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Google Maps Updated With Skyfall Island Japan Terrain

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the his-secret-layer dept.

Earth 107

MojoKid writes "The latest in the Bond film series, Skyfall, was certainly one to remember. And not all of those memories were pleasant. The head villain's island lair was a particularly spooky place. The decaying wasteland depicted in the film was a shadow of Hashima off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. Due to its unique flat shape, the island is most widely known in Japan by its nickname Gunkanjima — aka 'Battleship Island.' In some circles, it's called 'Dead Island.' Google actually sent an employee to the island with a Street View backpack in order to capture its condition and a panoramic view for all to see in 360 degrees. You can take a virtual walk across the island now, and Google also used its Business Photos technology to let you peek into the abandoned buildings, complete with ancient black-and-white TVs and discarded soda bottles."

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107 comments

Points at Hideki (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44144877)

Hideki!

I wonder (1)

fermion (181285) | about 10 months ago | (#44144885)

If they sent an intern

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145233)

I'd rather have a map of Rokkenjima really. That would be a fun place to send people.

More than one (1)

Camael (1048726) | about 10 months ago | (#44145791)

If you watch the video, there's clearly someone pointing a video cam at the Google employee with the backpack as he walks around.

So a party of at least 2? Barring supernatural options, of course.

On a side note, Gunkanjima is seriously creepy/cool. Good job Google!

40 years (4, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 10 months ago | (#44144897)

All it took was 40 years to transform a modern island into something that looks like Mayan ruins. If something ever happens to humanity, in only a century or two we'll have been erased from history.

Re:40 years (3, Informative)

Megahard (1053072) | about 10 months ago | (#44144933)

The Life After People [history.com] series covers this in detail. They use Battleship Island in one episode as an example and reference point.

Re:40 years (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44145713)

great series. They also used Chernobyl and the surrounding area to demonstrate just how quickly Nature reclaims her own. I particularly enjoyed the episode with the cats in the tower blocks.

Re:40 years (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44144987)

considering that the mayan ruins have lasted for quite a while and continue to last for quite a while and there's plenty of non concrete depending buildings.. it wouldn't be an erase for a while. even if humanity rebuilt tens of thousands of years later they would still be finding our artifacts...

the battleship island wasn't built to last without maintenance - now what would be interesting would be old pictures from when it was new to compare to what it is like today, since for example bare concrete might have been(and probably in many cases was) bare concrete when it was new and functioning.

Re:40 years (1)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#44145513)

Practically none of our modern construction is built to last without maintenance. That's why our bridges are going to hell now.

Re:40 years (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44146477)

Practically none of our modern construction is built to last without maintenance. That's why our bridges are going to hell now.

that's not as same as none though. let's say 0.001% of construction lasts in good state and 1% in state that you can tell something was there. some things are made just from plain stone for example. then there's massive landscaping projects. massive tunneling projects, massive projects of many kind. after all we're not building that many things out of cardboard and wood.

Re:40 years (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 10 months ago | (#44149165)

Most of the Mayan construction wasn't built to last without maintenance, either. Much of what humans (or any life for that matter) build isn't meant to last.

The few special things that do last, like castles, temples, and pyramids, are a small fraction of the total construction. Our modern societies have built a few things that will last a while, too.

A puzzle for you (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 10 months ago | (#44144999)

Here's a thought problem for you.

Modern humans descended from ape-like creatures on the order of 3 million years ago. Bonobos [wikipedia.org] are further back on the evolutionary scale, call it 5 million years before they become intelligent (massive guesstimate).

Suppose we leave the planet. Would the Bonobos be able to determine that another intelligent species came before them? I can think of no place on the planet that wouldn't wear down and wash away the signs of our civilization.

Suppose we leave the planet, but would like to leave a message. Where should we put it, and in what form? I can think of no place on the planet that would be safe from erosion, and any satellite orbit would decay long before 5 million years had passed. (LAGEOS 1 was predicted to remain in orbit for 8.4 million years, but may only last a couple of hundred thousand [science-frontiers.com] years.)

Now consider the reverse. Suppose there was an intelligent species on Earth before us. Where could we look for evidence? If they left a message for us; assuming that they want it found, where would it be?

Re:A puzzle for you (4, Funny)

soundhack (179543) | about 10 months ago | (#44145019)

Any sci fi (syfy?) person can answer your questions. Bury a stargate either in egypt or in the antarctic.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Quasimodem (719423) | about 10 months ago | (#44145057)

Scan the moon for a "Kilroy was here!" sign.

Re:A puzzle for you (3, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | about 10 months ago | (#44145329)

exactly sure the moon takes regular hits but not that regular.

you leave an odd shaped structure on the moon, with a reinforced center with whatever data you wish to preserve.

The real reason we haven't been back is because we found the message left to us by the atlantian's that said don't go into space it is expensive.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 10 months ago | (#44145127)

Suppose we leave the planet, but would like to leave a message. Where should we put it, and in what form?

Leave the message underground, in a salt dome. Form the words by mashing Twinkies together.

Re: A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145165)

We could, you know, do something big. Like Stone Henge, that should indicate intelligence, right?

Also... I'm not certain but I would suspect that large portions of the pyramids would still stand after a million years. It would take a massive amount of erosion to erase something like that completely.

Re: A puzzle for you (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 10 months ago | (#44145561)

Stonehenge will last, just watch out for your units of measure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zdyo4vJuCU [youtube.com]

Re: A puzzle for you (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44145771)

stonehenge will last for as long as there are people willing to put in the work to maintain it - an ever increasing amount of the (highly porus) original sandstone work has been encased, set or replaced with concrete. They closed a road permanently last week (they're taking it up and grassing it over) that runs alongside it to try and stem vibration damage from heavy traffic.

Re: A puzzle for you (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 10 months ago | (#44145667)

If left the the ravages of nature alone you could be right (a few million anyways) but sadly I doubt they can withstand human intervention. I believe that there were once several more pyramids, but over time people took blocks from them to build homes and other monuments. Once upon a time all of the pyramids were clad in white limestone, but all of those stones were removed for Mosques and government buildings a hundred or more years ago. And this isn't something that "used to happen in the past", This year a Central American Mayan pyramid was destroyed by a building contractor to save money on gravel fill for a road. Sadly I imagine that a similarly unceremonious fate will claim the pyramids at Giza, crushed into d-stone for a road base or for the construction of aqueducts or dams by some lazy builder a few hundred years from now after interest in them has waned like it has so many times before.

Re: A puzzle for you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146327)

Well, Stonehenge was built for religious reasons, so no, not a sign of intelligence.

Leave no trace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145183)

A few hints:
Consume all fosil oil
Leave artificial radioactive isotopes concentrated in thousand former nuclear power plants
Destroy all life form / biotope ( hmm that one feels like catch 22)
Needs more ?

Re: Leave no trace (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | about 10 months ago | (#44146925)

Good luck destroying all life. The earth has tried to do that several times in the past (K-T Event, anyone?) and utterly failed. When all it takes is a single asexual bacterium to restart the entire biome, it becomes practically impossible to destroy all life.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145197)

Where could we look for evidence? If they left a message for us; assuming that they want it found, where would it be?

42

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | about 10 months ago | (#44145207)

As poster above mentioned, The History channel has addressed this one in the seriese "Life After People". I believe that, as per the show, the longest lasting record of our existence on earth would be Stone Mountian- due to the hardness of the rock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Mountain [wikipedia.org]

Re:A puzzle for you (1, Insightful)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | about 10 months ago | (#44145485)

A monument to Confederate generals is likely to be the longest-lasting evidence of humanity? That's just depressing.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44145789)

Sandstone is surprisingly resilient. Giza, Stonehenge, Castle Rock in Nottingham (that has only lost around 6% of its mass under Nottingham Castle over the last 20-someodd years as a result of extreme weather conditions and one or two earthquakes, apart from that it's survived three castles being built on top of it, two massive fires and extensive tunneling)

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145219)

Dinosaur fossils are hundreds of millions of years old, and I think we'd notice pretty damn well if we dug up some kind of dinosaur city.
With the vast amounts of artifacts of stone, metal, glass and plastic we leave behind, it's unimaginable that every single of them will be destroyed in just five million years. Some of them will luck out and stay in a protective environment.

Re:A puzzle for you (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145257)

Our civilization would become a thin geological layer, an unusual concentration of (as another posted pointed out) radioactives, metals, and various industrial by-products. Though depressing, that would nonetheless be enough for future intelligent life to at least hypothesize that something intelligent was here.

The mere fact that many natural concentrations of minerals have been mined out should be a clue. Though, I'm sure our oversexed simian cousins would probably come up with a few convoluted hypotheses to explain this in convoluted natural terms.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 10 months ago | (#44146573)

The Earth is over 4 billion years old.

The techtonic plates drift up and down over the mantle in 3 billion years.

There could have been a civilization that left Earth 3 billion years ago that we would never have known about.

Actually, I thought this was going to be covered in the TV series "Fringe" (when they talked about the First People), but was sorely disappointed.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 10 months ago | (#44146585)

In the Fringe TV show, I was thinking that the Others were time travelers from the distant past you were trying to escape an extinction event.

Too bad. Would have made for more interesting Sci Fi than what actually happened on the show.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44147697)

The Earth was virtually uninhabitable for the first billion years, 600 million years ago there was no multi-cellular life. If there was intelligent life on Earth 3 billion years ago then it would have been of alien origin, I suppose it is possible aliens lived on Earth billions of years ago and all traces of them have been wiped out (or maybe they accidentally or otherwise seeded life on Earth through microbes they left behind), it's terribly unlikely though. If we are talking about there being intelligent life that evolved on Earth and developed and advanced civilisation, then it would have to have been on the order of tens of millions of years ago, which isn't long enough for all traces to be wiped out.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145221)

I would leave behind GM plants and animals, stuff on the moon, scatter minerals where geology says they shouldn't be, create modified nuclear isotopes, and bury garbage EVERYWHERE.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146971)

yes, great idea!
I'll get busy on.......oh, wait....

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#44149253)

Mostly when they close a plant, General Motors either sells it to another industrial concern or demolishes it.

Easy answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145241)

Assuming that previous intelligent life went along the same path as us and got at least this far, i doubt we would be finding stuff like uranium so spread out and in 'raw form'. Just as we are mining and then storing the spent fuel, they would have too, making it pretty clear that someone else was here.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145247)

Evolution doesn't work with goals and schedules.

Re:A puzzle for you (3, Insightful)

danlip (737336) | about 10 months ago | (#44145295)

There are plenty of fossils from 100 million years ago. Those represent just the tiny percentage of animals that got accidentally buried somehow. We bury our dead on purpose, often with jewelry and in caskets that have metal parts, etc., embalmed, and all lined up in neat rows. I would think there would be plenty of evidence, even in 100 million years. Plus we generate an enormous quantity of artifacts, many of which are at least as durable as bone, and most of which end up in landfills, which is pretty ideal for preservation. The buildings will collapse pretty quickly, but much else will remain. Interestingly the pyramids will probably be around long after most modern buildings, since they are pretty much solid stone and in the desert.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

romons (2767081) | about 10 months ago | (#44149309)

Most metal does not last long in the presence of oxygen, it corrodes and disappears. Even stone monuments only last 10,000 years or so, due to weathering. The reality is that after a few million years, all of the crap we dug up or built in the last 10,000 years would be fairly evenly distributed over what land mass that had not been subducted under some other continental shelf.

The interesting thing is that if you consider ALL the fossils that have been dug up, our 10,000 year experiment in technology would almost certainly be missing from the record of any future 'intelligent' lifeform.

The main thing we would leave would be a record of environmental catastrophe, another mass extinction event. Oh, that and a few bits of machinery on the moon.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145301)

I don't think it would get completely eroded away; some of it would get buried and later unburied by the changing geology. Most of the obvious traces would be gone -- but I think there'd be enough pieces left over to figure that there was intelligent life at one point, even if our entire culture is lost.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145333)

They could write "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine" on the Moon. Assuming they had the means take billions of individuals off the Earth, that'd be an easy task.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145383)

Suppose we leave the planet. Would the Bonobos be able to determine that another intelligent species came before them? I can think of no place on the planet that wouldn't wear down and wash away the signs of our civilization.

Suppose we leave the planet, but would like to leave a message. Where should we put it, and in what form? I can think of no place on the planet that would be safe from erosion, and any satellite orbit would decay long before 5 million years had passed. (LAGEOS 1 was predicted to remain in orbit for 8.4 million years, but may only last a couple of hundred thousand [science-frontiers.com] years.)

In the end there will be very little reminder that humans or anything ever populated Earth.

I know this is very far in the future (4+ billion years) but a fact. The Sun is expected to swell engulfing the Earth, that should be a great eraser.

I think of all the life that's come before no matter it's intelligence that's met the same fate in other parts of the Universe;
nobody will ever know about them; hints, clues mayhaps but no facts.

At that point my "purpose for being" becomes evident and I knew it's true that nobody plays dice with the Universe, it's a freaking coin.

The best chance for the earth to be remembered are the space craft sent out with that as a secondary intent (voyagers for one).
The chances for those being found and understood will wear out that coin.

Now consider the reverse. Suppose there was an intelligent species on Earth before us. Where could we look for evidence? If they left a message for us; assuming that they want it found, where would it be?

I would look for a highly magnetic black monolith on the Moon, somewhere around Tycho,

Stupid question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145417)

Don't know. Don't care. I don't give a fuck what happens to this planet more than 5 minutes after I die. I'm sick of being told I need to give a fuck about the future. I'm going to take what I want, shit where I want and if the future suffers for it then fuck them. That's their tough shit.

Re:Stupid question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44148807)

Sarah Palin, is that you ?

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#44145431)

"Footfall" dealt with this somewhat. The alien invaders posses technology that they did not invent themselves, but rather deciphered from tablets (Thuktunthp) left behind by a previous species that knew they were dying out.

Bonobos are stupid (4, Insightful)

rve (4436) | about 10 months ago | (#44145463)

Bonobos [wikipedia.org] are further back on the evolutionary scale, call it 5 million years before they become intelligent (massive guesstimate).

Is a Bobobo a primitive human any more than a fish is a primitive frog? Apes are as highly evolved as we are, just in a differrent direction. Why would they become intelligent? Would a bigger brain make them better at mating while dangling from a branch? Life on Earth thrived for about 3 billion years before we came along, and unless everything else is exterminated, we're unlikely to be evolution's endpoint.

There is no endpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145709)

More accurately, every single leaf on the tree of life is an "endpoint", exactly the precise spot where that particular evolutionary path "wants" to be. There is no looking ahead.

Thinking that homo sapiens is the endpoint of evolution is just one of our sillier myopic conceits, no different to thinking that the sun revolves around the earth.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

flinkdeldinky (463888) | about 10 months ago | (#44145481)

I believe that was partly answered by Arthure C Clarke. The whole monolith on the moon thing. Just bury your wiz bang artifacts on the moon. Also I believe the sattalites can wait around forever in lagrange (sp?) points.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44147493)

It's interesting that you are worried about the spelling of "Lagrange" after so casually murdering "satellite".

Re:A puzzle for you (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 10 months ago | (#44145699)

Easy : mines. We leave evidences of machining in dry caves on the hardest of rocks. In some places, erosion could end up erasing the traces, but a man-made tunnel in a solid rock will still look like one in one million years.

We are also responsible for an extinction event that will have a very clear gap in the fossil records.

Radioactive dumps will not be very active in 5 millions years but they still will be very detectable, and as they are made from resistant materials, their artificial nature will surely be evident.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44145749)

that's easy. Look for a six sided regular polyhedron with edge length ratios of 1:4:9.

It's what I'd do.

There's no use overcomplicating the message. 1:4:9 is to me, the simplest message you can send It's so useful, yanno? The simplest tessellating shape. All hail the mighty Brick! Send it in a material that's a: resilient and b: chemically inert. Baked ceramic?

Forget Pi. I dunno, it just doesn't seem to make sense - what if a civilisation that hasn't even invented the wheel comes across this thing? They wouldn't have the first clue what 3.1415 is.

The Pioneers and the Voyagers, with their spinning gold discs (yeah, gold isn't inert, it spontaneously reacts with cyanide which is a primordial building block of life and is known to exist in interstellar space in massive quantities), carried entirely overcomplicated messages. A simple "Hello, we're a civilisation, by now probably long gone, which knew how to count on our fingers" rather than "Here are the first 104 elements in a periodic table we created to fit our understanding of the Universe which probably doesn't fit your understanding of the Universe in any way shape or form, and while we're at it here's what we call music played on things which you probably use as weapons and sounds that will probably hurt your ears" thank you very much.

Clarke had the right idea.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146781)

I pity the aliens who will spend untold resources on trying to figure out what the hell the message in that strange audio signal is. If they ever figure out that it's audio in the first place.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146005)

The moon.

Geologically inactive. No atmosphere. No erosion. Still some meteoric activity, but not much on the near side. Leave several messages.. both on the surface and buried, for redundancy.

The next life form that evolves to intelligence to the point where they make it to the moon will know that an equal or greater intelligence was there before.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146151)

I'm guessing the odds of that happening are about the same as the odds of the last humans creating a message for the Bonobos or whatever on their way out...Zippideedooda.
Either that create a mountain range that was actually a picture of a naked chick only viewable from outerspace.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#44146239)

There might be evidence such as extremely low level nuclear waste (almost inert, but by concentration it would be obvious it was not natural), evidence of mining and the release of CO2 and so forth. There might even still be stuff on the moon if they got that far. It isn't certain but it is likely.

Besides which, if we did leave for some reason I'm sure we would want to create some kind of long lasting note to future intelligent races explaining who we are and why we left. If we had interstellar travel we would probably also have the ability to do build things that last that long.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146401)

Craft the message is such a way that when placed in the appropriate environment, it will fossilize. Spam that all over the earth.

distribute the message around the world hacked int (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44146485)

distribute the message around the world hacked into diamonds, jade, obsidian, all kinds of plastics, glass containers. short of the whole planet getting grinded they would find something. they would probably find something even without us trying to leave a trace.

what's with the everlasting impact fetish anyhow?

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Common Joe (2807741) | about 10 months ago | (#44146557)

Now consider the reverse. Suppose there was an intelligent species on Earth before us. Where could we look for evidence? If they left a message for us; assuming that they want it found, where would it be?

Okian Warrior has received a lot of amusing and somewhat cheeky comments, but from what I can tell, no one addressed the great question. How do we know there was no other intelligent species on Earth before us that lived 5 to 10 million years ago that matched our technology? What about further back than that?

I'm about as far on the opposite end of the spectrum as you can get when it comes to my qualifications to answer this question. Still, I'm going to take a guess that no one can completely rule out the possibility. I suppose piles of nuclear material would decay slow enough so we'd have a few "hot spots" hanging around. A tremendous loss of life (of which there have been several) where a number of species go extinct for mysterious reasons. I dunno... beyond that? Is there a geologist or a archeologist who can address this question? Sure, it's all speculation, but I don't recall science ever trying to address this question before. The best I can remember is the beating of chests saying that the people alive today are top dog and there has never been another technologically advanced civilization on earth like us. At the risk of sounding inflammatory, that sounds more like a "have faith" point of view rather than a scientific one. What kind of science do we have to back up such a claim? What kind of certainty is there?

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 10 months ago | (#44146789)

Some people have made the claim that any previous civilisation would have used up all the oil, but that's not supportable. A civilisation could have gone from steam to electric fairly easily and skipped the oil step. Or there could have been a lot more oil in the ground once. Or a lot less, at the time. Really there's no solid reason why there might not have been earlier advanced civilisations.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146757)

There would be fossils of us. Some of our stuff would happen to be in locations where it would be well preserved indefinitely. I wonder if future geologists wouldn't be able to determine that a whole lot of oil and ore suddenly disappeared all at once from places where that shouldn't happen naturally. There would be signs of our CO2 and other emissions in buried ice samples. There would still be a flag and a mirror on the moon.

I think it's safe to say that at least a future species would be aware that something very strange happened within a short period a few million years before and once they found any of our technology that happened to be in a place where it was preserved, they'd know someone was there. They don't need to find an intact city, all they need is a non-decomposed plastic wrapper preserved on the moon or in ice or a bog somewhere.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146881)

You underestimate the signs of human activity that would be left. While normal surface structures would be difficult to recognize in, say, 10000 to 100000 years or so, that there had been intelligent life here would still be freaking obvious to any alien anthropologist visiting here who bothered to analyze isotopic data. Nuclear activities have left a clear signature in the form of exotic isotopes that haven't formed since the Sun before ours went supernova and seeded the nebula from which our solar system formed. Although the short-lived isotopes would decay away to undetectable levels, there are some with long-enough half-lives that they would still be detectable and clearly different from everything else in the solar system. There would be a discrete layer within the Earth's stratigraphy that would have a host of geochemical anomalies like that which would be completely different from anything else in the 4 billion years or so of Earth history before it. In addition, there are some human structures which would last that long, such as large-scale planing off of mountain tops and modification of other natural features on a grand scale that would not be easily erased by natural processes even in 100k to million-year timelines, depending upon the climate conditions (e.g., if it is arid, things last *much* longer). Underground mines in some settings would also persist (many would collapse and be water-filled, but would still look very "odd" compared to the normal geology).

It's also incorrect that no place on the planet would be safe from erosion. There are plenty of such places. The most obvious ones are places experiencing net deposition and that are subsiding. These would easily absorb whatever structures were on the surface and get buried over time for the long term, just as has happened for natural things over time (e.g., whole fossil forests buried from hundreds of millions of years ago). So, for example, while the long-term preservation of Denver, Colorado is unlikely because it is high on a mountain plateau, New Orleans stands a pretty good chance of preserving in some form for the long term as the Mississippi buries it. It's already several metres below sea level and would inundate and be covered by sediment on the delta plain if left without human management. Plenty of other cities around the world are in similar situations, such as Venice or any other one on a river delta.

Let's just say that any alien caring enough about the question would have no problem finding the signs that humans were here many millions of years after we were extinct. While the great majority of stuff wouldn't survive, some would, and that's all you need: a small preserved fraction of what was ever there. Same for any ancient intelligent species on Earth unless they were very geographically localized and built no better than neolithic-scale structures and technology, which would be tough to spot versus natural structures. Kind of a "stealth civilization". But industrialized and global? Pretty unlikely it would be unnoticed by now.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | about 10 months ago | (#44146947)

What about leaving instructions near nuclear dump sites? You simply do not want your bonobos to dig up our old, radiating trash, thinking it valuable and wearing it as necklaces or whatever. Humans have done this [wikipedia.org] , so there's no reason bonobo's wouldn't come to the same conclusion. (Ooh, shiny.)

This article [damninteresting.com] talks about the problem, and some offered solutions, but concludes that it's pretty much impossible to make something look uninteresting or uninviting enough to prevent curious bonobos from exploring it. It's a pretty interesting read.

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 10 months ago | (#44147395)

"Would the Bonobos be able to determine that another intelligent species came before them?"/"Suppose there was an intelligent species on Earth before us. Where could we look for evidence?".

Easy. Look for garbage dumps.

Re:A puzzle for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44147849)

In the western desert of China

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

deboli (199358) | about 10 months ago | (#44147979)

You'll have to build a sentinel on the moon, best in the shape of a black monolith... Drop one on earth too for good measure :-)

Re:A puzzle for you (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 10 months ago | (#44149367)

Suppose we leave the planet, but would like to leave a message. Where should we put it, and in what form? I can think of no place on the planet that would be safe from erosion, and any satellite orbit would decay long before 5 million years had passed.... Where could we look for evidence? If they left a message for us; assuming that they want it found, where would it be?

On the moon.

Re:40 years (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#44145129)

Almost 70 years after, bunkers from the Atlantic wall [wikipedia.org] are still there. Some have fallen from their original location, but do not show extreme erosion like we see in Gunkanjima. This means concrete can last longer than that. Perhaps there is just a quality issue here.

Re:40 years (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 10 months ago | (#44145259)

Roman roads and some buildings would be better examples. Although Roman engineering has decayed, a lot of what we might consider decay was actually people afterward raiding the older buildings for materials. In other places, ruins of things like bridges were removed due to being navigational hazards.

Where humans have *not* dismantled Roman stuff, it is usually in pretty decent shape. Interestingly, in that case, the stuff actually gets buried under dirt and other sediment, more or less intact.

If people just up and disappeared, weathering would still be an issue, of course, and eventually even the best construction might be undermined by rare, but extremely destructive events like tsunamis, powerful earthquakes, and if you are talking on the order of millions of years, there are supposed to be supervolcanic eruptions every 640,000 years or so at Yellowstone, and of course, eventually some big asteroid would enter our orbit again.

However, I do find it extremely unlikely, given what we *have* been able to find of dinosaurs (fossils being dozens to hundreds of millions of years old), that there would be zero evidence of a civilization left over. It's just that you'd need to dig to find it.

I think it is safe to say that if the Bonobos inherited the Earth and got to the point where we are today, they'd have some good evidence that there was something before.

Re:40 years (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#44145327)

Roman roads and some buildings would be better examples.

I had our modern civilization in mind, and the question of how long concrete will last

I think it is safe to say that if the Bonobos inherited the Earth and got to the point where we are today, they'd have some good evidence that there was something before.

I am not sure bonobos would be interested in that question, as it does not involves sex! :-)

Re:40 years (1)

Wild Wizard (309461) | about 10 months ago | (#44145807)

Looks like classic concrete cancer with water ingress causing the rebar to rust and expand breaking the concrete apart from the inside.

Re:40 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145205)

All it took was 40 years to transform a modern island into something that looks like Mayan ruins. If something ever happens to humanity, in only a century or two we'll have been erased from history.

It depends on where the buildings are and how well they are built. This island is far from any windbreaks, which mean the typhoons hit it with full strength. Typhoons also sprays the buildings with saltwater, which greatly accelerates the decay. Next we add building quality and choice(price) of materials. I suspect they didn't pick the most expensive solution.

Pick different materials and placement and buildings will last way longer. The house I live in is 60 years old and the brick walls are original and not maintained because they it would be pointless given their good condition. Window frames and doors have been replaced though. Reason: the house was built by the owner of a company, which built brick houses. They used proper quality materials to make it last forever. Also it's not in beaten by saltwater or typhoons or anything like that. I suspect it would look way better than battleship island if it's left for 40 years. I don't feel like testing that theory though :P

Re:40 years (1)

DougDot (966387) | about 10 months ago | (#44145267)

As is only appropriate. We tend to have such an inflated view of our importance.

Re:40 years (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#44149303)

We have such an inflated view of our importance that there is a popular notion that 'history is over' and that it's simply up to us to sift through the strata and write everything down.

Which is problematic, to say the least. Modern human Archeologists do more to damage the historical record than any other force on earth. If a 'site' is discovered it 'MUST' be excavated, the delicate but preserved relics within it removed and stored in modern steel-and-glass buildings.

Whenever I encounter the whooping raving rants of 'historical preservationists' I worry that they're about to tear into another 'valuable site' that contains historical strata. Two hundred years from now when we have developed non-invasive, non-destructive means to study and explore historical strata, i.e. three-dimensional x-ray methods, the scientists of that era will be thankful of any small areas remain that 'those idiots' in the 20-21 century didn't discover and tear apart.

No, it doesn't matter at all to ultimate 'history' if you got that grant from the government to tear into the ground and dig up graves from the past. It matters to you because you wanted to never leave campus after grad school. Be forewarned that in the long term, things may not end up the way you thought they would. Future peoples may curse the fact that you got tenure.

Re:40 years (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 10 months ago | (#44145779)

All it took was 40 years to transform a modern island into something that looks like Mayan ruins. If something ever happens to humanity, in only a century or two we'll have been erased from history.

My first thought was that it looks just like large sections of Detroit,MI looks right now. Seriously, it's true. I know, as I don't live too far away. Search YT & Google.

Well, four decades has been about the same length of time that Detroit and Wayne county have remained solidly under one political party's control. The government made Detroit part of their "Model Cities" program. That fomented an orgy of over-regulation and local corruption & cronyism of every sort. Allowing the labor unions to gain and use the stranglehold they held on the Detroit auto industry along with ever-growing rafts of federal regulations combining to drive the auto companies to collapse was the final kill-shot. I'm old enough to have watched this go down since the 1960s. Everything since has been manifestations of the city's suicidal death-throes.

There are black bears and packs of feral dogs roaming in daylight. The Governor has had to appoint an emergency manager.

As a life-long musician, it really pisses me off because Detroit has such a great musical history and had a huge music scene with myriads of clubs that payed bands well if they were good. Now it's nearly a ghost town compared to just 30 years ago.

Hell, they'd have to fix the place up if they wanted to shoot another Robocop sequel in Detroit to match the decay levels in the Dystopian and post-apocalyptic OCP-Detroit from the previous films, not create fake destruction & decay!

But hey, the elites and their cronies both in and out of government gained tons of power and wealth from Detroit's destruction, so at least it worked out great for somebody, right?

Strat

Re:40 years (1)

houghi (78078) | about 10 months ago | (#44146197)

It took the Mayan ruins 2000 to 4000 years to look like the Skyfall Island.
So take that century or 2 with a serious grain of salt. And if humanity leaves now, there are so many places that will be in places that will be less harsh and much bigger.

Sure, we will be erased from history, but that will be a lot longer then 200 years. Do you seriously think that cities like New York, Tokyo or Mexico City will not leave anything after 200 years? There are plenty of buildings that are older then 200 years. Yes, they are ruins when not kept in order, but they still are there.

There are old cities that we have that are deserted and older then 2000 years.

The interesting question would be how long it actually would take. 10.000 years? 100.000 years? Do fossils count?

cost of longevity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44147647)

All it took was 40 years to transform a modern island into something that looks like Mayan ruins. If something ever happens to humanity, in only a century or two we'll have been erased from history.

And yet we the ruins of Roman, Greek, and many other civilizations that seems to lasted much longer.

Perhaps part of it is that a lot of what we build isn't designed to actually last ridiculously long periods of time because they are ridiculously long? If having something last more than 100-200 years costs twice (or triple), how many people are willing to pay for that?

Who gives a fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44144929)

Give us technology we can use to be better people. Not just for video game bitches to pull their dicks to.

Battle Royale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44144949)

Also featured much more in the Japanese movie Battle Royale.
Skyfall only used establishing shots from this Island.

Actual Google Maps link (4, Informative)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 10 months ago | (#44144959)

TFA doesn't seem to provide a link to the actual location on Google Maps.
So here it is: http://goo.gl/maps/56fXN [goo.gl]

Re:Actual Google Maps link (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44149185)

Fuck you dweeb. Go eat the shit out of a faggots ass.

1970's is ancient? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 10 months ago | (#44144989)

I was born in the 50's you insensitive clod!

Re:1970's is ancient? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145033)

I was born in the 50's you insensitive clod!

Holy shit! That was when IT departments had abacuses! Did you have hand held abacuses by then or were you still stuck with desktop ones?

I know that was way after abacuses were the size of rooms. Back then, they had to move the beeds with ropes and pulley systems until they shrank the beads down to be small enough. Then the Japanese took the technology and ran with it.

That's how IBM got started - International Bead Machines.

Re:1970's is ancient? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#44149359)

Actually, in the 1950's, IT departments had decks of punched cards. And machines with jumper-wire panels to sort the cards in those decks into the order needed to generate a report, or print invoices or mailing labels.

When new data had to be punched into the 'database' it was entered as lines, with each line a card in a card deck.

Card punches, card sorters, big cabinets to contain the cards. Line printers that could have their jumper wires configured to transpose the data fields on cards read in the card reader attached to them to fields on the printout. That was IBM for it's first half century.

Also clocks, timeclocks, typewriters, and for awhile photocopiers.

Oh, slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44144991)

I'm going to go ahead and assume that hothardware.com is a poorly-written linkbait site with a target audience of those who find Wired too high-brow. Given that, why has slashdot linked to it? Why did the submitter (apparently) copypaste the (crap) intro to the (probably crap) article as the summary? Why does slashdot still exist?

PS - Skyfall sucked because Daniel Craig is a po-faced douchebag and the moral of the story (something about how we all need to shut up and take direction from our security services) would only have been understandable as a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11

PPS - Know what I saw on hackernews today? http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/ [doublespeakgames.com] and http://neocities.org/blog/making-the-web-fun-again [neocities.org] to name a couple.

I wish they do this next (4, Interesting)

soundhack (179543) | about 10 months ago | (#44145011)

North Brother Island [google.com]

I see they have some pictures of spot locations, but a full street view walk around would be nice.

Somehow I found pics of this abandoned area creepier, even before I found at it was the place Typhoid Mary was locked up.

SKYFALL SUCKED!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145105)

that movie was awful. no new gagdets whatsoever. horrible government underwriting/fearmongering "the enemy is all around us" bla bla bla

They don't even make a vague attempt at believability anywhere in the film. The movie was another disgusting hollywood piece of poop.

just because you can get part of the population to watch (and like) your "movie" doesn't mean it ain't garbage.

Re:SKYFALL SUCKED!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44145903)

The only good part of it, or at least the only part of it that resembled classic James Bond, was the Adele song. The rest was sad lazy slop.

If you go to the top (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | about 10 months ago | (#44145537)

If you go to the top there's a Torii that is missing the top beam, and you look down and the top is laying on the ground, in several sections. Pretty impressive imagery. Definitely worth futzing around with the CRAZY GOOGLE LINES to get up there.

There's your problem (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 10 months ago | (#44145569)

I think I see the reason for the islands extensive degradation of the structures, re-bar. Its great stuff but you have to remember that it can still rust even inside concrete if you don't stabilize it, especially in a sea air environment. And when metal rusts it has a tendency to expand, kind of like putting a glass jar full of water in the freezer, when the water turns to ice it expands and shatters the jar.

Photo exhibition in Paris (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44146211)

Incidently, photos of that island can currently be seen in Paris ar Polka Galerie www.polkagalerie.com

Boring... they should do Chernobyl (or Prypyat) (1)

Hemi Rodner (570284) | about 10 months ago | (#44146465)

It's just a bunch of ruins. Not interesting at all.

I want to see the elephant's foot.

When they find Fort Knox (1)

rcastro0 (241450) | about 10 months ago | (#44146633)

They will know we were around (if not anything else). I am pretty sure most of our stainless steel (eg knifes and forks etc) would survive indefinitely, and point to us, spread everywhere.

And something else. Look at the top of every electricity transmission line pole or tower, and you will see fairly large ceramic pieces. They are the dielectric, and they are built to last ages - extremely hard to destroy, very resistant to nature. Archeologists of the future would find nice patterns of those things connecting human dwellings.

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