Life After People

release year: 2008
genre: documentary
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/21-27/16 and TV 5/10/09 (pilot episode only)

synopsis: Various scientists and other experts speculate about what would happen to Earth if all humans just disappeared.

impressions: Very sobering. I learned a bunch of engineering and nature type facts, and the main lesson is this: without human maintenance, everything we've ever built will eventually fall apart. The original special (which I also call the pilot here) focused on a wide variety of thing, while the subsequent series episodes each zeroed in on one topic e.g. national treasures, skyscrapers, animals, military vessels and planes.) In general, each episode touches on various spans of time after people cease to exist: 1 day, 10 days, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 20 years...all the way to 10,000 years without people. Basically, given enough elapsed time, every single thing that the human race ever built or made will deteriorate. Seldom have I been so fascinated while also being so depressed.

something this movie has that no other movie has: The eventual decay and collapse of every skyscraper, bridge, dam, and other superengineering feat mankind has ever achieved.

acting: n/a, but the narrator did a good job, and the various experts gave good testimony

final word: Great science special, worth seeing.

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