now that humans have left their lasting impact.
15. No More Electricity
One of the first things to go after humans would be our electricity. Without proper maintenance or your local electrician to fix your power boxes, electricity would be on its way out almost instantly. With electricity goes anything we’ve built thus far: lights, machinery, and so much more would become obsolete. While we depend on electricity a lot in our day to day lives, it’s obvious it’s using up a lot of resources… resources the Earth needs.
So with no electricity, the big cities and even small towns would fall into a deep darkness the likes of which the Earth has never seen. Light wouldn’t be the only thing affected; houses would likely begin to lose a lot of their main functions, and it would be the beginning of the end for modern civilization.
14. Man’s Best Friend No More
The next thing to go would be your pets. DO not be alarmed thought, they wouldn’t immediately die out, unless of course a meteor hit Earth wiping out all living life, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Pets would likely be left in their houses wondering when their owner would be back to feed them. Yes, it sounds as sad as it would actually be. Not to fear though, as not all household pets would fall to this doom.
Some pets would be more adept to taking to living on their own. The first obstacle they would have to face is leaving the house they are stuck in. After succeeding at that, their next task would be to find food. Slowly as they’re adapting to outside life again, they would become more wild, and they’re not the only animals.
13. Domesticated Creatures Go Wild
While you’re most likely feeling bad for your family pets, you should rejoice, because the end of humanity doesn’t spell doom for all animals. In fact for some animals, it would be a great thing! Specifically the animals we consume on a daily basis. Farm animals like cows and chickens would be able to roam free and live full lives without the worry of ending up in a burger somewhere.
These animals would likely grow in population too. Not to say that many of them were close to extinction, but they’d have a better chance of living for more than a few centuries without humans around. That is all said until the next species comes around to domesticate the species again to make them into food once again.
12. Wildlife Would Prosper Again
The animals aren’t done yet! Not only would household pets and domesticated farm life change, the endangered species would also change. Poachers would no longer exist, meaning most foreign animals would be able to prosper, and grow in population again. They’d fall back into a more balanced food chain. However, these foreign animals wouldn’t be the ones most effected.
Sea life would have the most noticeably different species. From sharks to small fish, the ocean would benefit greatly from the extinction of humans. Not only that but pollution would greatly decrease in the oceans, giving these animals a fair chance to live without dying an early death due to human error.
11. Nuclear Power Plants Will Shutdown, Spelling Doom
Taking a break from what the animals would do, let’s take a look at the one of the most dangerous causes of human extinction. Most of the over 30 nuclear power plants in the world would most likely begin to melt down since humans would not be maintaining them. These meltdowns in succession would likely result in worse meltdowns than we’ve already seen, like Chernobyl.
This in and of itself could destroy what’s left of the world, or make its reconstruction that much more slow. With radiation in the air, it would likely mean that most wildlife and plant life would die out, and it’d be up to the few areas that weren’t effected to bring back Earth’s original form.
10. Toxic Waste Would Take Its Toll
The next big hazardous thing that would happen would come from the gallons of toxic waste humans have produced over the years. They would likely corrode the metal containers they’re held in, and leak into unwanted places. These leaks would likely result in furthering pollution of things like the ocean and other water ways, slowing down, and even possible killing off entire species.
Much like when nuclear reactors melt down, the involvement of toxic waste has lasting effects. These lasting effects would likely take their toll on whatever is left around the Earth. While it wouldn’t have as much of an effect on the world and its inhabitants, it would be a noticeable disaster left behind by humans. With the amount of toxic waste already out there, there’s no stopping the amount we will leave on Earth, if it’s still around after us.
9. Cities Would Crumble into Abandonment
Another large change to Earth after humans die off will be that the cities will become obsolete and abandoned. Likely the most noticeable change to humans, as it’s become popularized in modern entertainment. Many post-apocalyptic movies and games have showcased what large cities will look like after humanity is destroyed. These entertainment media do an excellent job of modeling what modern day cities would look like in a doomsday scenario.
Buildings would crumble from little maintenance, vegetation would begin to grow everywhere, and the cities will become ghost towns. Nobody will be there to go to work, return home, maintain the cleanliness, and not so cleanliness of certain buildings, and areas of the city. In turn, the city will fall into abandonment, and look like it came straight out of the Fallout series.
8. New York City Will Become A Large Jungle
Speaking of cities, New York City is worth mentioning all on its own. The city would be a perfect example of what large scale human extinction would do to Earth. The large buildings wouldn’t fall in the first few years, and not likely in the first few decades, but after a long enough time, these structures will become eroded, and exist no longer. Before all of that happens, the city will become dead and abandoned. Too bad there wouldn’t be anyone left to explore it.
Vegetation would be a large issue for New York City in particular. The city has a healthy supply of waterways, and vegetation is already plentiful inside the city. Large vines would likely take over large buildings, and trees would begin to grow where the busiest intersections used to stand. New York City would be a shell of what it once was, and a lasting landmark of human innovation.
7. Most Man Made Structures Would Fall
Most man made structures are built to last, but for how long? Likely for a few decades, and maybe even centuries. These structures include buildings, structures, and architecture. Without proper maintenance, and rebuilding to some of these structures, they’re likely to fall sooner rather than later. While some of these structures will likely see their demise soon after our extinction, some wouldn’t.
For example, the great pyramids of Egypt would likely not see their demise soon after, or at all, as they’ve already stood the test of time. Throughout the ages, they still stand tall. This means that if something man made was built well, then it was built to last. Other examples of this include the Easter Island heads, that will likely stay around for years after as well. While not all man made structures will be able to stand the test of time, some will be left as crowning achievements of human civilization.
6. Machinery Would Fail Within a Few Days
Another man made thing that would fall quickly is machinery. This machinery includes things that bring humans electricity like wind turbines, water wheels and hydroelectric plants. This destruction will likely occur only a few days after humans go extinct, as they require daily maintenance.
When these goes, any chance of having lasting power goes too. A lot of this machinery will likely not go out too pretty either, resulting in large explosions and fires that could harm the atmosphere even more. Electricity conductors aren’t the only types of machines that would be effected either. If you name just about any man made machine, it will likely not be able to operate anymore, unless it was the thing that wiped us all out.
5. Man Made Materials Would Disappear
All of the man made materials would soon dissipate back into the atmosphere. This includes plastic, glass, and other everyday materials we use. They would dissipate in large junctions like garbage dumps. With the sudden stop in garbage production, it would all have a chance to actually disintegrate, and return back into the materials we originally made them out of.
However, this process would likely take millions of years to occur. It also depends on the type of materials we’re talking about. Plastic was made to withstand the test of time, and glass will last even longer. This means the filth that humans have left on Earth will likely last much longer than any other things humans are significant for.
4. The Second Ice Age Would Occur
Another likely option for Earth post humans is a second ice age. With the sudden decrease in global warming, Earth would have a chance to take its natural course, which would likely lead to a second ice age. It would take a few decades, if not centuries to occur, but it would be more than possible with humans out of the picture.
A second ice age would likely kill out all of the remaining plant life, and wildlife, while also introducing more. A few species will be able to survive, but after the ice age, Earth will likely be a completely different place, with most of its remnants of the past left behind. That includes humans, and even the plant and animal life we live side by side with.
3. Planet of the Apes?
No matter the reason that humans will fall, there will likely be another species that will come to rule Earth once again. While Hollywood has speculated the rising dead and apes, these may not be too far off. At least the ape theory. Depending on what takes humans out, it could also take out most primates, as they share many characteristics as us. However, in this hypothetical situation, let’s say humans stopped existing one day.
It’s most likely that apes would begin to become the alpha species. It’s not very likely they’ll start talking, and going about the same days that humans lived, at least not within the first few years. Apes are by far one of the smartest species, and can communicate with each other and with humans. This communication could easily evolve, starting a new dominant species to take over Earth after human.
2. Human Fossils
Similar to how we’re still finding fossils of dinosaurs, new inhabitants of Earth would likely find the fossils of humans who perished on Earth. Even right now, we’re finding fossils of humans that have existed centuries ago. These fossils will be able to tell inhabits of Earth in the future what it was like to live on Earth while the human race was present.
Some humans could even be well preserved enough to still see how humans looked. There are already examples of this being found in cold climates which have preserved human bodies almost perfectly for centuries. This type of preservation can tell the newest species inhabiting Earth when that person was from and interesting things of that time period… like what kind of diseases plagued us.
1. Small Remains of Humans Would Remain
By now, most of the humans remnants have been destroyed, besides fossils of humans and a few structures. We’re a thing of the past. So how do people know about the legacy that the human race left? There are a few things on Earth that will last centuries after we perish, like the great pyramids for example. However, possibly the most notable human remnants aren’t even located on Earth.
While the Earth will slowly deteriorate our structures, the Moon will preserve most of what we left on it. Who knows, by then we could have full Moon colonies, and humans could still exist living up there. Whatever the case at the very least, humans will have preserved remnants located on the Moon – that is unless something else comes to destroy it…
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