People who know me may know that I was grumbling about making an infographic for a school assignment. I shudder to remember those dark days of news reports (though I’ve been plunged in yet another type of dark days currently), but I recently picked up an infographic that seems a lot more effective in conveying information than anything I’ve seen so far. And this information will, at risk of sounding clichéd, blow your mind. Or make you shit bricks.
This infographic basically very cleanly represents the proportion of Earth’s land mammals by weight, and you can tell at a glance that there are really very few wild mammals left on Earth. That’s not to say there are no wild animals — for instance, the article I found was quick to point out that bacteria still outweigh humans by a factor of thousands. But species like elephants, tigers, lions, nope. Those are pretty much squeezed out of the picture by our domesticated horses, goats and cattle.
Humans really have changed Earth, irreversibly so. We decided which animals should thrive and which should die, based on how useful they are to us. I wonder, though, if our captive elephants wished to be “chosen by us to live” or to just die out. Neither option sounds very palatable.
What I also find appealing, in accordance to the geeky side of me, is that the infographic looks like a pixelated map, something you might find in the Town Map of Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal. It’s really cool how infographics can be used to represent things in such myriad interesting ways. It really makes me wish I were a good designer. I think that the future of communications truly belongs to pictures, images as breathtaking and alive as these. These pictures have personality, which is why they seem to take on a life of their own.
Curious to see what it looks like already? Here goes!