How Long Can You Survive If All The Plants In The World Die?


Plant life affects our own life in many different
ways – from the cotton clothes we wear, to the fruit we eat, the air we breathe, to
the flowers we give as romantic gifts to our significant others. Green life matters from the very bottom of
the food-chain to the very top. Plants also dictate Earth’s climate and
the habitats we live in. Can you imagine a life without plants? Is such a thing possible? And what kind of disaster could turn the world
into a barren dark desert void of plant life? Would the world still keep turning without
plants? Can we live without them? Join us in this plant life apocalypse as we
consider what might happen if all plant-life suddenly disappeared, in today’s Infographics
Show- What if all the plants in the world Died? First, what could cause such an event? Well, let’s say the sun plunged away from
earth and the planet was shrouded in darkness. In this case plants would not be able to live. Being starved of their light energy source
they would no longer grow and reproduce. On the other hand – if the Earth suddenly
heated up dramatically plants would also suffer being unable to function and grow under intense
heat. So in cases of lack of light or intense heat
plant life would quickly go extinct. And what would that mean – a world without
plants. What would happen? Well, the earth would become a much quieter
place as all living creatures need plants for food and most living things would become
extinct without plants existing at the bottom of the food chain. Would everything on earth die if plants disappeared? Experts have some different views on just
what would happen, but the general consensus is that we’d all die eventually. Let’s look at oxygen. We breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. The air around us contains around 21 percent
oxygen and .04% carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide becomes dangerous at around
1 percent of the air mass. As we all know, plants produce oxygen via
a process called photosynthesis. Most of us remember learning at school that
photosynthesis converts light energy to chemical energy and it is this process that plants
use to grow. Once this process stops most plants would
die swiftly, although some plant matter might hold out longer depending on how much sugar
they had stored. Larger trees, for example, would be able to
last longer than a smaller shrub. But once the process of photosynthesis stops
– plant life will ultimately die. And here’s the kicker. Once photosynthesis stops the population of
animals would face a serious problem – a fast depleting food source would occur almost
overnight. Lack of oxygen would at first glance seem
to pose a serious threat but in reality it isn’t the lack of oxygen from plants that
would cause the initial threat to all life if plants were to kick the bucket. According to NASA calculations the average
human being requires 840 grams of oxygen per day. The Earth’s atmosphere holds around 1000
billion tonnes of oxygen and the total world population is 7.5 billion meaning that we
would last another 370 years based on current reserves. Animal life would also require oxygen, but
with plant life dying animal life would be swift to follow. Death by lack of oxygen is not what will actually
kill us in this worldwide plant death as the atmosphere alone holds enough oxygen to sustain
life on the planet for years. But there’s also oxygen in the ground and
inside ice. Scientists estimate that the oxygen atmospheric
content would be exhausted after 52,535 years if the population of animals remained constant. So the lack of oxygen would not be the major
problem. Instead the main concern will be the devastation
of all our food webs. Once the green plants are gone each and every
animal that feeds on the green stuff will also die. Herbivores would die from starvation in a
few weeks. That would mean most of our domestic farm
animals reared for human consumption would disappear if we humans didn’t have adequate
supplies of food to feed them. We would have to make a decision to either
feed our live-stock or feed ourselves. If some seeds and fruits remained in the trees
birds would last a little longer but they would be fair game to the humans looking for
an easy meal. Carrion eaters such as vultures, crows, and
hyenas would have one almighty feast before also slipping out of the eco-system. Carnivores would have to eat each other as
they naturally do and again we’d have a feeding frenzy on our hands. By the calculations of Nick Canning of Coraline,
the time for the animal population to die out would be 13.75 years, meaning life on
earth would collapse during most of our life-times. Humans, being top of the food chain, will
ultimately suffer too, but would probably be the last of the Earth mammal species to
expire. People in developed nations would be likely
the first to die as they don’t live off the land and would have to rely on stored
resources. People in the developing nations will get
to survive on their crop reserves for a limited period of time. But what would happen to the conditions on
Earth? For starters it would become a much hotter
place to live, without plant life levels of greenhouse gases would increase and temperatures
would rise. The water cycle would be affected. Plants take in rain and snowfall, and release
moisture back into the atmosphere. Precipitation patterns would change dramatically. Without plants to hold soil to the land, the
soil would be washed away into the sea leaving much of the planet resembling a hot barren
muddy dessert. Following a few months the only edible food
left would be fungi living on dead vegetation. It would become one giant mushroom hunt for
those remaining survivors. These fungi could provide humans with food
but mushrooms lack essential vitamins such as vitamin C and eventually fungi would also
disappear as the dead matter from which they feed erodes away. Once at this stage humans would probably be
the only mammals left on the planet owing to our food storing habits. Rodents may also co-exist if they have access
to human food stores. So we may have a world where humans become
rodent eaters and perhaps even turn to cannibalism in an attempt to survive. But maybe things could be better at sea. What about the ocean? If only green plants disappeared there may
exist in the ocean microscopic algae, bacteria and phytoplankton. These aquatic plants are right at the bottom
of the food chain and may be our saviors. So, in theory life could remain and evolve
in the oceans. But as a human food source, fish, crustaceans,
and other aquatic sea-life would only support a small fraction of the human population. Humans killing each other in a fight for the
resources that remain in the sea is a real possibility. But there could be chance for those hardy
survivors to find a new way of life using the resources of the ocean. Water could be used as means to create oxygen
using electrolysis to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen with the oxygen released
into the atmosphere to breath and hydrogen used for the chemosynthesis of food. That would mean the potential oxygen crisis
and the food shortage epidemic could be solved for those few who survive the plant death
epidemic. So what do you think will happen in a world
without plants? Could we survive? Let us know in the comments section. Also, be sure to watch our other video called.Vegans
vs Meat Eaters, Who will live longer? Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe, and see you next time

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