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Waters of Death

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Waters of Death is the tenth episode of season one of Life After People: The Series. It originally aired on June 23, 2009.


In a world devoid of humans, water floods cities like New Orleans and Seattle. The marine animals housed inside the former city's aquariumdie off. Head lice become extinct without human hosts. The fate of Seattle's symbolic Space Needle is shown as the city reverts to a saltwater marsh, and humidity in the Middle East wrecks the space-age structures of Dubai, including the Burj Al Arab Hotel and the Burj Khalifa. The fate of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow is shown and Louisiana's tallest building, One Shell Square, collapses. The episode examines the areas of New Orleans that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina and were subsequently abandoned soon after.


Now, in life after people, water gave life to the world, but it can also destroy. Which mighty towers are most vulnerable to destruction? What strange aquarium occupant can survive a whole year without people? And what flooded city gives its former residence the best chance of being preserved as fossils millions of years into the future?

80% of Earth is covered by water. Humans build their civilization on the remaining 20% by harnessing its power. Lakes and oceans where harvested for food. Rivers were used for irrigation and electricity. But in a life after people, the power of water will flow unchecked, tearing down the civilization it helped create.


1 day after people. At a height of 510 miles, weather satellites soar over the north and south poles, orbiting the Earth 14 times a day. Once, 6 billion people depended on the data they provided on sea level, rainfall and humidity. Now, although their solar panels will continue to power them for decades, the satellites send their data to ground stations that are empty. There is no one in Moscow to be warned of a sudden cold front, no one to be told if this is one of the 25 days a year when rain will fall in Dubai. And no one will be warned if another hurricane threatens the levees in New Orleans. The city's french quarter dates back to 1718, when the government of Louis XV build a trade and military outpost along the Mississippi River. Under the american flag, the quarter became famous for its music, mardi gras celebrations and revelry . Now, the party's over, forever. And not just for humans. Many animals left behind will not last long. The death count begins at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, just a stone's throw from the Mississipi River. The aquarium can support over 12,000 marine animals in a million gallons of fresh and salt water. In the first few days after after people, some fish will starve, but the real problem is the sudden lack of electricity to the aquarium's pumps. During the time of humans, 50 pumps kept the fish healthy by adding oxygen to the water, and removing waste, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the fishes in the aquarium have a few days left to live, fish in another coastal city are already rotting.


2 days after people. 2000 miles away on the banks of the saltwater Puget Sound, Seattle is becoming infested with scavengers. At the Pike Place Fish Market, first opened in 1907, fishmongers sold their fish from the waters of the world. But unless fish are frozen, they won't stay fresh for more than 48 hours. As they decompose, fish release an organic compound called trimethylamine. The stench brings hungry creatures running.


3 das after people. Almost 4,000 oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are still braving the waves, and still pumping one and a half million barrels of oil a day.

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