The monkeys have revolted. And not just with brute strength or violence. Primates have finally outsmarted humankind once and for all. It’s their planet now.
How intelligent would monkeys need to be to take over? What daily threats would exist for a human like you? And would a monkey planet be more peaceful than our own?
Millions of years ago, primates evolved into different species. There are prosimians like lemurs and tarsiers. Monkeys like capuchins and macaques. And apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees.
You’re also part of this primate order. Humans share a common ancestor and 98.6% of our DNA with chimpanzees. You may be the most intelligent monkey, but other primates are clever too. They can communicate, recognize family and use tools.
What if tomorrow, instead of running experiments on monkeys, they started running experiments on you?
If monkeys took over the planet, it would certainly be a revolution led by highly intelligent primates. These would be either transgenic monkeys or ones enhanced with brain implants.
If you’re wondering what on Earth transgenic monkeys are, those are artificially created monkeys that carry a human gene. If these smarty-pants escaped research facilities into areas with high populations of non-modified monkeys, it could spell trouble for us.
One hotspot would be Lopburi, Thailand. Here, thousands of monkeys live on city streets. There are even several no-go zones that have been taken over by rival monkey gangs.
Another would be Florida’s Silver Spring State Park. There is a thriving population of macaques there, likely descendants of theme park escapees.
Hyper-intelligent monkeys could train these populations in the best ways to wage war on humans. If you live in Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia or the Democratic Republic of Congo, your country might be one of the first to fall. That’s because 65% of all primate species live in these places.
If you are in Europe, you would be safe because there are no wild, native primates. But humans fleeing armies of monkeys to a safe zone would create a devastating refugee crisis.
But how exactly would monkeys be able to pull off a revolution against humans? Communication would be a key part of their strategy. Societal roles would have to be delegated based on the different levels of intelligence.
Apes like chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos are among the smartest. So they would play prominent roles in the uprising.
Orangutans are also highly intelligent and could manufacture weapons. They are known to be more capable than children of making tools, for example a fishing hook.
If they learned how to make spears, they could attack from the ground and above. You’d have a real fight on your hands.
Orangutans have another remarkable ability. They’re the only known nonhuman primates that can communicate about the past.
They would use this intellectual skill to observe us and then signal our movements to other monkeys once we were gone. Monkeys would communicate with visual cues, auditory calls and olfactory signals. It would be hard for us to keep up and would take time to learn their ways.
Unfortunately, monkey society would likely be as dangerous as our own. Perhaps, even more so. Chimpanzees have been observed to invade the territories of other chimpanzee groups systematically. So, they would kill other primates for food.
In 1974, scientist Dr. Jane Goodall witnessed inter-group violence that she described as a war that annihilated an entire community. But the numbers would be in your favor.
With around 60% of Earth’s primate species currently threatened with extinction, they wouldn’t stand much of a chance against 7.8 billion humans. Still, considering the devastating effects of deforestation and years of extremely invasive experiments on monkeys, humans may have a lot of wrongs to repent for.
- “Chimps, Humans And Monkeys: What’s The Difference?”. Jane Goodall’s Good For All News.
- “Orangutans Are The Only Non-Human Primates Capable Of ‘Talking’ About The Past”. Smithsonian Magazine.
- “Orangutans Are Better Than Kids At Making Basic Tools “. 2018. Popular Mechanics.
- “Executive Functioning Skills: Cognitive Flexibility”. Whitney, Shannon, and View →. 2017. Student Caffé Blog.
- “Monkeys demonstrate more cognitive flexibility than humans”. 2021. medicalnewstoday.com.
- “Clever Monkeys ~ Monkeys And Language | Nature | PBS“. 2011. Nature.