How long would it take to erase the human race’s effect on the planet?
What did Earth look like 200, 300, or 600 mn years ago? We’ve all studied the various theories about how the planet has morphed over the course of millennia, but few science classes have been as succinct or engaging as The Ancient Earth Globe. The site offers a visual representation of the globe at various stages in its history, with small explainers on the main features of each era — reaching as far back as when the first multicellular life appeared.
Considering it took around 600 mn years for the earth to reach its current form, it’s worth wondering how long it would take to erase the human race’s effect on the planet. According to National Geographic, the various types of damage humans have inflicted on the environment — including the extra carbon dioxide we produce and the deforestation we are responsible for — would slowly be reversed over the course of 500 years, save for nuclear waste, which would remain “the only vestige of human life” 25,000 years later (watch, runtime: 1:57).