This mind-blogging and captivating CGI takes you back in time on an epic voyage full of mysteries and discoveries. Let me tell you the story of Earth and Life. Here in the past, our planet Earth has just formed after a collision. We are a long way behind the time where life starts developing.
Let’s move a few years ahead from the collision. Can you see life is beginning to form? For life to exist and evolve, devastation was necessary. Slowly, we see how a boiling ball of rock and dust transformed into the blue and green planet as we know it today.
So, keep your mind calm, and enjoy this adventurous journey joyously!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Story of Earth and Life Full Summary
- 2 The Wheel of Life Had Begun:
- 3 How Did Humans Develop?
The Story of Earth and Life Full Summary
How Did It All Begin?
EARTH, as far as we know, is the only planet in the universe where life exists. Why? What makes our mother earth so special? The answer to the story of earth and life is hiding in the past. To reveal the answers, we must start from the beginning.
Primitive humans evolved on the Earth. Deep down into oceans, strange and beautiful life-forms developed. There were deadly dinosaurs and the climate of the global ice ages was chilling. Imagine the devastating effect of meteorite missile attacks. We can piece together each part only when we see it all.
This is what explains our planet’s incredible journey from taking birth to becoming a planet we have learned to call ‘HOME’ today.
How Did the Story of Earth and Life Develop?
About 5 bn, i.e., 500 crore years ago, there was no mark of our beautiful planet Earth. There was only our new born star Sun surrounded by a cloud of dust and gas.
With the rise of the sun, gravity came into existence. It pulled the dust into minute rocks. Over millions of years, these tiny rocks were pulled together under the force of gravity to give rise to our mother planet- Earth.
But back then, Earth was not suitable for life. It has a temperature of around 1200 °C with no traces of oxygen. There was only CO2, nitrogen, and water vapour.
So, How Did Earth Become Suitable for Life?
A young planet ‘Theia‘ with a size as big as Mars collided with Earth and intruded with its gravity. Thus, distortion happened on Earth’s surface. Trillions of tons of debris blast out into space.
Over the course of a thousand years, gravity worked its magic and turned the debris into a ring made up of hot rock surrounding the Earth. That’s how the formation of the moon began.
Around 3.9 billion years ago, a hail of meteors fell upon the Earth. These meteors carried with them the life-sustaining minute droplets of water and amino acids, important ingredients for life on Earth.
This bombardment led to the formation of crust with pools of water formed on the solid ground. By this time there was water in tiny islands covering the Earth’s surface. But the atmosphere was still toxic and the temperature was scorching.
Isn’t That Interesting?
Over the course of 300 million years, plant-like structures grew out of the seabed. It was a mountain of living bacteria and a colony called stromatolite. Underwater, stromatolite carried the process of photosynthesis and released a by-product O2; which had an enormous potency to sustain life.
Still, there was no sign of life. But the Earth had something that other planets didn’t. It has a force (gravity) with the power to change everything. As time passed away (around 1500 mya), the heat of the Earth’s core generated movements in the rock beneath the crust. The result was the formation of a vast new supercontinent Rodinia.
This intense heat of the Earth’s core facilitated many geological activities, which spawned a mass of volcanoes. These activities pumped CO2 into the atmosphere. Over a span of several thousand years, ice formed and melted, giving rise to oxygen. As more and more oxygen reached the atmosphere, it reacted with the UV Rays of the sun and formed a thick blanket over the atmosphere, namely ozone.
The Wheel of Life Had Begun:
Basic bacteria started evolving. Life started blossoming in the ocean. By this time, several creatures could also be seen on the lithosphere. Then- Gondwana, a new continent came into existence.
Tiktaalik was the first fish to come out of the ocean and to crawl on land with their fins. They spent more time out of the water until 360 mya when they made the land their home. Almost all species like Dinosaurs, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and all four-legged vertebrates including us evolved from this single creature.
The story of Earth and life tells us a lot. Like how it has covered a long journey from being a lump of burning rock and dust to a blue-green planet bursting with life.
Many plants died and decayed into dense swaggy layers. Life and death both became inevitable. With time rocks covered this layer of decayed plants. Heat and pressure transformed this layer into seams of coal!
Life Seems to Have Conquered the Earth!! But Wait, Destruction Again?
It’s said that “NOTHING LASTS FOR LONG”. Siberian eruptions took hold of the Earth’s surface. The creatures that had made it so far, were doomed. We went back to where we started- on a lifeless planet.
After the upheaval of the mass extinction, the planet started healing. Slowly, everything came back to normal as before. It paved the way for new species to emerge, i.e., Dinosaurs. Around 190 million years ago, the massive landmass of Pangaea broke. Mountains and volcanoes formed. Different continents emerged. That’s how the story of earth and life saw its best phase ahead.
That Was A Good Save. But Is It Over?
Devastation happened again. Around 65 million years ago, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest was travelling at 70000 km an hour headed towards the Gulf of Mexico.
ONE BLINK AND IT CHANGED THE WORLD FOREVER!
The impact on Earth was so huge that it unleashed an immense amount of nuclear energy. This destroyed everything on Earth. The blast wave rose like an exploding bomb! It created havoc everywhere. Animals starved and eventually died; the vegetation became ignite.
The Ending of One-Story Marks the Beginning of Another One.
The dinosaurs’ demise gave a chance for mammals to thrive in the land. After 18 million years of evolution, one such mammal marked the beginning of human life – monkeys.
Earth’s interior plates had been on the move again. India moved north towards Asia. The Indian and Asian plates bumped into and began to buckle, leading to the formation of the Himalayas and Mount Everest.
20 Million years ago Earth looked the same as we see it today. What was missing then? Humans. The temperature started rising which forced apes and monkeys to adapt themselves to the changing climate. This is a crucial step in the story of life on Earth. We, humans, evolved stage by stage, step by step.
How Did Humans Develop?
- About 15 mya, primates like Dryopithecus and Ramapithecus were existing.
- Australopithecines evolved from above primates around 2.5 Mya.
- The first human species, homo Habilis, emerged around 2 Mya.
- Fossils found in Java in 1891 revealed the second stage of the human species, i.e., homo Erectus about 1.5 Mya.
- The next stage revealed Neanderthal man around 100000-40000 years back.
- The human species underwent several stages to give the final rise to homo sapiens (modern human beings) around 75000-10000 years ago.
Over time, our ancestors moved across different continents and developed into distinct races as we see them today.
The Story Still Goes On:
After 4.5 billion years of a long journey, we have made it, we are back home. Now we can glue each piece of our planet’s incredible story together to understand everything we see today. From the skies above us, the land on which we reside, to water- a vital component for life.
Each triumph and each upheaval were a step on the trail that led us ‘HOME’. But, the story of earth and life doesn’t end here. There is more to come. Everything we’ve seen in this journey is only half a story.
Just think what wonders, what terrors, what strange things lie ahead of us for our incredibly beautiful mother planet!!
The story of earth and life is summary interesting; not just because of what has happened but also because of what might happen.