The more we learn about our place in the cosmos, the more insignificant we seem to become. On a cosmic scale, we live laughably short lives on an almost completely inconsequential planet. On the planetary level, we could be described as a constantly evolving delivery system for our DNA, with - at best - marginal control over our surroundings. Part of the Munich-based design studio Kurzgesagt's In a Nutshell series, this is a short, animated appraisal of humanity's place in the cosmos amid scientific findings that seem to keep making human existence less and less significant, even as they show that we're also composed 'of little parts that connect us to everything in the Universe, to the beginning of everything'.

For more from this series, watch The Fermi Paradox, on the possible reasons why humans still haven't found evidence of intelligent alien life, and What is Life? Is Death Real?, on the surprisingly fuzzy line that separates living and non-living matter.

...[Continue reading on Aeon Magazine]