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Big History Project

Embark on a 13.8 billion year journey through the history of the Universe and humans, an adventure that will challenge you to think about school, life, and the Universe like never before.
About Image Community Questions
A thumbnail for: 1. What Is Big History?
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1. What Is Big History?

Where did everything come from? How did we get to where we are now? Where do humans fit in? Where are things heading? These are questions that origin stories of different cultures have addressed for thousands of years.
A thumbnail for: 2. The Big Bang
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2. The Big Bang

Big History will introduce you to many new ideas and claims. You won’t simply accept these claims as facts and move on. You’ll be encouraged to test them. You’ll learn how to evaluate information presented to you, and be encouraged to decide for yourself what to believe and what to investigate further.
A thumbnail for: 3. Stars & Elements
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3. Stars & Elements

By 200 million years after the Big Bang, the Universe had become a very dark and cold place. Then things started to change. First, galaxies and nebulae formed. These were the earliest structures in the Universe. Then stars – “hot spots” of light and energy – emerged from these clouds of dust and gas.
A thumbnail for: 4. Our Solar System & Earth
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4. Our Solar System & Earth

Billowing clouds of matter spun around and around our young Sun, gradually forming just about everything in our Solar System – from meteors and asteroids to all the planets and moons. One planet in particular would enable the creation of even more remarkable complexity.
A thumbnail for: 5. Life
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5. Life

What makes life so special? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? And how exactly did life emerge and diversify? In many ways these remain mysteries, but we do have enough evidence to explore some possible answers.
A thumbnail for: 6. Early Humans
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6. Early Humans

Humans are unusual. We walk upright and build cities. We travel from continent to continent in hours. We communicate across the globe in an instant. We alone can build bombs and invent medicines. Why can we do all these things that other creatures can’t? What makes us so different from other species?
A thumbnail for: 7. Agriculture & Civilization
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7. Agriculture & Civilization

Foraging is hard. It takes a long time to find the food and materials needed to feed a village. Foragers often have to walk long distances to get everything they need. Throughout the year, they had to move from place to place as they used up resources or to find follow the seasons. It is not an easy life.
A thumbnail for: 8. Expansion & Interconnection
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8. Expansion & Interconnection

Early humans had pretty small social networks. At most, they probably met only a couple hundred people who probably all lived very similar lives to their own. As people started farming, these networks got larger. People were increasingly specialized in their work and trade. Populations in cities got larger. Trade reached across longer distances, bringing together people with very different lives and ways of thinking.
A thumbnail for: 9. Acceleration
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9. Acceleration

Just 500 years ago, humans lived in four separate world zones, each with distinct cultures and technologies. Now, humanity is linked within one interconnected network of information and commerce that spans the entire planet.
A thumbnail for: 10. The Future
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10. The Future

What does 13.7 billion years of history tell you about yourself? How does knowing so much about the past change the way you think about the future? These may be the most important questions big history asks. How would you answer them? Big History is an unfinished story.