The Deep Time Walk App is now available!

Welcome. You’ve arrived.

It’s taken about 4,600 million years since the formation of our planet for you to be here. That’s an unfathomable amount of time to comprehend. Even the very brief span of our species Homo sapiens (roughly 200,000 years of existence) is difficult to put into perspective within the vast epochal cycles of Earth’s big history. So, how did Earth come into being? When was the first spark of life? Where did life come from?

The Walk Of Your Life

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The Deep Time Walk is a 4.6km walking audio history of life. This unfolding takes you from 4.6bn years ago to the present day, with each metre representing one million years. During the narrated walk you learn how our planet evolved over this vast stretch of time, including the accretion of the Earth from a disc of rocky debris, the formation of the oceans and atmosphere, the appearance of bacteria – the first life, then the first nucleated cells, and, eventually, multicellular organisms. As you walk you begin to recognise the long geological processes and self-regulating patterns that have produced the conditions for the evolution of life.

“Deep time is not purely an abstraction to be calculated,
but a phenomenal experience to be encountered in the field.”

Richard Irvine, University of Cambridge

The final 20cm of the walk represent 200,000 years – roughly the time during which our species, Homo sapiens, has been on Earth. The last ice age (13,000 years ago) is represented by just the last 1.3cm. In the final 1/5th of a millimetre (200 years), you witness the miniscule time that has elapsed since the start of the industrial revolution. In doing so, you start to fathom your infinitesimal and unique place in time and space. We are caught in the last frame in the long unfolding dance of life on Earth. You realise how we humans have become a dangerous geological force during our very brief tenure on our planet.

In The Palm Of Your Hand

The Deep Time Walk App is a ground-breaking new project, which enables anyone, anywhere to experience a walking audio history of the living Earth. We have assembled a broad and experienced team to produce it. The scientific script is based on up-to-date knowledge gathered by renowned ecologist Dr Stephan Harding, from Schumacher College who has led the walk since 2007. The award-winning playwright Peter Oswald is writing the poetic script and the rich acoustic soundscapes are being designed by sound engineer Jo Langton. The production will be directed by Jeremy Mortimer.
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“Numbers do not seem to work well with regard to deep time. any number above a couple of thousand years— fifty thousand, fifty million—will with nearly equal effect awe the imagination to the point of paralysis.”

John McPhee

Why walk the walk?

Our hope is that the Deep Time Walk evokes a profound shift in perspective, awakening us to our magnificent ancestry and the vitally important wisdom embedded in deep time, as we humans struggle to deal with our self-created crises of climate change, degradation of nature, and social disruption. This change of perspective requires nothing less than a profound shift in worldview. A shift from seeing Earth as a dead rock, which we use as our pantry, our lumber yard and our waste dump, to seeing our planet as a self-regulating, living Earth – a beautiful planetary jewel from which all life has emerged. This new worldview is the fertile ground from which innovative solutions to the many crises facing humanity can grow.

Join us on the journey

Having assembled a great team and got a comprehensive plan in place for the development of the app and production of the content, we will be running a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to complete the project. To be informed when the Deep Time Walk is available for iPhone (and later Android), subscribe to our newsletter, join our growing community on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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