What would happen to Earth if humans suddenly disappeared?

A video from AsapScience explores what would happen if humans suddenly disappeared from the face of the Earth (though we obviously wouldn't be around to worry about it).

Anthony Domanico
CNET freelancer Anthony Domanico is passionate about all kinds of gadgets and apps. When not making words for the Internet, he can be found watching Star Wars or "Doctor Who" for like the zillionth time. His other car is a Tardis.
Anthony Domanico
2 min read

It's a strange thing to think about, but what would happen if humans suddenly disappeared? A new video from AsapScience explores the impact human extinction would have on our planet.

Within the first few hours of extinction, power plants would run out of fuel and shut down. As the world started to lose power, the electrical fences used to keep livestock under control would stop working, releasing 1.5 billion cows, 1 billion pigs and 20 billion chickens into the wild.

The video posits that domestic cats and dogs would have to compete with their non-domestic counterparts such as coyotes, wolves and cougars for food, though realistically many cats and dogs would be trapped inside and starve to death once their food supplies ran out. The same is probably true of most of the world's cows, pigs and chickens, unless they managed to bust out of their fences in the face of starvation.

Human extinction would similarly have devastating effects on cities, as some roadways would become rivers; subways would flood; and, as several post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows have pointed out, weeds and vines would take over our buildings.

Wood structures would eventually be downed by termites or fires, and metal objects like cars and bridges would rust away.

Of course, our footprint on the Earth would remain for a long time. Our garbage would likely survive the longest, as it's made up of many types of plastic and rubber that aren't biodegradable. To learn even more about what might happen if we all of a sudden became extinct, check out AsapScience's full video at the top of this post and be thankful that we're probably going to be around for a while.