Earth’s History by the Number

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


Right after the formation of planet Earth 4.54 billion years ago, it faces different periods from the occurrence of large meteorites, asteroids and comets, the rising of the ocean to the age of freezing ice, earth is so tough having potent tolerance to bear these changes. The altered processes of atmosphere, temperature, and chemistry brought tremendous impact on earth’s geology. The different life forms that goes through a process from born, reborn, death to decay transformed earth’s surface and underneath it and that transformation act as the only response to adapt changes. Never forget to include other natural calamities that the Earth undergone through like tsunami, flood, earthquake, etc. that cause remarkable effect on evolution and mass extinction until now and in the coming future.

Here are some of the notably 20 sketches of the Earth’s history according to numbers.




115,000 years ago: Ice age starts. The most recent ice age, which turns out last for more than 100 years begins. Sea levels drop.

115k yrs ago-Ice Age


74,000 years ago: Humans almost wiped out by volcanic eruption. Massive eruption of Toba supervolcano in Sumatra blasts huge amounts of ash into the atmosphere, causing a big drop in global temperatures for several years.

74kYrs-volcanic eruption



85,000-65,000 years ago: Early modern humans migrate from Africa

85k yrs ago-africa


55,000-30,000 years ago: Human migration continues. Groups of early-modern humans spread to South Asia, Australia, Europe and East Asia (in that order); they are hunter-gatherers.

55-30k yrs ago-Migration



32,000-10,000 years ago: Human Creativity develops. Examples of cave art (by early-modern humans) in Europe.

32-10k yrs ago-Cave Art


24,000 years ago: Extinction of Neanderthals (relatives of modern humans).

24k yrs ago-extinction-neanderthal



5,000 years ago: Indian Ocean Cataclysm. A large meteorite hits the Indian Ocean and causes gigantic tsunamis that may be the origin of various flood stories.

5k yrs ago-Indian Ocean



20,000-14,000 years ago: Anatomically modern humans first reach the Americas.

20-14k-modern humans-reach Americas



18,000 years ago: Maximum extent of ice of last ice age. Ice-sheets extend deeply into North America, Europe, and Siberia. South of the ice-sheets, mammoths, giant deer, horse, and wooly rhinos graze.

18k yrs ago-Last Ice Age



12,500-12,000 years ago: End of last ice age. Ice-sheets in full retreat; many continental shelf areas such as the North Sea are flooded as the ice melts and sea levels rise.

12k-End-Ice Age 



12,000 years ago: First settled agriculture in Turkey, Middle East, and Mesopotamia.

12k-First Agriculture



12,000-5,000 years ago: Many large mammals—for example wooly mammoths, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and cave bears—become extinct, possibly as a result of hunting by modern humans.

12-5k-Extinct Mammoth



c. 11,500 years ago: Beginning of Neolithic Age (New Stone Age) in Middle East.

11,500-Neolithic Age


c. 10,000 years ago: Recorded human history begins.

10k-Human record begins



8,200 years ago: Major Earth cooling lasting for several centuries.

8k-Earth Cooling



c. 5,500 years ago: First city-states in Mesopotamia.




c. 4,500 years ago: Great Pyramid of Giza built.



c. 3,000 years ago: Beginning of Iron Age in Middle East.

 3k-Iron Age



400-150 years ago: Little Ice Age, a cooler period in many parts of the world.

400-150 Litte Ice Age



1883: Krakatoa Erupts: Eruption of the Indonesian volcano causes up to 230,000 human fatalities as a result of ash falls and tsunamis.

1883-Krakatoa erupts



Other earlier history of Earth:

  1. Dinosaurs—the only dominant life-form on Earth had become extinct (although they left descendants that we know today as birds)
  2. Large meteorite hits Earth, probably contributing to the extinction of the dinosaurs
  3. Modern human evolved, almost certainly somewhere in Africa
  4. Ice age extend throughout most of the period
  5. A big drop and later a rise in sea level, the spread of modern humans across the world, and the extinction of many large mammals, quite possibly as a result of human activity.


“The earth history over the past several million years is that for every 100,000 years, we go through a dramatic climate cycle where we get 90,000 years of ice age and 10,000 years of a warm period. I think people today just have the expectation that we deserve a perfectly benign climate forever.” -Hugh Ross


Source: Bite-Size Science and Wikipedia

Illustrations by: Margie Babon



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