Water is coming...

After humanity: A timeline of the Earth after we go extinct

A step-by-step, day-by-day guide to how nature and the planet adjust after humanity exits the stage.

After two days

Without active maintenance and pumping, New York City’s subways flood with water and become impassable.

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Seven days in

Fuel runs out at the emergency generators that pump coolant into nuclear power plants. Approximately 450 reactors around the world begin to melt down.

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© Getty Images

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After one year

Human head and body lice go extinct, while cockroaches in cities at temperate latitudes freeze to death. Domestic and farm animals perish in enormous numbers.

Three years later

Pipes burst in colder regions, flooding cities with water. Buildings lose structural integrity as they expand and contract with temperature changes.

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© Getty Images

20 years post-human-extinction

The Panama Canal closes, rejoining North and South America. Many crops disappear, outcompeted by wild varieties.

300 years on

Most of the world’s bridges fall. Dams silt up and overflow, washing away entire cities. Suburbs become forests as endangered species rebound.

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© Getty Images

100,000 years

CO2 in the atmosphere returns to pre-industrial levels. Microbes evolve to biodegrade plastic. Plutonium bombs made during the age of humans become safe to handle.

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© Getty Images

10,000,000 years

Bronze sculptures are still recognisable, as are the faces on Mount Rushmore.

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Life still thrives on Earth, but in new forms.

© Getty Images
© Getty Images