The snail-smashing, fish-spearing, eye-popping mantis shrimp

4 minutes

How the mantis shrimp’s six-pupiled eyes put 20/20 vision to shame

One of nature’s most physiologically fascinating creatures, mantis shrimp are not only the fastest attackers in the animal kingdom, but they also possess what might be the world’s most interesting and impressive set of eyes. Each mantis shrimp eye has three ‘pupils’, with receptors for 12 distinct colours – yet another world record. But perhaps the most amazing aspect of mantis shrimp eyes are their ability to detect polarised light – largely invisible to humans – which they use to signal to other mantis shrimp that a burrow is occupied from afar, preventing close-quarters showdowns to the death. Taking the mantis shrimp’s lead, scientists are hoping to use a camera that detects light polarisation to catch certain kinds of cancer early.

Video by KQED Science and PBS Digital Studios

Producer: Elliott Kennerson

Narrator and Writer: Amy Standen

Video/Knowledge

Models are always imperfect, and the ones we choose greatly shape our experience

3 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/History of Ideas

Can the problem of induction save Anthony’s dismal dating life?

6 minutes

Video/Nature & Environment

In the murky waters of climate change, native fishers are among the most vulnerable

7 minutes

Video/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

The eerie otherworldliness of slow undersea life sped up to a human pace

5 minutes

Idea/Personality

Pigs, parrots and people: the problem of animal personality

Antone Martinho

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Cosmology

Echoes of a black hole

Ripples in space-time could herald the demise of general relativity and its replacement by a quantum theory of gravity

Sabine Hossenfelder

Video/Biology

Everything you always wanted to know about sex in space

4 minutes

Idea/History of Science

How many great minds does it take to invent a telescope?

Thony Christie

Essay/Physics

Minding matter

The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground

Adam Frank