Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Alright. In the 1660s, there were no internet videos. I know that's kind of a profound statement. Something you'd expect at TED, right? What I want to do is explain how something used to happen. A long time ago, if somebody had something interesting or unexpected they wanted to explain to other people, they had to do it in person, right? A long time ago there was a guy named Prince Rupert of Bavaria, and he had something very interesting he wanted to show people about science. I'm going to do it right now, just as he used to. First of all, let me get this set up, I've borrowed a glass from my hotel room. Just borrowed it, alright? (Laughter) I need to goggle up because science is about to happen. Let's get ready here. Behold! I don't know if you knew this or not, but glass - let's see I've got a hammer- Here we go. (Glass breaking) Thank you. Yes, I know. (Laughter) It's pretty awesome. (Applause) So glass breaks, right? Prince Rupert of Bavaria brought something over to King Charles II in England and he wanted to show it to him because it was different. Look at this. This is called The Prince Rupert's Drop because of that guy right there. (Laughter) But it's just a little bit different. If you take it and you tap it with the same hammer (hammer hits) it won't break, even though it's glass. Isn't that weird? There's something different about this If you take the tail - you've got a bulb, and you've got a tail - if I just nick the very end of it, watch what happens: it doesn't break, it does something a bit crazier than that. (Glass shattering) It explodes. It's a little unexpected, isn't it? So, that's called a Prince Rupert's Drop. A long time ago, if you were to explain a phenomenon like that you had to get in front of people to show it to them, just as I just did. Which is pretty cool, but you can show it to what 1,000 people? But this will be on the Internet. How many people are going to see it? A lot. I've been doing this for the past several years. I've been creating internet videos showing phenomena like this, the unexpected, to all different kinds of people. That's a Prince Rupert's Drop. We filmed it with a high-speed camera at 100,000 frames per second. And I explained the science behind how it works. I won't tell you about it right now because I want your internet view. I let you go and look at that yourself. "The Mystery of Prince Rupert's Drop." Right now, about 4 million people have seen that. It's pretty cool, right? So, that's what I do. My name is Destin Sandlin. I have a YouTube channel called Smarter Every Day. And basically, I go around trying to discover the unexpected things. The things that are right in front of you, but you don't really know about them. This is how I got started. I know, it's a chicken. So, check this out. So, everybody has seen a chicken, right? This is Vienna. This is kind of high class so you guys might not own chickens like we do. (Laughter) But I own chickens. And my daughter gets eggs for us. I don't know if you knew this, but if you take a chicken and you move it around... Have you seen this? Just watch. If you move him around, his head would be in one spot. Check this out. (Video) ...and where the rotating motion is going so they can compensate for it. But chickens are very good at this. I'll show you. Watch his head, totally stationary (Laughter) as I move his body (Laughter) I can move his body in pretty much in any direction and his head stays rock solid in one position. DS: Yeah, yeah, I get it, I get it. (Laughter) This is very hard to do, so anyway... Are you laughing at me or with me? (Laughter) What I want to explain about this video is when I put this video up... (Laughter) You're supposed to be listening to me! This is a TED talk. (Laughter) Listen to me. (Applause) OK. Listen! Listen! I have a really important point, and it's going to make you feel important and stuff; just listen. So, when I put that video up on the Internet, I wasn't thinking, "Hey, pretty cool. Check it out." "Chicken does this, chicken does that. I love it." I put that video on the Internet because at the time I was taking classes, I'm still wearing glasses, aren't I? I was taking classes in guidance and control, and I understood that that chicken was a closed loop system. And what he was doing was tracking the position of his head based on two things: based on inertial input from his body and also an optical input which is really fascinating. We have something called the vestibulo-ocular reflex, to track things with our eyes like this. I can move my head. I can track you. Chickens can't do that, which is why they put their head in a spot, and then they walk under their head. They put their head in a spot and walk under their head again. Does that make sense? (Laughter) That's the level I was at when I made this video. I put it on the Internet and everybody reacted the same: "Oh, look at that redneck with his little chicken. Isn't that funny? (Laughter) I realized at that point in time I was like, "So, I just played with a chicken on the Internet, and millions of people like it for totally different reasons than why I do. What is going on? So anyway, I kept doing it. This is a video of me with my children. And I don't know if you know this, but if we go forward in a car (Video) ...and we're just going to drive forward, we're going to accelerate. If we go that way, which direction do you think this pendulum will go? DS: What do you think? Driving forward. (Video) Daughter: Yes! DS: Which way is it going? Daughter: My way. DS: That's right. Because I'm accelerating, right? DS: That makes sense, right? (Video) Now I'm going to replace this pendulum with a balloon. We should see the same thing, right? We cut this off. What we're going to do is we're going to accelerate that way. We have the mass of the balloon in the acceleration. That should emit a force that would have to react with the string. Are you guys ready? Daughter: Yes, sir. 3...2...1...Go. Wait a second! DS: What's happening there? (Video) What did just happen? Its a little unexpected, isn't it? But this stuff is all around you. You're just not looking for it. Seriously. Like this morning, We ate breakfast at the hotel where I stole that glass from. I'm going to have to figure that one out. There you can put honey on your toast in the morning. Do you guys ever do this? If you take honey and you drizzle it on your toast, this is something called The Liquid Rope-Coil Effect. Have you ever seen this? This might've happened in front of you. You just haven't see it because it wasn't at 100,000 fps. But this is very complicated, and you can do this every morning. If you look at it, this coil here is a super duper complicated math function. We've got the diameter of the liquid rope there at the top, and the diameter of the bottom, - they're different - then we have the mass flow rate, and then we can calculate an orbital frequency of honey. What is interesting about this is I've seen this a lot in my life. But I've never taken the moment to think about what it was. Because this is still not understood fully by science. Did you know that? No, seriously, we don't know exactly what happens. We know there's 4 regimes that it operates in: there's the inertial regime, there's the gravitational regime, there's something called the inertio-gravitational regime. We don't really understand it. We do know it's a 17th-order polynomial with 18 boundary conditions, but we don't know what that means. (Laughter) This stuff is all over the place; I promise you, you'll see something on the way home if you just look at the world a little differently. People ask me [this] often when they meet me. They say, "Where do you get your ideas for these videos?" And the real answer is I have no idea. I really don't. I just look at the world a little bit differently. And this is what I want to challenge you to do. This is all I want. Hear nothing else in this whole TEDx thing. I want you to hear this. Look at the world differently. You got it? Because If you do, you're going to see things that are more beautiful than you ever thought of before even though they were right in front of your face the whole time. I also want to say and it's not lost for me if I'm saying this at a TEDx event in a world of talkers, you need to be a thinker and a doer, OK? You've heard a lot of talking. I'm talking. But in a world of talkers, you need to be a thinker and a doer because that's where crazy stuff starts happening. Until you actually do something, you're not going to experience anything strange. Make a discovery, perhaps. I was asked to go to the rainforest. Do you ever read the YouTube comments? (Laughter) Anybody ever read comments on YouTube? It's pretty bad stuff. Never read the comments. I made the mistake of reading them one time, and this guy, I promise this is how it happens, he was like, "Hey, what would you do if you went to the rainforest for a week?" I was like, "That was a strange comment, out of 1,500 comments on this video." I think I will... "Well, I don't know what I would do. Why do you ask?" And this guy asked me to come to the rainforest. What do you do when people ask you to go to the jungle on the Internet? You go to the jungle. That's what I did. I went down to the Tambopata Research Center in South America in Peru, and I just started exploring; I had no business there. I'm an airspace engineer from Alabama. (Laughter) Yeah, let's go to the rainforest. (Laughter) So I did. I went with a buddy of mine named Gordon McGladdery. He's an audio engineer. I also met a couple of guys down there, Jeff and Phil. We just walked around the jungle and just did stuff. And we came across this. Which is a pile of caterpillars. And most people, when they see a pile of caterpillars, they're like: "Well, that's weird. Why do caterpillars do that?" "Are they trying to look life feces so something doesn't try to eat them?" What are they doing? I started looking at them a little bit more because I've done some motion control stuff. And then I've realized that the caterpillar on top is actually not having to walk as much as the caterpillar on the bottom. Does that make sense? This caterpillar on the bottom is moving, and the caterpillar above him is moving on top of him. And then I got to realize it, because I used my engineer brain and I looked at it a bit different because I'm not an entomologist. I realized the whole group of caterpillars can move faster if they move as a group. Does that make any sense? I came home like, "Surely, this is a well-known phenomenon. I started googling trying to figure out what's going on. Nobody talked about it before because they didn't have an idiot from Alabama down there looking at a pile of caterpillars in the rainforest. Does that make sense? What I'm saying is look at at the world differently because that's where discoveries happen. Here's another interesting discovery we made: Gordon, my friend-- We're tired. We're in the jungle. Haven't slept very well. It's all sweaty at night. And Gordon is like, "I kind of want to go on a jungle walk to record some audio." "Because that's what I do. I'm an audio engineer." "Whatever, Gordon. I'll go with you." Phill Torres, A buddy of ours is down there too, he's an entomologist. We say, "Hey, Phil! Can we go on a jungle walk and you take us to places where we don't get bit by animals that'll kill us?"