''Aftermath: Population Zero'' was produced in Canada, but premiered on the Creator/NationalGeographicChannel. Its titular premise is a hypothetical scenario of what would happen if [[HumanitysWake all humans suddenly vanished without a trace]]. Eventually, more follow-up episodes were produced based on the same concept of coming up with a hypothetical scenario, doing copious research into what exactly that change to the status quo would impact, and then filming an episode the occurrence of the scenario as well as its aftermath.

Not to be confused with the 2016 Creator/SpaceChannel series.

!!This show provides examples of:


[[folder: Series ]]

* AfterTheEnd: [[spoiler:Every episode leads to an apocalypse and either culminates in humanity's extinction or a post-apocalyptic future where humans have adapted to the hypothetical scenario.]]
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: [[spoiler:Every single episode has this happen. It's obviously the whole point of Population Zero, given that it deals with [[HumanitysWake the aftermath of humanity's extinction]], but even the scenarios that one would ''least'' expect to lead to an apocalypse ''do'']].
* NextSundayAD: When each scenario occurs
* ShownTheirWork: In excruciating detail. The narrator explains exactly what the scenario changes, why it has changed, and what a particular changed thing's status quo depends on in our reality that has been removed with the scenario.
* SpeculativeDocumentary: The whole point of each episode.


[[folder: Population Zero ]]

Humans, as a species, have existed for a relatively short time in Earth's history and are still relatively young compared to certain other species. Yet of all species that have walked the earth, humans are unique in that we are the only species known to have created lasting structures and buildings and to have hed a lastingly massive impact on the earth's ecology. However, on June 13th of an unspecified year, all humans have vanished without a trace for no explicable reason. Population Zero then details what has happened to the artifacts that humans have left behind after the long years without usage or maintenance, as well as what happens to the earth's ecology after humans have been removed from the equation.

* BigDamPlot: The Hoover Dam eventually collapses after 200 years, restoring the Colorado river's free access to the sea.
* CosmicHorrorStory: After humanity vanishes, most signs of its civilization disappear within a few centuries time, the remainder after the next ice age. Other lifeforms move on and adapt. Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old, the universe three times that; humanity's whole existence was just the blink of an eye.
* GoingCritical: Because the presently active nuclear power plants across the globe are no longer being manned after humanity's disappearance, it's only a matter of time before they go into nuclear meltdown. Whole regions are turned into death zones for decades to come for any animals trying to survive.
* EscapedAnimalRampage: All animals have to escape their confines or starve, as humans are no longer there to feed them. This leads to such sights as bush elephants migrating through suburbs and lions desperately trying to catch monkeys hiding out in playgrounds.
* HumanitysWake: The whole point of this episode. Humans inexplicably vanish and the focal point is how the earth's ecology is impacted in different time periods after humanity's extinction as well as the eventual destruction of humanity's artifices, one by one.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: As the narration points out, there are multiple ways in which the lives of multiple species are improved in the long run [[HumanitysWake once humans are removed from the equation]].
* MonumentalDamage: Famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Art/StatueOfLiberty begin to degrade from unadressed rust decay and erosion after about a century. The Eiffel Tower eventually disappears in a new swamp that apears in the Paris metropolitan area, the Statue of Liberty falls apart and its pedestal is ground down by the expanding Ice Age glacier in North America.
* NextSundayAD: Humans vanish without a trace on June 13th of an unspecified year.


[[folder: Red Giant/Swallowed By the Sun ]]

The sun is a star and, like all stars, is aging. It will eventually turn into a red giant, but is currently a yellow dwarf and our sun that is the center of our solar system, the thing that makes our existence possible, and an object we see everyday to the point where we simply take it for granted. This episode posits a hypothetical scenario where the sun ages millions of years overnight and rapidly ages into a red giant at an accelerated rate.

* BeneathTheEarth: Where humans are eventually driven due to the levels of radiation and heat.
* HeatWave: As the sun rapidly ages, the earth's temperature also rises.
* HumanitysWake: [[spoiler:This scenario leads to human extinction on Earth.]]
* {{Irony}}: Despite the fact that it gets too hot for humans to walk on the surface of the earth without a spacesuit, at that very same point, there is not enough oxygen for flames to be possible.


[[folder: When the Earth Stops Spinning ]]

This episode is unique among the episodes of Aftermath in that nothing happens specifically overnight. The earth's rotation is already slowing, though at such a low rate that it's barely even measurable. It's just that one day, right out of the blue, this slowing starts to accelerate to the point where the earth stops spinning entirely 5 years after the start of the earth's rotation's accelerated deceleration. This was probably done because if the Earth did stop spinning in an instant, everything on the surface would be thrown eastward at more than a thousand miles per hour.

* CrapsackWorld: What we finally end up with when the world finally stops spinning entirely. [[spoiler:Most of the world's population has died and what humans are left have been forced to retreat to isolated colonies with no hope of progressing beyond subsistence.]]
* DepopulationBomb: Given that [[spoiler:Most of the world has been made unsafe to live in, in some cases by what constitute natural disasters, until the only habitable areas are by the coasts of the new mega-continent by the polar oceans]], what ''else'' would you expect?
* FireWaterJuxtaposition: Two of them. One is the difference between the poles and the equator as the earth slows. While the poles are flooded, the equator not only is dry, but also has a atmosphere too thin to sustain human life. The other is the "day/night" cycle left after as the Earth slows and eventually stops. The hot, scorching day, and the dark, freezing night.
* TheInsomniac: The lengthening of days as the earth's spin slows to a stop messes up ''everyone's'' sleep cycle. Their ability to sleep is impaired during the times when practically speaking, it is daytime and yet time-wise, it is still night.
** {{Sleepyhead}}: The lengthening of the days, as well as making everyone in the world TheInsomniac when the sun is out when it is usually nighttime, also turns people into this when it is dark during the traditional daytime.
* StockScream: The Howie Long Scream is used when a rock climber, due to a lack of oxygen at high altitudes once the Earth slows, falls to his death.


[[folder: Population Overload ]]

It is a fact that in the last two centuries, the world population has increased at a much faster rate than in all of human history. As the world population count has gone through each billion mark, it has been increasingly more often that the question of just how many people can the planet support has been raised. Because of issues of poverty in certain areas and segments of the population, there is also the question of just how many can live an ''adequate'' life without draining the planet's resources. Population Overload exploits this hot topic, especially the fact that the world would soon hit the seven billion mark at the time of production. This episode presents the fact that the world's population is presently roughly 7 billion and then postulates what would happen if the world population suddenly doubled overnight to ''14'' billion.

* TheApocalypseBringsOutTheBestInPeople: Inverted with the United States closing its borders entirely because of the influx of refugees and migrants. Played straight, however, in that the various problems that result from the increased population result in scientists uniting to solve them and, most importantly, in ways that ensure everyone's survival.
* DepopulationBomb: The [[spoiler:ironic]] result of this scenario. The world population is [[spoiler:4 billion]] 35 years after the world's population doubled overnight to 14 billion.
* MegaCity: Most of the population of North America becomes concentrated around the Great Lakes after a drought-induced mass migration. A massive mega city surrounds the lakes.
* OverpopulationCrisis: The episode explores exactly this, when the population of Earth spontaneously doubles overnight. At first humanity tries to cope by rationing resources and rapidly expanding construction, but eventually society breaks down, resulting in huge population movements and an eventual DepopulationBomb.
* ThePlague: The first variant happens as a result of the increased population. The plumbing is strained from multiple people flushing the toilets, causing the waste water to taint the supply of drinking water, causing outbreaks of cholera.
* WaterSourceTampering: An unintentional variant. Desperate attempts to grow enough food to feed the increased population as well as strains on the plumbing result in much of the world's water being unsafe to drink, if one can even find or attain ''any'' of it.


[[folder: World Without Oil ]]

The oil crisis is currently a hot topic and the fact that there is only a limited amount of fossil fuels to drill has been a point that [[StrawmanHasAPoint many politicians have repeatedly mentioned]]. Therefore, this episode was produced, postulating this question: "What would happen if the world's remaining oil reservoirs suddenly disappeared?"

* CozyCatastrophe: For some countries, such as Brazil, which were working towards conversion to biofuel at the time. [[FridgeLogic Why more technologically advanced countries such as the United States don't start a crash biofuel project is left unanswered]], especially since the US military had such a program in development for years at the time the show was aired precisely to address the PostPeakOil scenario.
* DaysOfFuturePast: Eventually, people start growing their own food and keeping livestock as people usually did prior to the 20th century. While there is technology that fills in the gap left by the absence of oil, it's prohibitively expensive and only shows up in a few upper-class enclaves.
* HereWeGoAgain: [[spoiler: In the last segment, 40 years after the oil disappeared, rechargeable electric batteries have become commonplace especially for vehicles. A news clip discusses the approach of 'peak lithium' in a few years when the world's lithium supplies are no longer commercially viable...meaning the scenario is likely to repeat itself.]]
** Even before then, [[spoiler: the world's coal reserves are stripped with frightening speed, as non-equatorial nations resort to it for winter heating and demand for fuel to run emergency vehicles makes extracting liquid fuel from processed coal a necessity.]]
* HiddenSupplies: Deconstructed; people who have conserved or hoarded gasoline find out that it has a limited shelf life (a few months to a year). One family [[KickTheDog learns this the hard way]] when it tries to drive a sick child to the hospital.
* LuddWasRight: As social infrastructure collapses, it turns out that the old-fashioned way is the best way. Those who grow their own food and keep livestock, as well as doing other things that aren't mentioned the old-fashioned way, make it through the crisis. Even 40 years after the oil supplies ran out and humanity has adapted to this new fact of life, society is still agrarian, growing their food locally and growing only what they need.
* PostPeakOil: The episode presents a rather extreme [[WhatIf hypothetical]] by erasing all the oil supplies in the world ''at once'', rather than having demand gradually outstrip supply like a regular Post-Peak Oil scenario. The world quickly descends into chaos while some countries manage to cope by switching to alternative energy sources. However, [[HereWeGoAgain at the end a similar Post-Peak problem is foreshadowed]] with the mineral lithium.