Blue whale researcher and TED Senior Fellow Asha de Vos unveiled her TED-Ed lesson today on the TED Fellows stage. The video — “Why are blue whales so enormous?” — stars a puppet version of de Vos, which she had been coveting for weeks. So Fellows & Community Director Tom Rielly presented her with it, hand-carried from London by TED Senior Fellow Taghi Amirani. We asked her how she felt to be gifted with her own plush doppelgänger.
“It was such an amazing surprise! When I saw the first cut of the video, I was roaring with laughter. I hadn’t known they were going to make a puppet of me. So I had actually been pestering Tom and all the TED staff for the last few days about how I could get my hands on it. Tom was very convincing when he said it was in the middle of nowhere and it would be impossible to get it,” says de Vos. “I realize now in hindsight that they’ve been avoiding me a little bit for the last two days. It was a well-kept secret. I’m looking forward to using it when I talk to kids about the ocean, which I usually do wearing a mask and fins! Now she [the puppet] can do it.”
Read this interview where de Vos talks blue whales with National Geographic. And below, her TED-Ed lesson.
Photo: Karen Eng