Topic: TED Ed

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Can you solve the time travel riddle?

Your professor has accidentally stepped through a time portal in his physics lab. You’ve got just a minute to jump through before it closes and leaves him stranded in history. Your only way back is to grab enough colo...

Can you solve the stolen rubies riddle?

Townspeople are demanding that a corrupt merchant’s collection of 30 rubies be confiscated to reimburse the victims of his schemes. The king announces that the fine will be determined through a game of wits between th...

How far would you have to go to escape gravity?

Every star, black hole, human being, smartphone and atom are all constantly pulling on each other due to one force: gravity. So why don’t we feel pulled in billions of different directions? And is there anywhere in th...

Why can’t some birds fly?

Though the common ancestor of all modern birds could fly, many different bird species have independently lost their flight. Flight can have incredible benefits, especially for escaping predators, hunting and traveling...

Can you solve the alien probe riddle?

Your team has developed a probe to study an alien monolith. It needs protective coatings — in red, purple and green — to cope with the environments it passes through. Can you figure out how to apply the colors so the ...

Can you solve the rogue AI riddle?

You're on a special mission to save the world from a hostile artificial intelligence called NIM. It's taken over computers all over the globe and you only have one opportunity to shut it down. NIM will also be working...

How exactly does binary code work?

Imagine trying to use words to describe every scene in a film, every note in a song, or every street in your town. Now imagine trying to do it using only the numbers 1 and 0. Every time you use the Internet to watch a...

Can you solve the Mondrian squares riddle?

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s abstract, rectangular paintings inspired mathematicians to create a two-fold challenge. Can you solve the puzzle and get to the lowest score possible? Board game and puzzle designer and...

The Science of Hearing

The ability to recognize sounds and identify their location is possible thanks to the auditory system. That’s comprised of two main parts: the ear, and the brain. The ear’s task is to convert sound energy into neural ...

Can you solve the wizard standoff riddle?

You’ve been chosen as a champion to represent your wizarding house in a deadly duel against two rival magic schools. Your opponents are a powerful sorcerer who wields a wand that can turn people into fish, and a power...

What’s the difference between hibernation and sleep?

The Arctic Ground Squirrel hibernates by burrowing under the permafrost and slipping into a state of suspended animation. The female black bear can give birth while she hibernates. The fat-tailed dwarf lemur prepares ...

The infinite life of pi

The ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is always the same: 3.14159... and on and on (literally!) forever. This irrational number, pi, has an infinite number of digits, so we'll never figure out its exac...

Can you solve the seven planets riddle?

Your interstellar police squad has tracked a group of criminals to a cluster of seven planets. Now you must apprehend them before their reinforcements arrive. Of course, the fugitives won’t just stay put – they’ll try...

Can you solve the dark coin riddle?

You heard the travelers’ tales, you followed the maps, and now, you’ve finally located the dungeon containing a stash of ancient coins. The good news: the wizard who owns the castle has generously agreed to let you ha...

Why do animals form swarms?

When many individual organisms come together and move as one entity, that’s a swarm. From a handful of birds to billions of insects, swarms can be almost any size. They have no leader, and members interact only with t...

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...

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