13 Ways the Earth Was Way Different Before Humans Ruined Everything
As a very popular hoodie once said, “People equal shit.” There’s a fairly strong argument to be made that we are the worst thing to ever happen to this wacky-ass planet — it was going along nicely for billions of years, and we came along two million years ago and utterly fucked it up. Species that had existed happily for unthinkably long periods of time are now choking on plastics; an environmental balance honed to perfection over countless millennia is now slowly suffocating everything within it.
Before we came along and screwed with it, this place ruled. We live in an era where the most powerful species on the planet are these goofy-looking things of about 5-foot-8 who spend too much time indoors. That’s so, so crap. The earth should be ruled by huge-fanged lizards tearing flesh from bone, not assholes who invested well.
The good news is, the planet will outlive us. When we die out, we’ll probably have done enough damage that most of the life on the Earth comes with us, but something will survive, and get to start again, and eventually, with any luck, the planet will once again be ruled by giant ass-kicking monsters rather than silly dicks.
Big-Ass Animals Were Huge and Everywhere
Animals used to get real, real big. Eighteen-foot armadillos, house-sized birds and sloths the size of giraffes. Impossibly cool, extraordinary animals that we either ate all the food of or hunted to extinction.
Everything Went Away
It sounds obvious, but there was no such thing as “artificial” before us. Things lived, died and then were scavenged or decomposed into the earth in next to no time. We’re now filling the place with Happy Meal toys that will take thousands of years to break down, if they ever do.
Saber-Toothed Shit Ruled Supreme
Is there a more badass combination of words than “saber-toothed”? Nature knows big-ass teeth are awesome — creatures with them evolved basically everywhere before we came along and ballsed it up.
There Was a Slightly Fairer Dominant Species Rotation
Several different groups got to have a go at being the planet’s dominant animal species. Not anymore! We’ve got the ball, and we’re not letting go of it until everything’s dead!
Evolution Took a Sensible Amount of Time
Evolution is incredibly slow — individuals are born with various mutations and, based on who breeds, some mutations become widespread traits. Now, some species go through extensive changes in a few generations due to the fast-changing environment around them.
Animals Had to Be in the Mood
Humanity is quiiiite into making animals fuck. Farming, industry, selective breeding, pedigree dogs — back in the day, dinosaurs fucked on their own schedule, you know?
Weather Happened Because It, Like, Just Did
Assholes deny it, but human-caused climate change is real. Climate change used to be caused by things like volcanic eruptions and shifts in the sun’s activity, and now it’s caused by us wanting, making and consuming toooooo much shiiiiit.
We Once Had Close Friends, If You Know What We Mean
Until about 300,000 years ago, Homo sapiens existed happily alongside other hominids, fairly frequently breeding with them. These days, you breed with another species, you’re going to prison.
And We Had Big Ol’ Sasquatch-Type Pals, Too
Gigantopithecus was an enormous ape — imagine a 600-pound orangutan — who went extinct about 350,000 years ago. That means people would regularly see them monkeying about. That’s rad. That would be so rad to still have. God damn it.
There Was Just More Different Shit, You Know?
The last few million years was the most biodiverse period in the Earth’s history. However, the last 200 years alone have seen enormous amounts of species vanish — up to 150 species are lost every day.
Stuff Stayed Where It Was Meant To
Before we hauled shit across the goddamn world, it mostly stayed where it was. This meant a bunch of islands developed incredible, unique species. Then we sailed to them with rats, fleas and diseases, and everything started to go shit-shaped.
There Were Killer Two-Ton Hippo-Whale-Pigs
Andrewsarchus was a 15-foot carnivorous mammal that we know pretty much nothing about beyond it definitely being better than any of the stupid fucking animals we have these days.
It Was All Just Simpler, Damn It
Animals eat, breed and die. We have stupid shit — FOMO, seasonal affective disorder, employment anxiety. Neandethals didn’t worry, they just died. We’d be so much better off if all we ever stressed about was being eaten by incredibly cool animals.