playlist

GROSS!

Poop, parasites, dead duck sex, eating bugs, and many more impolite — but fascinating — topics. These talks are for the non-squeamish.

  1. 13:14
    Ed Yong Zombie roaches and other parasite tales

    In this fascinating, hilarious and ever-so-slightly creepy talk, science writer Ed Yong tells the story of his favorite parasites — animals and organisms that live on the bodies (and brains!) of other organisms, causing them to do their bidding. Do humans have them too? Maybe ...

  2. 14:01
    Rose George Let's talk crap. Seriously.

    It's 2013, yet 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to a basic sanitary toilet. And when there's no loo, where do you poo? In the street, probably near your water and food sources — causing untold death and disease from contamination. Get ready for a blunt, funny, powerful talk from journalist Rose George about a once-unmentionable problem.

  3. 11:52
    Kees Moeliker How a dead duck changed my life

    One afternoon, Kees Moeliker got a research opportunity few ornithologists would wish for: A flying duck slammed into his glass office building, died, and then ... what happened next would change his life. [Note: Contains graphic images and descriptions of sexual behavior in animals.]

  4. 16:43
    Mary Roach 10 things you didn't know about orgasm

    "Bonk" author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)

  5. 9:31
    Michael Pritchard How to make filthy water drinkable

    Too much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it — inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. An amazing demo from TEDGlobal 2009.

  6. 9:21
    Arunachalam Muruganantham How I started a sanitary napkin revolution!

    When he realized his wife had to choose between buying family meals and buying her monthly "supplies," Arunachalam Muruganantham vowed to help her solve the problem of the sanitary pad. His research got very very personal — and led him to a powerful business model. (Filmed in Bangalore as part of the TED Global Talent Search.)

  7. 9:47
    Carin Bondar The birds and the bees are just the beginning

    Think you know a thing or two about sex? Think again. In this fascinating talk, biologist Carin Bondar lays out the surprising science behind how animals get it on. (This talk describes explicit and aggressive sexual content.)

  8. 16:34
    Marcel Dicke Why not eat insects?

    Marcel Dicke makes an appetizing case for adding insects to everyone's diet. His message to squeamish chefs and foodies: delicacies like locusts and caterpillars compete with meat in flavor, nutrition and eco-friendliness.

  9. 17:08
    Marcus Byrne The dance of the dung beetle

    A dung beetle has a brain the size of a grain of rice, and yet it shows a tremendous amount of intelligence when it comes to rolling its food source — animal excrement — home. How? It all comes down to a dance.