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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

Humans may have evolved a need to connect with nature, and nature provides substantial cultural and social values to humans. However, quantifying the connection between humans and nature at a global scale remains challenging. We lack answers to fundamental questions: how do humans experience nature in different contexts (daily routines, fun activities, weddings, honeymoons, other celebrations, and vacations) and how do nature experiences differ across countries? We answer these questions by coupling social media and artificial intelligence using 31,534 social media photographs across 185 countries. We find that nature was more likely to appear in photographs taken during a fun activity, honeymoon, or vacation compared to photographs of daily routines. More importantly, the proportion of photographs with nature taken during fun activities is associated with national life satisfaction scores. This study provides global evidence of the biophilia hypothesis by showing a connection between humans and nature that contributes to life satisfaction and highlights how nature serves as background to many of our positive memories.

Chang Chia-Chen, Cheng Gwyneth Jia Yi, Nghiem Thi Phuong Le, Song Xiao Ping, Oh Rachel Rui Ying, Richards Daniel R, Carrasco L Roman