This is an underwater cement sculpture of a Bahamian girl. It was created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, and it weighs 60 tons — too heavy for most cranes to lift. Many of Jasons’s sculptures can be found underwater where coral and other life can grow on them, ultimately becoming part of the ocean’s ecosystem. “I am making these inert objects, but the environment is giving them their souls,” he says. Watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/oceanatlas
Photo courtesy of @jasondecairestaylor
126,48095924 April, 2019
Hours after giving his #TEDTalk at #TED2019 , writer and illustrator Jonny Sun sat down with us to draw this illustration of one of his characters, Jomny. Jomny is a lonely alien who finds a home on Earth after learning that humans sometimes feel lonely, too. Jonny’s drawings feature Jomny on his search for love and acceptance, interacting with all sorts of earth-bound creatures as he navigates life on this planet. Check out TED’s Instagram story to watch a sped-up time-lapse of @jonnysun at work, and stay tuned for the posting of his incredible TED Talk.
12,1568418 April, 2019
We're in Vancouver for #TED2019 ! This year’s theme is Bigger Than Us, and we’re exploring the inspiring possibilities that happen when we ask what ideas are truly worth fighting for.
Follow along all week for a behind-the-scenes look at the action!
Photo by @marlaaufmuth/TED
14,80410415 April, 2019
Flip through the images to learn why a mass fish extinction millions of years ago still matters today. This post is based on a #TEDTalk by Lauren Sallan, a paleobiologist and @TEDFellow. Watch the full version at go.ted.com/fishextinction
Illustration and animation by @dennism00re
22,48119012 April, 2019
You may have seen that black hole photo all over the internet this week, but here’s why it’s such a big deal: until now, the existence of black holes was only inferred from the movements of other objects, such as stars and light. For the first time ever, we now have visual proof of one! Capturing this image required an international team of scientists, a virtual Earth-sized telescope (yes, really), and an algorithm created by imaging scientist Katie Bouman, among others. This wasn’t just any algorithm, though — it was an algorithm that could piece together each tiny measurement of light radiating from the black hole, captured by the component radio telescopes as the Earth spins. The image shown here is a construction of that algorithm using simulated data, since Katie gave her TED Talk before the official black hole image was released. Katie began this project without any background in astrophysics, and she’s proof that we need people from all disciplines working together to achieve the impossible. “I’d like to encourage all of you to go out and help push the boundaries of science, even if it may at first seem as mysterious to you as a black hole,” she says. To watch her #TEDTalk , visit go.ted.com/blackhole.
Image courtesy of Katie Bouman
49,40654111 April, 2019
Imagine going to a concert but being unable to block out any of the noises, touches, smells, and movements happening around you. Whispers sound like screams, a tiny nudge is painful, flashing lights are blinding. That’s the reality for many kids with autism, particularly those with sensory processing issues. They often can’t filter out sensory input like those with neurotypical processing systems. To relieve the pressure and cope, they might cry, cover their ears, close their eyes, scream, hit, or perform some other repetitive behavior. As a result, places like zoos, arenas, and museums are particularly difficult for these children and their parents — especially when other people don’t understand the behavior. Julian Maha and Michele Kong have a six-year-old with autism, and they are familiar with the social stigma around the disorder. They founded a nonprofit called KultureCity, which aims to change the way we treat people with sensory differences. They’re working to train employees in public places to teach them how to work compassionately and safely with people who have sensory issues. “Autistic individuals have great potential, but we have to give them a chance,” says Julian. “We need to create environments where they can thrive, where they can learn better ways to teach themselves. We need to help communities understand.” To learn more about the incredible progress KultureCity has made, visit go.ted.com/kulturecity #AutismAwarenessDay
Phoenix and Roman Hai Lash are twins who want to transform the way we think about communication. Using ground-breaking psychological research, they hope to draw our attention to how tone and hand gestures can be used to both elevate and stigmatize the voices of infants. “Your baby language truly shapes who you are,” says Phoenix, age 8 months. Her twin brother Roman backs her up. “It’s time to stop thinking we can’t see you during peek-a-boo. Obviously we see your face behind your hands.” Together, they’re working to revolutionize the future of infant-grown up relations, one baby talk at a time. “You can’t just wait around for change to happen. Crawl boldly toward the world you’ve always dreamed of,” adds Roman. (Well, technically they both just cried the whole interview, but it’s clear what they meant). To watch their full #TEDDYTalk , visit go.ted.com/aprilfools #AprilFools
The Earth and the Moon have a pretty weird relationship. They’re actually twins — they have identical isotopes, meaning that they’re made up of the same materials. That’s unheard of as far as “space relations” go. No other planetary bodies have the same genetic relationship. So, what makes the Earth and the Moon so special? After conducting countless simulations, planetary scientist Sarah T. Stewart discovered a new type of astronomical object: a synestia (which is what you see in this clip). A synestia is made from planets; it’s what a planet becomes when the combination of heat and spin speed causes it to lose its spherical shape. Sarah theorizes that the Earth was once a synestia, and the Moon actually formed inside it. “The next time you look at the Moon, remember: the things you think you know may be the opportunity to discover something truly amazing,” she says. To learn more, watch her #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/spacetwins
Visualization courtesy of Sarah T. Stewart
19,24925929 March, 2019
Artist Laolu Senbanjo uses skin as a canvas. He was inspired by his grandmother’s tattoos, which are beautiful lines and symbols from Yoruba mythology. He calls his project “The Sacred Art of the Ori” — a reference to the word “Ori,” meaning ‘your soul’ in Yoruba mythology. “Only when you tap into your Ori, then you can actually move mountains,” @laolunyc says. Watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/sacredart.
Photo courtesy of Laolu Senbanjo
26,04818627 March, 2019
Imagine spending a Friday night on this floating movie theater in the ocean of Thailand. Architect Ole Scheeren built this small modular platform using recycled materials from the local community. It became a space for locals to gather together, watching movies from the British film archive like “Alice in Wonderland” as they gently swayed in the water. “The most primordial experiences of the audience merged with the stories of the movies,” Ole Scheeren says. “Architecture exceeds the domain of physical matter, of the built environment, but is really about how we want to live our lives, how we script our own stories and those of others.” To learn more about how he blends storytelling and architecture, visit go.ted.com/floatingtheater
Image courtesy of Ole Scheeren
28,0101,80322 March, 2019
Let’s talk about clouds because why not! This type of cloud is called Cataractagenitus, which is a combination of the Latin ‘cataracta,’ meaning waterfall, and ‘genitus,’ meaning generated. It’s a special cloud induced by the rising spray of large waterfalls. The World Meteorological Organization uses the term “special cloud” to describe formations that may form or grow as a result of localized activity such as a waterfall or wildfire. Dreamy, right? It’s about to be cloud-watching weather, so visit go.ted.com/cloudappreciation to learn more about the different formations you could see!
Photo courtesy of WMO International Cloud Atlas and Yves Courtel.
17,69010919 March, 2019
Meet engineer Gwynne Shotwell, employee number seven at SpaceX and now the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. She is working on the organization’s next big project, the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket). Her goal is to get the BFR to fly like an aircraft, sending people across the globe in 30 minutes. “This is basically space travel for earthlings,” she says. To learn more about her plans for SpaceX, watch her #TED2018 interview with TED’s Curator, Chris Anderson, at go.ted.com/gwynneshotwell
Photo by @brethartman/TED