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What happens if you eat too many raw eggs? What are those little rods sticking out of airplane wings? All this, and more as Nicole Sweeney, host of Crash Course Sociology, faces off against Hank in an episode of the SciShow Quiz Show.

Hosted by: Michael Aranda
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Egg whites


Static wicks

Deicing boots

Adelie penguins


 (00:00) to (02:00)


M: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to SciShow Quiz Show, the only quiz show that knows the difference between--

H: Sci--!

M: --factitious and fictitious.

H: Ohh.  Factitious is a good name for a TV show that we should produce.  

M: That's the best way to come up with TV shows.  I'm your host, Michael Aranda, and today we have renowned fish-kisser, Hank Green.

H: Facticious fish-kisser.

N: Ooh.

M: Okay, and we have Nicole Sweeney who apparently doesn't have strong feelings about fish one way or the other, but she is the host of CrashCourse: Sociology.  

H: Not icthyology which is fish studies, I think?

M: Are we gonna do CrashCourse: Icthyology?

N: Icthyology.

H: We could.  I know an icthyologist.  

N: Alright, sure.  

H: But you could host it, though.

N: New Patreon goal, maybe?

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah.  If we hit--we need $5 on to do CrashCourse: Icthyology.  Dangit!

N: Hank will say 'CrashCourse: Icthyology'.  That'll be every episode.

H: Yeah, I'll just sit at a desk with some fish, yeah.

M: So as a special thank you to our supporters on Patreon, we've selected two of you at random to win the prizes that Hank and Nicole will earn for you today.  Hank, you're playing on behalf of Charles George.

H: Hello, Charles.

M: Nicole, you're playing on behalf of Daniel Pratt.

N: I'm really sorry, Daniel Pratt.

H: Hey, I lose all the time.  

N: I'm gonna try.

M: Probably statistically, you are favored to win.

H: Why?  

M: Probably.  'Cause I feel like more often than not, you end up losing.

H: Well, you know, there was a way to say that that had fewer words in it.  You're a loser.

M: You lose lots.  We're all gonna start off with 1,000 SciShow bucks.

H: 'Cause why not.

M: Each time you answer a question correctly, you're gonna win 200 points.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

H: Or SciShow bucks.

M: If you answer incorrectly, you're going to lose 100.

H: Okay.  For the first round.

M: For the whole thing.

H: For the whole thing.  

M: So we did a SciShow Live at NerdCon: Nerdfighteria, and then someone came up to me afterward who was like, hi, I work on game shows professionally--

H: And you do a very bad job.

M: And you really need to make this one change to the point system so that Hank stops answering questions when it's in his favor to not answer questions.  So this is this.

H: So I'm losing but I'm also gaming the system so really, I should be losing even more than I currently am.  Alright.

N: Okay.

M: Okay, our first round is about some weird quirks of human biology.  Too much of anything can be bad for you, but when it comes to raw egg whites, the symptoms can be especially severe.  Eating too many of them can cause symptoms like rashes, anemia, brittle hair, and fungal infections, but why?  Do too many raw egg whites cause an overdose of biotin, a vitamin, cause a biotin deficiency, interfere with iron absorption, or lead to a build-up of oxalate, which damages the kidneys?

H: I have no idea, Michael.  I'm gonna go with A, it leads to an increase in--

M: That is incorrect.

H: --biotin.  Darn it.

N: That was gonna be my guess too.  Um, B.  

M: You are correct.

H: Aaagh.  How does eating something lead to a deficiency in something?

M: I don't know, here I go to tell you right now.

Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is important for helping your enzymes break down food properly as well as keeping your hair and nails healthy, and what's weird here is that there's actually plenty of biotin in eggs, but egg whites also contain a protein called avidin, which binds very strongly to biotin.  If you eat enough raw egg whites, over time the avidin will stop you from absorbing enough biotin and you'll end up with a deficiency.  Cooked egg whites aren't a problem, though, because the avidin breaks down when it's heated, and eating a raw egg white every once in a while is fine.  You'd have to eat a couple raw egg whites every day for a few months straight to end up with a deficiency.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

M: Question two!  Biotin isn't the only thing that can affect your hair growth.  In 2008, the FDA approved a drug called (?~4:09) that you can apply to your eyelashes to make them grow fuller and longer.

H: I remember this, yeah.

N: I know what this is.

H: Yep.

M: But the same stuff that stimulates eyelash hairs to grow more can also have a weird side effect.

H: Brooke Shields.

M: What is this side effect?  Does it cause eyelashes to grow on the inside of your eyelid, does it turn your tears red, does it turn the whites of your eyes yellow, or does it turn your irises brown?

N: D, turns your irises brown.  

M: You are correct.  

H: Oh.  Like, you have blue eyes and you can get brown eyes?

N: Yeah, it'll--it, yeah, messes up the pigment.

M: Is that permanent?

N: Yes.

H: I don't know.

N: I think so.  I don't really know.

M: I guess I'll find out right now.

N: I just know that this was a product that I didn't want to use--

H: 'Cause you have blue eyes.

N: 'Cause I have blue eyes.

H: Also your eyelashes are fine.

N: Yeah, I mean, sure, also, but like, I remember having that reaction, like, it was like, in the fine print and being like, well, that's like a significant side effect.

H: Yeah.  I was born with these babies.

M: Saying your eyelashes are fine is not the way to sell eyelash cream.

H: Yeah, but I'm not trying to sell eyelash cream here on SciShow, unless (?~5:17) wants to sponsor, that is--in that case, we are all in and everyone should have brown eyes.  

S: The drug's active ingredient is called bimatoprost and it actually started out as a treatment for glaucoma, where there's too much pressure in the eye.  Bimatoprost helps treat glaucoma by causing extra fluid to drain out of eye tissues which lowers the pressure, but it can stimulate eyelash hair cells too, which is why it was eventually approved as a treatment to enhance eyelash growth.  The thing is, bimatoprost can also stimulate melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin pigment and give your eye its color.  It's a rare side effect, but in people with lighter eyes, that means their eyes can turn a darker brown, especially if they have green or hazel eyes, since their melanocytes are already producing some pigment.  

 (06:00) to (08:00)

M: Okay.  Here we go.  Our next round is about airplanes.

H: I'm losing.

M: You probably know that planes come with all sorts of extra parts to help protect them from dangers in the air.  Have you ever noticed that airplanes' wings have these little rods sticking out parallel to the tail end of the wing?

H: I have.

M: There are usually a bunch of them along the way.  What are they for?

H: I have no idea.

M: Do they make the wing more aerodynamic, act as antennas to help with radio transmissions, dispel static electricity, or protect the plane from lighting strikes?  

H: Well, aren't those two things kind of the same?

M: I didn't write the script, so I don't know.

H: I'm gonna say dispel static electricity.

M: You are correct.

H: Yeah!  I thought that sounded right.

S: Those rods are called static discharge wicks and they protect the plane's electronics.  When the plane's in flight, friction between the plane and the air causes static charges in the form of extra electrons to build up on the outside of the plane and more charges tend to build up near the sharper edges of the plane, including the antennas on the outside of the plane.  When enough charge builds up, it discharges through those sharp edges, meaning that the electrons go back into the surrounding air.  As you can probably imagine, all that extra electricity around things like the antennas can interfere with the communication systems.  That's where the static discharge wicks come in.  Their sharp little points are a quick, safe way for the extra static charges to dissipate into the air instead of more charges building up and eventually discharging through the antennas.

H: Yeah.

M: Yeah.  

H: Yeah.

M: Yeah.

Our next question is also about airplane parts that you might not have noticed before.  When ice builds up, it changes the flow of air around the plane which can eventually cause it to stall.  That's why smaller planes often have inflatable rubber bladders on the leading edge of their wings and tail.  What are they for?  Shaking ice build-up off the plane, warming the wings to keep ice from forming in the first place, helping the plane brake quickly if it needs to make an emergency landing, or keeping the plane in the air if the engine stalls?

H: I'm going with A.

M: You are correct.

H: It's like flexing the muscles, rawwwwr.

M: Hank's making a comeback.

H: Plane muscles!

N: Yep, no good, no good.  I should stop this.

H: You gotta, yeah, you gotta start hitting that button, Nicole.

N: I do, I do.  

 (08:00) to (10:00)

S: You've probably seen planes being sprayed down with de-icing fluid before they take off, but they also have to deal with ice that forms on the wings while they're flying through the air.  There are all kinds of in-flight de-icing systems.  Large jets, for example, often have a system that redirects the hot air from the engines to flow over the wings, but smaller planes don't have enough hot air for that to work, so instead they usually have these inflatable rubber layers called de-icing boots on the leading edge of their wings, so when the plane encounters icy conditions, the pilot turns on the boots, which start to inflate and deflate like a set of giant airplane models and the movement shakes off the ice forming on the wing.

M: Okay, our third round is about sex.  Back in 1912, a British scientist named George Murray (?~8:47) was on an expedition when he observed a certain species of an animal engaging in sexual behavior that he found shocking.  The males, for example, would have sex with dead females and force sex on injured live ones.  The paper he wrote about this was never published because it would have been too risque for the time.  Instead, he made hundreds of copies and just passed them around to other scientists.  

H: That's like--

N: That's awesome.

H: Like, just 'cause it's fun, for funs?

M: Well, I think he wanted everyone to know.  

N: He wrote this paper, so he's just like, I did all this research.

H: He was like, this is so weird.  Everybody, look!  Oh, I love it.

M: The paper was forgotten until 2012 when a curator of the National History Museum in London discovered a copy and published it.  So the question is, which species did Levick study?  Was it adelie penguins, bottlenose dolphins, western gorillas, or sea otters?  

H: I'm gonna go with the penguins.

M: You are correct.  

H: Birds, man.  They're freaky. 

S: Levick studied colonies of adelie penguins on an expedition to Antarctica and he did publish a paper about everything else he'd learned about their behavior, just not the sexual stuff.  Since then, we've learned that their sex lives are unusual in other ways.  

 (10:00) to (12:00)

In 1998, biologists observed female adelie penguins trading sex for stones from a male's nest, which was the first clear example of prostitution among non-human animals.  Researchers studying these penguins have also come up with explanations for the same behaviors that Levick saw.  For instance, dead females are sometimes in the same position as live females trying to initiate sex, and a young male might not be able to tell the difference.  So it is true that male adelie penguins can be pretty brutal, but that's nature for you.  These days, instead of keeping that a secret, scientists are trying to understand it.

M: So we've reached our last question, which means it's time to place your bets.  Nicole has 1400 points, Hank has 1500 points, you can bet as many points as you have on your answer to the next question, which I can tell you is still on the topic of sex.

Welcome back from what was maybe a commercial but maybe not.  So--

H: So.

M: Our last question.  We've all seen those spam emails that offer some kind of magic pill that will make someone's penis bigger, but long before the internet was invented, an early 20th century doctor named (?~11:07) became famous for a treatment that he claimed would give patients back their youth--

H: Shoot.  This isn't about sex.

M: --help them live longer, and as a bonus, help them perform better in bed.  

H: Oh, well, sure.

M: The treatment, surprisingly, didn't work.  He was eventually discredited but what was it that he was doing to his patients?  Did he take out one of their testicles and reimplant it in their neck so that it would be closer to their brain, did he implant--

H: I mean, if it's that one, so I wanna know way more about this.

M: Did he implant a piece of chimp testicle in their scrotum, did he apply a series of electric pulses to their scrotum, or maybe inject their scrotum with a mixture of chimp blood and semen.

H: Oh, wow.  That's traumatic.  I feel real bad about my wager.  I feel as if I have wagered incorrectly.  

N: I mean, yeah.  

H: I'm gonna go with...

N: It's fine.

H: Okay, I did it.

M: Okay.  Reveal your answers.

H: I went with A.  

N: I went with D.

M: Both of you are incorrect, I'm afraid.

N: I win, I win!  I saved two points!

H: The answer was implanting a piece of chimp testicle into the scrotum which sounds like a barrel of monkeys.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

H: Yeah, I guess I should have known that they're not actually gonna take somebody's testicle out.

N: Barrel of monkeys.

M: Why would you know that, though?  Science is weird.

H: I don't know.  I don't know.  Science is super weird.

M: Science is normal.  Scientists are weird.

H: Well, if you could call him that.

S: In 1889, Serge Voronoff worked with another scientist who injected himself with extracts from guinea pig and dog testicles to try to make himself stronger.  Basically, he claimed it would restore his youth.  No one really believed that it did anything, but for some reason, Voronoff decided that transplating testicle tissue instead seemed like a good idea.  He spent the next couple of decades studying tissue and organ transplants and eventually started offering a procedure where he'd transplant a piece of testicle from another human donor, but it was kind of hard to find willing donors so in 1920, he switched to using chimpanzee testicles instead.  He claimed that the transplant would give his patients all kinds of benefits, including a better sex drive.  The procedure became so popular that he even started breeding chimps so he'd have more testicles to use.  In all, he did this to about 2,000 men.  There were plenty of people questioning whether this treatment actually worked, though, and after testosterone was discovered in the 1930s, it became clear that the idea made no sense.

H: Dang it!  Two SciShow bucks.

N: Yes!

M: Well, congratulations, Nicole and Daniel, and sorry, Charles.

H: Sorry, Charles.

M: But you're still gonna get an 'I Lost SciShow Pin' which is--

H: Yeah, we send stuff to everybody.

M: I think that pin is more valuable personally.

 (14:00) to (14:43)

H: Was--have you seen them on eBay?  Are they priced to sell, like, here's this guy, like for baseball cards?

M: Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow Quiz Show.  If you wanna help us make more SciShow Quiz Shows like this, you can go to and a big thank you to Alyssa Lerner and Ceri Riley for writing and editing this quiz show.  If you'd like to see Nicole, you can go to and find the sociology series, and lastly, don't you forget to and subscribe.