Technofossils – an unprecedented legacy left behind by humans

Posted by ap507 at Mar 25, 2014 12:15 PM |
New international study by academics from the University highlights unique nature of fossil footprint left behind by mankind
Technofossils – an unprecedented legacy left behind by humans

A possible technofossil? Source: Dr Jan Zalasiewicz

A new study by an international team of scientists, including Dr Jan Zalasiewicz and Professor Mark Williams of the  Department of Geology, suggests that the fossil impact humans have made on the planet is vast and unprecedented in nature – and that there’s been nothing remotely like it since the Earth formed, over four and half billion years ago. 

The study, entitled ‘The technofossil record of humans’ and published by SAGE in The Anthropocene Review, argues that, like dinosaurs, who left their bones and footprints behind for future generations to discover, humans will also leave a footprint behind – one made up of material goods unique to mankind that are so different from anything else produced by animals in the history of the Earth that they deserve their own name: technofossils.

These technofossils will come in the form of an array of material goods, such as motorways, cities, airports, toothbrushes, ballpoint pens and mobile phones – everything that we build or manufacture.

The study, ‘The technofossil record of humans’, can be found here and will appear in the April 2014 print issue of The Anthropocene Review.  

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