Have you ever wondered why a woman’s vulva is called a pudenda? I never really did until now, trying to figure out what to write about for the letter “P” in this increasingly challenging “Blogging Challenge.” Anyway…
The word derives from Latin pudenda — which means “that for which one ought to feel shame.”
What we humans should really be ashamed of, however, is another word that begins with “P.”
Population! Or more precisely, overpopulation. At 7 billion and growing exponentially, pretty soon we’ll have overrun Planet Earth’s capacity to support us.
Until only about 200 years ago, human population was essentially in steady state; but modern agriculture and medicine changed everything.
Which got me to thinking: How many people have ever lived here on Planet Earth?
If what we self-identify as humans started around 50,000 B.C. — ground zero for population 2 — and assuming various birth rates and life spans, then demographers estimate this poor Planet Earth has had to put up with a grand total of 108 billion of us humans and our shameful pudenda.