All humans magically drop dead this very instant.

How badly will this affect other lifeforms on the Earth?


  • Will nuclear plants leak radiation since there is no one left to man them?
  • Will electricity grids catch fire? What about industries? How much of the earth's forest cover is likely to burn as a consequence of this (if such fires are indeed likely)?
  • Is the food chain affected for the worse? I'm guessing no but I could be wrong.

closed as too broad by Mołot, Giter, Renan, Secespitus, Ash Jun 4 '18 at 14:28

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 7
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ There is a TV show "Life after people" which explain pretty well all the aspects of a earth without men (in the series, people disappears, don't explicitly die) $\endgroup$ – Gianluca Jun 4 '18 at 13:33
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ (1) Nuclear plants will eventually leak radioactive materials. Nothing important will happen as a result. (2) Parts of the electricity grid will catch fire. Nothing important will happen as a result. (3) A tiny small part of the forest cover will burn. (4) There is no such thing as "the" food chain -- there many many food chains. (5) In the absence of humans there is no "better" and no "worse"; best, better, good, bad, worse and worst are meaningless in the absence of an axiology. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 4 '18 at 13:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AlexP Yeah I think only rodents, livestock, and house pets will even notice that we're gone and while it might be individually terminal to many their species will carry on as if we never happened in the first place. $\endgroup$ – Ash Jun 4 '18 at 14:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Livestock will perish. Maggots will proliferate, for a while. That's essentially all. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 4 '18 at 16:34

Heyo! Wolf here!

Quite frankly, me and me chums don't give a fiddler's fart if you lot go suddenly extinct next week. As a matter of fact, friend, you humans can all just drop dead right now and, well, we won't even shed a tear!

We've heard the news in the wind about our cousins over in Ukraine: they seem to be doing fine for all your race's stupidity in the nuclear department, so I suspect we'll do okay here too!

Your electric grids and industries don't do us any favours now, and the sooner you all drop dead the better. Sure, there may be some local brush fires and so forth, but we're good runners! You won't catch a wolf so easily!

And, ah, the old web o' life! Yeah, no worries there! What with no busy-body ranchers to fly up in the air and kill us with their guns, we'll be feasting like kings!

For a time...

All in all, friend, don't you worry about us one bit! When you lot are snuffed and gone, we'll be right as rain! Sure, there'll be some tough times as prey populations level off, but we're survivors. You know how it is (or you would know if your race hadn't abandoned the Wild Life): the weak die and the strong survive. The survivors will make some new pups and in their time will die as all living things do. Wolves will go on, though, and so will sheep and goats and cows and wildcats and geese and chickens and all the rest. And I daresay all the better for lack of humanity.


I think you choose the wrong adjective. Human extinction won't be threatening for life on Earth. It will be relieving!

Except maybe for those animals forced to rely on humans for nutrition (livestock, chickens in chicken farms, fishes in the bowls downstairs), the rest of nature would surely be relieved of not having this invasive species around.

Unmanned plants would mostly switch off non catastrophically, as they are designed to do so. Local accidents, even severe ones, would be recovered in a human free environment, so the consequences would not be as severe or lasting as one can imagine.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.