what if in 5 million years a new intelligent species has evolved and they like, build cities and shit and have universities and archaeology programs dedicated to the study of this ‘ancient sapient species which went extinct 5 million years ago due to self-inflicted climate change’ and like there are museums dedicated to this shit
museums of museums because they dig up stuff like ‘this was clearly a building that collected things, we presume these items were important to this people but as we have not yet cracked any one of their languages we cannot be certain and we have absolutely no idea what this is but it may have been a torture instrument though others believe it is a cheese grater. but look, this over here was definitely a museum containing fossils of large prehistoric animals’ and they’re still digging up dinosaurs 5 million years into the future, but they’re also digging up 5 million year old human skeletons and 10 million year old human skeletons which they surmise are the ancestors of the younger humans and they’d have to work it out all over again because none of our knowledge survived and we probably messed it all up for them by moving it around and putting it in museums
they don’t call them humans though, there’s a different word for that because they’re a different species
maybe they call them apes
maybe this new intelligent species is itself an ape so technically related to us? how amazing wouldn’t that be ‘WE MUST NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES OUR DISTANT RELATIVES DID. IT IS ALREADY HAPPENING. FOSSIL FUEL IS WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE DOWNFALL OF THIS ANCIENT CIVILISATION. DO WE REALLY WANT TO GO THE SAME WAY?’
or maybe this isn’t an issue because they figured out early on that fossil fuel wasn’t gonna work because there’s so little of it left in the world (there are calculations. apparently, if the ancient civilisation hadn’t exploited the fossil fuel sources so much, there’d be X amount in the world today.) thankfully, the earth’s ecosystem has had 5 million years to fix itself, so the planet is like. inhabitable.
until they find nuclear waste dumps. man. they are so not happy about that.
imagine the linguists tho, attempting to figure out all these old dead languages!! paper does not survive 5 million years. usb sticks do not survive 5 million years. are the novgorod birch bark letters gone? do only clay tablets remain? do these future intelligent beings guess that the language of our current civilisation was written in cuneiform because it’s all that’s left? what difference do 5 thousand years make in the grand scheme of things when 5 million years have passed?
TOMBSTONES THOUGH. how fascinating they must be? would they recognise the letters for letters and the numbers for numbers? do they construct strange alphabets that go A N B I O 8 4 K L 7 M P 3 Q W 9 ?? would they figure the tombstones are of ritualistic importance for a primitive culture? would they be able to figure out our calendar and why we count our years the way we do? what meaning does “year 334BC” hold to them? are there any skeletons left in the graveyards or do only the tombstones remain? what are these weird stone parks and what purpose do they serve? are there theories that render our graveyards as mysterious, mystical and wondrous as we think the stone circles are today? are there conspiracy theories with maps and lines drawn on these maps to prove a crackpot theory that fits into a future culture? do they make terrible dan brown type movies about them? do the stone circles remain? has stonehenge finally collapsed? does a single copy of indiana jones and the last crusade remain and has anybody ever been able to watch it? if so, is that what their theories of the world’s ancient cultures is based on?
imagine archaeological dig sites – whenever they want to build a new building it’s like ‘whoops there’s something old here what is it ohhh it’s a skyscraper from 2215 and below it there’s a peasant house from 1640 and below that is what looks like the fossilised remnants of a viking longboat whoa’ and sometimes they don’t find anything because any finds are so deep in the ground in that area that they will never be discovered
somebody build me a time machine