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The idea that living organisms are born to reproduce and ultimately die is one of the most common and widely accepted ideas about life across cultures. But is it true? Using whimsical animation, The Animal That Wouldn’t Die explores the strange case of the hydra – a creature that seems to play by a different set of rules than anything else in nature. Following the work of two scientists separated by many generations, this documentary investigates the surprising regenerative power of the small fresh water animal, and how the concept of the ‘circle of life’ might not be as universal as we once thought.
Director: Adam Cole
Producer: Robert Krulwich
Website: NPR’s Skunk Bear
Values and beliefs
A funeral director takes in bodies that social stigma leaves unclaimed
Philosophy of religion
What Zen Buddhist riddles reveal about knowledge and the unknowable
Revisiting ‘Powers of Ten’ – what we’ve learned about the Universe since 1977
It’s a massive, winged Cretaceous beast – could a human ride one?
Dance and theatre
Technology, philosophy, randomness – how Merce Cunningham pushed dance to its limits
History of technology
Behold as a mechanical foghorn in Shetland awakes from its year-long slumber
Philosophy of mind
Embodied cognition seems intuitive, but philosophy can push it to some strange places
Animals and humans
An unflinching look at a provocative public dissection of a ‘surplus’ zoo lion
Models capture the world-warping physics of what happens when stars meet black holes