Every single day, the world changes — rivers erode their banks, glaciers grow and recede, cities sprawl a little farther into the suburbs.
Most of the time, it’s impossible to see these shifts with the naked eye. Often, you’re unable to witness a true change until you leave a place and come back days, weeks, decades later.
My dad grew up on Oahu before Hawaii was even a state; the island had just one stoplight. Today, Honolulu is a booming metropolis. Did it happen overnight? On the contrary!
Thankfully, sites like Google Earth Engine let us look at how time influences not only exotic locales but also the places we so familiarly call home.
1. The Ucayali River runs through the Ucayali Province in Peru.
2. Twenty-eight years completely reshaped the landscape of the Nevada desert.
3. The effects of Mount Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption were far-reaching.
4. Alaska’s Columbia Glacier is retreating unbelievably fast when you look at the last few years.
5. The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is even more startling from above.
6. How long does it take for a lake to dry up? For Iran’s Lake Urmia, under 30 years.
7. It’s no wonder Shanghai’s population has doubled in just 20 years when you see this.
8. This is how cities can pop up in the middle of the desert — irrigation. (Saudi Arabia)
9. Many of Oahu’s natural lakes, which once spotted the mountains, were filled in for Honolulu’s urban expansion.
10. The tech industry has built San Francisco into the big city it is today.
11. These lakes in Wyoming have moved!
12. The Chernobyl power plant disaster devastated the Ukrainian city in 1986 — it slowly was reclaimed by nature.
13. Dubai’s man-made islands pop up out of seemingly nowhere.
14. The Three Gorges Dam, built in 2003, flooded the countryside and displaced thousands of people.
15. The Aral Sea, bordering Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, is a shadow of what it once was.
It really is quite striking how much the world changes right under our feet.
It’s a constant reminder to stop and really smell the roses — they might be gone tomorrow.
Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/geo-time-lapse/