The human era consists of less than two dominos.
It’s understandably difficult for people to grasp their place in the history of Earth or even life on Earth. We’re a notoriously self-involved species, which means we have a difficult time imagining a period in which we didn’t exist. Further, humans are also very inept in understanding large numbers, and the history of life on Earth is nothing if not vast — at least from our perspective.
While we may have seen representations of the Earth’s timeline laid out on a football field, The Scope of Science found an equally engaging way to represent our presence in the grand scheme of things by using a chain of falling wooden dominos. Each block represents one million years, so going back to the first cell’s nucleus requires two billion years of travel, or 2,000 dominos.
As for humanity’s place in the chain? Well, we’re fairly new to Earth, so while we may feel as though we’ve been around for longer, our existence falls short of the time represented by just two dominos.
Even if you’re not interested in man’s place in natural history, there’s always the promise that the domino organizer will accidentally set the chain in motion early, taking down 2 billion years of evolution and life in the process.
How’s that for high stakes?