resources | show series: Life after People

When humanity colonizes space, saving what we leave behind.
February 8, 2019


— the show series —

This is a classic show series, with realistic science scenarios from the History channel — part of A + E Networks — now made available to the public by the network. It’s a perfect visual to go with our post on the science fiction film After Earth.

This series portrays what could happen to earth if we leave it to colonize other planets: either to explore + expand human society  — or because of humanity’s lack of stewardship of our home planet.

The graphic vignettes in this montage are developed by life science + materials science experts. The series paints a frightening picture of what earth could become if we let nature grow out-of-control, and we fail to maintain civilization and human custodianship of earth.

This scenario is not just a cautionary tale. When humanity inevitably begins long-distance space exploration of far away planets and creates new colonies — engineers will need to fortify the places we leave behind — so that they remain secure, habitable, and an ongoing resource.

This series consists of 2 fascinating seasons.


show title: Life after People
brand: History • by A + E Networks

season 1 — year: 2009 | 10 episodes
season 2 — year: 2010 | 10 episodes

intro: Welcome to Earth, population zero — in a life after people.



SEASON no. 1


season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 1
episode title: the bodies left behind

watch: this episode


— description —

What if every human being on earth disappeared? This isn’t the story of how we might vanish — it’s the story of what happens to the world we leave behind. In this episode, we’ll see what happens to some of the human bodies left behind. Most buried, some mummified, others cryo-genically frozen.

We look at memorials + super-structures such as: the Statue of Liberty, the Sistine Chapel, the Astrodome, the Bunker Hill Bridge, the John Hancock Tower. Plus the future of big cities in the United States — such as Boston and Houston.

We also explore Hashima Island in Japan that was abandoned by people in year 1974, as a living example.


season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 2
episode title: outbreak

watch: this episode


— description —

This episode predicts out-of-control nature spreading into the abandoned world cities of Chicago, Atlanta, and London — and how deadly viruses such as rabies will spawn in populations of escaped pets and other animals: with vignettes such as wild hogs and the dogs belonging to Queen of England at Buckingham Palace in the UK.

This episode also examines the fate of Big Ben, the L train, the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field and the Confederate Memorial Carving that could last for more than 5,000 years. We explore a living example: the city of  Gary, Indiana — that was partly abandoned by people in the 1970s.

Pigs break loose, rabies spreads, and the Chicago river reverses. Also, the fate of Big Ben, the Queen’s pet corgis, and Chicago’s tallest buildings. This episode is a journey that will take us to the future of Chicago, Atlanta and London–as well as haunting locations already devoid of man. This isn’t the story of how we might vanish–it’s the story of what happens to the world we leave behind.


season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 3
episode title: the capital threat

watch: this episode


— description —

In a life after people, the forces of nature consume Washington, DC — and America’s national treasures — as monuments fall to ruin, and zoo animals escape their enclosures. California burns in an inferno, suffers a massive earthquake — and eventually returns to its original state before it became civilized by humans.

The episode also explores the ancient temple complex Angkor Wat in Cambodia — abandoned by people in the 15th century.



season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 4
episode title: heavy metal

watch: this episode


— description —

Once people disappear the city New York, New York experiences a great crash. In this episode, we reveal the breaking point of precious metals: skyscrapers face collapse, bridges hang by a steel thread. And the fate of our nation’s secret stash of gold.

Meanwhile, a fatal weakness is exposed in the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Illinois. Breweries reveal untapped potential for disaster, and horses make a surprising bid to stay alive in a life after people. Domesticated animals will return to wild herds that roam America’s grasslands.

This episode projects how long the nation’s buildings and bridges will stand  — before the elements consume the steel and concrete: the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge and the Roosevelt Island Tramway.

The episode also examines the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada — a town its designers wanted to rival Chicago, Illinois. But was abandoned by people around year 1910.


season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 5
episode title: the invaders

watch: this episode


— description —

In a life after people, invasive animals and vines spread: pythons battle alligators, plants strip oxygen from lakes, and sandstorms invade Phoenix. Also, Shanghai sinks and Miami is submerged.

After the disappearance of humanity, sandstorms could sweep through Phoenix, Miami and Shanghai might disappear into the ocean, and invasive plants and animals such as Burmese pythons will spread uncontrolled. Also included is the fate of the Taj Mahal in India, the Kennedy Space Center, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, and the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. The episode also explores Tyneham, England, which was requisitioned by the War Office in 1943 during World War II in preparation for the D-Day landings.


season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 6
episode title: bound + buried

watch: this episode


— description —

The fate of the treasures left entombed, like the mysterious Doomsday Vault, the Mona Lisa, and the Declaration of Independence. Also, Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell cracks for good and San Francisco’s cable cars and bridges snap.

In a post-apocalyptic future, even sealed artifacts such as the Liberty Bell and the United States Declaration of  Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway will not survive indefinitely. Wolf populations and feral dogs struggle to survive. In San Francisco cables snap on the Golden Gate Bridge and the cable cars are sent careening through the streets, while the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur survive longer than most other modern towers. In Paris, the fate of the Mona Lisa, the prehistoric Lascaux caves, the modern Lascaux II replica, the Venus de Milo and the Notre Dame de Paris is shown. The episode also examines Centralia, Pennsylvania, which was largely abandoned in 1984 because of a coal seam fire burning beneath the town.



season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 7
episode title: sin city meltdown

watch: this episode


— description —

The apocalyptic future of our gambling meccas. In Las Vegas, a new rat pack takes over, wax figures of celebrities melt, and iconic hotels crumble. In Atlantic City, the ocean tears apart casinos, but the boardwalk refuses to be destroyed.

This episode predicts how the gambling meccas of humankind will deteriorate without people; rats invade Las Vegas, Nevada, the famous hotels such as the Stratosphere Tower and the Luxor Las Vegas crumble to dust, the Las Vegas sign falls from its location, and the wax statues of celebrities at the Madame Tussaud’s museum melt away. Atlantic City is destroyed as ocean waves and hurricanes smash through casinos, break up the boardwalk and piers and tarnish the fate of Lucy the Elephant. Camels go wild in North America, like their ancestors, and are transformed after the next ice age. Over thousands of years, the Voyager space probes are battered by impacts from dust and debris, leaving few recognizable remnants of humanity behind. The episode also examines the Americana Amusement Park in Monroe, Ohio, showing how degraded it has become after only recently having been abandoned in 2002.



season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 8
episode title: armed + defenseless

watch: this episode


— description —

The fate of mankind’s machinery of war: a sunken nuclear missile explodes, Pearl Harbor comes under renewed attacks, snow causes urban avalanches, and dairy cows are threatened. Featuring Denver, Hawaii, and a mysterious abandoned island near New York City.

In a future without people, the machines of war deteriorate; nuclear submarines lie on the ocean floor, and the USS Missouri is the target of a renewed “attack” on Pearl Harbor, as the ship transforms into a plant-covered island. Most dairy cows die, but a few survive and adapt to life on America’s plains alongside thriving herds of bison. This episode also examines Aloha Tower in Honolulu, the Wells Fargo Center in Denver and North Brother Island off of New York City, which was abandoned around 1960.



season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 9
episode title: the roads to nowhere

watch: this episode


— description —

The post-apocalyptic fate of our cars, planes and roads. Oil refineries turn into time bombs. In the Motor City, harsh northern winters dismantles auto headquarters. While in Texas, the Alamo succumbs to a new invader. Also, animals adapt: armadillos spread, some dogs rekindle their hunting instincts, and long-horn cattle flourish once again.

This episode looks at how vehicles will deteriorate without people, how America’s automobile plants and transportation symbols such as the Renaissance Center and the Ambassador Bridge will shatter in Detroit’s harsh winters, and how unattended oil refineries will explode. In San Antonio the Alamo falls to a new invader, and the Tower Life Building meets its demise. Also, animals adapt, armadillos spread, some dogs rekindle their hunting instincts, and longhorn cattle flourish once again. This episode also examines the Packard plant and the 60 square miles (160 km2) of Detroit which were abandoned in 1960s.


season: 1
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 10
episode title: waters of death

watch: this episode

Destructive waters overtake the world we leave behind. Rain floods New Orleans again, and when power goes out in the city’s aquarium, it spells doom for thousands of animals. Corrosion from rain brings down Seattle’s Space Needle, while humidity in the Middle East wrecks Dubai’s space-age structures.

In a world devoid of humans, water floods cities like New Orleans and Seattle. The marine animals housed inside the former city’s aquarium die off. Head lice become extinct without human hosts. The fate of Seattle’s symbolic Space Needle is shown as the city reverts to a saltwater marsh, and humidity in the Middle East wrecks the space-age structures of Dubai, including the Burj Al Arab Hotel and the Burj Khalifa. The fate of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow is shown and Louisiana’s tallest building, One Shell Square, collapses. The episode examines the areas of New Orleans that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina and were subsequently abandoned soon after.



SEASON no. 2


season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 1
episode title: wrath of God

watch: this episode


— description —

Structures of God and symbols of Satan face their post-apocalyptic fate. Churches around the world crumble in a world after people, while the devil’s minions multiply. The controversial Shroud of Turin meets a surprising foe. A desert town abandoned for decades provides clues to earth’s future.

This episode predicts the fate of humanity’s religious symbols and artifacts after the disappearance of humans — such as the Christ the Redeemer statue which stands over Rio de Janeiro, the Crystal Cathedral and the Memorial Coliseum in Southern California, the Colosseum, the Jubilee Church and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the Shroud of Turin. Rattlesnakes thrive in the American Southwest, and shepherd dogs continue to protect sheep for several generations. The episode also examines Kolmanskop, a desert town in Namibia established by the Germans during a diamond rush, and abandoned in the 1960s.


season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 2
episode title: toxic revenge

watch: this episode


— description —

An horde of toxins and chemicals are unleashed in a world without people. Deadly gases turn lakes and rivers into acid. An abandoned town in America’s heartland provides a glimpse into this dim future. Without man’s help, Niagara Falls has a surprising fate.

In a life after people, toxic materials leak into the environment without human intervention: spent nuclear fuel rods spontaneously burst into flame, chlorine gas spills out of tanks and turns lakes into deadly acid, and in New York City underground methane gas originates from Grand Central Terminal and leaks into the adjacent MetLife Building, which eventually ignites an explosion. Cargo ships from the Great Lakes drift past the fallen International Railway Bridge and tumble over the edge of Niagara Falls. Raccoons use homes as a temporary paradise. The episode also features Picher, Oklahoma, a toxic former lead mining town which has been slowly abandoned ever since the 1970s.


IMAGE


season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 3
episode title: crypt of civilization

watch: this episode


— description —

In the post-apocalyptic world, man’s mysterious relics meet very different fates, including those in a site in the U.S. called the “Crypt of Civilization”. Other crypts, safes, and time capsules are exposed to new threats. An abandoned Mental Hospital in Connecticut offers clues regarding man’s ability to preserve records. Can the military training given to Marine Corps dogs help them succeed in the wild?

This episode looks at how crypts, safes, vaults and time capsules survive in a post-apocalyptic world, including a visit to the mysterious “Crypt of Civilization” at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, the Gherkin in London, the Marine Corps War Memorial and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Military-trained German Shepherds battle coyotes in the wild and the remains of naval hero John Paul Jones are entombed by rising sea levels in Annapolis, Maryland. The proposed KEO satellite, Rosetta disks (focusing on one at the Smithsonian Institution), and the prototype 10,000-year clock meet their fates in the far future. The episode also examines Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut, sections of which were abandoned between 1970 and 1995.


season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 4
episode title: last supper

watch: this episode


— description —

The fate of man’s world of food. Destructive forces turn supermarkets into breeding grounds for insects and rodents. Some foods last forever. Da Vinci’s The Last Supper suffers due to an unusual paint ingredient. Some of man’s agricultural staples succumb, while a surprising plant thrives. Exquisite restaurants atop of Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world, collapse.

In a world without people, humanity’s food supplies decay as supermarkets turn into breeding grounds for insects and vermin, humidity causes Leonardo da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper in the Santa Maria delle Grazie to crumble, and both the landmark Randy’s Donuts restaurant in Los Angeles and the restaurant atop Taipei 101 in Taiwan succumb to the force of gravity. Snack cakes survive 25 years, but jars of honey might remain edible for millennia. The episode also includes video from a Fort Worth, Texas grocery store which was abandoned for three months—with all the food still inside. This episode also examines the Tranquille Farms in the British Columbia Interior, which were abandoned and closed in 1985.



season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 5
episode title: home wrecked homes

watch: this episode


— description —

Examine the apocalyptic fate of every home in the world. Gas leaks turn suburbs into infernos; a famous castle is toppled by a hidden flaw. Paint causes some high-end homes to explode in flames. Houses fall from the world tallest apartments to the most crowded complexes.

This episode predicts the apocalyptic fate of homes—from the Stahl House outside Los Angeles to the San Remo in New York City. Co-op City sinks beneath the tide and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) corrodes and collapses. Gas leaks turn suburban homes such as Levittown into infernos, a hidden flaw topples Hearst Castle, linseed oil in paint-soaked rags causes some high-end homes, including the San Remo apartments, to explode in flames, and the contents of the Bettman/Corbis Archive in Pennsylvania meet a tragic fate. Bobcats use abandoned houses as dens, and zebras from the Hearst Castle private zoo escape and survive for generations. The episode also visits the Italian town of Balestrino, which was abandoned during the 1950s due to geologic instability.


IMAGE


season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 6
episode title: holiday hell

watch: this episode


— description —

In a post-apocalyptic world, holiday traditions and vacation destinations would be gone. What would be left to celebrate in a world that’s become a nightmare?

Vacation destinations and holiday treasures are featured in this episode; fireworks factories explode with no people to see the event, sand inside Knott’s Berry Farm’s Silver Bullet roller coaster is the key to its destruction, while fruitcake lasts for over 130 years. Domesticated reindeer join herds of wild caribou, only to be devoured by wolves. Lions escape the San Diego Wild Animal Park and fill the ecological role American lions once had. Nearby Palm Springs is consumed by the desert, its aerial tramway suffers catastrophic failure, and its wind turbines shatter. In Detroit, Aldrige’s Always Christmas store witnesses a not-so-jolly scene as power goes out and domesticated turkeys die off while their wild relatives live on. This episode also examines the Salton Sea, where parts of a former resort town were abandoned since 1970s.


IMAGE


season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 7
episode title: waves of devastation

watch: this episode


— description —

A massive force of water threatens everything man leaves behind. American cities faces a deluge from failed levees, famous paintings meet a tragic fate, and a unique feature of the Sydney Opera House’s famous rooftop leads to its collapse.

This episode examines the effects of water on humanity’s structures. Rotterdam and Amsterdam flood as levees fail; washing away the treasures of the Boijmans Museum, while Sacramento is first swamped, then destroyed when Folsom Dam ruptures. Non-native Asian carp slip through human-made barriers to invade the Great Lakes, but must compete with another invasive species: the sea lamprey. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline spills its hazardous contents, the Santa Monica Pier sinks into the ocean, the Sydney Opera House caves in, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge tears apart. The episode also explores the Russian coal mining town of Pyramiden, abandoned in 1998. Preserved by Arctic temperatures, Pyramiden may survive as one of the last towns standing on Earth.


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season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 8
episode title: sky’s the limit

watch: this episode


— description —

The apocalyptic devastation unfolds in the skies. History’s most important planes are grounded in a life after people. Air Force One suffers an explosive malfunction. A devastating swarm of locusts returns to the Midwest, and mysterious cargo on the Cassini Satellite could change the universe.

Human neglect affects the world’s skies and aeronautic icons, including Air Force One, the Theme Building and a control tower at Los Angeles International Airport, the Spirit of St. Louis in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota. Elsewhere, Rocky Mountain locusts invade the cities in the Midwest, Mount Everest’s ice preserves artifacts left by climbers and even the bodies of climbers who died on its summit, and the migratory patterns of birds and even the weather are affected by the absence of humankind patrolling the skies. Solar-powered radio station KTAO continues broadcasting long after humans are gone. The Cassini space probe crash-lands on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, leading to extremophile bacteria from Earth that had been present inside the probe colonizing its possible water ocean and possibly causing life to evolve on it. The episode also visits Edgar, Ontario, a Cold War radar site which was abandoned in 1999, and the aging Berlin Tempelhof Airport in Germany which was closed in 2008.



season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 9
episode title: depths of destruction

watch: this episode


— description —

The world underground undergoes devastating changes in a Life After People. Geothermal power plants buckle under the strain of superheated steam. NORAD, America’s former nuclear command center, comes under attack. An abandoned town is overrun by 400 million animals. 50-ton minerals grow unchecked in an abandoned mine.

The underground and underwater world suffers a destructive destiny in a post human era. The NORAD operations facility comes under assault, the echo chambers below the foundation of the Capitol Records Building in Los Angeles outlasts the structure’s downfall. The subterranean Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico is repopulated by bats, the gypsum crystals inside the Naica Mine grow unchecked, and humankind’s former geothermal power sites such as the Geysers in northern California relinquish their strength to geologic forces. The Satellite Transit System at Seattle’s airport is disabled, the Underwater Sculpture Gardens outside of St. George’s, Grenada are taken a hold of by coral reefs, and Prairie dogs reclaim their territory in Lubbock. The episode features the Bonne Terre Mine, which was abandoned in 1960 and subsequently flooded, and also the steamboat Arabia in Parkville, Missouri.


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season: 2
show title: Life after People
episode: no. 10
episode title: “take me to your leader”

watch: this episode


— description —

How will the White House fall in a Life After People? The greatest homes and monuments to the world’s leaders are under attack. The White House, Monticello and Versailles are suffering different fates. The bodies of Mao Zedong and Ulysses S. Grant are shrouded in mystery. A toxic ex-Naval base decays in the legacy of the Hiroshima bomb. The President’s dog must learn the ways of the wild.

This episode analyzes how structures and testaments devoted to world leaders factor adversely without human sustainment, among them include the White House, the Palace of Versailles, Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello, the Secretariat Building and the General Assembly Chamber of the United Nations Headquarters, and the Hall of Supreme Harmony in China’s Forbidden City. The entombed body of Ulysses S. Grant is buried for the first time in history, and Mao Zedong’s mysterious body at the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong submits to the quirks of his embalmers. As a result of his owner’s disappearance, the dependent life of the United States president’s dog, “Bo,” is transformed as his wild instincts take effect. The episode also examines the aftermath of the Hiroshima bomb on the San Francisco Naval Shipyard in Hunters Point.



— notes —

* History is under the umbrella of A + E Networks — under the umbrella of the Walt Disney co.

infographic: the Walt Disney co. | umbrella


[ story file ]

story title: resources | show series: Life after People
deck: When humanity colonizes space, saving what we leave behind.
year: 2019
section: blog
set: resources

[ end of file ]