Retelling 4.5 billion years of history is such a drag: well, first there was a spectacular explosion, everyone knows that, then the Earth was a solid ocean, then something incomprehensible began to appear in the water, then it slowly and slowly crawled onto the boring land and it developed even more sadly on land. For tens of millions of years, nothing happened, some dull bacteria were replaced by exactly the same, but different dull bacteria, then the same thing with monotonous animals. The situation cleared up a little with the appearance of dinosaurs on Earth, but how much can you talk about these dinosaurs, right, moms?
This is probably how it all looks if you immerse yourself in the topic headlong, but the Russian popularizer of paleontology Anton Nelikhov managed to leave all the tediousness behind the scenes, compressing billions of years into a spring, which quickly straightens out on the pages of the book “History of the Earth. From stardust to stardust,” and before us, the readers, an action-packed movie unfolds, where our planet, having barely appeared, balances on the brink of life and death, every second being bombarded from space, colliding with other sub-planets, changing its shape and risking burning up , then turn into a lifeless piece of ice. And the emergence of life is a great success, and even more so its transformation into complex forms.
With bacteria, too, everything is not at all what it seemed: they are not only not the same, they are so different that they cannot even be classified, they cannot be combined into groups, because they simply exchange genetic information while running past each other: " imagine that you shook hands with a redhead - and the hair color of your unborn child will become red, stroked a cat - and provided your offspring with a luxurious cat mustache, smelled a bouquet of roses - and your unborn child would smell like roses." And you say the bacteria are the same! You won’t find two alike: every time a new unknown animal is born.
And how the Earth has been in a fever throughout its entire existence: now hot, now cold, now hot, then cold. The glacier either advances, covering most of the planet with a kilometer layer of ice for tens of millions of years, then retreats, and then the world ocean turns into a warm bath. What an increase of 1 degree over the last hundred years. And by the way, all the same processes are happening now, but don’t be upset: the ice age is not only bad, but also good, because after it there is always a violent surge of life (let this be a consolation to you, at least it’s not in vain that we’re freezing).
There is talk here about dinosaurs, where would we be without them, about ancient mammals too, and also about how mountains grew on the planet, two refrigerators were formed, and how, thanks to revolutionary antelopes, a new type of landscape for the Earth appeared - the steppe (an inexhaustible source energy, the author tells us).
And, of course, humanity appears on the scene here! It would be more correct to say humanity, since at the dawn of our era not only homo sapiens, but also other people lived on Earth. True, they all came and went, leaving us with only a little bit of their genes. And here we live, we bustle about, we change something, but it seems that we have much less impact on the planet than we think; than global processes occurring without our participation. The earth will outlive us and all its other inhabitants. It will continue to bloom for a long time, but over time, regression will begin, the gradual extinction of species, the collision of continents, the weakening of the magnetic field, the water will evaporate, the depths will cool, the surface will heat up - and so on. Again dust, gas and ice. Yershalaim, the great city, disappeared, as if it did not exist in the world.
But that will happen sometime soon! You have several million years left to read this wonderful book yourself in order to improve your education. My passages are randomly snatched from the author’s harmonious and logical narrative; there is much more in the book than I retell.
The publisher says it is 5 years old, but I cannot agree with this qualification. The text here is not simple, there are many, many terms, and in general such a detailed history of the planet is unlikely to be of interest to preschoolers. In my opinion, not earlier than 8. And before. turning into star dust.