Wrath of God is the first episode of season two of Life After People: The Series. It originally aired on January 5, 2010. The episode talks about the fate of churches and other religious places. It's almost as if pagans are truly destroying god's refugees. The episode also talks about a ghost town in the Nanib desert.
The streets of Earth are empty. And the faithful no longer fill the pews at millions of houses of worship around the world. The flocks are gone at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, where a faith thrived for 2 millennia, in the hall where the Shroud of Turin was displayed. And in America's mega churches, where millions once prayed. Mankind built his religious structures and monuments to last for eternity. But eternity is a very long time.
1 DAY AFTER PEOPLE - 1 day after people. In Rio de Janeiro, high above the city of God, Christ the Redeemer remains one of the most awesome man made sights on Earth. Towering over a landscape that once was home to more than 6 million souls. Completed in 1931, and rising 130 feet, the statue has a secret. It seems to withstand everything nature can throw at it, even frequent bolts of lightning. The statue seems poised for a long reign on Earth. But 1 day after people, as power plants begin to shut down around the world, will the Redeemer continue to be a light in the darkness?
2 DAYS AFTER PEOPLE - 2 days after people. The image of Jesus Christ lives on around the world. In the time of humans, the most controversial was the Shroud of Turin. Many Christians believed the shroud was the actual burial cloth of Christ. Millions of believers descended on Turin for rare public viewings, held only about once every 25 years. In past years, the shroud was rolled on a wooden dowel and stored in a casket covered in a pestus to safeguard against fire. The new more than 2 ton bullet proof case automatically monitors and adjusts barometric pressure, temperature and humidity, according to changing weather conditions. But when the electricity shuts down, so does the protection. With no one to return the container to it's secure storage vault, it's now on display in Turin for eternity.
3 DAYS AFTER PEOPLE - 3 days after people. In this empty church, the stained glass depicts one of the most important creatures of the Bible. Sheep thrive into the modern era. In the 21st century, their population had swelled within a billion worldwide. Now, sheep are suddenly in grave danger, as predators line up for the feast. But some still have one chance for survival. For 6000 years, Anatolian dogs were specifically bred to guard sheep from predators. The dogs have even evolved to resemble the sheep. Their light colored coats and black muzzles help them to blend in, making it hard for predators to pinpoint their exact location. But how long will the canine shepherd tend to their flocks?
4 DAYS AFTER PEOPLE - 4 days after people. In Rio de Janeiro, the night is fully returned to darkness. In the time of humans, unknown to the millions living below, this statue had a secret power. As part of a major renovation aiming to save the statue, workers gave the Redeemer an electric force field. now, without it's force field, how long can the Redeemer last?
1 WEEK AFTER PEOPLE - 1 week after people. In Rome, towering above all else is the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica, reputedly built directly above the tomb of Saint Peter, the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Designed by Michelangelo, and completed in 1626, the 452 foot tall engineering marvel is still one of the tallest domed structures in the world, but it has been plagued by structural problems from the beginning. The chains were designed to hug the inner dome, like the iron bands that hold a barrel together. Rather than actual links, the system uses interlocking iron bars.
Outside the Vatican, roams a creature once unwelcome on these streets: black cats were long associated with pagan rituals. In the year 1233, Pope Gregory IX actually declared them instruments of the Devil. Eventually, they were seen as bad luck. As recently as 2006, an estimated 60 thousand were killed in Italy by superstitious citizens. In 2007, animal rights groups petitioned the Pope to renounce the slaughter. Now, with no humans to cross their paths, black cats will repopulate the country.
2 MONTHS AFTER PEOPLE - 2 months after people. The sun is setting on the tombs of the dead. In the time of humans, eternal rest wasn't always eternal. These poor souls are resting in pieces. What are these bones doing hidden in the floor? Unlike the wide open spaces of America, where burial plots could remain untouched, burial practices in modern Europe included an ancient method of maximizing space: the ossuary. Evidence of ossuaries dates back well beyond 3000 B.C. The very largest is the Paris catacombs, believed to contain the bones of more than 6 million people. The remains of these forgotten souls are now mingled forever.
6 MONTHS AFTER PEOPLE - It's 6 months into a life after people, and even the modern cathedrals of God face an uncertain future. The Crystal Cathedral mega church just outside of Los Angeles, was one of the most recognized symbols of the Christian faith. With a worldwide television broadcast attracting 20 million followers. Seating nearly 3000 worshippers, it's one of the largest glass buildings in the world. The 10 thousand panes of glass are attached with a silicon adhesive. The flexibility of the silicon was intended to help the glass resist up to 100 mile per hour winds, and surviving up to an 8.0 earthquake. But there's another LA hazard attacking the windows. Every year, a scheduled inspection and cleaning was intended to prevent decay and failure. The difficult work required 2 weeks and 100 thousand gallons of ammonia and water to complete. But the only cleaning the windows will now be getting, is the infrequent Southern California rainstorm.
Like a biblical apocalypse, the natural world is winning the battle with man's achievements. And only one faithful servant can prevent the coming slaughter.
1 YEAR AFTER PEOPLE - It's 1 year into a life after people. Like grim prophecies ripped from the pages of revelations, the world's greatest structures crack and crumble, helpless in the wake of man's absence.
The 2000 year old roman Colosseum is one of the most famous structures ever built by man. Inside these ancient walls, some say a half million Christians met violent deaths, just to entertain the citizens of Rome. In 1349, a massive earthquake brought down the entire southern wall. Looters took pieces of the façade for use in other buildings, including Saint Peter's Basilica. But even without humans to clean and care for it, the ancient arena could outlast the best modern buildings.
In one colosseum, Christians were sent to die. Across the globe, in the city of angels, another colosseum once drew them to worship. Built in 1923, the Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum once attracted a record audience of more than one hundred, thirty four thousand worshippers to an appearance by Billy Graham. But in the first year after people, no amount of prayer can cast out the seeds of destruction.
2 colosseums, constructed some 1900 years apart, which structure will claim ultimate victory?
5 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 5 years after people. A biblical symbol of evil is on the rise. In the book of Genesis, the evil presence in the Garden of Eden, a serpent, turns man against the will of God. Venomous serpents like the rattlesnake were a literal menace to mankind. A menace man tried to eradicate. In the time of humans, rattlesnakes were contained with annual round ups, held in the American south and Midwest. The snakes were hunted to protect cattle and entertain the curious at popular festivals. On average, some 16 thousand snakes were captured and killed every year. But now, it's the snakes who are staging a round up of a different sort. 5 years without their human predators, and the Bible's symbol of pure evil is looking to make a comeback.
But there are other predators on the prowl. These wolves are in search of an easy meal. They won't find it here. The Anatolian dogs still guard their sheep. Ready to fight for the death to protect them. That unswerving dedication begins at the moment of a sheep's birth. Even in times of sickness, the dog goes to extreme lengths for the good of the flock. But as wild dogs spread out, cross breeding with Anatolians could rearrange the guardian's DNA, and leave sheep wide open to predators.
25 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 25 years after people. The glorious walls of the Crystal Cathedral once again become a unique kind of sanctuary. The mega church was designed with glass panels that automatically open and close. With the power out, some open panels have allowed a steady stream of wind blown seeds inside. The former church is now a green house, as the glass allows in solar heat and even supports an automatic sprinkler system. The Crystal Cathedral is well on it's way to becoming a new Garden of Eden. But the 10,000 glass panes were not designed for such a role in a life after people.
In Rome, amongst the dark, deteriorating structures, a strange white walled building juts up from the under growth. This is the Jubilee Church, completed in 2003, it's immense concrete walls were intended to represent the longevity of the Roman Catholic Church. Now, they are doing just that, the walls are still somehow gleaming white, and resisting the destructive rampage of plant life.
Could the city of Rome, center of the Roman Catholic faith, be experiencing a genuine miracle in a life after people?
50 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 50 years after people. Standing 2400 feet on the peak of Brazil's Corcovado mountain, the 1145 ton Christ the Redeemer is struggling to maintain his Pose, A renovation in the year 2000 revealed weak spots.
It's the beginning of the end for Christ the Redeemer's reign on Earth.
In 50 years without people, unstoppable forces play hell with man's legacy. In one remote desert of the world, a devil wind is methodically drowning homes and dismantling a town, brick by brick. Here, a biblical plague has already arrived.
50 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 50 years after people. Desert towns around the world are being sandblasted into oblivion. How do we know this? There's one forsaken place, in the middle of an ancient desert where it's already happened. This is Kolmanskop, Namibia. It may seem like a hellish mirage, rising from southern Africa's desert, but this is no illusion.
It is one of the most remarkable sights on the planet. A town whose fate could have been ripped right from the pages of the Old Testament. Hundreds of miles south of Windhoek, the Namibian capital city, Kolmanskop is hanging on in a god forsaken corner of the desert. Dozens of homes and public buildings scar the desert hillside, like half buried corpses. In 1903, it was a boom town. Hundreds of German workers lived and worked here, under the harshest possible conditions.
Why would anyone choose to live in the middle of this desert? One word: diamonds. Millions of years earlier, the diamonds erupted from the earth and were slowly scattered and blown north into the Namibian desert. In Kolmanskop, the workers literally plucked them from the surface, often using the light of the moon. Today, the once comfortable social halls and living rooms are now visited by an unwelcome guest: the very desert itself. Doors are frozen in place. Stairways lead to nowhere. And bathtubs that once held precious water are drowning in a sea of sand. Everywhere, the fine grains invade the weakened structures. Forming perfect dunes, disturbed only by the footprints of rodents. In pursuit of the rodents, come the modern day residents of Kolmanskop. A variety of serpents, including the deadly coral snake now call these hallways their home. As the dunes slowly fill each room, sand pummels the building's exterior's.
How quickly the buildings deteriorate depends on the quality of the brickwork. Even though Kolmanskop is surrounded by desert, it's surprisingly close to the Atlantic Ocean. When diamonds near Kolmanskop began drying up just a few years after it's founding, the German miners built another prospecting outpost here, 12 miles south, at a place called Elizabeth Bay. Here, sea salt has proven to be an even more efficient destroyer of brick. Many of the bricks have completely disappeared, leaving behind the mortar that once held them in place. The extreme conditions often forced the settlers inside. Known as the Casino, this once magnificent structure was a regular gathering place for concerts and even worship services. By the early 1930's, the diamonds at Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay were drying up. The last family departed in 1956.
Taken directly from the pages of the Bible, God's take on mankind's demise is now a fitting requiem for Kolmanskop. From dust you came, to dust you shall return.
75 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 75 years after people. In the midst of Rome's decaying buildings, the Jubilee Church is still standing tall and bright. How can the concrete walls remain so clean and white, with no human hands to maintain them? The structure is a miracle of engineering. The cement sheds dirt and water with ease, making it difficult for plants to colonize.
Another modern temple, the Crystal Cathedral, is still the world's greatest glass mega church, but the works of man are humbled by greater forces.
Beneath the rubble of civilization, the ancient symbol of evil and carnage is king. With no human predators, rattlesnakes are growing to enormous sizes.
75 years after people, and 65 million years after the dinosaurs, the age of the reptiles has returned.
100 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 100 years after people. The roof atop the Turin Cathedral in Turin, Italy is the only barrier separating the heavens and the Shroud of Turin below. Leaking cracks in the 15th century dome finally reach a point of utter collapse, exposing the shroud to sunlight. The daily doses of UV radiation are slowly fading the shroud's famous image. But another, more destructive force is pressing the attack. In just a few short years, as rain storms saturate the failed seals, mold begins attacking the linen. The image many believed was Jesus Christ is destroyed by a lowly fungus.
150 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 150 years after people. Compared to the ancient concrete in the Roman Colosseum, the reinforced concrete of the Los Angeles Colosseum is in dire straits. In the time of humans, the 1994 Northridge earthquake caused nearly 100$ million in damage to the structure. Now, another earthquake rumbles through Los Angeles. Roman style arches made of modern concrete are shattered. The cheap seats provide a front row seat to the destruction.
250 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 250 years after people. The Roman Colosseum is little changed. In the time of humans, the relentless clearing pf plant life by workers kept the walls pristine. Now, extreme plant growth is choking the ancient concrete, but something is preserving it for the ages. The volcanic ash within is so dense, water cannot penetrate the concrete and expand during freeze-thaw cycles. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's Colosseum was built for the ages.
Across the world, the corroded bones of Christ the Redeemer are now covered in a robe of green.
As the remaining monuments to God are cracking and crumbling, will the last shepherd on Earth resist the urge to abandon his flock?
500 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 500 years after people. The absence of mankind has turned most sacred places into hellish visions of biblical prophecies.
5 centuries after people, the mountains above Rio de Janeiro are no longer graced by the figure of Jesus Christ.
At the Vatican, the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica still rises high above the city. But the iron support chains are being pushed to the limit. As the base pushes outward, a second force is acting from above. After the dome's completion in 1590, a cross and decorative lantern were placed on top, weighing more than 3 tons. At the base, rain water has attacked Saint Peter's flat roof. (how does it collapse?)
1000 YEARS AFTER PEOPLE - 1000 years after people. Without reinforcing rods to tear it apart, the Colosseum is still a testament to roman concrete. But the thicket growing inside is winning this battle. In it's weakened condition, an earthquake gives the home of the gladiators a final push.
Despite the passage of many centuries, incredibly, Anatolian sheep dogs remain on guard duty over their flocks. They have avoided interbreeding with other dogs, which would have dulled their sheep herding instincts.
The remnants of man, his sacred sites, his cathedrals, and the inspired images of God have returned to dust. But the spirit of mankind lives on here in the legacy of devotion he created between the sheep dog and his flock.
In the next episode of Life After People, a common chemical becomes a toxic cloud of death, power plants find a secret way to go nuclear, Niagara Falls gets a whole new meaning, and this town in America's heart land was killed by 3 forms of toxic revenge.