This video shows the history of Earth in a whole new perspective. The distance between the US cities of Los Angeles to New York City is used as a timeline – 2,450 miles. A single mile between LA and NYC represents two million years in Earth's history. Starting out from LA 4.5 billion years ago, as we draw closer to the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the modern era is measured in mere inches.
The video, produced by Business Insider, shows just how much the planet has changed over the past 200,000 years – since the dawn of early homo sapiens – an epoch covered in just 570 feet (174 metres), which an Olympic athlete could run in under 20 seconds.
The animation puts into perspective the changes the planet has undergone in its long history, from its birth as a raw molten rock and its cataclysmic role in the formation of the Moon, to the explosion of atmosphere oxygenating bacteria that began to dominate the planet (and arguably still do) around 2.7 billion years ago – or about halfway to our destination.
By altering the atmosphere laden with carbon dioxide, these bacteria paved the way for more complex forms of life to emerge, but only about 600 million years ago (just 324 miles from Manhattan).
The current information age – marking when humans began to use computers roughly 25 years ago and leading directly to you reading this article and viewing the video – is represented by 0.8in.