Time travel and tipping points

Truly coming to grips with the vastness of geologic timescales isn’t easy, but it could be key to our long-term survival.

Banded, iron-rich formation at Karijini National Park, in Western Australia
The region around Karijini National Park in Western Australia began to form 2.5 billion years ago from iron-rich sediments on the seafloor. Ever since, this banded ironstone formation has been tortured by the slow movements of the restless Earth. Karijini is a place of deep time in more ways than one; it has been home to the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga people for at least 20,000 years. Credit: Auscape / Getty Images