How many smells can you identify? Which ones are your favorites and which ones do you really not like? Stop and make a list, because it’ll be an amazingly long and diverse list.
As it turns out, adults can distinguish around 10,000 different smells. And these smells not only trigger our memories but can also change the way our foods taste. (Give this classic apple vs potato experiment a spin.)
From journalist Rose Eveleth and animator Igor Coric, find out how powerful your nose is and what’s going on inside of it in this excellent TED-Ed: How Do We Smell?
There’s more TED-Ed in the archives.
Via skeptv, New Scientist reports on this time lapse video of snail development from embryo to hatching:
Oliver Tills of Plymouth University, UK, and colleagues tracked the timing of 12 different events – including the formation of the eyes and the shell – over the two weeks it takes embryos of the pond snail Radix balthica to develop. They then compared these figures with those obtained from the snail’s parent (R. balthica is hermaphroditic so can have just a single parent).
There are more videos with cells in the archives.
This NASA Earth Science video, NASA Sees Photosynthesis From Space, is not only a lesson in how plants use light to make food for themselves, but also demonstrates how changing your perspective — in this case, looking at plants at a cellular level from hundreds of miles above the Earth — can change your understanding of the information.
Plants are often unable to absorb all the light that hits their leaves and chloroplasts. A small portion is re-emitted as fluorescence, it’s just that we can’t see the faint signal in broad daylight.
But satellites can. NASA shows you what plant fluorescence looks like from orbit. This kind of data is key to understanding the health of global vegetation.
More videos about plants, Earth, satellites, and different orbits await.