Previous: Can Houseplants Improve Air Quality?
Next: Why Electronics Just Shouldn't Work



View count:86,878
Last sync:2022-11-13 06:45
Stefan returns to challenge Hank on Quiz Show, and the rest of the SciShow Tangents crew decided to join in the fun!

Hosted by: Michael Aranda

SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It's called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon:
Huge thanks go to the following Patreon supporters for helping us keep SciShow free for everyone forever:

Bill & Katie Scholl, Adam Brainard, Greg, Alex Hackman, Andrew Finley Brenan, Sam Lutfi, D.A. Noe, الخليفي سلطان, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Patrick D. Ashmore, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Chris Peters
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?


Frog bladders:

Frog pee:

Apollo 10:

Apollo 12:

 (00:00) to (02:00)


Michael: It's time for another SciShow Quiz Show, the only quiz show you can watch in the shower.  I'm Michael Aranda, your host, and today's contestants are Hank Green--

Hank: Hello!

M: SciShow host, robot mystery novelist, and a person who, for some reason, drinks soda in the shower.  

H: It's just so good.  

Stefan: Yeah, there's a nice contrast between the cool and the hot.  

H: Apparently I'm not the only one.  

M: I mean, I have no problem with it.  I'm just reading the script.

H: I'm gonna drink Bacardi like it's my birthday in the shower and just pour it all over me and then wash it off.  It's the best place to pour a Bacardi on you, whatever Bacardi is.

S: Why are you pouring it on you?  

H: I don't know.  

S: What a waste.

H: Temperature contrast!

S: Ah.

H: Because it's my birthday.

M: In this corner, we have Stefan Chin, who is also a SciShow, one of the co-hosts of SciShow's podcast, SciShow Tangents, and may or may not have once eaten a hamburger in the shower.

S: Yeah, I couldn't remember.  Alyssa asked me and I was like, I think I maybe ate a hamburger once.  If you put it in the script, I'll own it, and I'll like, I ate a hamburger in the shower.  What was I thinking?  

H: It was wet!

S: No, you hold it out of the water and then you like, wash a little, and then (bite), wash--

H: Then your right hand never gets clean?

S: Well, once you finish, then you finish washing.

M: What if you forget which one's the burger and which one's the soap?

S: Eh.

M: Anyway, as a thank you to our supporters on Patreon, we've randomly picked two of you to win some awesome prizes.  Hank, you're playing for Deb.

H: Hi, Deb.

M: Stefan, you're playing for Garth Riley.

H: Garth Riley, nice.

M: I think that's Ceri's dad.

H: Do you think it actually is?

S: I think it IS Ceri's dad!

H: Ohh.

S: I'm ready.  I'm gonna win for you, Garth.  

M: Sam, show our players what they can go home with today.

Sam: Hello.  This is Sam from SciShow Tangents.  Since Stefan is a contestant, I've been transported to the mysterious green SciShow dimension to show Deb and Garth what they can win.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

First of all, no matter who wins the game today, you'll both be taking home signed cards from the final round.  However, someone will win and someone will lose, but hopefully not as badly as I lost when I was on Quiz Show.  If you're the winner, you'll get an amazing mystery assortment of swag from and this beautiful, handcrafted 'I Won SciShow Quiz Show' pin.  And, get this, since I would hate to see someone walk away empty-handed, I convinced Hank to open his heart just this once and send the loser an 'I Lost SciShow Quiz Show' pin.  You're welcome.  Okay, that's it for me.  Now I have to figure out how to get out of this endless void.  

M: Thank you, Sam.  I'll start both of you guys off with 1,000 points each.

H: Hey, thanks.

M: Each time you answer a question correctly, you'll win some points.

S: So every time?

M: Every time you answer a question, some points will happen.

S: Thank you.

M: Yes.

H: You're always--okay.

S: I'm ready.  I'm gonna crush you.

H: You feel very confident today.

S: Well, I won last time.

Past-Michael: Stefan is the winner.

Past-Hank: What?

Past-Stefan: I did it!

Past-Hank: Well, I'm glad I didn't bet anything, 'cause at least that way, I got to keep some of my SciShow bucks.

Past-Stefan: Am I fired?

S: I don't know, you do really well on our podcast, 'cause it's more science-y, but this is more guess-y.

H: It is more--

S: So I have a chance.

H: Much more guess-y, yeah, and I think largely I don't care at all, so that increases your odds.  

S: I care.  Too much.

M: Now, besides hosting videos here on SciShow, you're both hosts on our podcast SciShow Tangents, so our first round is about butts.

H: Oh yeah.

S: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.  

H: We got a butt section in the podcast.  I was really worried it was going to be about tangents and I'm like, no, math bad.  

M: So here's our first question.  Some insects, especially butterflies and moths, engage in an unusual behavior called mud puddling.  They'll go up to a water source, often a muddy puddle, which is where the name comes from, then they'll start drinking so much water that they're essentially pumping it through their digestive system, expelling the liquid in the form of anal jets.  

H: Ooh!

S: So they like, it's propulsion?

 (04:00) to (06:00)

M: Well, the question is, why do they do this: to rehydrate, to relieve constipation, to remove toxins, or to acquire nutrients?

H: I think it's to acquire nutrients, Michael.

M: I think you're correct, Hank.  

S: None of those was propulsion.

Ceri: I'm Ceri from SciShow Tangents.  The answer is D, to acquire nutrients.  The key here is the mud.  Soil has lots of minerals in it, and by drinking a ton of muddy water, the insects can absorb a bunch of nutrients they might not have easy access to otherwise.  In many species, only the males puddle, which researchers think is because they need extra nutrients to give to the females they mate with.  They arrange their sperm and nutrients like sodium in nice little packages called spermatophores, which gives the fertilized eggs an extra boost.  One of the most extreme puddlers, the dusky marbled brown moth, can pump more than half its body weight in water over the course of a few hours, shooting it out in anal jets that land almost half a meter away.  If you're a human looking for extra nutrients, though, please don't try this at home.  Just eat some vegetables or something.

H: Stefan was really certain that it was, they needed a jet to shoot out of the mud puddle with.   

S: 'Cause I know about dragonfly babies.  They do that.

H: Oh, they do shoot water out of their butts to propel themselves.

S: They got hydraulic butts.

H: That also...colonoscopy prep is like that.  

M: Uh-huh.  Question two, in 2011, a group of researchers implanted human anal spincters into mice.  Not into their butts, though.

S: That was gonna be my question.  Okay.

M: Not into their butts, though.  They implanted them below the skin.

S: Okay.

M: Why?

S: Wait.  

M: No.

S: Okay, continue, please.

M: Was it to see if they could make mouse and human cells compatible, so see if mouse sphincter tissue could work in humans, to see if it would still work as a sphincter, or to see if they could give mice a new anus?

 (06:00) to (08:00)

Stefan: I don't know what 'give mice a new anus' really means, but I'm going with that one.

Michael: I'm sorry, that's incorrect.

Hank: I mean, they gave mice a new anus.  

Stefan: Yeah, but if--is it really an anus if it's under the skin?

Hank: Right.  It's just a sphincter sitting there.  'Cause you've seen that picture of the mouse with the ear on its back.

Stefan: Yeah, they didn't give the mouse an ear.

Hank: No.  Well, I feel like you--it's not functioning as an ear.  

Stefan: It's not functional.

Hank: I'm gonna go with the first one, the mouse-human cell compatible one.

Michael: I'm sorry, but that is also incorrect.

Ceri: The answer is C, to see if they would still work as sphincters.  Fecal incontinence, where someone can't control their bowel movements, is real problem.  Usually it comes from the internal anal sphincter not staying closed the way it should.  It happens most often in older people or because of damage from giving birth, and the surgeries we use to correct it aren't always that helpful.  One possible solution would be to transplant a sphincter grown in the lab using sphincter cells from a donor, but hooking it up to the nervous system has been a real challenge, so these researchers engineered anal sphincters from donated human sphincter cells and mouse neurons, then implanted them into mice below the skin.  When they tested the sphincters, both with chemical compounds and with electrical stimulation, they found that the muscles contracted and relaxed just like normal anal sphincters do, so research like this could help a lot of people with fecal incontinence someday, although it is pretty creepy to imagine mice with human anuses in their skin.

Michael: Okay, we're moving on from butts to round 2, which is about frogs.  Around 2010, researchers implanted radio transmitters in Australian green tree frogs to help study them.  

Hank: I keep expecting butt stuff.

Stefan: Yeah.  

Michael: But it didn't turn out to be a very effective way of tracking the frogs, which led to a totally new discovery about frogs.  What happened: The frogs peed out the transmitters, they used thorns to dig out the transmitters, the poison in their tissue dissolved the transmitters, or magnetic compounds in their cells caused interference?

Hank: Wow!  Any of those are very cool.  I can't wait to find out which one it is, but I have no idea.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

You go first, Stefan.  

S: What was D?  

M: Magnetic compounds in their cells causing interference.

S: I'll go with that one?

M: I'm sorry, that is incorrect.

H: Seemed unlikely, but it would have been very cool if it was real.

S: Magnetic frogs, yeah, that would have been real fun.

H: Well, I got--I guess I have to guess, 'cause that's the rules.  They used thorns to dig them out, no, that can't be it.  

M: I'm sorry.

C: The answer is A, the frogs peed out the transmitters.  A few weeks after the researchers implanted the transmitters, they started to find some of them just lying on the ground with no dead frogs around.  Confused, they went to take the transmitters out of the other frogs and found that 75% of them were in the frog's bladder, which, to be clear, was not where they were implanted.  After experimenting some more, they realized that when a foreign object gets into a frog's body, its bladder can start growing around the object until it's eventually absorbed, like some kind of weird pee-filled amoeba.  Eventually, they just pee the object out.  As an evolutionary adaptation, it makes sense.  With their thin skin and tendency to eat sharp insects, it would be easy for a foreign object to end up in a frog's body, and this would be a good way to get rid of it.  We already know that other animals' intestines can do this, including humans, by the way, but in frogs, it's the bladder.

M: This next question is also about frog pee.  

S: I've had enough of this.  

H: Pee!  They peed it out!  

M: Question four: North American wood frogs are really, really good at holding it in.  For more than half the year while they're hibernating, they don't pee.  Why not?  

S: 'Cause they're hibernating.

H: 'Cause then they'd be like, sleeping in their own pee, and nobody wants that.  

M: Is it because their pee is frozen, because they're super dehydrated--

H: Let it go, let it go.  You just gotta pee, frogs.  It's Frozen.  That was--it's kind of a stretch.  

M: B: They're super dehydrated.

H: Okay.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

They use it as insulation, or they use it to get their cells working again?  

S: Ooh.

H: That last one is appealing.  I was gonna go with--

M&S: A-pee-ling.  

S: I'm having such a great time.

M: Thanks for tuning in to this SciShow Quiz Show, everybody.

H: We're not done!  I'm going with C!  I'm going with C!  It's insulation.

M: That is correct.  

H: It's correct?

S: Wait, is it?  

H: C, insulation?

M: That is incorrect.  Sorry, I read the thing wrong.  

H: It's incorrect.

M: I was just trying to get your hopes up.  It's incorrect.  

H: You did get my hopes up.

S: I'm gonna say B.  

H: Oh, really?  I thought we were so excited about D.

M: That's also incorrect.

C: The answer is D, they use it to get their cells working again.  Life is hard for a wood frog in the Arctic circle.  It gets so cold that their heart stops pumping blood and their brain stops functioning.  Still, they're alive, and with the help of all of that pee, they're able to wake up again around February, when it's time to mate.  Lots of important biological compounds contain nitrogen, which is hard to get a steady supply of if you haven't eaten in seven months, but pee contains urea, which you can recycle into nitrogen as long as you have the right enzymes.  The frogs actually don't have the right enzymes, but bacteria inside them do and they're able to convert the stored urea into nitrogen.  Then, the frogs can incorporate the nitrogen into compounds that help get their cells working properly again when it's time to wake up.

H: It was D.  

S: I just thought was the second most likely.  

M: Enough with all this biology.  For found three, we're gonna talk about space.

S: Oh, really.  Okay.  We did it, we had a round on space last time.

H: Space.  

S: We talked about space whales.

H: That's a space whale noise.  Mmmm.  

M: What kind of space creature is that one?  So the Apollo 10 mission to the Moon was designed to be kind of a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

H: And I knew that.

M: But even though they took the lunar module, which would eventually be used for the landing, within 9 miles of the Moon's surface, the astronauts didn't actually land. 

H: That's a bummer.

M: Why not?  They weren't given space suits designed for the Moon, they weren't given enough fuel, the area wasn't flat enough, or the module didn't have landing legs?

 (12:00) to (14:00)

H: Oh!  I feel like the majority of those answers are, they did not plan to.  

S: Yeah.

H: Like, if there were no legs on the lander, if they didn't have a spacesuit in there that could work on the Moon, all that is just like, they didn't want to go to the Moon.  That's the ultimate reason.

S: I agree.  You lose 200 points.  

M: Okay.  

H: We're taking it back!  We strike!  Strike!  Uh.  I'm gonna go with they didn't take a--noooo, they didn't--landing legs.  

M: That is incorrect.  

S: A?

M: That is also incorrect.

H: What is it?

C: The answer is B, they weren't given enough fuel.  Early astronauts had a reputation for being very gung-ho, and for good reason.  Mission control knew that if they gave the crew of Apollo 10 an opportunity to land on the Moon, they almost certainly would, even if they weren't supposed to, but the whole point of Apollo 10 was to do a safety test before actually landing people on the Moon.  Plus, engineers hadn't yet figured out how to make the lunar module's fuel light enough to be absolutely sure they'd have enough to get home if they landed, so mission control deliberately didn't give them enough fuel to even have a hope of landing and making it back.  Otherwise, they might have tried it and not gotten home.

M: Okay.  It's time for our final question.  This one will also be about space.  Stefan, you've got 600 points.  You've got 800 points.  You can bet any or all on your answer to this next question, which is about space.

H: Space.  

S: Spah-see.  

M: While our contestants place their bets, we're maybe going to commercial break.  Welcome back, possibly.  Apollo 13 is famous for how close it came to disaster, but Apollo 12 also got off to a rocky start.  Less a minute after launch, the power suddenly failed and the mission was almost aborted.  Then, someone at mission control remembered that there was a simple way to switch to auxilliary power which fixed the problem. 

 (14:00) to (16:00)

It wasn't until later that they figured out exactly what happened.  What caused the power to fail?

H: I actually know this one.  I know one!  

S: No.  It's not looking good, Garth.  

M: Was it interference from new TV broadcast technology, the rocket was struck by lightning, the vibration made an electrical access panel fall off, or the wire connecting to the main batteries wasn't grounded?  You trying to cheat, bro?

S: Yeah, no, I'm just trying to see what shapes.

H: I did not start writing until gave all the clues because I was like, he's watching me.  

M: You ready?

S: Yeah.

M: You ready?

H: Mhmm.  

M: Okay.  Reveal your answers.  

H: Oh!  We both got it.  That--

S: Wait, no, I say D.  

H: Oh, but you put lightning strikes on it.

S: Oh, because it's power-related.  

M: Hank, you got it.  Stefan--

C: The answer is B, the rocket was struck by lightning.  About 36 seconds after lift-off, the rocket was struck by lightning, which took its fuel cells offline and then, as if that wasn't bad enough, 16 seconds later, it was struck by lightning again.  I guess that's what happens when you fly a giant piece of metal through storm clouds.  This was not a good situation.  Practically all the warning lights lit up, and they were ready to abort the mission.  Then, someone at mission control remembered that something similar had once happened because of a power failure and suggested they toggle the switch to auxilliary power, except there were about a bazillion switches on the instrument panel and they couldn't find the right one.  Finally, one of the astronauts remembered where it was and they switched to backup power.  They were able to get fuel cells back online and the mission went on as planned, but NASA was a little more careful not to launch with storm clouds around after that.

S: I drew lightning so I should get half my points back.

H: That's right.  No.  I won anyway.

M: You have 0 points and you have 1600 points.

H: And knowing is half the battle.

M: Congratulations for winning SciShow Quiz Show.  

H: Thank you, sir.  Yeah.  I got you, Deb.

S: Garth, I am so sorry. 

 (16:00) to (16:38)

I tried so hard.  

H: You did.  I like the confidence you came into it with.

S: I know.  I--fake it til you make it.

H: That's really what it's all about.

M: Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow Quiz Show.  If you want to see more of these guys then you're already in the right place.  If you want to hear more of them, you can check out the hilarious SciShow Tangents wherever podcasts are sold?  They're free.

H: Given away for free.  

S: They're sold for free.

M: Yes.  

H: If you want to pay us, that's not a problem.