We have all imagined the occurrence of certain terrifying events in our lives. No matter how implausible, we cannot get rid of the ‘what if’ in our heads. This article explores one scary and implausible situation – determining what would happen if you were the last person on this beautiful planet.
I call this an implausible situation because the chances of the entire human population being annihilated while leaving just one survivor are close to zero. Certainly, we cannot entirely rule out the possibility of a large-scale apocalypse that might mark the end of our species; however, if one person manages to survive such a catastrophic event, there is a good chance that some others have too.
Logically, having only one human being left on Earth may not be possible, but we are far from understanding the universe entirely, so who is to say that our current logic will stand just as firm in the future. If the implausible does happen somehow, and you wake up to find out that all the people have suddenly disappeared and you are the last human on Earth, would you be able to survive?
Indeed, it will not be the most straightforward task, but there is a good chance that, if you are smart and possess enough survival instincts, you may be able to make it out alive even when you are the last person left on Earth.
What Would Be Your Initial Reaction?
In our regular lives, even when we are in a quiet environment, we can always feel the presence of life around us. This presence is felt in the distant ringing of a cycle bell on the road, the sound of TV and conversation in the living room, the distant chatter of your neighbours greeting each other, or just a seller pushing a food cart on the road. There need not be any concrete human-to-human interaction to feel this presence.
If all these people suddenly disappeared one day, the first thing you would feel is an intense silence. All that would remain is the sound of nature, and maybe the electronic devices still left on. Being the last person on Earth is not a thought that people think of as a possibility; therefore, the chances are that you will take quite a bit of time to acknowledge and adjust to your new reality.
When humanity ceases to exist, so will the rules made by them. Depending on your personality, you would be filled with immense curiosity or intense dread. Supposing you are not too pessimistic at first, since the intensity of such a dire situation takes a while to make itself felt, you might want to test out your newfound freedom.
You will have free access to any human establishments, high-end hotels, or secret clubs. You can pick and choose any clothes from the most expensive stores and have full ownership over almost anything created by humans.
However, these initial benefits won’t last too long. Earth will not seem as friendly anymore when they suddenly disappear from the planet. Every minute and second of your day, you are more dependent on other human beings than you can imagine.
Principle Threats to Watch Out For:
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Loss of Electricity:
As modern beings, we are more dependent on electricity than we think. We use it for cooking, cleaning, to preserve food. It has found its way into our lives as an essential part of existence. Without human beings to regulate power production, electricity will soon go off worldwide. This will make even the most significant cities appear entirely dark at night.
Initially, being the last and only person on Earth, you may feel like you have more food than you can finish. But this will not last too long. Fruits and vegetables will start rotting. With electricity gone, there will be no proper refrigeration system to preserve them. You might want to start eating the perishable food first. Even raw protein like meat and fish will go wrong if not properly refrigerated. Beans and canned food will probably last you the longest.
The clean water you drink is not usually found in nature but must be distilled via mechanisms run by human beings. Being the last person remaining, there are high chances that your supply of clean drinking water will start declining soon. Even the freshwater reservoirs will go wrong without proper and regular maintenance.
As the last person on Earth, you will be left on a planet full of empty homes. So for a good few years, you will not need to worry about the shelter. However, nature will start reclaiming its space without humans to keep it at bay.
You can expect to see widespread moulds and vegetation growing in all places. Even the seemingly safe buildings will be unsafe without proper maintenance. Fauna will start growing in the cracks and windows of buildings, and the chances are that cities will not be as safe anymore. With so many buildings liable to collapse, there is a good chance that surviving in the cities won’t be easy.
There are over 400 nuclear power plants, and these energy plants need to be constantly maintained. However, these plants will be left unsupervised with all the humans suddenly gone. As a result, they will render many places on Earth inhabitable because of deadly radiation.
The Threat of Predators:
Now that you are the last and only person left, it will be much harder for you to stay on top of the food chain in nature. Animals will eventually find their way into the cities, and without humans to keep them in check, even the domestic animals will start growing increasingly wild. There is a good chance that you might have to deal with these wild animals as you try to stay alive in this new world.
No matter how introverted you think you are, we human beings are social beings. Since the beginning of civilization, we have survived in communities. The human touch is essential in our lives and reduces stress. With all humans suddenly gone, you will have to deal with a sudden onset of extreme loneliness that you never imagined before.
Can You Survive?
Surviving as the last person on Earth will have many difficulties, and you might lose your life. However, one can’t say that your chances of survival will be zero. If you are smart and you are willing, there are ways in which you can survive.
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Secure a Stable Source of Fuel:
When you are the last person remaining, you will find yourself surrounded by abandoned cars, but the fuel in most of these cars will go stale soon. Most processed fuels do not have a shelf life of over a year or two; in fact, organic Ethanol can go wrong in just three months.
You will mostly need fuel for travelling. So decide on a place to move to while you still have usable fuel and stock up on as much as you can so that they last you a while.
Learn Farming and Hunting:
Processed protein and most other food items will start going bad when there is no refrigerator to preserve them. At such a time, developing the ability to grow food yourself will be crucial. Make sure to be well versed in basic farming. And if you have any doubts, you have access to millions of free books around the world.
Learning to farm and securing a good and natural food source will be one of the vital things you will need to survive as the last person on Earth. To that end, you will eventually need to learn to hunt.
We may have lost our hunting instincts as part of civilization for centuries; however, we descend from hunters. Hunting is something we carry in our DNA, and when pushed to the limits, your hunting instincts will be roused once again.
Learn to Distill Water:
Just like food, water is essential for survival. Even if you gather as much bottled water as you can grab, you will run out eventually. As the last person remaining, you will need to learn to purify water on your own to make it drinkable.
There are numerous simple systems of distillation that you can create with dedication and hard work. Settle down beside a good source of natural water and build a mechanism for distilling it if you want to survive.
Find Proper Shelter:
Move to a place with a moderate climate while still having good fuel left. Since there is a high chance of the cities becoming uninhabitable, you will need to find a proper shelter. Moving to grasslands where the vegetation is naturally not too dense would be your best bet. It’ll make it easier for you to make your own space.
You are sure to find abandoned houses in most corners of the world; pick one that doesn’t seem like it will need a lot of maintenance and maintain your space by regularly trimming the grass and keeping your surroundings clean.
Forge Weapons to Deal with Predators:
Unless you already own a gun or ammunition, these modern weapons are hard to come by. Even if you can find a weapons stronghold, modern weaponry can be complicated and dangerous to your safety if used wrong. Teaching yourself to operate a rifle or a shotgun will help. Nonetheless, there will come a time when you run out of ammo.
Therefore, your best bet would be to keep sharp knives or develop primitive weaponry. Fire also works wonders against wild predators; learning to build and preserve a fire will go a long way to survive as the last person on Earth.
Weapons will not only help you protect yourself but will also be an excellent tool for hunting.
Stock Up on Medicines and First Aid:
With all the doctors gone, your health is now in your own hands. Indeed, medicines will eventually expire, but it would still be a good idea to stock up on as many essential medicines as possible, especially vitamins and immunity boosters. Immunity boosters will help you strengthen your immunity for the future as well.
Unlike medicines that will eventually expire, Band-Aids and bandages and disinfectants have a much longer shelf life and will last you much longer. Teach yourself the various ways of tying bandages around different kinds of wounds and injuries; doing this will highly increase your chances of survival as the last person standing.
Find a Pet:
Just thinking of protecting your physical body will not allow you to survive as the last person on Earth. You absolutely cannot neglect your mental health as well. A crippled mind cripples the body as well. We, humans, are used to living and surviving in communities. We need and desire companionship. Therefore, as the last person on Earth, it would only be natural for you to find some companionship by keeping a pet.
Most animals will be out of control in a world without humans; however, we have domesticated certain animal species over the centuries. Thus, getting yourself a lovely dog or cat in the form of a companion will help your venture to survive. Even in the regular times, keeping pets has helped rejuvenate many isolated and secluded people who suffer from a lack of belonging or companionship.
Like companionship, some form of recreational activity is also essential for preserving your mental health. Your brain cannot always function optimally like a robot, it needs to relax, and it craves a good hit of Dopamine once in a while.
You can choose any form of recreation that suits you. Unfortunately, you will not have a lot of options available since most of our recreational activities require electricity or other modern amenities.
You can choose to go fishing by a quiet stream, engage in silly games with your pet or even distill alcohol on your own after teaching yourself how.
Last but not least, read as much as you can and gather as much knowledge as possible. Almost all the essential activities mentioned above will require a certain amount of know-how on your part. Remember that knowledge is power when you are the last and only person left on Earth.
Read books that teach you survival skills. It might sound insanely tedious, but surviving as the last person on Earth was never going to be easy. The internet will no longer be an option with all the other humans; however, books will go nowhere.
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Most of us will agree that we would not be able to keep ourselves alive for too long. However, can we be sure that no human being could ever survive as the last person on Earth? Theoretically, the answer is no. Given how absurd the idea is, we hardly ever bother ourselves with the thought of surviving as the last person on Earth.
Humans have braved many adversities and are gifted with a brain superior to any other being on the planet. It is often said that our true potential shows itself when our backs are against the wall; it is then that our survival instinct kicks in. This instinct of self-preservation is stored in our very DNA, and it is something we have inherited from our earliest ancestors.
Not all of us indeed are the same, and not all of us will react the same in times of adversity. However, all of us have the inherent potential to make it out alive in such a situation. Therefore, it can never be utterly crazy to imagine that a human being would be able to find a way to survive even when they are the last person remaining.
When faced with one of the biggest challenges one can imagine, a human will have to fall back on their physical skills and their brain. We were not blessed with tough fur, sharp claws, or heightened instincts like most animals in the wild, but we were blessed with the ability to think and imagine. No matter how abstract it may appear, these abilities, granted to no other species on Earth but humans, have allowed us to reach the top as the most powerful and influential beings on the planet.