Why Do We Love Looking at the Vast Green?


There’s this savannah hypothesis where savannas aided in the evolution of humans as a bipedal species. It implies that as trees got fewer and rare in the landscape, early humans were forced to adapt and evolve. The result was they learned to stand on their own feet and free up the hands for learning higher level skills (such as learning to fashion and use tools).

Why do we love looking at the vast green

The hypothesis may or may not align with common sense and reasoning. The key lesson we might get here is that we adapt to current circumstances and we’re more inclined to choose the familiar. As the early humans got used to the vast green of savannahs, they learned to take advantage of it. As they used the environment for their own survival and advantage, they thrived in those areas and preferred that familiar kind of environment as well (i.e. best to stick with what we know).

Some of that inclination and preference might have stayed with us through this day. We’re still creatures of habit and somehow we can’t trace back why we prefer certain things. For example, we still have that unconscious preference for parks, golf courses, resorts and other simple open areas.

One explanation is that the human species has developed a genetic disposition towards savannah environments. That’s because in this kind of environment, early humans enjoyed a survival advantage. This is perhaps due to the wide and clear visibility for predators and other threats. We can clearly through the vast green and react quickly if something dangerous comes along.

Also notice that we feel relaxed whenever we sit down and look towards the horizon without any obstacles and threats. When our field of vision is clear, we immediately feel safe because there will be no surprises. This is in heavy contrast with tropical forests or even the concrete urban jungles we have now. Anytime someone or something might come out from the corner or behind an obstacle.

In communities, parks, playgrounds and sports fields, many people prefer this kind of green open environment because they feel safe. When they feel safe, it gets easier to connect with other people and focus on the fun moment. Indeed, the vast green satisfies the unconscious preferences within us and provides a relaxing contrast to the chaotic modern environment we have right now.