All the animals rise up and start attacking humans for a month. Aliens or something turn a switch for 31 days (and then back to normal). We’re outnumbered, but we have guns, tanks, jets, and other weapons. Most houses and cars will be pretty well protected against most animals near people. I’ll assume no lions and elephants transport themselves from Africa to Pasadena.
I left it at 31 days to leave out food, water, and disease issues. The aliens aren’t directing anything, other than to “assign” humans as threats or meals. So nothing like “squirrels go after all the corn so people starve” or “pigeons unify to chew through all the electrical wires”. They are given no special powers: dogs don’t all get rabies and sharks can’t bite through naval armor. Think Avatar where we have lot more weapons and the local animals are less fearsome.
Granted, it won’t be easy, and there will be massive casualties, especially at the beginning. But could we hold our own?
I asked a buddy of mine. “Do we include insects?”. “Yes”. “Then not even close. Maybe a few days, tops”
Thoughts? With or without bugs? Are bugs such a gamebreaker?
Now the animals have cars
They’re starting to run us over
Notches on the steering wheel
My pet is calling me rover
Deers are hunting for humans
Seals keep crushing our heads
Animals betting on us at the track
My animal’s in my bed
How liberally are you defining ‘animal’ here? All multicellular beings in the animal kingdom? Then we’re fucked, because we can’t survive in a global ecosystem where we’re the only metazoa, or even in one where every single other metazoa is out to get us at the expense of the survival of its own genetic line. For example, there are mites in your eyelashes right now. How long do you think it would take a determined eyelash mite to blind you?
If you define it broader than the strict definition of the animal kingdom, then we’re fucked when our own gut flora and the single-celled beings on our skin and so on begin to attack us. Most of the cells in a human body are not actually human; every one of us is an ecosystem unto ourselves, and if our lodgers turn violent we don’t stand a chance.
In my opinion, we’d be screwed if the ants alone decide to come after us. Ants comprise about 15 to 20% of the biomass generally, and up to 25% in places like the tropics, where conditions are especially favorable to them. What this means is that the weight of all the ants in the world is greater than the weight of all the humans in the world. The only reason they haven’t overwhelmed us already is that they attack and eat each other so much. If they’re redirected toward us, we’re toast.
I don’t think many humans would last more than a few days. I can’t really pinpoint the animal species that would be directly responsible for the most human deaths, but I’m thinking there are plenty of flying insects around that could go all kamikaze and just plug up your nose and throat until you choke to death. There might be a few lucky bastards who make it to completely sealed bunkers or science labs in time to wait out the 31 days of hell.
If you DIDN’T include insects, and let’s say, only vertebrates, we’d stand a much better chance. I’d say insects and other small animals really are the game breaker.
If they turned on us without warning I suspect that I would be one of the first casualties. There’s no way I’d survive a coordinated attack from my two dogs, they half kill me most days just trying to get close enough to show their love.
Africanized honey bees give some inkling of what might be if insects see us as a threat and respond offensively. Currently AHB’s only get defensive if you get anywhere near the colony; imagine if, anytime an AHB (or a yellowjacket, or even a damn bumblebee) saw you *anywhere, it just started stinging you and didn’t stop until you killed it. You wouldn’t be able to spend much time outside without a beekeeper’s suit.
If insects aren’t turned against us (any more than they currently are), I think we could deal with the rest of the animal kingdom. The military’s heavy firepower (artillery, aerial bombardment, missiles) wouldn’t be particularly helpful: if animals still behave as ordinary (if unusually hungry/aggressive) animals, then they don’t have infrastructure that can be attacked, and they’re not huddled together in command centers or anything like that. They’re not particularly bright about taking cover, either: they’re either charging directly at you, hiding unseen/undetected, or retreating once they realize you are dangerous. Firearms (and proficiency training) would be a lot more popular; you wouldn’t leave home without a semi-auto handgun, and you’d probably keep something bigger stashed in your house and your car. Small mammals - housecats, racoons, small dogs - would be an annoyance, and you could disable them with some good boots. Bigger dogs, wildcats, deer and other ungulates - that’s where the guns are useful.
If you live in bear (or moose) country, you’re probably not going anywhere outside without heavier firepower. Possibly a buddy system, too.
Pretty sure we (as a species) could survive 31 days.
We seem to have this every couple months or so. A lot of people vastly overestimate the offensive capabilities of the animal kingdom. I’ll start worrying when the squirrels have guns, but not before then. As for microscopic life, in a sense it’s already doing it’s best to kill us.
I’d like to see a cite for that please. In any case, even soldier ants are easily avoided (slow moving, no eyes, no ability to track human prey).
Real insects couldn’t do this, as they haven’t evolved to identify human nostrils. In any case, a simple face mask would provide ample protection.
The worst thing the animal kingdom could do to us would be to simply drop dead. Disease from rotting corpses and starvation from loss of food sources would kill far more of us than direct attacks would. We’d also lose a lot of our crops due to the death of all pollinating insects. If the microbial life went we’d all die from malnutrition, as our gut flora are essential for digesting food.
We’ve been beating the shit out of the animals for the last 50 years, and most humans are barely aware of the damage we’re inflicting. Do you have any idea the number of species that have gone extinct through loss of habitat alone? Imagine what we could do if we actually declared war on them and tried to wipe them out. Sorry, in your scenario, the animals are doomed; then we’re doomed after we’ve wiped them out.
There are enough insects on earth to form a dense swarm around the head of, and then individually suffocate, every human being alive. If the bugs were controlled by a malevolent intelligence, there’s no way humans could stand a chance.
Hope it’s a big kettle. Assuming an average ant weight of 3 milligrams, every human on earth can expect to face off against 30 million ants, maybe 90 million if higher biomass estimates are correct. A colony of army ants has about a million individuals; I don’t think most folks could handle thirty to ninety such colonies on their own. Surround yourself with water, and they’ll just clog the moat with their dead until they can cross on a bridge of corpses. And once one of them starts biting you, you’ll be too busy swatting at the biters to handle the swarm.
The OP specified that the aliens aren’t directing them - so concerted strategies, like mass coordnated attacks, are out.
The problem here is that without intelligent coordination, there is no way for the swarms of ants to reach people. I’m on the 12th floor of a building right now. There are doubtless many ants in the grass below, but how are the ants going to know where I am, let alone attack?