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11 Facts About Humans That Will Put Your Life In Perspective

We've been through a lot together...

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First, a quick note about what we mean when we are talking about modern humans:

History Channel

Though a topic of debate among anthropologists, there are generally two ways to look at what a modern humans is.

Anatomically modern humans, which many anthropologists argue evolved around 200,000 years ago, looked like us and were biologically members of our own species.

In this post, we will be focusing on the second type — behaviorally modern humans. These Homo sapiens are identical in appearance to anatomically modern humans, but show evidence of cultural traits we deem human, such as ritual burials, symbolic art, more specialized tool use, and the hunting of larger prey. Anthropologists argue they came on the scene around about 90,000–45,000 years ago.

1. About 7% percent of all humans who have ever lived are alive today.

Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed

Back in the day, there weren't that many humans. Now there are a fuck ton of ’em. This estimate comes from a 2011 study by the Population Reference Bureau.


2. The current population of Los Angeles County is likely double that of the world population at 8000 B.C.

Warner Bros.

The current population of the city of Los Angeles County is 10 million people. The Population Research Bureau estimate for the world population at 8000 B.C. is 5 million people, which is roughly the current population of Norway.

3. Modern humans have been around for at least 50,000 years. In that period of time, all of recorded human history as we know it could have repeated itself nearly 10 times.

4. Throughout much of the early history of Homo sapiens, humans co-existed with other species of humans.

6. Modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed for at least 10,000 years. To put that in perspective, that is the same amount of time from 8000 B.C. to the present.


Neanderthals likely first came into contact with humans between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago and went extinct around 40,000 years ago.


7. Before Homo sapiens, many other Homo species migrated from Africa and set up roots around the world before going extinct.

11. And finally: There's a good chance that all humans alive today descended from a population of humans as small as 2,000 people.

Steve Jurvetson / Via Flickr: jurvetson

For the record, that is 33 times fewer people than attended Burning Man in 2014. This is likely the result of a point in time when humans were reduced to near extinction levels.

Science Writer, Fossil Beastmaster

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