Playlist TED-Ed

Making the invisible visible: 6 great TED-Ed lessons animated by Andrew Park

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

An overwhelming majority of our experience is guided by forces that are invisible to the naked eye. While we can easily see other people, we cannot see their thoughts, nor their genetic structure. And while we can easily rest our eyes on matter, we cannot see gravity, atoms, energy, gases, electricity, or radio waves. Ditto for time.

For today’s TEDTalk — a rapid-fire examination of all that is more than meets the eye — animator Andrew Park of Cognitive Media has re-envisioned John Lloyd’s classic talk from TEDGlobal 2009 with images that will make you both think and chuckle.

Below, watch five more fascinating TED-Ed lessons animated by Park, plus Lloyd’s original talk.

Questions no one knows the answer to
TED’s curator Chris Anderson has long been fascinated by the quirky questions of existence. In this TED-Ed lesson, Anderson offers some puzzle pieces that no one is able to fit together.

How many universes are there?
One of the biggest questions Chris Anderson poses: if the sun can fit one million Earths inside it, and the sun is just a pinprick in the context of space—how many universes are there? Anderson explores the exciting possibilities.

Why can’t we see evidence of alien life?
With as many as 50 million potentially life-harboring planets just in the Milky Way—how is it possible that we have not yet come across any other signs of intelligent life? Chris Anderson poses many theories.

Just how small is an atom?
Everything is made up of atoms, which have a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons. In this TED-Ed lesson—narrated by Jonathan Bergmann—discover analogies that give a visceral sense of an atom’s scale. For example, if an atom were blown up to the size of a football stadium, the nucleus would be marble-sized. 

How to speed up chemical reactions (and get a date)
Why is the term chemistry so often used in reference to romance? Because the two work similarly. In this lesson, educator Aaron Sams shows how the same forces that create a chemical reaction can lead to a happy prom experience.

John Lloyd inventories the invisible
John Lloyd has been a fixture of British television for decades, producing series like QI, Blackadder, Spitting Image, and the BBC’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Here, watch his original talk on the invisibles things all around us, from TEDGlobal 2009.