The Incredible Shrinking ManJust think of how many two-feet-tall people you could fit on a plane or train!The Incredible Shrinking ManPeople have a lot of ideas about how to reduce the effects of humans on the planet: curbing population growth, putting a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, finding alternatives to fossil fuels.

But one group thinks the best way to shrink the human ecological footprint is literally to shrink humans’ feet — and the rest of us too.

It’s called the Incredible Shrinking Man project, and it’s got the big idea to belittle us, moving toward an ideal height of about two feet.

“It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller,” the website states. “This has many consequences, like the need for more energy, food, and space. What if we decided to turn this trend around and use our growing knowledge of genetics to actually shrink mankind?”

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I suppose that means we ladies would have to start looking for the small, dark, and handsome type.

The Incredible Shrinking Man thinks this is the natural next step in human evolution. This “public research” project, initiated by artist Arne Hendriks, is always on the lookout for other “shrink thinkers,” like Thomas T. Samaras, who wrote the following in his 1994 book, The Truth About Your Height:

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Short people place fewer demands on the environment. They consume less food, require less material for clothing, etc. If the world is indeed entering an era of scarcity, are not short people the most appropriate model for homo sapiens?

If that’s the case, then someone should tell China to hold off on those excruciating leg-lengthening surgeries.

As far as I can tell, this is more a thought experiment and less a laboratory outfitted with giant shrink rays (let exploding horses teach you why that won’t work). My favorite part of the Shrinking Man project, though, is the promise of a workshop on Shrinky Dinks! We hear they’re making a comeback.


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