Timelines

This Spiral Timeline Shows the History of Life on Earth

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The Earth has evolved throughout billions of years to become the ground we walk on today. Since the earliest start of organic material 3 billion years ago, this spiral timeline, created by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), charts how life has evolved through different periods of time.

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The Precambrian period is known by scientists as the earliest part of Earth’s history. During this time, continents began to form and an atmosphere that could harbor life. Early multi-celled creatures developed like worms and jellyfish. You can see in the visualization how life began to really start to flourish from the Precambrian into the Cambrian period which lasted about 55.6 million years. It is also the first time that the first vertebrates, fish, appeared in fossils.

Next came the Ordovician period. This period lasted for about 45 million years and saw modern sea life start to form. Next came one of the shortest periods in terms of evolution, the Silurian Period which only lasted about 28 million years. During this time a warm climate and high sea level allowed coral reefs and sponges to thrive. This spiral graph shows the next periods of life from the Devonian period, Mississippian period, Pennsylvanian period, Permian period, Triassic period, and Jurassic period. This may be one of the most familiar periods because everyone knows and loves the dinosaurs. What you may not know is that dinosaurs actually made a comeback during this period after they nearly went extinct at the end of the Triassic period. The Jurassic period also saw the development of oysters, crabs, lobsters, crocodiles, sharks, and bony fish. This graphic brings us all the way up to the Holocene Epoch period which is the most current period in Earth’s history.

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Charts

The Nature Timespiral Reveals the History of Earth From the Big Bang Until Today

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In the grand scheme of time and space, the existence of humanity is a mere drip in the ocean of reality. Or is it? Either way, this utterly breathtaking visualization by Pablo Carlos Budassi shows us how we are just a tiny thread in a colossal tapestry of stardust:

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It is no easy task to visualize the entire history of the planet in a gorgeous, mesmerizing way, but illustrator Budassi has achieved it. When I first saw this visualization, I literally gasped and immediately investigated if it is available for purchase because I would love to see it on my wall everyday (and I would be honored to support such a talented artist). It somehow remains minimalist while capturing an incredible wealth of information and detail. The colors convey the timeline of cataclysmic events that have created the lush, diverse world we call home today.

I also love beautiful things that I can learn from while admiring them. For example, I had no idea what the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) was. Around 4 billion years ago (the Earth and moon formed 4.5 billion years ago, for context), LUCA existed. It is believed that this microbe was the beginning of life on Earth, making it the first ancestor of all living creatures. There is evidence that it lived a somewhat alien lifestyle, thriving deep underground in iron-sulfur hydrothermal events. It did not breathe air and was capable of producing its own food using the dark, metal-rich environment surrounding it. Gotta love a strong, independent microbe!

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Misc Visuals

A Timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one of the most popular and lucrative franchises in the world. It’s the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, and also ranks very highly among the highest-grossing overall media franchises of all time beneath global powerhouses like Pokémon and Mickey Mouse. The movies and television series bounce around the timeline of the MCU, and the multitude of characters featured can make it hard to keep track of each hero’s journey throughout the universe.

Reddit user AdamJGarrod posted an original visualization to the Data is Beautiful subreddit which tracks the path of each character chronologically through the movies and television series, starting with Captain America through the not-yet-released The Marvels.

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The graphic, created using digital illustration program Procreate, maps the progress of the most popular heroes in the MCU through the films and TV series that they appear in. Chronologically, the first film in the universe is Captain America, which takes place during World War II. Using the visualization, fans can chart the journeys of the three main characters (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, and Nick Fury) as they make their way through the different movies and shows of the MCU.

It’s also interesting to see where new characters first appeared in the MCU. Some of the heroes, like the Hulk and Iron Man, first appear in their respective eponymous films. Other characters, like Ant Man and Spider-Man, appear chronologically well before their own films were released.

Whether you’re a diehard Marvel buff or a casual fan of the films, you’re bound to find this unique visualization intriguing.

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Charts

Which Characters from “The Office” Have the Most Lines?

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Even though the last season of television show “The Office” aired in 2014, it’s still incredibly popular. It has become a cult classic and is one of the most popular shows to binge watch. Many fans of the show have seen the entire series multiple times and can recite the show’s most famous lines word for word.

The following visualization, created by Bo McReady, illustrates which characters from “The Office” had the largest share of lines spoken in each episode of the series.

(Note: spoilers abound!)

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office-character-lines-chartistry

The image utilizes a sparkline visualization to show the 20 characters that had the most on-screen lines throughout the course of the show. Michael Scott, the hapless yet beloved boss of Dunder Mifflin, typically has the most lines in every episode until he leaves the series in season 7. Dwight Schrute, Jim Halpert, and Pam Halpert (formerly Beesly) are close behind him, as the trio’s frequent banter is one of the most memorable parts of the show.

There are also some characters that did not appear in the early seasons of the show that rank highly on the chart. Andy Bernard, who first appeared at the Stamford branch of Dunder Mifflin in season 3, and Erin Hannon, who replaced Pam as the office’s receptionist in season 5, both have high spots on the list.

Interestingly, one of the show’s most popular characters didn’t make the list at all. Fan favorite Creed Bratton, despite appearing in many episodes from the pilot through the finale, is nowhere to be found on the chart. While his non sequiturs and disconcerting rants are unforgettable, they are few and far between in the show.

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