Earth would be one giant zoo if humans never existed, new study shows

In absence of HUMANS, the Earth would be a giant Zoo and much more peaceful!

Have you ever wondered what would the world look like, assuming humans never existed? Study reveals it would have more mammals and also be a better place to live in.

Danish researchers at the Aarhus University, conducted a new study to understand what would the world look like in absence of Homo sapiens or human species!

The study was not conducted from the perspective of climatic changes; rather it was aimed at “studying the extent to which humans have reshaped the Earth’s biodiversity”.

It appears European continent has suffered a lot of devastation, all thanks to the inhuman activity by the Homo sapiens, due to which many of the native mammals have historically reached a level of extinction over the last thousand years.

The outcome of the study thus revealed that if we assume Earth was devoid of humans, most of the northern Europe, in particular, would have been inhabited by the mammalian species including bears, elephants, rhinoceroses, which have been wiped out to a great extent.

Not only that, it would have also been a home to different varieties of wolves, elks, bears along with a possibility that it would have witnessed the immigration of faraway animals such as elephant or rhinoceros.

Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, a member of the research team, from Aarhus University, believes that the biodiversity has not been limited only to Europe but it has been seen across the world. He said:

“Northern Europe is far from the only place in which humans have reduced the diversity of mammals – it’s a worldwide phenomenon. And, in most places, there’s a very large deficit in mammal diversity relative to what it would naturally have been.”

Earth with humans
Current levels of mammal biodiversity on Earth charting number of large mammals species per 100kmx100km area. Illustration by Soren Faurby
Earth without humans
And a map of the Earth if humans never existed. Illustration by Soren Faurby

The research and its findings has been published in Diversity and Distributions. Soren Faurby, lead author on the study explained why Africa is considered the ‘last refuge’ for the greatest examples of mammals biodiversity in today’s age, he said:

“Most safaris today take place in Africa, but under natural circumstances, as many or even more large animals would no doubt have existed in other places, e.g., notably parts of the New World such as Texas and neighboring areas and the region around northern Argentina-Southern Brazil. The reason that many safaris target Africa is not because the continent is naturally abnormally rich in species of mammals. Instead it reflects that it’s one of the only places where human activities have not yet wiped out most of the large animals.”

The study clearly revealed that in absence of humans, definitely, both North and South America, together would have had far greater biodiversity today than what Africa currently has!

The findings also revealed that mountain regions across the world seems to have a greater mammal diversity and surprisingly the reason for this biodiversity has nothing to do with the geographical pattern and it is just because humans have a lesser tendency to reach these places.

Faurby continued: “The current high level of biodiversity in mountainous areas is partly due to the fact that the mountains have acted as a refuge for species in relation to hunting and habitat destruction, rather than being a purely natural pattern. For instance, in Europe is the brown bear, which now virtually only live in mountainous regions because it has been exterminated from the more accessible and most often more densely populated lowland areas.”

The news release on the findings mentioned that the study was a continuation from the research team’s earlier study, which had held human expansion solely responsible for the extinction of the enormous species after last Ice Age.

Based on the current study, researchers say that in absence of humans, our entire Earth would have been a great giant Zoo.

When compared to both the studies, it actually reveals almost the same thing, humans are responsible for damaging the overall ecosystem!

But, Faurby and his team pointed out that their study and findings have emphasized on the importance of restoring and conserving nature and hence it might help to provide some useful guidelines on conservation efforts.

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Maya Kamath
Maya Kamath
Content writer with unending love to pen down my thoughts and views regarding the new technological inventions as well as probe into the current affairs. Feel as if i am free bird who can actually live life at my pace.


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