Segments in this Video

Heavy Metal: Introduction (01:04)


This introduction orients viewers to the upcoming film of what would happen to buildings made of steel and concrete, if people disappeared from Earth.

1 Day After People (02:16)

Manhattan's Federal Reserve Bank holds more than half a million gold bars. The entrance is protected by a steel cylinder that forms an air and water tight seal with a steel and concrete frame. Gold's molecules resist disintegration when exposed to air and water.

Sounds and Electricity (02:27)

The steel walls of Times Square are still intact. The 50 decibel hum of air conditioners and chirping birds is the only noise in the city. Two days after people, the New York City power grid is failing. Domesticated horses roam the city looking for food.

Beginning of a Catastrophic Failure (02:20)

In St. Louis, 3 million kegs of beer are fermenting in massive steel vats; yeast, hot particles, protein, and nitrogen interact, increasing pressure in the tanks. Electricity shuts down and heat triples the amount of croison where it clogs pressure release valves.

6 Months After People (03:12)

Without electricity, New York City pumps shut down, causing the subways to flood. A billboard powered by wind turbines and solar panels remains lit. One year after people, native animals roam the plaza at Rockefeller Center and the ice rink becomes a garden.

3 Years After People (03:42)

The gold leaf gilded statue of Prometheus is bronze now. The wind and solar powered billboard shuts down after light bulbs burn out. Urban horses graze on golf courses and lawns. The horse's best bet is to head for Assateague Island.

10 Years After People (01:41)

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis remains standing; its stainless steel plates filled with concrete. The stainless steel is covered with corrosion-resistant chromium oxide.

30 & 35 Years After People (03:47)

The seams between the blocks of limestone walls of Rockefeller catch seeds and dirt, encouraging the growth of vegetation. The predominantly steel High Line, an elevated railroad track is covered with vegetation. The low-lands of Long Island are flooded without people to rebuild the barrier.

50 Years After People (03:00)

Pyrite forms during the fossilization process as bacteria trigger a chemical reaction that replaces soft tissue with hard crystals. Humid air causes the mineral to react with oxygen. Dinosaur Skeletons crack. A stainless steel gargoyle that is constantly exposed to wind on the Chrysler building detaches.

90 Years After People (04:22)

Built with the aim of rivaling Chicago, the once thriving gold mining town of Rhyolite, Nevada is now abandoned. The Cook Bank building was built with marble stairs, stained glass windows, and reinforced concrete. 90 years later, its frame is barely standing.

Enemy in Death Valley (02:41)

In Rhyolite, Nevada, wind and sand erode surfaces and penetrate cracks. The concrete delaminates and wood disintegrates, hastening destruction. Human scavenging removes supports and encourages entropy. The Bottle House, made from 30,000 empty whiskey bottles still stands; glass is biologically inactive.

100 Years After People (02:30)

In New York, the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge are failing. The steel cables are galvanized. The zinc coating corrodes and the steel begins to rust. The steel corrodes and the bridge collapses.

Fatigue Loading (02:13)

The Roosevelt Island Tramway is held up by wire ropes. Wind constantly rocks the carriage near the towers, causing the ropes to snap. 150 Years after people, the skyscrapers in New York are vertical ecosystems.

150 & 200 Years After People (03:42)

New York Skyscrapers have plants growing on every level. Newer buildings, in which weight is carried by inner columns (glass and steel curtain wall building technique) crumble fastest. The Empire State building falls. The Chrysler building's deteriorating columns give way and it collapses.

250 Years After People (02:20)

St. Louis' stainless steel Gateway Arch is held together by a keystone. It detaches and the structure collapses. The ruins are swallowed up by water, soil, and plants.

1,000 Years After People (01:17)

A river runs through the streets of New York and over the rubble of skyscrapers. 10,000 years after people, descendants of urban horses live on the New York shoreline. The high salt content in the water causes them to drink more. They are shorter due to the dry grass they eat.

Rising Seas (01:13)

The Federal Reserve vault is under water and the steel is corroded. The gold bars remain intact.

Credits: Heavy Metal: Life after People (00:14)

Credits: Heavy Metal: Life after People

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Heavy Metal: Life after People

Part of the Series : Life after People (Season 1)
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



This program theorizes about what would happen if people disappeared from Earth. We consider what will happen to Manhattan’s Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and Roosevelt Island Tramway, all created of steel and concrete. The fates of Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Federal Reserve’s gold, and domesticated animals, such as horses, are also examined. The ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada, abandoned 90 years ago, is also discussed. Part of the series Life After People. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. (45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL45429

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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