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  • 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