The Impossible Hugeness of Deep Time

published on July 20, 2020

Thanks to curiosity stream for supporting PBS Digital Studios hey smart people Joe here picture five balloons that was easy now picture a thousand that wasn't that hard was it not so fast smartypants that's only

Three hundred 99 balloons that's a thousand my point is we stink at imagining big numbers the human brain is good at so much yet so so bad at big numbers let's see if we can fix that this big number fail isn't totally our

Fault but during our evolution we only had to pay attention to small numbers like fingers toes how many people live in our clan and beyond that it was just there's many mammoths over there a massive magnitude a multitude if you

Will and that did just fine until we invented science and history and started using really big numbers when it comes to putting big numbers in perspective nowhere did we fail harder than in deep time deep time is the geologic time

Scale it's the history of the earth and everything on it we're talking millions and billions of years not tens or hundreds and our brains are really bad at putting these huge magnitudes into perspective for instance my science

Brain knows a billions a thousand times bigger than a million but then I think about the fact that a million seconds is 11 and a half days and a billion seconds is 317 years and my brain breaks a little you know Cleopatra the Egyptian

Ruler she died in 30 BC long time ago but she lived closer to the first Taco Bell opening than she did to the Great Pyramid being built and t-rex lived closer to us than it did to Stegosaurus what I mean is we don't really

Understand deep time at all so I'm out here to put things in perspective for you we're going to take an actual journey through the history of the earth to see how long ago things really happened and how much time

Happened in between the parts of the history of the earth will be played by this pink string all along this are different events in Earth's history and the distances in between those events are cut to scale based on how many

Thousands or millions or even billions of years ago that they happened so let's start playing with some string here we are about four and a half billion years ago at the formation of the earth kind of a big deal

Kind of a major event in Earth's history and apparently it happened next to this tree oh the moon just formed I didn't take long I don't see it though cool Oh liquid water love this stuff and I'm

A big deal for life formation of the Earth's atmosphere earth is massive enough now that it can start keeping gases close to its surface thanks to gravity but it was mostly stuff like carbon dioxide ammonia methane none of

This sweet sweet oxygen stuff yet still not a lot happening right now the first living organisms this is kind of a big deal at this time Earth's conditions have settled down enough to let chemistry start doing whatever cool

Chemistry stuff it took to create the first known living things sure they were simple but they're your ancestors show some respect about a billion years has passed from the formation of the earth to this point

The word is getting started well a lot going on here nothing that important we've got oxygen now for the first billion years of life on Earth there was nothing really making oxygen until cyanobacteria showed up and

Started doing photosynthesis for the very first time so they were just spitting out oxygen as a waste product into the atmosphere and since there was nothing there to really use it it just built up over time and actually led to

One of the largest mass extinction events in the history of the planet well I see a big event coming 22 billion years ago the first eukaryotes what does that mean well that's when cells got organelles you know like the nucleus the

Golgi apparatus the mitochondria the powerhouse of the cell does anything happen on this planet oh there's something the supercontinent Rodinia broke up thought they'd stay together forever

Now 710 million years ago that means 38 billion years of Earth's history have passed to get to this point when you think about it almost everything that we think about in earth's history hasn't even happened yet we still have a long

Ways to go ah 600 million years ago the first multicellular organisms on earth that's right all the life up until this point had just been single-celled but now we get teamwork cooperation awesome

Multicellularity only things like us happen a lot further that way something cool happens right here 540 million years ago or so is a period of time we call the Cambrian explosion when we look at the fossil record we just see this

Explosion in the diversity of life it's when things got interesting 470 million years ago we get the first true land plants they didn't look like these plants there were a lot more basic things are about to start happening a

Lot more rapidly so hold on your hats 400 million years ago we find the first insects the first amphibian the first tree and the first shark fossils although I would assume not all in the same place

359 million years ago we find the first coal deposits it's right all those fossil fuels that we've been digging out of the earth and lighting on fire they started forming about now 315 million years ago we get the first

Reptiles not dinosaurs not that cool yet although they were pretty cool they just weren't that cool 280 million years ago supercontinent Pangea comes together maybe you've heard of it 42 billion years has passed we're just now

Getting to the first flowering plants 230 million years ago first dinosaurs 200 million years ago the Atlantic Ocean opens up for the first time 180 million years ago we get the earliest mammals and birds but you're still dinosaurs

This is all of history that we have left and the Rocky Mountains are just now forming well 65 million years ago adios dinosaurs that's the asteroid 56 million years ago we get the earliest primates 40 million years ago India hits

Asia this is basically everything we could consider human history Australopithecus shows up for the very first time an early walking hominid just like Lucy the first stone tools the first controlled use of fire

Anatomically modern humans don't show up until here and here we are at the present and here we are in the present everything when we consider our history happens in less than a millimeter from the end here's looking back down the

Entire history of Earth dogs and everything stuff like this the last Neanderthal the extinction of the woolly mammoths the rise of human civilizations is less than a thread in a thread of yarn the moral of this story

Is that most things happened a really really really long time ago and we humans are very new here so go pick up a rock and take a second to respect your elders on the bright side even though I keep getting older I'm actually still

Very very young and now I can prove it with string stay curious once they a big thank you to curiosity stream for supporting PBS Digital Studios a curiosity stream is a subscription streaming service that

Offers documentaries and nonfiction titles from a variety of filmmakers including curiosity stream originals like this one called deep time history it's a three-part series chronicling how human history has been shaped by science

Even before we knew what science was from the surprising ways that humans first figure out how to harvest energy to how the Scientific Revolution ended up putting salt and pepper on your table you can learn more at curiosity stream

Comm slash smart hey so do you ever wish there was like a whole channel devoted to deep time well good news there is go check out our friends at PBS eons

Related Videos

hey guys techrax here coming at you guys with another giveaway this is gonna be an iPhone 5s two of these brand new phones not the one in this video guys this i...
hey guy there's a popular game in the app store called flappy bird right now and it's supposedly really annoying believe it or not I haven't played ...
hey guys tech Rex here so right here with me I have an Apple iPhone 5s this is the gold one I also have with me some liquid nitrogen yes this is the real deal a...
hey guys techrax here right here I have the iPhone 5s with me this is the champagne or the gold color I still can't really figure out if it's champagne ...
hey guys tear cracks here so this video really exciting video I have the new Samsung Galaxy s5 for you guys this is the long-awaited cellular devices releases i...
everyone techrax here in this video I've got the latest Samsung Galaxy s5 right here as well as the Apple iPhone 5s and we're going to be doing a simple...
everyone techrax here in this video guys have a really exciting device this is the Samsung Galaxy s5 charcoal black and I'm really liking I after seeing the...
everyone techrax here here with me off the Samsung Galaxy s5 this is a perfectly fine s5 it is cracked from the drop test that I had with also one minor neck as...
hey guys tetrax here so in this video I'm going to try and burn the newly released Samsung Galaxy s5 this is the shimmering white 16 gigabyte model and if y...
everyone techrax here so I got my burn Samsung Galaxy s5 and I wanted to see whether the heartbeat sensor would still work the heart monitor on your galaxy s5 a...
hey guys Tech Rex here so I'm really excited to bring you guys a giveaway for my channel but this time I'm actually teaming up with a buddy of mine your...
hey guys techrax here so in this video I'm going to be hopefully instructing you guys how to make your very own a tech sandwich slash burger slash meal so y...
hey guys techrax here so I've got a galaxy s5 here this is the copper gold hopefully you guys can see pretty well it is sunset so it's getting a little ...
hey guys techrax here so right here with me I have a professional deep fryer in here is already some canola or corn or whatever oil I don't know vegetable o...
hey guys techrax here so just trying to make this video short and quick i'm having recently i got five hundred thousand subscribers and yeah most of you guy...
hey guys texture so in this video I have a drop test on the latest LG g3 device now this is actually the gold-coloured LG g3 this has not been released in the U...
hey guys techrax here so in this video we'll teach you guys how to make your iPhone indestructible this is essentially a case that's been around for yea...
hey guys techrax here soon in this video we had a train run over the iPhone 5s so we actually did this in two different instances initially we had a Space Gray ...
hey guys tech cracks here so in this video we're going to be dropped testing the newly released Amazon fire phone this is exclusive for AT&T and I belie...
hey guys techrax here so right here with me I have the Amazon fire phone this is the one I dropped and you know I thought what better what else do I do with thi...