We spend too much time being scared of dying in a plane crash or being eaten by a shark, when those things are exceedingly rare. It’s prudent to be cautious of traffic accidents, which are a too-common way to die prematurely, but that’s a relatively modern problem. Over the course of human history, most deaths come from the natural world. We’ve been pretty good at battling some of those causes of death, extending the average life span into an old age when death is inevitable, while other causes are maddeningly constant and present a long-term commitment that we just can’t seem to agree on. Minute Earth details the most common causes of death in human history, one era at a time. Along the way, they tease us about “three other big killers,” which are eventually revealed and may or may not surprise you. But they are the things we haven’t been able to conquer yet.
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