Startling Video Shows the Dramatic Effect of Humans on EarthJesus Diaz8/29/11 5:28pmFiled to: watch thisScienceanthropoceneVideoClipsTopshowcase831EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink Anthropologist and Gizmodo friend Félix Pharand is mapping the effect of humans on planet Earth. His latest video—which shows cities, transmission lines, pipelines, roads and railways with amazing detail—is simply spectacular. Play it at full screen. AdvertisementAlong with other scientists, Pharand is working on documenting the effects of an epoch that doesn't exist yet: the Anthropocene. It's a term commonly used in scientific literature, but the public knows very little about it. The name is made from two words from Ancient Greek: anthropos—human being—and kainos—new, current.The reason for this new epoch is what you are seeing in this video: humans are changing Earth through all kinds of engineering, transforming its surface, creating new structures that can be seen from orbit—even if only barely right now. As we progress—and if we survive—our planet will change even more and, in a few thousand years, the changes will be clearly visible from afar.The Anthropocene is therefore the Era of Humans, which will follow the Holocene if it becomes an official part of the geologic time scale next August, when the 34th congress of the International Union of Geological Sciences meets in Brisbane, Australia.Of course, this is all arbitrary and Earth and the Universe don't care about it one bit. One supervolcano exploding or one errant asteroid hitting us, and all these changes would be pulverized.