Science and Nature

Deep Look

See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet extraordinary new friends. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

Meet the Bug You Didn't Know You Were Eating

5m 16s

The cochineal is a tiny insect deeply rooted in the history of Oaxaca, Mexico. Female cochineals spend most of their lives with their heads buried in juicy cactus pads, eating and growing. After cochineals die, their legacy lives on in the brilliant red hue produced by their hemolymph. Dyes made from cochineal have been used in textiles, paintings, and even in your food!

Episodes

  • Meet the Bug You Didn't Know You Were Eating: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Meet the Bug You Didn't Know You Were Eating

    S11 E6 - 5m 16s

    The cochineal is a tiny insect deeply rooted in the history of Oaxaca, Mexico. Female cochineals spend most of their lives with their heads buried in juicy cactus pads, eating and growing. After cochineals die, their legacy lives on in the brilliant red hue produced by their hemolymph. Dyes made from cochineal have been used in textiles, paintings, and even in your food!

  • Watch Ferns Get Freaky: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Watch Ferns Get Freaky

    S11 E5 - 3m 44s

    Look at the underside of a fern leaf. Those rows of orange clusters aren’t tiny insects; they’re spores waiting to be catapulted away. Once a spore lands, it grows into a tiny plant, from which fern sperm swim away, searching for an egg to fertilize. Think of *that* next time you’re hiking in the forest.

  • These Solar-Powered Carnivorous Flatworms Divide and Conquer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    These Solar-Powered Carnivorous Flatworms Divide and Conquer

    S11 E4 - 5m 16s

    Tiny marine flatworms called acoels hunt for prey in coral reefs. They're referred to as “plant-animals'' because they've got a partnership with photosynthetic algae that live inside of them. But this acoel's real superpower is its ability to regenerate any part of its body!

  • Sharpshooter Insects are Real Wizzes at Whizzing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Sharpshooter Insects are Real Wizzes at Whizzing

    S11 E3 - 3m 57s

    Sharpshooters survive by guzzling a lot of plant sap. But drinking all of that liquid nutrition presents a problem for these tiny insects: How do they move it all out? Easy. They've perfected a super-propulsive urination technique using a special catapult in their butt.

  • Watch Spawning Corals Synchronize With the Night Sky: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Watch Spawning Corals Synchronize With the Night Sky

    S11 E2 - 4m 36s

    When the moon, sun and ocean temperatures all align, an underwater "snowstorm" occurs. Corals put on a massive spawning spectacle by sending tiny white spheres floating up the water column all at once.

  • A Drain Fly’s Happy Place Is Down Your Pipes: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Drain Fly’s Happy Place Is Down Your Pipes

    S11 E1 - 3m 58s

    Ever wonder how those tiny, jumpy flies got onto your bathroom wall? Well, they came out of your sink drain after growing up down in the pipes. A goofy, long “mustache,” fuzzy wings and some aquabatics help them survive in that soggy environment.

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