Category Archive: Video

Everything you wanted to know about peacock spiders, but were too afraid to ask

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There are famously unexplored parts of the world that promise to harbour as yet undiscovered species for the determined naturalist, but you wouldn’t expect the suburbs of Sydney to be one of them. The species to be discovered aren’t everyone’s cup of tea; they’re Australia’s colourful little jumping spiders. One man isn’t afraid of these little cuties, and we hope you won’t be either by the end of this article. Dr Jürgen Otto has photographed all the wildlife around Sydney, where he works as a government scientist, and was at a loss for what to do next until he stumbled across the tiny Maratus volans in the bush around the city in 2005. Since then he has discovered several new species and found out a lot more about the genus whose members are commonly described as peacock spiders. Dr Otto believes he is the first to capture the peacock spider’s incredible courtship behaviour on film. He has shared these videos …

Video: Woodland Wildlife

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Unpopular Science’s Jack Croxall and his chocolate Labrador Archie take a stroll around a springtime forest in search of woodland critters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeuc4bOCIzI FYI The common toad can live for an astounding 40 years. For information on how you can help protect Britain’s amphibians, check out the Frog Life website. Check out Jack Croxall’s YouTube channel here or website here. Have you found any fascinating wildlife this spring? Let us know in the comments section below.

Awesome proof we landed on the moon

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Surely this is every kid’s fantasy – to be able to drive an awesome buggy not just off-road, but off the planet. The driver of the buggy (or Lunar Roving Vehicle as it’s more properly called) is Fred W. Haise, Jr., Commander of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. From the footage, you can tell it was taken on another world for a number of reasons. Firstly, the scale of the environment the LRV is driving in – it goes on for miles in every direction. So, either NASA built the world’s largest set to film this in or it actually did take place on the surface of the moon. Secondly, look at the dust that flies out from under the vehicle. Notice how it falls much slower than it normally would. That’s because the moon’s gravity is sixth of that on Earth.  Also look at the way the dust behaves. On Earth, dust kicked up from a vehicle would …

Data travels beautifully across the internet

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Maybe it’s an instagram of your cat doing something hilarious or maybe its a fake I’m-sick email to your boss, but the data we send every day from phones, laptops and tablets is all part of something much greater than the sum of its parts. Michael Rigley,from San Francisco, produced this beautiful visualisation showing how the multimedia messages we send everyday – text, emails and more – are passed throuugh the complex network known as the world wide web. In his own words: By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network. But, along with all the data we knowingly send on, we also send out hundreds of bits of metadata – information that describes the nature of the message we send, and the nature of us. Metadata includes things like time messages were sent, links we’ve clicked on, search queries we’ve googled. All this data allows …

Lightning is really really fast

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In case you didn’t already know it, lightning travels incredibly fast. Although this video is 33 seconds long, in reality, this event happened in only a little over 0.1seconds. What to us look like a simple flash of light, when slowed down 300x, is really an incredibly beautiful and complex phenomenon. There are a number of theories about how lightning originates, but all involve a build up of charge in the atmosphere. This, in itself, isn’t what causes lighning. What does is the difference in charge between the atmophere and the ground. To equilise this charge differential, electrons need to flow downhill. This is what we see in the first half of the video. Electrons always like to flow down the path of least resistance, and want to find the shortest distance to the ground. However, the electrons in the cloud don’t know where this is, so we see a random, branching pattern reaching out in all directions. This downstroke …

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