What Will Happen A Billion Years From Now

The Billion-Year Journey of Earth and the Universe

Video of the day August 12th 2019

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From small issues with the population, to galaxy-spanning ideals, join us as we explore what is likely to happen over the next billion years on Earth and in the universe.

11. The End

Didn’t see that coming, did you? But it’s true, if we were to jump to 1 billion years in the future, it would more than likely be the end…of humanity anyway. Many speculate that we won’t last the next 100,000 years, let alone one billion. And it’s not hard to see why when you think about the Earth and the universe as a whole in regards to history.

Before humanity even was truly born, the planet Earth had gone through numerous extinction level events. Everyone knows about the events that killed the dinosaurs, but it goes deeper than that. There were extinction events that happened to plants, bacteria, even one that targeted the ocean life in the world. And that was over the course of many millions of years, all of which comprise one billion years.

So, if that happened in the course of that frame of time…when is the next one to hit? Exactly. That’s why many people don’t think we’ll survive until one billion years, because between Earth and the universe at large…something is bound to kill us. It’s almost inevitable in a way.

Wait, what’s that? You don’t want to jump to the end? You want to see some things that’ll happen before then? Sure, we can do that for you-

10. The 10,000 Year Problem

Ok, to go forward, let’s rewind a little, not too long, just about 20 years. In the year 1999, humanity was facing a rather unique problem. It was about to hit the new millennium with gusto, and many were looking forward to it. However, there was also a big technological problem that seemed to be hitting the computers of our world at the same time.

When computers were built, they were programmed with certain lines of code that made people nervous about what would happen when the programs went from 1999 to 2000 in their databanks. It may not seem like a big problem now, but, at the time, many people were concerned that the problem would make many computers not work. This especially went for key government computers and banks. And if those computers fell, it would cause all sorts of problems for the countries of the world. Thankfully, it didn’t happen like they thought. The computers were fine and we moved on.

But in the year 9999, that problem will happen again. Because computers were made with a 4-digit calendar system, so what happens when we go to a 5-digit calendar year? Exactly. Granted, you could also argue that by this point in time technology will have grown so much that this problem could be solved with the slightest of fixes. But then again…you never know. And that’s why it’s such an intriguing topic in regards to the future of the world.

9. Overpopulation

Looking at our world right now, we’re already facing a very real and troubling problem in the form of overpopulation. As of 2017, there are 7.53 billion people on the planet. Now to be fair, given the landmass of the planet, and all the places that people can technically live, that’s not a lot of people. There is room for everyone…if the space was utilized well. Yet as we have shown time and time again, humanity isn’t always the best at spacing people out.

If you look at the United States alone and see a map of the populated areas, you’ll notice that the East, South, and West are the most populated areas of the whole country. If you look at most of the northern and central areas, you’ll see everything is spread out, or barely used at all. The state of South Dakota, the entire state, doesn’t even have one million people living in it. And South Dakota isn’t small by any stretch. Look at a place like Russia and you’ll see the same thing.

What does this have to do with the future? Simple, if we’re overpopulated right now…where are we going to be in the next 10-20,000 years? Even if we get generous and say that one million people are born every year (it’s more than that, trust me), over the course of 10,000 or 20,000 thousand years that’ll add up and create a massive population that the Earth will have to seriously adapt to in order to survive.

overpopulation

Now, at first, it’ll be just a question of finding the space to put everyone, and humanity has never been afraid to expand to live in an area that they feel is theirs. But over time? That space is going to run out. Even if they were to find a way to live in places like Antarctica (which is currently unihabited because of the cold), that wouldn’t solve everything. Because that would eventually run out of room too.

So what is the answer? Well, colonizing other worlds is a solution, going underwater to set up colonies is a solution. Building the cities bigger or higher up (in terms of really, REALLY tall buildings or apartments) is a solution, but the problem will always be the same.

As long as humanity continues to breed, which we’re not likely to stop, the Earth will continue to get more and more populated, and eventually…we’ll run out of room. Which leads us to another interesting byproduct of time…

8. Genetics Of The World

At present, our world has something very interesting and unique to it, life. But not just life, diverse life. From the animals to the plants, to the people. Life is everywhere. And most importantly, life adapts to where it is. But, in regards to people, it goes even deeper. The genetics of humanity is different depending on the region that you live in. This passes down from generation to generation, and eventually created “areas” of the world where you’re expected to see certain kinds of people.

But, over the next 10,000 years, and beyond, that will slowly change. Not that they won’t exist, but rather, that they’ll exist everywhere in the world. What do we mean by that? Think about it like this. If you were to go to a place like China, Japan, Korea, you’re going to see a certain type of person there in the overall. And because of how a couple of those nations handle certain things, you’ll only rarely see big variations from that.

Yet, with humanities growth, and the influx of people, and the continued mingling of people, the variances of humanity per region are going to break down. You might even call this the “melting pot effect”, as we all come together to make something that everyone is a part of. So instead of one nation or one continent featuring a mixture of people of all shapes, sizes and colors, it’ll be a whole world.

Technically speaking…that doesn’t sound so bad, don’t you think? That might even solve a lot of problems in the world.

7. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

Jumping ahead to 20,000 years or so from now, the world won’t just look like a different place, it’s going to sound very different. Language is without a doubt a key part of our world, and every region has its own unique tongue that it speaks in. With many having several languages that it speaks in frequently. But if you notice, over time, things change with languages. New words are adopted, new slang is created, and in the process, the past language dies in a way.

Fast forward 20,000 years, and many speculate that by this point in time, the languages of the world will be utterly and emphatically different than what they are right now. Even going so far as to say that only a couple of the words we use right now are going to be in the languages of the future.

“That’s impossible”, you say. But think about it like this. Do you remember the Latin language? At one point in time, Latin was a very popular language, said throughout Europe in various areas. But then, it slowly started to be phased out, and now it’s a dead language. Closer to home, there used to be multiple languages in the Egyptian tongue, and now they don’t use as much.

In the English language (like the American English version), the language is evolving so much that words that used to mean one thing a few mere decades ago doesn’t mean the same thing now. So imagine millennia and more passing by. Will we even be talking by then? Could we be communicating another way by then? It’s hard to say. Literally.

6. The New Ice Age

So, remember when I noted that humanity was basically doomed no matter what? Well, here’s one of the proofs of that. For in 50,000 years, humanity will face something it’s only faced in its early infancy…an ice age. No, like a literal one.

future ice age

You see, the Earth has many cycles that it goes through, and as a result of that, the Earth grows and adapts. One such thing that happens on a somewhat regular schedule is that of an ice age. And in 50,000 years, that time will come again.

Granted, since humanity will likely still exist by this point, they’ll at least attempt to be prepared for it, and even the effects of global warming will go a little way to help out. But it won’t stop it.

This means that many big areas of water will freeze, animals will likely die out because they’re not prepared for the long cold, and humanity will have to endure. Unless…we’re not Earth when it happens.

5. Colonizing The Stars

It’s something that humanity has dreamed about for many years. What would it be like to colonize the planets of the world?

At present, like our real present, we don’t know. The best we can do is reach the moon with a shuttle. We could colonize it per se (and we likely will in the millennia to come), but it’s not the same. We dream of colonizing Mars, but when will that happen? And even if we do that, what about the other planets out there? When will we reach them?

Well, that’s the twist here, it’s all a matter of time and technology. Technology grows with each passing year. And so with enough time, we’ll finally be able to break the bonds that holds us to Earth in order to gaze upon the other planets of our universe.

It’s speculated that while we can colonize Mars somewhat relatively soon, if we wanted to truly make it a “home planet”, we’d need to Terraform it (remake the terrain to our own needs) and that would take a lot of time. But again, time might just be what we have a lot of. Once we solve the distance problem (Warp Speed, Mr. Crusher!), the universe would be humanity’s place to explore and live on at their leisure.

So 50,000 thousand years, 100,000 years, 200,000 years into the future…who knows how far humanity will be in the stars? Which likely is a good thing because…

4. Oh look! A Asteroid!

We all know the tale of the dinosaurs and how they “ended”. An asteroid came down and wiped them off the face of the Earth in a very literal way. Humanity itself right now would rank a similar strike as one of the “worst case scenarios” that could hit our planet right now. Granted, it’s not likely to happen. But about…say…500,000 years from now? Yeah, it’s going to happen more than likely. So unless humanity has a giant “laser” to shoot it down, it could potentially hit the planet and cause global devastation.

Would it wipe us all out? It depends on the fallout, but it is a possible extinction-level event.

asteroid what will happen a billion years from now

3. A Whole New World

The question of what will happen to the Earth is a fascinating one, because Earth has gone through many changes over the years. Including once being a supercontinent called Pangea.

But, in 250 million years, it’s believed that Pangea will be reborn. As all the continents through variousĀ  means will come back together and form the supercontinent once more. Some have even dubbed this event the birth of Pangea Ultima.

However, you shouldn’t get too attached to this, because about 200 million years after it’s “reborn”, the supercontinent will actually die off once again and split apart. Still, for a while, this will literally be a whole new world in regards to the living areas of Earth.

2. The Universe Will Literally Not Be The Same

Over the course of millions of years, many changes happen in every corner of the universe whether we realize it or not. For example, if we fast forward enough, we’ll notice that the constellations of the universe won’t look the same at all because of the changes to the stars both in terms of growth and position.

Many stars won’t even be around anymore because they’ll have died out, while others will have gone supernova and likely have destroyed any planets or other stars in their system.

Then, there’s black holes, which are all over the universe, and can slowly kill a planet or star, it’s just a matter of time. Add to that, certain planets will be born or die off, new stars will form from the gasses of the old ones, and so one and so forth.

It’s simple to think of the Earth as something that’s changing constantly. But the universe is almost evolving, growing, being more. What will it look like in 1 billion years? All we can do is guess.

1. New Life?

One of the biggest questions of the universe is that of, “Why is Earth the only life out there?” “Where are they?” as one scientist put it. The question of life in the universe is one that many are searching for answers for in both big and small ways. But one answer that continues to pop up is that of, “Maybe there hasn’t been enough time yet?”

Sure, the universe has been around for billions of years, but humanity appeared (if you believe certain theories) less than 100,000 years ago. Could it be that we were simple the first to be born in the universe via the concepts of time and evolution? What would it mean if the universe just needed more time to grow more life?

What if, in another billion years, another planet sees its humanoid life begin? Or another kind of life entirely? It’s entirely possible, and even probable. The real question is, “will humanity be around to see it?” That we don’t know…yet.

 

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