The other day I was reading Wired.com and was interrupted by an elaborate, flashy advertisement which caused the web page to appear to break apart and grow vines. The advertising was for a new show on the History Channel called Life After People. This show asks and attempts to answer the question of what would happen to Earth if one day all people disappeared.
I think this is the first time I have ever taken the advice of advertising so directly, but I watched the first episode on Tuesday night. I usually really like "end of the world" books/movies, so I found this show really interesting. The first episode began with one day after people - lights would go out, power plants would shut down, and museums housing remnants of ancient societies would no longer be able to protect from decomposition. Cryogenics labs would run out of liquid Nitrogen, and as the show puts it, "For human beings, the dream of immortality is gone."
If the show sounds a little dramatic, that's because it is. The voice overs are really cheesy, and the music is all doomsday and no fun. Then again, it would be sort of difficult to be upbeat about the destruction of humankind.
The best part of the show so far was the revisiting of Japan's Hashima Island - a mining town originally built on a small mass of land in the middle of the ocean that was abandoned around 35 years ago. The former occupants vacated very quickly, so the remaining buildings and belongings were left the same as the last day they were inhabited and used. Today, 35 years of harsh weather has nearly wiped out the small town, and most of the buildings were turned to rubble. The show explains that this is how most cities would look 35 years after people.
A few more fun facts - the Pyramids would outlast all of modern creations and Parrots would continue to speak human words taught to them for over 100 years. I'm not sure how they're going to keep this show going, since at some point in the time line only human bones would exist, but it will be interesting to watch and see.
History Channel - Tuesdays @ 10pm!