When I was a kid, a bunch of Buddhist monks came through our town and spent weeks creating an intricate, massive, beautiful sand mandala. Their work was painstaking: they were using toothpicks on this giant circle with a 30-foot radius. Then, once they finished, they sat back to enjoy their work for a bit, and then took out straws and blew the whole thing away. I remember asking my mother why they would do that, and she told me it was the whole point: to show that nothing is permanent, and that everything that’s beautiful exists only in the span of a couple of moments.

Which is why it feels natural to me that the history of the planet earth should be depicted through the medium of sand art, by artist Jin Ly. If you’ve never seen sand art, check it out: it’s an artform that requires rapid but precise hand movement, and is incredibly cool to watch.