Produced by Claire L. Evans.
The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds is an experiment in scale: By condensing 4.6 billion years of history into a minute, the video is a self-contained timepiece. Like a specialized clock, it gives one a sense of perspective. Everything — from the formation of the Earth, to the Cambrian Explosion, to the evolution of mice and squirrels — is proportionate to everything else, displaying humankind as a blip, almost indiscernible in the layered course of history.
Each event in the Evolution of Life fades gradually over the course of the minute, leaving typographic traces that echo all the way to the present day. Just as our blood still bears the salt water of our most ancient evolutionary ancestors.
Originally published February 12, 2009