By TedEd Trace the history of the invention of plastic, and how the material ushered in what became known as the plastics century. For centuries, billiard balls were made of ivory from elephant tusks. But when excessive hunting caused elephant populations to decline, they began… Read More »A brief history of plastic
By TedEd Explore the challenges facing amphibious fish when they leave water and the ingenious ways they survive on land. We think of fish as completely aquatic animals. But there are actually hundreds of fish species that are amphibious, meaning that they possess adaptations that… Read More »The fish that walk on land
By TedEd How does a fact become a misconception? Dig into the world of misinformation to see how facts can become distorted and misleading. In 1901, David Hänig published research that led to what we know today as the taste map: an illustration that divides… Read More »The power of misinformation
By TedEd Dig into what caused the Irish potato famine, and explore how the UK government’s response turned the crisis into a catastrophe. For over 200 years, potatoes thrived in Ireland; roughly half the country’s residents lived almost entirely on potatoes. But when harvesting began… Read More »What really caused the Irish Potato Famine
By TedEd Is the 21st century the most pivotal time in human history? Explore how the decisions we make now may impact humanity’s future. Is it possible that this century is the most important one in human history? The 21st century has already proven to… Read More »The most important century in human history
By TedEd Puzzle through a classic ethical dilemma and decide: can human existence be meaningful without its creativity and culture? Life on your planet depends entirely on Nuronium for normal cognition. Unfortunately, its source has been compromised and you are now at risk of extinction.… Read More »What makes life worth living?
By TedEd Are you an early bird or a night owl? Explore how your circadian system acts as an internal clock to keep your body functioning. An early bird rises with the sun, springing out of bed abuzz with energy. Meanwhile, a night owl groggily… Read More »Can you change your sleep schedule?
By TedEd When most people think of fishing, we imagine relaxing in a boat and patiently reeling in the day’s catch. But modern industrial fishing — the kind that stocks our grocery shelves — looks more like warfare. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet explain… Read More »Will the ocean ever run out of fish?
By TedEd Get to know how a healthy marine ecosystem functions, and what creates the lethal conditions that lead to dead zones. For most of the year, the Gulf of Mexico is teeming with marine life, from tiny crustaceans to massive whales. But every summer,… Read More »Can the ocean run out of oxygen?
By TedEd Dig into how African clawed frogs can help detect human pregnancy, and how their use in experiments had unintended consequences. In the early 20th century, pregnancy testing required a slippery piece of equipment: a female African clawed frog. For decades, hospitals and research… Read More »The best pregnancy test used to be a frog… here’s how it worked