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Infographic of the Day

Watch Our Virgin Planet Get Conquered By Humans In 200 Years

It’s the most inspiring and depressing animation you’ll watch all week.

You have a choice. You can either watch one of the most amazing earth animations I’ve ever seen—a piece by Globaïa that gives you a front row view from space as the Industrial Revolution terraforms our quaint planet into a global metropolis. You’ll see the rise of roads, shipping routes, underwater cabling everything else that’s part of Facetiming from halfway across the world or stocking your local Whole Foods with produce that our grandfathers probably never saw with their own eyes.

It’s rarely inspiring, a silent poem told in glowing grids and arcs of color, a testament to human ingenuity—a species-wide collaborative thought that’s clearly beyond the scope of any one of us.

Or, you can watch the exact same video with narration. You’ll be reminded that all of these pretty lights have come at an extreme cost, and on a planet that’s billions of years old, we’ve entered the anthropocene, a time when geology is dominated by humanity, not mother nature.

It’s remarkable the difference an audio track can make.

[Hat tip: treehugger]