"a single image to compare the ages of many things, including the universe, the reign of the dinosaurs, human language and the pyramids."

I was really interested in comparing our time on this Earth vs the overall age of the universe. Once I'd looked at the numbers I then wanted to know how this compared with the age of single cell life and then how long it took for humans to become modern.

I found comparing the numbers of these historic events difficult to fully grasp so I wanted to create a visual aid to help my understanding of the scales involved. I also thought it would be cool to have a visual way of explaining this version of our history to my son, when he's a bit older. That's how I ended up creating ages_i.

- created in 2013

> key

  • the image contains 5 panels and is read top to bottom.
  • the first panel shows the age of the  Earth   single-cell life   multicellular life  and the reign the  dinosaurs  relative to the age of the  universe  .
  • the next panel shows the age of single cell life, multi-cell life, the reign of the dinosaurs and the age of  apes  relative to the age of the Earth.
  • the next panel shows the age of the first  humans  the discovery of  fire  the age of the  modern human  and  language  relative to the age of the apes.
  • the next panel shows the age of language  farming  the  pyramids  and the  cross bow  relative to the age of the modern human.
  • the final panel shows the age of the pyramids, the crossbow and the discovery of  radium  relative to the age of farming.

> details

 universe  : estimated 13.7 billion years old
 Earth  : estimated 4.5 billion years old
 single-cell life  : estimated 3.6 billion years old
 multicellular life  : estimated 1 billion years old
 dinosaurs  : estimated began life 230 million years ago a died out an estimated 66 million years ago
 apes  : Superfamily Hominoidea estimated 28 million years old
 humans  : Genus Homo estimated 2.5 million years old
 fire  : estimated discovered 1.8 million years ago
 modern human  : subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens - anatomically modern humans - estimated 195,000 years old
 language  : human mouth evolved to form all languge sounds estimated 65,000 years ago
 farming  : estimated started 12,000 years ago
 pyramids  : 4,603 years old
 cross bow  : invented 2,500* years ago
 radium  : the first radioactive element discovered 119* years ago by Marie Curie which demonstrated nuclear power

*these dates where calculated in 2013, but the actual image is automatically re-generated every 12 months with all dates incremented by one, so these more recent ages will always be accurate.


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