Look down into the playing field of Yankee Stadium these days and you’re in for a surprise – not just a clear view of the grass and dirt, but herds of grazing hadrosaurs, scurrying ornithomimids and awesome sauropods.
Under New York’s lockdown, aimed at preventing the further spread of Covid-19, all public gatherings, including sports, have been banned. Yankee Stadium’s hundreds of rows of seating have been emptied of fans and itinerant hot dog sellers, and even the outfield is starting to recover. Like many other regions around the world, wildlife that hasn’t been seen for generations is beginning to return.
“The infield is verdant green,” said Oswald Alvarez, a Bronx native, who grew up a stone’s throw from the original stadium. “And the bleachers? Without the hordes of angry fans, they’re going back to their original state. You can see the cycads coming up. And the baseball players have disappeared entirely.”
The clarity of the water has improved dramatically. Tyrannosaurus have returned to hunt triceratops in the center field stands. On the pitcher’s mound, a herd of maiasaura have even made a nest. “Can you imagine having to watch out for dinosaur eggs in Yankee Stadium?” Alvarez said. “The Earth is healing itself. When humans step aside, it’s magical how nature always seems to find a way.”