Human Free Zones

Places and times without people,
real and imagined

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman 2007.
Site provides images of human habitat reclaimed by the natural world over time, map of places described in the book, and podcasts of intervews with the author. Based on best selling non-fiction book which eloquently describes what would happen if all humans suddenly disappeared.

“Aftermath: Population Zero” Hour and a half video.
Like The World Without Us, Aftermath explores the planet after all humans instantly disappear.

“Life After People”
The History Channel presents short videos of various scenarios of human extinction, some of which tragically eliminate almost all life as well. “Take a stunningly graphic journey to a world wiped clean of humanity,” but not wiped clean of our trash. The full series is available on DVD, and nine short videos may be seen on YouTube: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine.

Scientific American video of New York city over time after humans have disappeared.

Chernobyl (Chornobyl), Earth’s worst nuclear power plant disaster so far, provides a glimpse of what might happen to ecosystems when humans leave. You can take a fascinating first-person tour of Chernobyl, courtesy of Elena, the “Kid of Speed”.
Chernobyl in National Geographic
Chernobyl in the UK’s Independent
Chornobyl history Ukrainians in Canada

Wildlife in Korea’s Demilitarized Zone thrives without humans.

“Imagine Earth without people” by Bob Holmes in New Scientist October 12, 2006

“Earth Without People”
“What would happen to our planet if the mighty hand of humanity simply disappeared?”
by Alan Weisman in Discover Magazine. February 6, 2005. Expanded into a non-fiction book—see above.

“Barbed Wire and Biodiversity” Patrick Burns briefly describes five locations abandoned by humans where biodiversity flourishes.

Reforestation in the Americas following decimation of humanity. Tragic epidemics following European introduction of deadly diseases to peoples of the Western Hemisphere allowed forests to restore themselves, reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and possibly cooling the entire planet. Although not a human free time, human impact dropped dramatically.

“Post-human Earth” Another Bob Holmes article in New Scientist September 30, 2009. Long-term biosphere recovery after humans, projections based on previous mass extinction events.

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