THE BEST Nature

True Facts: Trap Jaw Ants

True Facts: Trap Jaw Ants

With the help of footage from researchers, ZeFrank provides his lighthearted insights on the Odontomachus, a genus of ants with jaws that can open 180-degrees, then shut like a bear trap. In addition to grabbing prey, they can use their mandibles to eject unwanted intruders or extract themselves quickly from a threat.

Iceland Volcano Time-Lapse

Iceland Volcano Time-Lapse

We’ve seen some incredible but brief close-up footage of the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption. Now watch 18 days of volcanic activity condensed down to five minutes in this time-lapse video that stebbigu created from the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service’s live streams of the eruption.

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Up Close with Siphonophores

Up Close with Siphonophores

Siphonophores are deep-sea colonies of organisms that link together to work as one. Each section provides a different function, including buoyancy, propulsion, feeding, reproduction, and defense. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute take us deep beneath the ocean to witness some of these unique creatures.

How Spiders Fly

How Spiders Fly

Despite their lack of wings, spiders can actually take flight. This video from the University of Bristol video explains a process called ballooning, in which spiders take advantage of static electrical charges and wind currents to carry silk – and their bodies – through the air.

Reindeer Cyclones

Reindeer Cyclones

Reindeer have been known to walk together in a circular formation in order to fend off predators and to protect their herd. This incredible aerial footage of hundreds of swirling deer was captured by filmmaker Andrei Golovnev on Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the Arctic Circle.

Metric Paper & Everything in the Universe

Metric Paper & Everything in the Universe

Unlike US paper sizes, metric paper sizes like A3 and A4 can be folded into quarters to make smaller standard size sheets. CGP Grey explains the satisfying math of this paper sizing standard, then zooms in and out to see how it relates to the exponential nature of the universe.

Drone Flies Over an Active Volcano

Drone Flies Over an Active Volcano

On March 19, 2021, Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano started erupting for the first time in over 6,000 years. Drone pilot Björn Steinbekk captured this incredible aerial footage of the searing hot lava as it flows from top of the geological marvel. We’re impressed that the drone survived the intense heat. More footage here.

Becoming

Becoming

Filmmaker Jan van Ijken captured this amazing microscopic scale time-lapse footage of the development of an amphibious alpine newt. Watch in awe as it grows from a single cell to a complete organism in just 6 minutes. More here.

True Facts: Deception in the Rainforest

True Facts: Deception in the Rainforest

Among the awesome creatures in the rainforests are animals and insects that can camouflage into their surroundings, along with ones designed to scare off predators. Zefrank talks about these amazing evolutionary traits, accompanied by incredible imagery by photographers David Weiller and Thomas Marent.

The State Birds are Garbage

The State Birds are Garbage

With state birds like Louisiana’s pelican, choosing a bird to represent your state seems like a decent idea. But Jam2Go’s video essay points out how many states completely missed the point, either picking inappropriate birds or duplicating other states. Along the way, he offers some suggestions on how to fix the problem.

Wild Love

Wild Love

(Gore) While camping in the woods, a couple inadvertently leaves their mark in a horrific way. Their crime won’t go unpunished, though, as they also left behind photographic evidence. Nature strikes back with a vengeance in this darkly-comic short film from animation students at Ecole des Nouvelles Images.

True Facts About Tardigrades

True Facts About Tardigrades

Tardigrades may only measure about 0.5mm long, but these teensy water-dwelling critters are some of the toughest organisms known to humankind, having survived exposure to nuclear radiation and the vacuum of space. Zefrank provides an in-depth look at these strange, see-through dudes and what makes them tick.

Why Does the Ocean Smell Like That?

Why Does the Ocean Smell Like That?

If you’ve been to the beach, you know the ocean has a distinctive smell. While salt and dead fish are certainly part of the aroma, host Rose Bear Don’t Walk of SciShow explains what’s responsible for the water’s primary aromas, and how those organisms meaningfully impact the Earth’s ecosystem and climate.

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Dance of the Starlings

Dance of the Starlings

Nature photographer Marco Valk captured some incredible footage of starling murmurations in the sunset skies over Geldermasen in the Netherlands. The birds travel in massive flocks to provide safety from predators and warmth at night while at the same time offering humans one of the most spectacular shows on Earth.

Are Bats OP?

Are Bats OP?

Bats are often blamed for spreading disease, but is that their only skill? TierZoo looks at some of these little nocturnal flyers’ other abilities to determine just how capable they are of fending for themselves in the meta. They’re extremely mobile but have limited strength and defenses.

True Facts: Army Ant Riders

True Facts: Army Ant Riders

ZeFrank takes a few minutes to explain the fascinating habits of Eciton army ants, from the massive community structures they build using their bodies, to their coordinated swarms, to their killer instincts and protein-rich dietary habits. You’ll also meet some unique insects that like to hitch rides on the ants.

The Biggest Frog That Ever Lived

The Biggest Frog That Ever Lived

While it’s nowhere nearly as large as the world’s largest penguin, the 16″ long, 10-pound frog known as Beelzebufo was still an impressive creature. PBS Eons explains the few things we know about this giant, blobby amphibian that was native to Madagascar.

A Perfect Planet: Extended Trailer

A Perfect Planet: Extended Trailer

This BBC Earth nature series explores how our planet provides the ideal habitat for life to flourish, from volcanoes forming land to the endless movement of oceans to the importance of weather and climate. But as host David Attenborough explains, humans have disrupted that fragile balance and need to take action.

True Facts About Killer Tongues

True Facts About Killer Tongues

Lighthearted nature show host Zefrank teamed up with research scientist Dr. Kurt Schwenk on this special episode about snakes and lizards. Along the way, you’ll get up close and personal with a variety of long and stretchy tongues, and learn all about their unique evolutionary traits.

Solar Eclipse Music Video

Solar Eclipse Music Video

Back in 2015, Faroe Islands doom metal band Hamferð performed a moody, acoustic version of their track Deyðir varðar while a solar eclipse played out behind their backs. They timed the live performance perfectly and managed to resist the urge to turn around as day turned to night and back. (Thanks Kartin!)

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Chill with a Polar Bear

Chill with a Polar Bear

The PBS Nature series Spy in the Wild 2 used hidden cameras to get gets up close and personal with a polar bear. Watch in awe as the majestic white beast wanders the ice and takes a dip in the chilly waters. If it weren’t for the risk of hypothermia and being eaten by a bear, we’d love to join him for a swim.

Robot Hummingbird Films Butterflies

Robot Hummingbird Films Butterflies

Nature photographers John Downer Productions flew a realistic, robotic hummingbird deep into a forest packed with hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies. The drone captured amazing footage of the swarm as they awoke from their long winter’s nap in Mexico. From the BBC Series Spy in the Wild.

Wall-climbing Goats

Wall-climbing Goats

Most animals need a certain amount of salt and calcium in their diets to survive. Because their need for these minerals is so strong, these wild goats known as ibexes are willing to risk it all and climb the sheer face of a dam so they can get in some licks of its salt-covered rocks. From the BBC series Forces of Nature.

Birds in Bubbles

Birds in Bubbles

Researchers in London, England used a fascinating method to view the aerodynamic properties of flight. Using helium-filled soap bubbles, they were able to visualize the vortices created by birds’ wings, and made interesting observations about the role their tail feathers play in flight. Details here.

The Fish Tier List

The Fish Tier List

Fish represent one of the largest and most diverse collections of species on the planet. But are you better off as a goldfish or a catfish? A flying fish or a flounder? TierZoo looks at handful of these popular underwater vertebrates, and how they’ve had to adapt to survive in the marine meta.

Kevin James: Nature Planet

Kevin James: Nature Planet

Kevin James stars as an oversize Ewok fighting his way back from the brink of extinction in “Nature Planet.” While he’s no Sir David Attenborough, you’ve gotta hand it to “Sir” Adam Sandler for his narration work on this spot-on nature show parody.

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