Challenge #01453-C358: The Urban Human

An alien naturalist, performing a David Attenborough-style documentary on Earth.

Potential sequel: As above, but replace "David Attenborough" with "Steve Irwin". -- Shkspr1048

[AN: Sorry I'm so late, dear readers. Yulemas shopping spree]

"And this... is the average human population density of the planet Terra." The image showed the interior of a shopping mall on a slow hour. Humans populous enough to get in each others' way if they were determined to do so, but not enough to be in each others' way no matter what. "Of course, there are areas with lower populations." The image of a human by the doorway of an isolated house in the middle of an empty plain. "And others with higher populations." Rush hour in Japan. But we are focussing on the most common human density level - suburbia." An image from far above a suburban sprawl of houses, backyards, and intricately-winding roads. "Here, in our hide, we watch the humans go about their day-to-day lives without fear of disturbing them. These are deathworlders, and they are prone to anger."

A fast-forward shot of sunrise effecting the landscape outside a window. "Humans operate by means of an invented time system. Regardless of the length of daylight in their area, many do not show activity for hours."

The view slowed down to watch a pair of humans pass by, walking along the empty boulevards.

"The big rush in activity occurs between the hours of six and seven, when the humans occupy large vehicles to move themselves to another location. We've been monitoring their transmissions..." A view of a terran television, showing wide roads clogged with vehicles. "And this is the occurrence that they call 'rush hour'. Hundreds and thousands of humans, rushing to leave their homes and arrive at their place of employment. This problem could easily be solved by a unified and convenient system of public transport, but this is not so."

Sounds of beeping and human curses.

"The humans who value the making of these vehicles make immense profits. Which they then use as offerings to the humans in charge of laws and legislations. This keeps other people using the vehicles, the makers in monetary gain... and the roads... blocked."

Now they were showing a human child playing in the yard of their parents. "This is just one of the paradoxes of humanity. Another is that humans can spend a lifetime working on their home... and yet, spend very little time inside it."

"We watched this house for a week and counted the hours that at least one human was inside..." the fast-forward effect was in place whilst the counter counted. Even the humans who remained in the general space did not spend all their time in their shelter. They went out for forays, they spent time in the green areas surrounding their shelter, and sometimes wandered into the streets to talk with their neighbours.

"As you can see, humans tend to spend nine to ten hours of their day inside the shelter that they work so hard to maintain. But the surprising part of this information is that... for a majority of those hours... the humans are asleep."

Grainy night footage of slumbering humans in their beds.

"And this is not the central area of their homes. These spaces often get the least attention for its purposes of display. And these homes are for competitive display. Each human is obsessed by making their home as brilliant or as luxurious as any one of their neighbours..."

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