It’s time to look at another likely apocalypse! We’re nearing the end of our list of possibilities, so if you have a possible apocalypse you’d like us to take a look at, just let us know. This month’s possibility is a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse. I know, I know — it sounds totally out there, but hey, dolphins are super smart, and at some point they might get tired of jumping through hoops on command, so an animal revolt could be a thing one day. (Are you prepared for your dolphin overlords?)
Of course, I’m not saying that animals aren’t smart. I mean, okay, so they may not be Einstein, but animals are intelligent — some more than others (looking at you, dolphins). That said, they haven’t figured out how to make nukes (yet, anyway), so there’s that.
Anyway. If, one day, there are suddenly a bunch of animals who can communicate in Human and use opposable thumbs, what would happen if they wanted to take over the world? Just in case you’ve been pondering this burning question (who hasn’t, right?), then you’re in luck, because that’s what we’re looking at!
What would a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse look like?
(First, I’m going to say here that “hyper-intelligent,” for the purposes of this article, is to have a level of communication, intelligence, reasoning, deduction, and analysis that is comparable to that of humans. That may be closer to reality for some animals than others, of course.)
Personally, I’m thinking a reverse zoo. At first, anyway. Honestly, I think a pissed off and vengeful Shamu would want to lock us up in similar conditions, even if it’s only for a little while. And while we’re all locked up in cages, they can a) point, laugh, and ask us how we like them apples, and b) go take over the world.
Then, of course, we’ll have to bow down to our new animal overlords.
Or maybe we’ll just spend the rest of our lives trying to escape from angry badgers bent on revenge. Who the hell knows.
Okay, in all seriousness, I’m not convinced that animals on their own could cause an apocalypse that would wipe out the human race. But, in the right circumstances, they could take advantage of an extinction event (whatever that may be). So, to speculate a little: let’s say that there’s a nuclear war (I’m not going to speculate on what causes that war, though). Let’s just say that the world goes boom. There’s nuclear winter, radiation everywhere, humans do not survive. But, like in the aftermath of the dinosaur extinction, something survives. Maybe it’s lizards. Maybe it’s snakes. Maybe it’s the peregrine falcon. Maybe it’s the Canada goose. Maybe several animal species survives. In any case, let’s say that these survivors, helped along by radiation, evolve much faster than they normally would. Now they’re “hyper-intelligent.” They may not have opposable thumbs, but they’ve found a way to compensate.
And then…they take over the world. And Earth becomes the planet of the geese. Or something.
How likely is a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse?
Well, it depends on what apocalyptic scenario we’re looking at. The scenario in which one or two animal species rise up and take over the human race? Probably not all that likely. But the scenario in which a surviving species (or multiple surviving species) pick up the pieces of a decimated world in which humans have already been wiped out? Likely.
After all, it’s already happened. (Poor dinosaurs.)
How do you survive a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse?
Scenario one: make friends with your new animal overlords, pronto. Maybe they’ll consider you useful. Or it’ll be a reverse pet thing. Either way, you’ll (hopefully) be alive, and you’ll (hopefully) be treated well.
Scenario two: you can’t.