Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Future Earth

This is yesterday's journal entry. I knew Gwen would get a kick out of it, so I showed it to her, and she suggested I post it as a possible writing challenge. I remembered Barbara suggesting Gleanings, so I'm posting it here. Please enjoy and please do take up the writing challenge presented in the many questions I posed.

A random thought ocurred to me yesterday--I find this happening a lot more, or it could be I'm just following up on these piques of harmless curiosity more often. Whatever the case, I found myself thinking and wondering from a literary and historical point-of-view: If the Earth had several more centuries to reveal yet, what would future generations have to say about us? What would they consider to be classics, timeless and of the same magnitude as we find The Illiad and The Odyssey to be today?

What events or people from the 20th and 21st Centuries would be thought of or revered as legends and myths come their time?

Though Egypt, Mongolia, Greece, Iraq (Persia), England, Italy and many more countries have stood the test of Time and are powers of the modern world, they're not the same as they were thousands of years ago. The Ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Romans, Ancient and Classical Greeks, Ghengis Khan and his Empire, the Saxons, Mayans and Aztecs--all were proud, intelligent civilizations with distinct and different cultures. But in the end they all...collapsed. Or were absorbed into the conquering, rising cultures that followed their falls. What new countries and cultures will have come about by their time? What countries and cultures will still be around, but changed yet again? What countries and cultures will no longer be on the modern map or be a way of life? What will civilizations be like then?

Aaahhheemmm. Yeah, my mind was really going to town with this train of thought. But after searching for a Greek/Roman myth to add here, I got to wondering. History, myths and legends are fascinating--at least to me--and I got to thinking about how we marvel and admire civilizations past. And I couldn't help but wonder. T'would be fascinating to see what the future would be like in eight, nine hundred years--if the Earth last(s/ed) that long, to see the answers to my many questions unveiled.

Another thought similar to this vein of deep thinking came to me some weeks previous, but until now I've not pursued it. I can't remember exactly what sparked it, but I got to thinking about discoveries and explorations and the many animals (some now extinct, sadly) found on such excursions. As I stated before, there are myriad species of animals and plants on this Earth with us. Who's to say they're all discovered? Wouldn't it be exciting, I asked myself, if they really found the Loch Ness Monster? Surely not all species of animals [or plants] are discovered?

Scientists would definitely have a field day if ol' Nessie was, indeed, discovered. Personally, I have no doubt she may actually exist. The seas and oceans are many fathoms deep and there's no telling what secrets they have yet to reveal. So who knows what unknown creatures reside in the deepest waters? And besides, if I remember right, sharks and crocodiles are prehistoric creatures that have survived millennia, so why not an aquatic dinosaur (a plesiosaur)?

And going a lil further to tie this altogether, what species of plants and animals would be extinct or endangered eight, nine hundred years from now?


At 12:06 AM, Blogger Gwen said...

Hmmmmmmnnnhh... What will be different in the future?? What a pretty thought to roll about in my mind!!
The first thing that popped into my imagination was how would a specific species evelve to survive the post-apocalyptic changes to our world?
Next... what critter do I ponder upon? Well, it must be one that logic dictates will adapt and survive because it has already adapted to man's encroachement into its territory. Hmmmmmmmmmm... that narrows the field a great deal.
A-HA!!!! One of those ubiquitous critters!!!!
The cockroach is just to nasty to bear contemplation... I know!!!! The pigeon!!! That worldwide, beady-eyed defacer of outdoor statuary!!
How will the environment change?? Unfortunately, I see environmental conditions worsening before they improve. So, it becomes a question of how something adapts to what conditions.
The air itself will become harsher, resulting in the need for a stronger outer layer. How is a pigean going to have a stronger outer layer? Feathers toughen and grow stiffer, until the pigeon is no longer feathered on the outside it will have scales that seem almost metallic, the underdown will grow very dense as imsulation against the sub-zero environs of extended winters. At the same time the pigeons' feet and legs will change, the feet getting longer and more agile, as well as muscling up. The down extends onto the feet from the legs to prevent heat loss through the legs and feet. The legs too legthen and grow mass. The long legs, with their strength allow the pigeon to walk through snow that would otherwise trap it.
The beak too, would undergo changes, becoming longer, and flexible allowing the bird to eat food hidden under trash or snow, eventually being more of a proboscis.

At the same time, the diet would expand to include partially decomposed animals. This would require new organisms in the pigeon's digestive system as well as restructuring of the beak even more. The opening of the neak stretches the whole length with 2 rows of ragged teeth in both upper and lower beaks enabling the bird to tear flesh from a kill and to hold on to live prey.
The young are reared in colonies, taking over entire floors of abandoned buidings. The parents will take turn watching the flock of hatchlings, and everyone contributes to a communal food pile for the hatchlings. Feeding is done by the adult birds at the nest.
The enormous flocks of the Common Era are history, now it is a family unit with upwards of a dozen breeding pairs, six to ten single birds, and the adolescents and young of the whole flock, with 50-60 per family unit being the norm.
I will provide (or someone else can) an illustration of said Future Pigeon as soon as I can. I thank each and everyone for sticking around long enough to read all my ramblings, and I do hope you get a laugh out of it!!


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