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MLA Full: "SciShow Quiz Show: Bears, Beats, Battlestar Galactica?" YouTube, uploaded by SciShow, 24 January 2018,
MLA Inline: (SciShow, 2018)
APA Full: SciShow. (2018, January 24). SciShow Quiz Show: Bears, Beats, Battlestar Galactica? [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (SciShow, 2018)
Chicago Full: SciShow, "SciShow Quiz Show: Bears, Beats, Battlestar Galactica?", January 24, 2018, YouTube, 16:19,
Hank’s up to his old tricks again as he faces off against SciShow Senior Producer and Host Caitlin Hofmeister. Can she see through his lies and win her patron the prize?

Hosted by: Michael Aranda
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon:
Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Kelly Landrum Jones, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلطا الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Bella Nash, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick Merrithew, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali, Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz
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Bear Dogs:

Arctic Bear Moths:

Animals with Rhythm:

Audio Illusions:

Moon Diseases:

Images & Sounds:

 (00:00) to (02:00)


Michael: Welcome to SciShow Quiz Show, where real live smart people test their knowledge about science, but the real winners are the people who support us on Patreon.  Today, our contestants are Hank Green, who is using his 280 characters to post poems about fruit flies, and Caitlin Hofmeister, who claims she isn't very good at Twitter, but is very good at hosting SciShow Space.

Caitlin: Aw, thanks.  

Hank: But your Twitter is like, a bunch of .gifs from that movie.

C: From Dazed and Confused.

H: Yeah. 

C: Because--

H: That seems like good.  You're dedicated to a cause.

C: Yes.

H: To a purpose.  

C: Well, I decided that, and then I got off it immediately and tried to come back.

M: As a special thank you to our supporters on Patreon, we've selected two of you at random to win some special prizes, so Hank, you're competing on behalf of Raymond Chin.

H: Alright, thank you, Raymond.

M: Caitlin, you're playing for Tina Johnston.

C: Tina Johnston.  We'll get it.  Hopefully.

M: Stefan, show 'em what they can go home with today.

Stefan: Raymond and Tina, welcome to the show.  You're in for a treat, maybe.  Assuming your contestant does a good job.  But let's get on with it.  Everyone's gonna take home some signed cards from the final round today.  One person will be a winner, and they'll get the 'I Won SciShow Quiz Show' pin, a serviceable prize, I guess, but they'll also get some secret swag from  Could it be a piece of diamond-encrusted avocado toast?  Probably not.  But one person will be the loser, and they'll take home the 'I Lost SciShow Quiz Show' pin, the only prize that really matters here.  Good luck, contestants, and back to you.

M: You both start off with 1,000 SciShow bucks.

C: Okay.

M: If you get the question right, you'll get some points.  If you get the question wrong, you'll lose some points.  You guys know how it works?  The first round is about bears, or at least animals named after bears.

C: Like pandas and koalas.  

H: Yeah.

C: And Winnie-the-Pooh?  

H: Okay.

M: Millions of years ago, North America was full of animals from the family (?~1:58).  

H: Sure, yeah.

M: More commonly known as bear dogs.  

 (02:00) to (04:00)

C: Cool.  

M: They're called that because they share characteristics--

C: Like a water bear.

M: --with both dogs and bears and sometimes, scientists just call it like they see it.  

H: Yeah.  Okay.  

M: But we think they're most closely related to modern day dogs.

H: Okay.

M: What else do we think bear dogs are closely related to?  

C: Oh gosh.

M: Cats, chickens, seals, or hyenas?

H: Uh, I was gonna say hyenas even before you started to list them, but then you said seals and it messed me up.

C: I know!  

H: So I'm gonna go with hyenas 'cause of my first instinct.

C: Not it.  

H: Ahhh, why did I give you C?

C: I was gonna go with seals 'cause they have puppies or pups.

M: They do, and you are correct.

C: Yes!

S: The answer is C, seals.  Scientists divide carnivores into two categories: dog-like and cat-like, and seals definitely fall into the dog-like category along with other animals like bear dogs.  They all belong to a subset of carnivores called caniformia, which features dog-like animals with non-retractable claws and long snouts, including seals, sea lions, and walruses.  Based on some similar physical features and genes, scientists have known for a while that there's a connection between those marine animals and land animals like bear dogs, and in 2009, they discovered even more evidence.  They found fossils from a previously undiscovered carnivore that had a long tail and limb proportions like a land animal, but probably had webbed feet like a seal.  It lived between 20 and 24 million years ago and it's the best link yet between animals like seals and those like dogs.  Meanwhile, cats and hyenas belong to a separate sub-order of carnivores called feliformia, which tend to have retractable or semi-retractable claws.

M: This next question is about another bear that's not a bear: arctic wooly bear moths.  

H: Okay, so not even a mammal.

C: Are they the red and black ones?

M: They look like this.  

H: Okay, now I know.  

M: They live near the Arctic Circle, where it's below freezing most of the year, and their lifecycle can last up to 14 years.  

H: Whoa.

C: That's cool.

M: Making it the longest of any butterfly or moth.  

H: Wow.

M: Because they live so long, they're experts at surviving the arctic winter, especially when they're caterpillars.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Now, most insects aren't very good at surviving any kind of cold weather, so how do these woolly caterpillars do it?  

C: Oh my gosh, I really--I'm excited to know.

H: They're woolly.  They've got that.  They've got a bear coat.  They kill bears and then they--

C: They crawl into them.

H: Yeah, like a tauntaun.

M: What's the interior temperature of a tauntaun?  

C: Lukewarm.  

M: Anyway, these moths, do they make enormous burrows in ice, break down their mitochondria to become dormant, grow specialized fur to stay warm, or slow their metabolisms by eating a special kind of plant?

H: All of those seem very likely.

C: Right?  I'm gonna go with D, slow their metabolisms by eating special--

H: That's a red color.  

M: I'm sorry.

H: I mean, except that doesn't help me at all because I don't know any other--I mean, I guess it helps me some.  I now have a 66% chance of being wrong instead of a 77% chance.

C: Yeah.

M: Mhmm.

H: I mean, they're called woolly caterpillars.

C: Right, so it's like, that seemed too obvious to me, yeah.

H: That seems too obvious.  I'm just like, picturing, not just like they dig one burrow, but they all hang out in there together and there's just this like, crawly wormy thing happening.

C: Like a king caterpillar.  

H: You know, if you're just like, digging in the ice one day, you're like aaaah!

C: And it's very warm.

H: And then yeah, and it's super toasty and you crawl in there and you're like, I won't die now, Jack London.  So I'm gonna go with A.

M: Unfortunately, it's the mitochondria.

C: Ohhh, is it the mito--

H: Ah, God, (?~5:26)

C: Ahh, I almost guessed that.

Stefan: The answer is B, they break down their mitochondria to become dormant.  Arctic woolly bear caterpillars are kind of cute, and they're also as weird as they sound.  When the temperature gets close to freezing, the caterpillars hunker down on some rocks and break down virtually all of their mitochondria, the parts of their cell that normally give an organism energy.  The caterpillars can't function without the powerhouse of the cell, but they also don't die.  They go dormant and they stay frozen for most of the year, not moving and not taking in much oxygen.  To protect their cells from the freezing temperatures, they use glycerol, a chain of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms, which accumulates in their bodies during the spring and summer, and glycerol won't freeze until it gets below at least -38 Celsius, so it keeps the caterpillar's cells from turning into little balls of ice.  

 (06:00) to (08:00)

Its freezing point is so low that it was actually used as anti-freeze in cars for a while.  So arctic woolly bear caterpillars are basically keeping themselves warm with anti-freeze through the long winter.  Then, when warmer weather comes around, the caterpillars' mitochondria reform in about a week and they start to cycle all over again.

M: On to round two.  These questions are all about beats.  

C: Bears, beats and--

H: Battlestar Galactica.

C: Nice.

M: Or the ways humans and animals respond to sounds.

C: Ohh, I was thinking the beets.

H: (?~6:41)

M: Humans, at least most of us, are pretty good at keeping a beat.  Scientists think that's because there's a link between keeping time and learning how to mimic or memorize sounds, which we're also good at, and that also explains why birds like parrots can keep a rhythm, since they're also good at copying noises.  

C: Cool.

M: Last year, scientists found another animal that's an expert at following different beats.  So the question is, what was it?  Dogs, wild boars, red foxes, or elephant seals?  

C: Ohh.

H: Oh God, more seals.  I'm gonna go with elephant seals.  That seems like now it's definitely wrong.  Oh, it's right though!

C: Oh man!

S: The answer is D, elephant seals.  YouTube might be full of cute videos of dancing dogs, but don't be fooled, those dogs can't actually keep a beat, but elephant seals can.  They communicate using different vocal calls, some of which sound a lot like a bunch of short drum rolls or burping, and since elephant seals live in colonies led by a dominant male, it's important for them to be able to recognize and memorize each others' calls, meaning they have to be able to keep a steady beat.  Otherwise, they might end up getting pummeled by the alpha seal.  The seals recognize and rely on these specific rhythms to communicate, and according to a paper from July 2017 in the journal Current Biology, they're the first mammal besides humans we've seen who use beats in the wild.  

 (08:00) to (10:00)

But no word yet on how good they are at drum solos.

C: I was gonna guess red foxes, 'cause--

H: Well, yeah, I just--that was a total guess, and I figured it was wrong, because how could it be seals two times?

M: What percentage of the answers you give on this show are total guesses?

H: I don't know.

M: In excess of 90%?

H: No.  I would say more than 50%, but less than 75% total guesses.  I've almost always eliminated at least one answer.  

M: Okay, this next question is about a different kind of beat.

C: Okay.

M: Audio illusions.  

C: It's an illusion, Michael.  

M: In many of them, a sound or note will get interrupted during the recording, except your brain will never notice.

C: Cool.

M: It just fills in the gap and you'll think you heard a continuous sound.  This is actually the same phenomenon behind why you can understand someone even when you're in a really noisy room.  

C: Weird.

M: How do researchers think our brains do this: by suppressing certain brain waves related to hearing, by sending false signals that simulate the sound, by releasing neurotransmitters that create false memories, or by releasing neurotransmitters that make you ignore silence?

H: B, the false signals that are simulating--ohh.

C: The one where you ignore what's silent.

M: Unfortunately, that is incorrect.

H: Ohh, there's neurotransmitters involved?

S: The answer is A, they suppress certain brain waves related to hearing.  According to a 2009 paper from the journal Neuron, your brain fills in missing sounds by suppressing certain brainwaves in your auditory cortex, specifically waves called theta oscillations which your brain uses to figure out when sounds start and stop.  The researchers discovered this by playing sounds to 14 participants who were hooked up to EEG machines, which measure electrical patterns in the brain.  When there was a gap in the sound they played, the participants' brains lowered the production of theta oscillations and they didn't realize there was a break in the sound, and then as soon as the sound started again, the theta oscillations went back to normal.  It was like their brains just blocked out the fact that the sound ever stopped.  Scientists aren't positive why your brain would do this, but we do know it's convenient if you're ever trying to talk to someone in a noisy room, because even if the music or crowd gets too loud to hear them for a split second, you won't even notice you missed something.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

So the next time you can hear someone despite the loud music and other people, you can thank your theta oscillations for calming down.

H: Oh.  

C: That makes sense, I guess.

H: Wow.  Wow.  I didn't even know you can suppress a brainwave.  That sounded made up to me.  

M: Okay, now for our third round.

C&H: Okay.

M: Battlestar Galactica, or space, which is close enough.

C: Okay.

M: Because what's a quiz show between co-workers without a good joke from The Office? 

H: What?  Oh, that Office.  The other Office.  

M: The Office.

C: Ohhh.  I was like, there's so many.  I don't know.

H: Wanna use one of our office jokes?  

M: Today, when astronauts come home from the international space station, they're usually allowed to see their friends and families almost immediately after landing, but in the 1960s and 70s, the crews of Apollo 11, 12, and 14 had to wait three weeks before going home.  What caused the delay: the close quarters in the capsule had made them all sick, they were quarantined in case of moon diseases, doctors were worried that they couldn't handle the return to gravity, or they needed to be tested for radiation poisoning?  

H: I gotta go with moon diseases.

C: Yeah.

M: That is correct.

C: Yeah.  

S: The answer is B, they were quarantined in case of moon diseases.  When astronauts first started visiting the moon, we were pretty sure there wasn't any life there, but just in case the astronauts came home with mysterious moon diseases, NASA took precautions.  They quarantined the crews of Apollo 11, 12, and 14, the first groups to walk on the moon, for three weeks after they landed.  NASA even had a special trailer designed for them, called the mobile quarantine facility, which housed the crews while they were transported from their capsule's landing sites to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  Scientists figured that most diseases on Earth would start causing symptoms by about three weeks after infection, so that's how long they isolated the astronauts, but by the time Apollo 15 came around, no one had picked up any moon plagues, and we'd analyzed enough samples to know that there's no life on the moon, so everyone finally calmed down about the possibility of disease.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

These days, crews coming home from the International Space Station can re-unite with family and friends almost right away, and they just have to undergo some physical rehab and medical check-ups before they can get back to their lives.

C: 1960s, yeah.

H: People are like, we don't know.  We've never been to the moon.

C: We've never done it before.

H: There could be moon diseases.

C: Yeah.  

H: And don't want to give it to their kids.  I don't want my kid to have a moon disease.

C: Yeah, and then they would usually go meet the president after they went to space in the 60s, so they were like, take the president down with the moon disease.  Not good.

M: Okay, we've arrived at our final round, where you guys are gonna bet any or all of your points on the answer to the next question.  Caitlin, you've got 1200.  Hank, you've got 900.  Place your best.  We're gonna go to commercial break.  Welcome back from that commercial break, maybe.

H: Maybe.

M: Sometimes it doesn't work.  So, since space is a vacuum, you wouldn't be able to hear regular old sound waves if you were floating through the universe, but in a sense, scientists can listen to the solar system by converting electromagnetic waves captured by space probes into sound waves.

H: Okay.

C: Cool.

M: And some of them sound pretty creepy.

C: Are you gonna do one right now?  

H: Just make a noise?

C: Yeah.  What's this?  Raaaaaaaa

M: Nunununununu.  

C: (?~13:20) That's what that sounds like.  

M: This one was captured by the Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter, and no, it's not friendly aliens.  What do scientists think caused this wave?  

C: That is so nice.  Oh no.  

H: Okay.

M: What do scientists think--

C: Okay, okay.

H: Right, caused the wave.  Okay.

M: Disturbances in Jupiter's atmosphere from water plumes on Europa?

C: Rad.

M: Radiowaves emitted by Jupiter's great red spot, the solar wind bending around Jupiter, radiation from the dust in Jupiter's rings?

 (14:00) to (16:00)

H: Ooh, wow.

C: Whoa.  Whoa.  I always struggle between what I think it is and what I want it to be.

H: Yeah, that water interfering thing.

C: Yeah.

H: That sounds like something I want it to be.  

C: Totally.

M: Alright, show your answers.  

C&H: We both guessed solar wind.  

H: So I definitely lost.  

M: Well, uh, that's correct.

S: The answer is C, the solar wind bending around Jupiter.  The Sun is constantly giving off a stream of charged particles called the solar wind, which travels throughout the solar system, and when the solar wind hits planets or their magnetic fields, it's deflected and bends around them, just like regular wind is deflected by a tree.  At Jupiter, most of the solar wind is deflected like normal and continues on its way, but at the point where the wind first hits the planet's magnetic field, its energy is converted into heat energy.  This creates a turbulent chaotic region full of super hot electrically charged plasma waves, which astronomers call Jupiter's bow shock.  When the Juno probe reached Jupiter, its waves instrument collected data about the electromagnetic waves coming from the bow shock, and that eerie noise is what happens when scientists translated those waves into something we could hear.

M: That's correct, but um, you bet no points.  

H: I bet 10.2 points.

C: 10.2

M: Oh.  

H: But I wasn't gonna--I wasn't gonna--I mean, I guess--

C: Did you add that decimal point?  Like at a panic moment, you're like--

M: No, I think he added the 1 and the .2.

H: I did.  I did.  

M: See, this is all high and all of these are lower down.  

C: Science of handwriting.  It is solar wind?

M: It is solar wind.  

C: Cool.  

M: So uh, that means you won.  

C: Tina!

M: And uh, Tina, you're taking home some lovely prizes.

H: But honestly, Raymond, you are also taking home some lovely prizes.

C: It's true.

H: Because we send stuff to everybody who gets mentioned on the show.  

M: And with that, thanks for joining us on this SciShow Quiz Show.

 (16:00) to (16:19)

If you want to see more of Caitlin, you can find her over at, and of course, if you want to help us make more videos like this, you can go to our