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About 1,000 people remained on Earth 900,000 years ago

Scientists from China and Italy have discovered that nearly 900,000 years ago, humans almost faced extinction. The findings, published in the Science journal, overturn previous assumptions about Earth’s history.

Analyzing 3,154 modern human genomes and utilizing advanced methods such as FitCoal, the team could model the ancient human population size. Their research uncovered a “bottleneck effect” indicating a critical decline in the human gene pool, which later rebounded.

Shockingly, the findings suggest that for 117,000 years, between 930,000 and 813,000 years ago, a mere 1,280 individuals sustained the human race. Haipeng Li from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing noted that approximately 98.7% of human ancestors were lost during this period, potentially explaining a mysterious gap in the fossil record.

This period aligns with a noticeable absence in Africa and Eurasia’s fossil data. The researchers believe global climate shifts, marked by glaciation, temperature drops, droughts, and reduced biodiversity, might be the reason behind this significant human decline. However, as the climate improved and humans harnessed fire, our population surged, marking a rebirth for mankind.

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