Look at the dial of a clock. Imagine that the 12 hours showing on the dial are equal to earth’s history of four-and-a-half billion years. Now, this is how the earth’s evolution happened…

We know very little about what happened in the first three hours of the earth’s existence. The first signs of life appeared in the form of bacteria when the earth was four hours old.

Then came the first vertebrates (animals with skeletons). They were born when the earth was 10 hours and 35 minutes old. The huge dinosaurs arrived at 11 hours and 25 minutes and birds and mammals at 11 hours and 50 minutes.

We are Only 10 Seconds Old [Illustration by Shinod AP]
We are Only 10 Seconds Old [Illustration by Shinod AP]

And guess what. In this 12-hour life span, humans arrived only half a minute before 12! This means that the entire human history is just 10 seconds old – because the chain of evolution from the great apes to humans actually took up 20 seconds!

Clocking human folly

Let us look at this in yet another way.

Compress earth’s existence into 100 years. This means that the dinosaurs came and left the earth about one year ago. Man arrived only two weeks ago. Humans started burning fossil fuels, like coal and petrol, only five minutes ago.

However, in these five minutes, human actions have upset more than 99 years of the development of the earth’s environment.

And, if we want to save the environment from irreversible destruction, we must act in the next four seconds…

253 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 6 (11-12 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: planet earth
Tags: #environment, #history, #dinosaurs

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