The strangeness of everyday life

Sometimes, when you take a closer look at life it gets a little weird. These talks explore some of the unusual, compelling and extraordinary aspects of the world around us.

  1. 21:56
    Richard Dawkins Why the universe seems so strange

    Biologist Richard Dawkins makes a case for "thinking the improbable" by looking at how the human frame of reference limits our understanding of the universe.

  2. 18:19
    Marcus du Sautoy Symmetry, reality's riddle

    The world turns on symmetry — from the spin of subatomic particles to the dizzying beauty of an arabesque. But there's more to it than meets the eye. Here, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy offers a glimpse of the invisible numbers that marry all symmetrical objects.

  3. 15:54
    Sean Carroll Distant time and the hint of a multiverse

    Cosmologist Sean Carroll attacks — in an entertaining and thought-provoking tour through the nature of time and the universe — a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it.

  4. 22:52
    Emily Levine A theory of everything

    Philosopher-comedian Emily Levine talks (hilariously) about science, math, society and the way everything connects. She's a brilliant trickster, poking holes in our fixed ideas and bringing hidden truths to light. Settle in and let her ping your brain.

  5. 14:04
    Rives The Museum of Four in the Morning

    Beware: Rives has a contagious obsession with 4 a.m. At TED2007, the poet shared what was then a minor fixation with a time that kept popping up everywhere. After the talk, emails starting pouring in with an avalanche of hilarious references—from the cover of "Crochet Today!" magazine to the opening scene of "The Metamorphosis." A lyrical peek into his Museum of Four in the Morning, which overflows with treasures.

  6. 13:42
    Dave Brain What a planet needs to sustain life

    "Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold, and Earth is just right," says planetary scientist Dave Brain. But why? In this pleasantly humorous talk, Brain explores the fascinating science behind what it takes for a planet to host life — and why humanity may just be in the right place at the right time when it comes to the timeline of life-sustaining planets.

  7. 13:11
    Helder Guimarães A magical search for a coincidence

    Small coincidences. They happen all the time and yet, they pass us by because we are not looking for them. In a delightfully subtle trick, magician Helder Guimarães demonstrates with a deck of cards, a dollar bill and a stuffed giraffe.

  8. 13:46
    Tabetha Boyajian The most mysterious star in the universe

    Something massive, with roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth, is blocking the light coming from a distant star known as KIC 8462852, and nobody is quite sure what it is. As astronomer Tabetha Boyajian investigated this perplexing celestial object, a colleague suggested something unusual: Could it be an alien-built megastructure? Such an extraordinary idea would require extraordinary evidence. In this talk, Boyajian gives us a look at how scientists search for and test hypotheses when faced with the unknown.

  9. 16:09
    Jim Al-Khalili How quantum biology might explain life’s biggest questions

    How does a robin know to fly south? The answer might be weirder than you think: Quantum physics may be involved. Jim Al-Khalili rounds up the extremely new, extremely strange world of quantum biology, where something Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance” helps birds navigate, and quantum effects might explain the origin of life itself.