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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Overhead view of a person walking down a spiral staircase with yellow steps. The staircase creates a swirling visual effect.
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Chemistry

Why do the building blocks of life possess a mysterious symmetry?

12 minutes

Childlike drawing of buildings, house, pyramid, and temple on a curved surface under a starry sky with a radiating sun. Stick figures roam between structures.
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Physics

Why the golden age of total solar eclipses is already behind us

5 minutes

A man in a hat stands next to a door covered with yellow caution tape, casting a shadow on the rough grey wall.
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Earth science and climate

When does after begin?

Three earthquakes hit Mexico City on the same date in 1985, 2017 and 2022. The coincidence left the city stranded in time

Lachlan Summers

Illustrated circle with colourful, abstract plant shapes and roots on a dark blue background.
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Deep time

When algae met fungi – the hidden story of life’s most successful partnership

4 minutes

A misty, moss-covered forest with twisted trees and dense undergrowth, creating a mysterious, green, and lush atmosphere.
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Ecology and environmental sciences

In an ancient English rainforest, John creates charcoal and cultivates growth

12 minutes

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Biology

The idea that life on Earth originated elsewhere is not as far out as it seems

6 minutes

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Deep time

The Rift

Splitting the African continent, it is the only place where our human story can be read continuously from the very start

Tristan McConnell

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Evolution

Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness

5 minutes

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Space exploration

Telescopes on the Moon

Our future in space relies on settling the Moon and using it as a base to probe the deepest questions in the cosmos

Joseph Silk

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Deep time

Mutual entrapment

As Neolithic people transformed prehistoric forests, they stumbled into an ecological trap. Domestication goes both ways

Mette Løvschal

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Cosmology

Dark horses in the cosmos

Could primordial black holes from the beginning of time explain ‘dark matter’, the mysterious missing mass in the Universe?

Briley Lewis

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Palaeontology

This riotous life

There’s no rhythm to mass extinctions, no pattern to evolutionary recovery. Life bursts forth, in cacophonous adaptation

Riley Black

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Earth science and climate

‘Ice has a memory’ – an Inuit poem contemplates scientific exploration of Greenland

28 minutes

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Physics

The cosmic chasm

Physics as we know it is elegant and exquisitely accurate. It tells almost nothing about the deepest riddles of the Universe

Pedro G Ferreira

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Art

Cave art

For Palaeolithic societies, art-making was both a tool for survival and a tactile, joyous exploration of the world

Izzy Wisher

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Evolution

Origin story

Perched on the cusp between biology and chemistry, the start of life on Earth is an event horizon we struggle to see beyond

Natalie Elliot

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Thinkers and theories

Before, now, and next

Pastness, presentness and futurity seem to be real features of the world, but are they? On McTaggart’s philosophy of time

Emily Thomas

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Deep time

The planet is burning

Wild, feral and fossil-fuelled, fire lights up the globe. Is it time to declare that humans have created a Pyrocene?

Stephen J Pyne

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Cosmology

The cosmic now

Are you here now? Impossible to say. The idea that any group of events can truly happen at once is just an illusion

Anthony Aguirre

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Cosmology

Deep time and beyond: the great nothingness at the end of the Universe

29 minutes

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Ecology and environmental sciences

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

Peter Forbes

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Physics

Time after time

The question of whether time moves in a loop or a line has occupied human minds for millennia. Has physics found the answer?

Paul Halpern

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Evolution

Take a shimmering, surreal swim with what might be the Earth’s oldest animals

7 minutes

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Cosmology

We are born of supernovas – our spectacular and totally ordinary origin story

4 minutes