What would survive over 100 years?
I'm writing a book and a lot of it takes place 100 years after the collapse of a society (modern/future). There are few people left on the surface and some lived in bunkers(think fallout minus the radiation). What sort of things might I expect to find after that amount of time? Like, right now the characters are walking around in Texas heading toward Florida. What sort of items, salvageable or otherwise, might they find in traincars, shops, houses, etc. Thanks for the help.
- bluebellbkkLv 76 months ago
I've been working on the same three novels for some 20 years now, so obviously I'm not a Real Expert on How to Write, but I've always found great delight and satisfaction in thinking about and working out this kind of detail by myself.
Why would you want to share this pleasure with other people? Let your work be all your own, for good or for ill.
- MarliLv 76 months ago
When did society collapse in your book?
How did the grandparents and great-grandparents of your characters survive? They weren't in a cryogenic state for a hundred years. They ate, made love, had babies that became the grandparents and parents of your characters and developed and manufactured tools and gadgets from the old technologies when the collapse was over. What could be repaired was repaired. If the electrical grid could be rebuilt (of if it was never destroyed. Your "collapse" could have been a political revolution, an economic crash such as the Great Depression, a typhoon or a locust invasion, an electrical crash, a computer network crash, not an atomic bomb or mega-terrorism. Material things may still be intact, but money or fossil fuel or clean water may be gone. New York City survived 9/11. New Orleans survived Katrina. Britain and Europe may survive Brexit. They will change, but much will still be standing. The U.S. Government may survive ...[ahem] ... let's see about that after 2020.
So, there would be a century of redevelopment since your collapse. How much recovery depends on what type of disaster and the severity and extent of it. Some of the rubble, old buildings and machines might be put to new uses, like old buildings in Rome after one of its sackings being demolished for stone to build new buildings.
- SharonLv 66 months ago
this falls in the category of post-apocalypse, and two excellent novels which could give you some idea of what survives would be "Earth Abides" by George R. Stewart and "Light of the Ancient Sun" by Patrick Sarver. Stewart's book was written about 60 years ago, so might miss a few items such as whether any satellites remain in orbit. Sarver's came out earlier this year I think, and is set 417 years after the collapse.
- EnguerarrardLv 76 months ago
There are some videos on YouTube about this.
Roads, given enough rain, would be covered over with vegetation, and maybe even trees. Exposed roads like overhead passes would be crumbling, but probably still standing. You would probably find a hell of a lot of plastic garbage.
There'd be a lot of abandoned machinery, but without people to maintain it, most of it would be rusted and not very useful. Any heating oil would still be useful as a fuel, but probably not for engines, as old oil degrades. But it would still burn for heating purposes. Aluminum boats would be almost like new, as well as fiberglass canoes and things like that. Glass is extremely durable. Individual houses would probably be overrun with wild animals and molds, though many would still be standing.
Trains would very slowly rust, and as long as no one broke the windows, some of the cars might be inhabitable. All surface water (streams, ponds, and lakes) would be suspect, and well water might not be safe either. In fact the only safe source of drinking water would probably be rainfall. ( or bottled water, if you could find any).
Farmland would have vanished, long since taken over by thick vegetation.
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- Anonymous6 months ago
Enough to show that a great civilisation existed, but if you're asking what technological device would still work that's more difficult to answer. Cars would no longer function as the engines would be seized solid, and devices such as TVs and mobile phones would just be curious glass panels with dead batteries.
This may be why the pyrimids were built to show future generations that a technological civilisation existed thousands of years ago.
We have nothing that could stand the test of time like them.
- Jonny CakeLv 76 months ago
- NONAMELv 76 months ago
there is a documentary that said even just 20 years after the downfall of man, nature would have pretty much overgrown everything on eartth...unless that was destroyed as well
- MsBittnerLv 76 months ago
You want to check out the History channel's series "Life After People," which digs into what would happen if suddenly people did not exist. They go in depth, showing what becomes of farmlands and farm animals, roads, buildings, cities, different kinds of structures, ships, the oceans, lakes, and rivers, wildlife, domesticated animals, everything you can imagine. It's fascinating.
What survives depends on multiple factors. What happened on the surface that forced the survivors to shelter in bunkers? What was the nature of its damage and how widespread was it? How many survivors is "few"? How remote is the part of Texas s/he's in? What determines the route to Florida? Are there survivors preying on others? Does your character have the ability to ride a bike? How well equipped is s/he? Can the character carry water and food enough to last for days?
I would expect that the more isolated an area was back before whatever happened happened, the more might survive. Crops, for instance, will come to seed and re-sow naturally for many generations, while weeds and critters are not controlled by intact fences and pesticides. So your character might find something to eat as it is (leafy greens, corn, fruit, soy and other beans), something that needs processing (think wheat), or only cotton. Some buildings will be standing, others fallen, especially as he nears the coasts impacted by hurricanes.
Food in cans may be safe to eat if it was stored in a basement where it never got hot. Dried foods and food in glass should be okay. Wells will be there, although the buckets and pulleys will have broken down.
Are you in the point of view of an American character in Texas? S/He won't use terms like "traincars" or "shops," so you want to be careful on that sort of thing.
- VoelvenLv 76 months ago
An easy way would be to look at real deserted place and how long it takes for various materials to break down and dissolve.
- Anonymous6 months ago
The Bible would