My heading is a little vauge because it is hard to express in one sentence.

I am imagining our present day Earth returned to a 'undamaged state' one not 'destroyed by humans'.

This is done by a crazy and powerful magician/magic person who basically has the indigenous plants and animals reappearing almost overnight. Trees, plants and grass grow extremely fast outgrowing the aleins, springing up in any crack and cranny. Once they have leaverage they expand the cracks and continue to recolonize. Cut down an indigenous plant it almost immediately reappears, shooting an indegenous animal has the same effect. However they function normally among one another, so animals still eat each other etc.

I am not asking about what it would be that would grow or how it would work. The person who is causing this is crazy, he/she is expressing his/her opnion on the whole Earth. There is even the posibility that his/her preconcieved notion of modern wild horses roaming the plains of America would mean they were part of the 'recolinization' despite the fact that origionally there were no modern horses there.

Also the magic entity is not taking the world back to Jurassic times, he/she is taking it back to a time of early human civilisation. Most Importantly it does not have to be hundred percent accurate as it is, to some degree, the entity's notion of that time. Assume that however it is mainly/mostly accurate.

The entity will not feature, I am setting a scene.

What I want to occur due to these drastic changes is a break down of our modern way of living. For example in places that used to be densely wooded all roads and cities will disappear and people will have to scavange and hunt etc.

I am worried about naturally grassy areas though, cities would not be destroyed by the mega-growth and walls could still be built to keep out the preditors etc. Farming would be difficult but possible and the animals easily hunted.

A huge breakdown needs to occur. Monoculture farms and feedlots will get overwhelmed with a wave of natural inhabitants and disappear. If on top of this factories stop producing, trade breaks down etc I will get the desired effect but how to do it where the natural inhabitants are not threatening? In essence I can only strangle everything in forest where there really is forest...

The end result should be scattered groups of people slowly rebuilding to a feudal way of life but with key differences. Our technology is not gone just mainly not usable. Inteprid scavangers could find solar panels, stainless steel knifes etc and trade with them. These can still be used. The main key is the lawlessness of the new world, nature is once again the ultimate, not government or men with bulldozers.

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    $\begingroup$ If you cut down a tree and it immediately reappears do you get to keep the wood? If you pick a fruit and it immediately reappears, do you get to keep the fruit? If so, then this place sounds like the Garden of Eden. Who needs agriculture when you have unlimited natural resources! $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ @HenryTaylor this is a very good thought except that it means you lose the idea of scavangers, and the precious objects from the 'old life' that could have functioned as a sort of trade currency. $\endgroup$
    – Mirte
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion A loop hole in my idea! In theory this could be the result, although it was not intended, I will have to think of a 'clause' in the spell that prevents this. At the same time I do want humans to be able to scavange, maybe something along the lines of if they are behaving 'naturally' picking for food and not to clear land? $\endgroup$
    – Mirte
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @HenryTaylor could you rephaze the question I can't till what your asking. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ just the question part I get all the rest about how the magic spell works, $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 2:02

1 Answer 1


Modern human societies are very fragile things.

Something like this would destroy all farmland currently in cultivation as previous "natural" plant species grow to replace the current crops. So there would be an effective worldwide famine, existing food supplies would only last for so long, and the societal disruption would interfere with replanting activities. Either way a huge loss to agricultural production. Hunting and gathering will never be able to feed the world, a lot of people are going to starve in the next year.

A number of structures are also going to be destroyed by tree growth with lots of associated problems.

  • Destroyed Residences - Globally there are huge societal problems when ~5 million people flee a war zone in Syria. This would make far more people homeless and it would happen all over the world. The number of people dislocated would easily be in the Billions.

  • Destroyed Factories - A significant amount of the World's production capacity would be destroyed, our current technology requires the output from other factories to function. Currently a regional disaster is fixable by importing new machine tools to rebuild from outside the area. If enough of the supply chain is broken, there would be no way to build the tools needed to rebuild without starting at the very bottom of the technology ladder.

  • Destroyed Transportation - Roads and Rail Lines would be overgrown and generally cease to exists, this alone would destroy society in short order. Effectively all land transport would end, and those airplanes aren't going to work well with trees sprouting in the runways. There is effectively going to be no way to transport anything long distances other than via waterways.

  • Destroyed Energy Infrastructure - Large scale electricity transmission lines would be knocked over in any area where trees regrow, as would any fossil fuel pipelines. The worlds electrical grids will be down.

So even if your town's structures remain relatively intact, with a nice new floor of grass, there are likely no means of transporting anything in or out faster than a horse (or off-road vehicle until the gas runs out), you probably have no power, and an angry horde of hungry people from the next town over are coming in search of food. Civilization as we know it would be gone leaving a fairly standard post apocalyptic world in no time at all.

  • $\begingroup$ This is good, for where there are trees. What about in for instance the praries of America? Grass explosion cannot cause the level of destruction the trees of other areas can... There factories and power plants won't be destroyed... $\endgroup$
    – Mirte
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 6:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hunting and gathering of food that doesn't infinitely regenerate will never be able to feed the world. $\endgroup$
    – Kys
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ Out of control grass would still destroy roads and transportation, and energy infrastructure is widespread and not designed to function independently. The hordes of refugees from other areas would overwhelm any surviving areas. $\endgroup$
    – Josh King
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ Disagree with this take. Wheat is grass. So is barley. Syria would not have had a problem if crops started growing like crazy. Twas the opposite that caused the crisis. You want a break from grass? Goats. Goats will eat grass until nothing is left but bedrock. You eat the goats, drink your beer, have some bread, burn some wood in the winter. $\endgroup$
    – chiggsy
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 14:07

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