Topic: TED Ed

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How your digestive system works

Across the planet, humans eat on average between 1 and 2.7 kilograms of food a day, and every last scrap makes its way through the digestive system. Comprised of ten organs covering nine meters, this is one of the mos...

Why (and how) do whales sing?

Whale vocalizations are a bit of a mystery. We know that only the males of some baleen whales sing, but we're not sure what those compositions—specifically structured phrases and melodies that repeat and evolve within...

The complicated history of surfing – TED Ed

Today, surfing is a multi-billion-dollar global industry, with tens of millions of enthusiasts worldwide. For some it’s a serious sport; for others, just a way to let loose. But despite its casual association with fun...

The Genius of Marie Curie

Dr. Marie Curie transformed science and society with her discoveries. Her scientific partnership with Pierre Curie and the story of their heroic efforts that led to the discovery of polonium and radium are legendary.....

The mighty mathematics of the lever

Archimedes once said “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth.” While the idea of a person moving such a huge mass on their own might sound impossible, chances are you’ve seen this idea in action at your ...

How did Polynesian wayfinders navigate the Pacific Ocean?

Imagine setting sail from Hawaii in a canoe. Your target is a small island thousands of kilometers away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — a body of water that covers more than 160 million square kilometers. For tho...

What does the wheelchair symbol actually mean?

Some of the world’s most recognizable symbols exist to sell products. Others, to steer traffic or advance political causes. But there’s one whose main purpose is to help people. You may know it as the wheelchair symbo...

The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall

On August 13, 1961, construction workers began tearing up streets and erecting barriers in Berlin. This night marked the beginning of one of history’s most infamous dividing lines: the Berlin Wall. Construction contin...

How to spot a misleading graph

When they’re used well, graphs can help us intuitively grasp complex data. But as visual software has enabled more usage of graphs throughout all media, it has also made them easier to use in a careless or dishonest w...

Can you solve the fish riddle?

As the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of an endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, the boat is ba...

The power of creative constraints – TED Ed

Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if yo...

The ferocious predatory dinosaurs of Cretaceous Sahara

In Cretaceous times (around 100 million years ago), North Africa was home to a huge river system and a bizarre menagerie of giant prehistoric predators -- including the Spinosaurus, a dinosaur even more fearsome than ...

Why don’t perpetual motion machines ever work?

Perpetual motion machines — devices that can do work indefinitely without any external energy source — have captured many inventors’ imaginations because they could totally transform our relationship with energy. Ther...

The evolution of the book

What makes a book a book? Is it just anything that stores and communicates information? Or does it have to do with paper, binding, font, ink, its weight in your hands, the smell of the pages? To answer these questions...

Why are sloths so slow?

Around 35 million years ago, Earth was populated with giant, prehistoric ground sloths like Megalonyx jeffersonii (named after Thomas Jefferson), Paramylodon, and Megatherium who, until around 10,000 years ago, roamed...

Oxygen’s surprisingly complex journey through your body

Oxygen forms about 21% of the air around us. In your body, oxygen forms a vital role in the production of energy in most cells. But if gases can only efficiently diffuse across tiny distances, how does oxygen reach th...

Can you solve the virus riddle?

Your research team has found a prehistoric virus preserved in the permafrost and isolated it for study. After a late night working, you’re just closing up the lab when a sudden earthquake hits and breaks all the sampl...

How to practice effectively…for just about anything

Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to m...

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