Aftermath: Population Zero

Aftermath: Population Zero

2008, Science  -   230 Comments
Ratings: 7.87/10 from 60 users.

Aftermath: Population ZeroImagine if one minute from now, every single person on Earth disappeared. All 6.6 billion of us. What would happen to the world without humans?

How long would it be before our nuclear power plants erupted, skyscrapers crumbled and satellites dropped from the sky?

What would become of the household pets and farm animals? And could an ecosystem plagued with years of pollution ever recover?

Similar to the History Channel's special Life After People (recommended), Aftermath features what scientists and others speculate the earth, animal life, and plant life might be like if humanity no longer existed, as well as the effect that humanity's disappearance would have on the artifacts of civilization.

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jean dousay
5 years ago

Why are animals exempt from a horrible nuclear radiation death like us humans? Whoever thinks that there's a Paradise beyond nuclear disasters is delusional. Every living thing would be dead and gone!!

Erica Kortje
7 years ago

You mean to tell me my Chihuahuas won't make it past 1 year?????

7 years ago

I thought this was interesting. I saw a lot of comments about 'why start off without humans' or 'this is just fear inspiring, not educational' but I think both statements are without basis. There are millions of supposed 'end of days' that could be, this wasn't another, how the world ends' things, it was a 'how the world can recover' ones and it was not supposed to be fear inspiring, you're obviously easily scared (no offense) it was intended to express how wild the world would be without humans. this is hypothetical and meant to be humbling. Humans have done a great deal, but we cannot compare to what nature has done and can do. And that's not 'fear propaganda' but fact and inspirational. We are, first and foremost, animals; part of nature, and to consider ourselves superior is foolish. Recognize the beauty and efficacy, not to mention power, of nature and respect it. because human conceitedness may one day be our own downfall or it may simply drive us from natural happiness. Or, maybe you guys can't simply enjoy a hypothetical and educational intrigue which may be the only reason this was made.

Peter JC
8 years ago

Dicky Awkins will yell at god and say 'this is bad soince', and ee will tork bout mamals and fosils and stuff.

9 years ago

What a load o American BULLS*IT! All nuclear power-plants will automatically shut-down If there's no-one left In control.Don't take my word for It-check It out for yourselves! This Is a Piss-poor copy of a BBC Documentary called - 'LIFE AFTER HUMANS'.

Steve Hughes
9 years ago

When Mother Earth is ready she'll shake mankind like a bad case of the flees

10 years ago

....Seems the world is better off without us, it would be lovely to be that last person here, a thousand years after no one, just to see what our world truly is. Silence, just the sounds of birds chirping and wolves howling, a truly quiet world, WOW!

10 years ago

It turns out that earth can go along very nicely without us. The hardest part of the special is probably in the first 15 minutes, when pet owners confront what likely will happen to their dogs (thankfully, the show follows those dogs who break out of their houses, and the prognosis for them to survive as scavengers is good). As the fictional days and weeks tick by, the process of nature’s reclaiming the planet becomes less grim and more fascinating.

The impact of the lack of people will be noticed right away, as most power grids shut down around the planet. The one holdout: Hoover Dam, whose hydro power lights up the American Southwest. Scientists say the dam can continue to operate on its own for months, maybe years, keeping the Vegas Strip alight. Only the eventual accumulation of quagga mussels, an invasive species, in the cooling pipes of the power plant–currently being cleaned by humans–will shut down the dam.

Elsewhere, critters and plants will have their run of Manhattan and every other previously “civilized” spot. Inventive photography shows bears clambering out of subway stations, and vines pulling down brownstones, then skyscrapers. It may not be a surprise when the Eiffel Tower and Space Needle meet their eventual fates, but the scenes nonetheless provide a pleasant sting of shock. Life After People is humbling, yet exhilarating.

10 years ago

The very notion is deliciously ghoulish: What happens to earth if – or when – people suddenly vanished? The History Channel presents a dramatic, fascinating what-if scenario, part science fiction and part true natural science. Welcome to Earth, Population: 0 is the catchy tagline, Life After People’s 94 minutes are so gripping you nearly forget while you watch that you, yourself, will be gone too.

10 years ago

Much like the anti-human agenda of PETA. I cannot fathom such deep self-loathing. Maybe a form of mental ilness...

10 years ago

Personally I love this doc and always watch it whenever it comes on TV. To everyone saying stuff like "how in the world would humans just disappear", one of the first things it says is "how it happens doesn't matter"... because it doesn't, it's a thought experiment. And I think it's a great one, because it's just says what would happen to the best of our knowledge. Everything doesn't have to have an agenda.

10 years ago

I don't understand why so many people here think that this documentary is anti-human. Actually it is just a fantasy what could happen when just one species disappears and it could be ants, elephants, dogs, some kind of bacteria or whatever instead, nobody kills humans and not everything is rosy after humans are gone, for instance pets die. Don't be so selfish and imagine yourself being that important so you have to be in the centre of every fantasy movie. What if there was a film about strange life form that could happen on other planets, would it still be against humans because homo sapiens is not the main character? Get over it and enjoy the documentary.

10 years ago

Excellent Documentary. Love the narrator's voice. I find it very relaxing to watch and could keep it on all day. Gawd...we humans, are so

10 years ago

It's all idle speculation with a sprinkling of educated guessing. Entertaining none the less, and a healthy reminder against overestimating the human effect on the biosphere and our ability to control it.

I watched this primarily for the reactor popping CGI - very nicely done I think.

Cheers TDF!

10 years ago

Moral of this documentary story... life goes on, even after humanity had been eradicated or vanished forever.

As for the radiation people are freaking out over, some of you people are oversimplifying and don't give Nature, other species and the ecosystem enough credit for their abilities to evolve and adapt to changes. Evolution doesn't stop because a few poisons. Shoot... there are whole ecosystems and thousands of species of animals that live hundred thousandths feet deep in the ocean(s) that live off on radiation, various types of acids and so called other poisons we humans tend to want to take credit for creating or discovering them. Life is like energy... it can't be destroyed, only change.

10 years ago

After watching the life after people documentary first, this one missed out a detail in it's power loss section at the start. The lights of Vegas would actually continue for much longer than other places in the world due to the fact that the Hoover dam is a largely automated system.

10 years ago

only thing i did not like is the over simplified nuclear catastrophe, they did not take it into consideration at all. i personally think that so much radiation being released along with the entire worlds nuclear arsenal not being mentioned, which would after so many millenia, would most likely have either detonated from heat or natural activity and i do not think there would be such a positive outlook for the rest of the species. 400 nuclear powerplants spewing radiation all over and no mention of the poisoning of animals or harmful mutation. who cares about the statue of liberty standing or the eiffel tower. mot likely scenario is nuclear ecocide to a full extinction level event of the multicellular organisms on the surface and those that require it as food. people are so negligent of the fact that nuclear energy is the biggest mistake of our entire existence, even a documentary trying to erase us from the face of the earth can't comprehend the seriousness of its effects and wants to see the earth in a reversible state of catastrophe for life. slightly pathetic imo

10 years ago

Painfully accurate portrait of the dire specifics of the nature of our species. Even our best intentions are limited by our vision of what the future will be like, or so egocentric, that we truly believe that as long as the earth exists, we will be on it. Because there's gotta be someone in charge, and clearly, that is us!
Long after humanity is gone, provided we don't take the entire planet with us, life will go on. Even then, there is much we do not know about the cosmos, and the universe.
One thing is certain of humanity: we are NOT essential to the rest of what we do know of life. We are absolutely disposable, and replaceable, most probably.
Maybe it is for another species to evolve as we have, and wow the Creator by doing a far better...or worse...job of things than we humans have...

10 years ago

This just points out the painfully obvious. What if humans disappeared? whoa cool, yeah. Watch everything man once built fade away. See how the animal thrives in whats left of our modern carcases(what we left behind). No **** huh? it so obvious its painful. I guess the editor's into some hardcore pessimist porn.

10 years ago

Loved it, but just how in the world would all humans just disappear, people have bunkers and underground safe-houses all over the place to take shelter in and survive because many believe that the end times are actually close at hand. I live in a town called Sudbury, On. It is home of one of the worlds most extensive and at one time the deepest underground mining operations. There is a large source of water there as well with the Neutrino Observatory, which is a Huge pool of water designed to slow down Neutrino's for observation. In any case Humans completely disappearing is a near impossibility to me. Having them no longer able to inhabit the surface of the earth, now that's a total possibility. A reality show about survival strategies in the face of disastrous odds, be it nuclear, chemical, environmental or biological on a massive, global, (Human extinction) type scale would be something I would watch because it is totally possible. Just listen to the news, two asteroids flew by earth in the last week within 14 000 km and we still didn't see them coming. Luckily they were small.

David Davidson
11 years ago

This assumes that people will just disappear into thin air. Wouldn't it be more of a decline or disaster? Mildly interesting anyway.

Mandu Gogi
11 years ago

This was a good watch. I don;t understand why even a nice "what if" piece is attacked by ignorant creationists and climate deniers. Man HAS made an impact on his environment. Get over it. Your fears drive you to make idiotic comments in your desperation to believe in a 4000 year old worldwide Christian fantasyland where man has no impact on the weather or forests or oceans. Too bad it is just a fantasy.

11 years ago

It's really one of the best films, recently.

11 years ago

there seem to be a lot of complaints here about the anti-human tone taken by some areas in this film. I sympathize with your complaints but I think you are missing the point. Yes, there is an editorial slant here. But the CONTENT of the documentary is well-researched, well rounded, and (except for the part about everyone spontaneously disappearing,) rather plausible scientifically. And as far as man having a big effect on the landscape (which is undeniable), it is by no means clear from the content of this film that that effect was a bad effect. What is, is. If we were to disappear, there would be upheavals. Whether that means that humans are bad or not is almost beside the point. IMHO

11 years ago

God... what a cr@ppy doco... wasted too much time on trivial stupid things like starving dogs that was repeated over and over and over...
Only needed to mention the animals for 2 mins then move on to some INTERESTING facts. Waste of time this doco..

lex lexich
11 years ago

7.04 billion... and still counting

11 years ago

Nat Geo was better when i was a kid. The ones with the intro music and globe animation with lines of longitude and latitude at the beginning. They did a lot of nature vids and also videos of places around the world, which i remembered liking. Now it seems that they are just jumping on any bandwagon topic and running with it. the production and presentation have changed with the times (way too Hollywood now), but i'm not sure if that is a good thing.

11 years ago

NO DOUBT THAT NATURE IS AWESOME! but the crappy propaganda concerning CO2 and the so called man-made global warming commentary throughout the doco was weak and infantile..I sure wish the people who put out these type of documentaries would do some serious research before making false claims. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON YOU! Just another Al and IPCC WET DREAM!!

11 years ago

boy nat-geo is going down the tubes fast..contrails turn into clowds? B.S no they dont..Im not even going to waist my time writing about the many statements that are in thing i will say..we have buildings in some parts of the world that are over 4,000 years old..100 years and the buildings are gone? much B.S

11 years ago

Is there some reason why you people at Top Documentary don't take these useless documentaries off.. What a waste of time to think I found something to watch that sounds interesting. Just to find its been removed. But not totally now has it??? Sheesh!

11 years ago

i like population zero
(id bet you never went past high school in your education (business classes do not count

11 years ago

Is This Planet means US, Europe and Japan????????? You talked nothing about Asia, Australia, Africa and Latin America. This may not be the reality though if humans disappear.....

11 years ago

Las Vagas is powered by the Hoover Dam. Its 9 auto Gen will function for up to 2 years after humans vanish, not 10mins like this stupid US Doc says it will, causing Las Vagus to lose its lights. It seems to me that what ever the US makes they have to make it more Horrifying, hype it up to limits where only children are interested, whilst the adults go else where for a more in-depth doc.

The US Docs also put things in to place that never happened pr will not happen, seems they don't like to research the theory or history first.

I can understand French, German and Chinese, these countries inc Britain can do really good Documentaries, I think why, as these countries are so interconnected with other countries, they have to get things right. Also its all to do with other countries age to, as in people who are running the countries, how long they have been there as with age, even on a country or global scale, knowledge improves.

Maybe the US don't have money for its Documentaries? Maybe the US don't care what others think of them if they add some spice to history or futuristic Docs that did not or would not happen?

What ever the case maybe, I find watching US Doc like watching sitting in a school class room whilst the teacher goes on and on, never asking for suggestions and or opinions. Sorry about this, but after watching so many US Docs on here, I am so tired of them being always the same, no matter their subject.

Also what’s with the music playing all the way from the start to the end, even during interviews with guests, that’s so rude.

11 years ago

Sort of interesting.. Pretty badly presented though; much repetition, both in sequences and narration - often typical of American documentaries (I said 'often'!)

Rohan Kohli
11 years ago

This is complete bull****.

11 years ago

I don't think I have ever watched and listened to more anti-human propaganda in a single sitting. It's one thing to discuss and theorize the inevitable reclamation of space by plant and animal life, or the natural deterioration of our cities and man made structures once humans could not be there to maintain them. That part is very interesting to watch. It is another thing entirely to depict and promote a glowing, rosy and borderline giddy description of just how ducky everything would be after all those nasty human beings "were finally out of the way". It's hard not to at times hear the Tony Soprano smile on the face of the narrator. The not-so-subtle assertion made in this film is that man's attempt to adapt and mold his environment to ensure his survival was not a mark of his superior intelligence, nor is it a matter of him affirming his place as a living being on this planet. No, it portrays us all as outsiders that have no natural place on this world...that the things we do to live, advance our society and promote the survival of our species is a crime - that our presence itself is an event that is somehow outside the bounds of nature, and that living our lives is destroying nature (as if such a thing were even possible). If someone wants to pleasure themselves at the thought of how lovely the world would be once the only sentient life that could comprehend mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, architecture, engineering, medicine, literature is replaced by mindless animals - have at it.

11 years ago

Interesting documentary. I like the narrator's voice and it's good to know that camels and birds will be taking over the world after we are gone. :)

11 years ago

This is pure depopulation propaganda. I think it's funny how man thinks it's responsible for correcting nature hence the depopulation agenda (vaccines, war, drugs, big pharma, codex alimentarius, ect).

11 years ago

Nice little piece of misanthrope porno. Love the David Blaine adenoidal commentary.. very now. Personally can't wait to 'get out of the way' and watch it all happen from the uh, astral plane. Packs of wild dogs and elephants roaming a springcleaned globe. Gotta be more interesting than this layer of slime we've become, for all our 'intelligence'.

11 years ago

bull **** warming a the gov can tax and steal ur earnings. well done lemmings if uve swallowed this ****!

11 years ago

Ahh more apocalyptic fuel for the 2012 fire. You can count on it from the history channel. I wonder if they'll go back to Hitler marathons in 2013? But I digress.

Kind of an interesting thought to ponder nonetheless; what the world would be like if you suddenly took man out of the equation. How life goes on, how long it would take all of our environmental manipulation to fall apart, etc.

Remember - water, volcanoes and asteroids have all the real fun - not us.

11 years ago

Just goes to show that whatever damage we do, it will be corrected by nature, one day......Great watch

11 years ago

good food for thought re: what kind of foot-print do we wish to leave future generations (of any animal or species - 'all our relations') or consider the remote possibility that 'some' humans survive, do we have a responsibility to even 'consider' what kind of future we leave for these future generations? It is not often spoken about, but this I think is the idea behind opposition to recent past and current environmental policies. A Q we must soon answer globally - do we live only for the present? - or do we also have some responsibility to the future? How we answer decides the next wave of films :) - peace

Scarlet Kinsey
11 years ago

You know what, whoever puts this documentary down as misanthropic is clearly missing something big.
Wild spaces are disappearing at a record rate and the air, land and sea is just getting dirtier and dirtier because of human activity, that is not human-hating,it's fact, we all have to face the consequences for the actions of those people that think it's OK to ignore the human right to safe, clean environment, if your going to gloss over the fact that people are making the world dirty or ignore that other people have the right to a clean environment, then YOU are the one causing other people harm, YOU are the one making the world dirty, YOU are the one denying our right to not breath smoke every day, who's the misanthrope now?!

11 years ago

Lol, I have not watched it yet but I believe humans are the worst thing that ever happened to earth and all other species trying to survive on it.

China skins up to 100,000.000 animals <<>> daily. Not that I think it should matter what the animals are (NO LIFE deserves this) these numbers represent large numbers of dogs & cats included. These poor creatures live life cramped in a wire cage, intentionally left out in the elemets to thicken the coat and it's reported they suffer long periods w/o food or water. They never know 1 ounce of love or compassion only to suffer one of the intentionally cruellest deaths imaginable. After skinning they are thrown in a heap of others and death takes as long as 10 minutes in pain you can't even imaging.

11 years ago

Who ever wrote this is a self hating human..... This documentary explains that the earth would be better of with out us, and our time spent on earth has only caused havic and polution.

11 years ago

Grime isn't it.

11 years ago

I think this documentary is a joke. How could buildings collapse in mere 30 years just because they're concrete and supposedly vulnerable, this documentary seems to be done without much research.

11 years ago

This was a st*pid whatever you want to call it.Mans foot print would take much much longer to disapear than it has showed.Not sure about chemicles and radiation but we find things thousands of years old that at the time were not stored the way we do some things now.We can protect things and I bet 100 thousand years from now they would still be the way they were left.Things open to the elements of nature will dissapear just I think longer than they said.Guess they thought it would be more interesting.And we all now we hurt this planet more than all other animals put togeather.If we were smart and made it here we could start caring and develope better tecnology and mabe we can stop the damage if we could stop killing each other and stop destroying the world with depleted urainium and all the man made deseases.People want population control so they can do as much damage as they can,insead of using there brains.There is almost 7 billion people and the 1 persent will fail once we no forsure thats whats going on.Right now mabe 10 persent of us now but it growing.

11 years ago

This a twilight zone episode not a documentary.