In the grand scheme of things, it really hasn’t taken humans very long to conquer the world. Modern humans didn’t evolve until 200,000 years ago, and didn’t start moving out of Africa until 100,000 years ago. Now, we dominate most regions across the globe, reshaping our environment, and encroaching on the environment of other animals. The American Museum of Natural History visualized just how quickly humanity has spread across the planet in this video spotted by Digg.
Each 1 million people living in a particular area is represented by a yellow dot, and labeled badges show the rise of specific empires, as well as notable population-changing events, like the bubonic plague or world wars. Over the course of just a few minutes, you can watch just how humans spread out of Africa, across Eurasia, and into the Western Hemisphere. Though booming populations and the spread of megacities aren't always positive developments, the timeline will at least give you an appreciation for humanity's long-lasting dedication to exploration.
Teaser image by NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring