The human race has come a long way from its Homo sapiens ancestors, and according to new research, humans will look a lot different in the future.
Like other animals, Homo sapiens have changed over the years to adapt to their environment. Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm partnered with a computational geneticist to depict what he believes the human race will look like in 20,000 years, as well as 60,000 and 100,000 years out.
The illustrations were inspired by conversations with Alan Kwan, who holds a Ph.D. in computational genomics from Washington University. Kwan believes that due to climate and technological advancements, humans will have larger foreheads to accommodate a larger brain. With the ability to control the human genome, genetic engineering will become the norm and he writes, "the fate of the human face will be increasingly determined by human tastes."
In addition to larger foreheads, Kwan believes eyes will also get larger as humans try to colonize Earth's solar system. Nonprofit organization Mars One announced early May 2013 that more than 78,000 people applied to become colonists on Mars since its application process opened on April 22, 2013.
Humans living in environments further away from the sun will be in dimmer light, thus needing larger eyes to see. Humans will also have more pigment in their skin to lessen damage from UV radiation outside the Earth's ozone. Due to low gravity, they also will have thicker eyelids and a more pronounced superciliary arch, which is the bone under the brow.
"This human face will be heavily biased towards features that humans find fundamentally appealing: strong, regal lines, straight nose, intense eyes, and placement of facial features that adhere to the golden ratio and left/right perfect symmetry," Kwan said.