Update: 2017-07-0719


What lies beyond the reach of the naked eye, and how do these hidden forces shape our lives? This hour, TED speakers reveal forgotten cities, underwater canyons, tiny parasites, and a boiling river. TED speakers include computer scientist Abe Davis, ocean explorer Robert Ballard, science writer Ed Yong, space archaeologist Sarah Parcak, and geoscientist Andrés Ruzo. (Original broadcast date: March 18, 2016)

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support for Ted Radio Hour and the following message come from rocket mortgage by Quicken loans when it comes to refinancing your existing mortgage or buying a home rocket mortgage lets you understand all the details so you can be confident you're getting the right mortgage for you goats are rocket mortgage dot com slash ideas hates guy here just a quick note to say working on a brand new episode of that and radio are actually many new episodes but in the meantime take a listen to this one it's called hidden and it's all about the small hidden things that influence our lives even when we can't see them you'll hear from Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard from science writer and yon and the incredible space archaeologist and Ted Prize winner Sara Park this is the Head Radio Hour each week groundbreaking Ted Technology Design at Stanford delivered and Ted conferences around the world gift of the human imagination we had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy rise and on the show today ideas about the things that are hit the all around us and how technology and sometimes just old fashioned sleuthing is helping us to detect more and more of our invisible world so that the show a little experiment with theft a bag of chips these ones are a kettle cooked and what this bag of chips is about to reveal is just how much of our world is hidden if his work with Doritos we tried rooms I suspect some place I'm assuming will work fine we have the Malays are looking good so this is a guy who did the experiment with chips I made it this time PhD candidate at MIT as for Wade studying let's just say it has to do with hidden information before we tell you about AIDS chip experiment there something you need to tell and it's a basic truth of our physical world it's a truth that enables aim to do His work it turns out that most things most the time why are moving a little bit to put this another way almost everything around us is constantly almost imperceptible e vibrating the but no way that is totally invisible to us our visual system is tuned to pay attention to certain things and likewise it's tuned to ignore certain things for instance really tiny motions are really fast motions these are things that we don't typically see with our hummingbirds when we reached the flat let up just like the hummingbird body and dislike this weird kind of thing but just like we can use camera does capture the movement of the hummingbirds wings A Davis uses cameras to capture the tiny vibrations vibrations that are normally hidden from us but that surround us all the time her cause by sound sound so I'm sitting here in the studio and had this at my gate he is not in some moving you telling me that the tea is vibrating from the sound of my voice a real voice so what happens when you do with the movement actually play camera at that image of that my goatee to us if we look at even the image probably won't look like it's moving at all because the actual motion is going to be a lot smaller than even a single pixel but if it moves by just a fraction of a fraction of the pixel than some of these pixels that the monk will get just a little typewriter and some will get just a little bit darker and we can analyze very subtle change and we can actually recover this information from him to translate information into what this case and a sound the people this is the huge listen closely because what Ava saying here is that almost any object in the world around you can become a microphone and with a pretty ordinary video camera and the right lighting you could shoot silent video of an object and then analyze the tiny imperceptible motion in the video and translate that emotion into sound into words even up until recently this was all theoretical which is how Abe wound up standing in his lab one day screening at a bag of potato chips in a video he shared on the Ted stage for the mass the the the the the this experiment looks completely ridiculous I mean I'm screaming out a bag of chips the blasting it with so much light we literally melted the first bag to try this but ridiculous as this experiment looks was actually really important because with the right algorithms we can take this silent seemingly still video we can recover the sound the The The The The and this was really significant because it was the first time he recovered intelligible human speech from silent video of an object so it gave us this point of reference and gradually we can start to modify the experiment using different objects are less light are quieter sounds and that led to experiments like this one again going to speak to a bag of chips but this time we've moved our camera about fifteen feet away outside behind a sound proof window in the whole thing is lit by only natural sunlight and this is one thing sounded like from inside next to the bag of chips near the river where we were no where you were reverent toward God here's what we were able to recover from or silent video captured outside behind that window the more the the more the the the the sch the cave he should explain this to two people listening because what you've done here is you've taken silent video of the ships and then using a computer algorithm you analyze the tiny vibrations in the bad you extract the sound that cause those tiny vibrations in the first place all from a bag of chips a bag of chips this is incredible I mean it's it's enticing to write what you think that is God I mean speaking personally it's exciting to sort of discovered this whole new world of information I mean you can imagine a future where nothing is hidden anymore for somebody just sitting having a quiet conversation next to a an empty bag of chips as being less it's interesting it easy for the mind going there it's easy to imagine Oh man this gives me access to this information so therefore this information can no longer hide guess but I think what's gonna happen now that we know the information is there information is everywhere and it's in such abundance just nobody has the resources to look at all of it it's like telling people I know that there's a needle in this haystack that doesn't mean you're going to find but now we can find it that's the thing like there's no way that like intelligence agencies are excited by this like there's no way this is technology that could disrupt the way they operate I mean I think that if you invested enough in this dozens potentially open up new doors for its officially begun I think a lot of the potential is in other kinds of information the the the it's not hard to imagine may use this technology to spy on some but keep in mind that there's already a lot of very mature technology out there for surveillance in fact people have been using lasers to eavesdrop on objects from a distance for decades but what's really new here what's really different is that now we have a way to picture the vibrations of an object which uses a new lens through which to look at the world and we can use that lens to learn not just about forces like sound that cause an object or vibrate but also about the object itself you can imagine for instance looking at Old Bridge and wondering what would happen how the priests hold up to drive my car across it and that's a question that you probably want to answer before you start driving across that bridge we just started to scratch the surface of what you can do with this kind of imaging because it gives us to capture her surroundings with common accessible technology and so look into the future can be really exciting to explore but this can tell us about the world that I Davis he's a PhD candidate at MIT you can see his entire talk can you really should because it is super visual really cool to Dachau the Today on the show ID is about the hidden things in our world and the people who go looking for them can you remind us what you are our best known for well I'm best known for finding the Titanic there is no more famous shipwreck in the world and the discovery of the Titanic in the Atlantic off the coast jazz historians have waited nearly three quarters of a century to see just a Titanic wasn't no big deal the second afternoon of work well you know it wasn't us and discover it was lost and found expeditions director Robert Ballard is quite the bitch is Robert Ballard comic is an Oceanography or he found the Titanic back in nineteen eighty five and since then he spent his career exploring a place most of us don't give much thought to the ocean the seventy two percent of our planet that is covered in water and most of it completely unexplored there's a lot down there and there's a lot we don't know that's down there bigger mountain ranges underwater than above water there's canyons down to the make the Grand Canyon look like a ditch and there's thousands and thousands of volcanoes and there's more history in the deep sea than all the world combined in fact the greatest mountain range on earth lies below the Ocean's surface it's called The Mid Ocean Ridge and as Bob Ballard explained from the Ted stage we've known about it for a long time but no it actually gone down into the actual side of boundary of creations we call it in to the rift valley fill a group of seven of us crawled in our little submarines in the summer of nineteen seventy three nineteen seventy four and were the first human beings to enter the Great rift Valley almost a quarter of our planet is a single mountain range and we didn't enter it until after Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin to them to enter the moon play golf up there before we went to the largest feature on our own plan we went down in the rift Valley and it's pitch black it's absolutely pitch black because photons cannot reach the average dipped the ocean which is twelve thousand feet most of our planet does not feel the warmth the sun most of our planet is in eternal darkness and for that reason you do not have photosynthesis Liddy see with the absence of photosynthesis you have no plant life and as a result we have very little animal life living in this underworld or so we thought we discovered a profusion of life in a world that it should not exist Giants two warms ten feet all use vodka my own vodka Pickler Carrie formaldehyde we went and found these incredible clam beds sitting large clans and we opened them they didn't look like a clam and we cut them open they didn't have the anatomy of the clan no mouth no got no digestive system their body said had been totally taken over by another organism a bacterium that figured out how to replicate photosynthesis in the dark through a process we now call chemo since this is not of it in our textbooks Ballard coming up his plan to fill those text books faster than we ever have before it's in just a minute and Guy rise and you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR the to Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who helped make this podcast possible first to optimum health care and innovation company gears up to him labs Chief Medical Officer Josh Eck saying hobby how abt him labs and its partners are using big data to help solve some of the health system's greatest challenges only hope for when you actually know how to analyze it in that sweet to hear top ten last get this data driven insights to help the health care that the optimum out well gets done learn more com slash data in focus thanks also to Morgan Stanley to help First Solar raise capital to expand into new markets in our region from the comic desert in chalet to rural India access to clean renewable energy first Solar is enabling a world powered by reliable and affordable solar electricity global business something to see capital creates light use basis more Morgan Stanley dot com slash First Solar Morgan Stanley and Coe LLC member Sue Beck the it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and Guy rise and I shared a hidden ideas about how things we can see are sometimes right in front of us or even shaping our behavior and before the break we were hearing from Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard who's found giant worms mass of clams taken over by parasites new life forms that we had never seen before and the of the Titanic so what else you think is down there I don't know I didn't know there were thirteen for our hse that had new life forms that had another creature in the body that taken over their body and was inhaling poisonous hydrogen sulfide who would've ever cream that the most horrible science fiction movie in the world has never done that or it's real this a try you crazy to think that they are all these hidden things that are yet to be discovered and that yeah I mean I never grow up see I used to be used to always look under rocks for salamanders and I love discovering things The Human Bean imagine ok you open your eyes and you're in a room OK with that right now you know close your eyes and open the door how fast you go to that door i fast fast really fast yeah that's us the the we want to know what's on the US as a door Alice's looking glass yes we're programmed to want to know what's on the other side of the door the the the ocean explorers like Ballard that door is miles away straight down at the bottom of the ocean can only go up and down so fast to spend all your time up and down which means for the twenty five years he spent exploring the ocean with a submarine Bob has spent a lot of that time just getting to the places he's trying to learn about what I imagined at the office OK six hours to commute to work six hours to get home following a stellar minutes okay and you're going is still at a twelve hour day that's why I'm trying to accelerate and so the best way to accelerate the time it takes to get to the bottom of the ocean is not to go at all but instead to send robots would call you these are a visa Thomas' vehicle systems that don't have to come up and down all the time but they can spend days even weeks under water that's what's going to be the force multiplier that's what's going to accelerate everything we just build these massive numbers of swarms of vehicle systems that are swarming onto the ocean and that's that's soon the scene you can sit and a lab in Rhode Island or Connecticut or sub Sahara Africa wherever you are and you can work with this underwater robot and extent of the ocean I can put on my cell phone and last year one of Ballard's robots called Hercules was off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico when something amazing happened so we're down the Gulf of Mexico and were doing this thing to take a super sample it all goes well and then a beach adolescents turmoil comes in a couple thousand feet as heck is that says Hello My goodness what is that Bagwell we need to listen to how we transformed and children to turn the three of them got up from the the the circa zoom out of the White House start counting wow the years of near Seneca where the the infant and I'm so where you guys while this is all happening I was in my house when it happen o watching your new house and this Rolex is like thousands and hundreds of miles away from you thousands of miles away from him the E and that's kind of the idea that the group of scientists thousands of miles away can feel like they're they're in a world hidden from view was more more robots exploring the ocean Ballard says it might not be hidden much longer I mean I envy generation and middle school right now I'm going to be eclipsed by some kid in eighth grade this can and have the technologies to do a thousand times more exploration and I've been able to do because of the advent of new technologies where they don't have to physically do it they can move at amazing speeds and now at the Thomas vehicles underwater drones just really pouring into the ocean now you're going to see the rate of discovery in the ocean sky rocket the Robert Ballard is an ocean Explorer you can see his entire talk to that count next up the parasites we think of parasites is small degenerate things right that the kind of biology is B list is they they have these Wade obscure Lysol for the just sitting there sucking blood or training interns whatever and that's all they do this is a young science writer and science writer at The Atlantic and a blogger at National Geographic you are just image a lot of people think journalists are parasites I mean that's that's probably fat and the and fitting because you've dried a lot about parasites right I am a parasite the parasite scientists anyway eight to eighty on parasites are not biology is the listeners because they actually exert a hidden control over almost everything in the natural world including us every living thing has its own parasites a farce what kinds of parasites and bacteria count we can scale up to take pics and parasitic worms they're all wasps they're off fun guy a huge proportion of living things all parasites themselves they exerts this enormous influence on the world around us are shaped ecosystems and they change minds and manipulate behavior a parasite that's right and I think um the I did that these very simple creatures could be manipulating and influencing things with sophisticated brains and mission quite shocking to people I think the and frankly it was shocking to add as well when he first became obsessed with parasites about a decade ago he explained how that obsession began on the Ted stage in just a quick note edges a lot of pictures during the stock and it's probably for the best that you can see them on the radio because they're actually kind of gross ok here's Ed stack was known about this way of life through David after his trials of life about twenty years ago and then later through wonderful book o parasite Rex my friend calls him to not be writing about these creatures up since few topics in biology and through me more weeks like the parasites of subverted my own brain because us to rule the always compelling and a delightfully macabre when you write about parasites your next consoles with phrases like devoured alive and burst out of its body but there's more to than that I'm the rights and for the roaches in the audience will know that we love stories of Paris Arts invites is to resist to be a new or old via stories there was one of plot twists and unexpected explanations why for example does this come to stop finally thrashing about one another in sick it's close to it and there's what cocoons that it seems to be spending go to is maybe protecting its siblings know this caterpillar was attacked by a parasitic wasp which lays eggs inside the eggs hatched in the Young was devout the cusp or alive before busting out of its body now some of the wasps seem to stay behind and controlled it into defending their siblings which I met a more posing in to adults within this concludes this caterpillar is a head banging zombie bodyguard defending the offspring of the creature that killed it it's the the they're actually quite a few examples of parasite recruited buddy coats as a ladybug Stein's gawd over this like Sea silk and cocoons of wasps that have terrorist ties to and city seems to be seen to be feed him but you kill a thing you turn into a guardian for you young I mean yes there is this hidden force right there all these parasites that change the behavior of different species how do we even know what's real and what's not how do we know what normal behavior isn't what what isn't I think the point is that this is normal behavior this is just part of what's going on in the world around us I think we would be wrong to think of these is all the T's rap parts of the world known behaviour is a spectrum that includes what parasites to toss you know I I am often not a fun person to like go nature watching with now because whenever I see an animal doing something with nothing like a friend of mine showed me this video of like stoked like a weasel bouncing about hopping really happy to know because in the Keys I've a parasite the parasite you like that that is a political rather crazy animal yet I was doing something you completely destroy the cuteness of it oh you think that's cute let me just thank your feelings wow that's cool yeah the the the Bisquick it swallowed the lava over Gordy in world or horse had was the one grew to adult size within it but it needs to get into water in order to make and it does that by releasing proteins that out of the crickets brain causing it to behave to radically when the cricket needs a body of water such as the swimming pool it jumped in and drowns and the wrinkles out of its suicidal course one Japanese son to school to Korea so to find that in one stream these things drive so many crickets and grasshoppers into the water that drowned in sex make up some sixty percent of the diet of local trout manipulation is not an oddity is a critical and common part of the world around us all all it's crazy to think of parasites are just like changing the behavior for the sake of being subversive actually like driving ecosystems I think that's one things I love about this that you start seeing the natural world in a different light whenever we look at an item of doing something when we asked Why is it doing that you assume that it's in control of its own behaviour get right and we don't think that maybe something is controlling something we can see and I think the wonderful thing about Paris of our witches invites you to think about that gives you different lens through which to view the world and its scary lines but the cool one I think the which of course leads us to a troubling question could there be parasites influencing ass but Young says there's one that can be in you right now are meeting your cat it's called tuck so plasma Gandhi I will talk so short because the terrifying creature always a cute nickname talk so in fact mammals a wide variety of mammals but it can only sae actually reproduced caps and scientists like Joanne Webster have shown that if Thompson gets into a rat or a mouse it owns the road into a cat seeking Miss aisle if the infected rats smell the delightful odor of cat piss it runs two words the souls of the smell rather than the more sensible direction of the way the cot beats the rats took to get straight sets of classic tale of Eat pray Love the very charge people write this thing is a single cell this is known of the system is no consciousness doesn't even have a body but it's manipulating a memo we are mammals we are more intelligent than Iraq to be sure but all brains have the same basic structure the same tut to sell the same chemicals running through them and the same parasites estimates vary a lot but some think it's just one in three people around the world have talked to in their brains are typically this doesn't the twenty avert illness but there's some evidence that those people who all carriers have slightly to school slightly differently on plus nobody question as to know the people that they have a slightly higher risk of car accidents and the some evidence that people with schizophrenia are more likely to be infected now I think this evidence is still inconclusive and even among top researchers opinion is divided as to whether the parasite is truly influencing our behavior but given the widespread nature of such manipulations it will be completely implausible for humans to be the only species that once similarly affected the the the you hear about how all of these parasites manipulate behavior and creatures and that it does come a key question for you will write Miss Shelly among us yeah and I think I think that was really interesting philosophical implications like how much Americans under you're in control I still would cite like most but we can say I think is that it's entirely plausible that our behavior could be affected by parasites but I did it we should freak out a concept that we might sometimes make decisions not entirely of our own I'm freaking out freaking out yet because I'm a Jew free to hate you did know the the the this custody to subvert the way of thinking about the world makes par so it's amazing that constantly inviting is to look at but not to walk sideways it was cute the babies were seen whether the simple and obvious or baffling
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