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

Elephant bath

4 minutes

There is deep trust and affiliation in the mahout ritual of bathing an elephant

A mahout is the person charged with looking after an elephant, a relationship that lasts for the duration of both their lives. As part of his responsibilities, the mahout regularly bathes the elephant in his charge, massaging its thick hide with the husks of coconuts. In this wonderfully observed sequence, which was shot in Kerala, South India, the director Tom Goudsmit shows the ritualistic bathing of the elephant by the mahout, all carried out with remarkable reverence.

Director: Tom Goudsmit

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
Do civilisations collapse?

The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology

Guy D Middleton

Essay/History
Struggling to see Palestine

For Westerners, the Bible and its prophecies have obscured as much as they've revealed about the Holy Land

Michael Press