Hilarious Video Shows How Humans Evolve to Deal With China’s Toxic Smog
By: Liz Dwyer
The sight of people wearing surgical face masks in public to avoid breathing dirty air is so common in China that the masks have even been spotted on the catwalks at fashion shows. But thanks to evolution — and a new video — in the future, folks might be able to skip the masks entirely.
As seen in the above PSA — the aptly titled “Hairy Nose” — from wildlife conservation group WildAid, the “survivors of the pollution age” sport luxuriously long nasal hairs. The hairs protect people from inhaling pollutants from coal fires and vehicle tailpipes.
Chinese culture has also changed so that it revolves around grooming and styling these nose hairs. In the clip, hipsters on the subway sport hairs dyed and braided in rainbow colors or turned into handlebar moustaches. In one scene, the nose hairs are used as a third arm to reject a gift. The video also shows people doing tai chi in thick smog and strolling through a hazy park. “To them, this is just the way it is,” reads one of the video’s captions.
According to a survey by WildAid, about 90 percent of people living in China say they are concerned about poor air quality. It’s no wonder, given that in recent months red alert pollution days have obscured the sun in Beijing, and fireworks were banned in several cities during Chinese New Year.
The pollution isn’t just changing Chinese culture; it’s killing people too. A study released in August by Berkeley Earth found that 1.6 million people per year are dying in the country from breathing filthy air.