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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Back to land

4 minutes

The beached carcass of a blue whale is a terrible, wondrous sight

When a giant blue whale washes up on a beach in California, people begin to flock from all over to take in the sight. As they pose for photos beside the enormous carcass, and question the creature’s origins, the filmmaker Tijana Petrović watches them watching. Her short documentary Back to Land meditates on our fascination with the spectacle of nature, and observes the limitations of human knowledge against the breadth of our curiosity.

Director: Tijana Petrović

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/History of Science
Science is broken

Perverse incentives and the misuse of quantitative metrics have undermined the integrity of scientific research

Siddhartha Roy & Marc A Edwards

Essay/Physics
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The cliché that life transcends the laws of thermodynamics is completely wrong. The truth is almost exactly the opposite

Jeremy England