It’s hard to imagine, but there are currently seven billion people living on this planet right now. A third of those people live in East and Southeast Asia alone. It wasn’t always like this, of course; for thousands of years, the population of the human species resided in the thousands or millions, not reaching the billions for a very long time. In the last couple hundred years, the amount of humans on Earth has increased by billions upon billions of people. History sometimes doesn’t convey this, on the surface all time periods seemingly involving the same amount of people.
But as we reach a point where we may be reaching a critical mass of people, it’s worthwhile to look back and see how we’ve gotten to this point. The video above, made by the American Museum of Natural History, does that, visualizing the human population of a span of many thousands of years, zeroing in on the time between 1 AD and today. Through it, you can really understand how much the expansion of our species has exploded in the recent centuries and how, without any action, it may get out of hand very fast.