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Matthew Gaydos, producer of Animal Wonders, The Financial Diet, and Sexplanations, faces off against Hank Green! Watch them show off their knowledge of the birds and the bees, literally!

Animal Wonders Montana:
The Financial Diet:

Hosted by: Michael Aranda
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 (00:00) to (02:00)

(Intro music)

Michael: Hello everybody and welcome to SciShow Quiz Show, where you can't buy a vowel, but you can buy a towel (now available at Woohoo!

Hank: You know, you say you can't buy a vowel, but everything's for sale for the right price.

Matthew: How much would you pay for an A?

H: Like the concept of the A, and then I owned it and could license it and no one could say A words?

Ma: Yes, no one else could use A...

H: without paying me? A lot. All the money I have.

Ma: Alright (finger guns)

Mi: So I'm Michael Aranda, your host for this incredible SciShow Quiz Show, and we have ladybug enthusiast, Hank Green!

H: I do love ladybugs. It's my new hobby. I have a new hobby every other day, and today it's ladybugs.

Mi: And going up against Hank we have Matthew Gaydos, who runs Sexplanations, The Financial Diet, and Animal Wonders all at the same time.

H: He also has his own YouTube channel.

Mi: He also has his own YouTube channel. I forgot what finger I was on. Anyway, so...

H: Don't get on a finger.


Mi: Noted. As a special thank you to our patrons, we've selected two of you at random to win some prizes. Hank will be playing for Eduard Thamm.

H: Hey Eduard!

Mi: Matt, you will be playing for Keelia Silvis.

Ma: Sup Keelia.

Mi: Stefan, show our contestants what they could win today!

Stefan: Woo! We've got some great prizes for Eduard and Keelia today. They'll both be taking home the signed cards from our final round with the contestants final guesses and wagers on them. The winner will be receiving the I Won SciShow Quiz Show pin and some secret SciShow swag from And the loser from today's quiz show will be receiving the severely undervalued I Lost SciShow Quiz Show pin. Good luck and good night and back to you.

Mi: Both of you start off with 1000 SciShow bucks

 (02:00) to (04:00)

Each time you answer a question correclty, you will win 200 points, but if you answer incorrectly, you will lose 100.  

Matt: That's a great point system.

Hank: Has anybody ever measured how frequently we end above 1000?  'Cause sometimes I think just shutting up and sitting here is the way to go.  

Michael: You could try it today.  

Hank: That doesn't sound like fun.

Matt: I also feel like we would all just stand still and waiting to see if you would hit the buzzer?

Michael: I guess we don't have a timer.

Hank: I like the idea of just standing still.  I think that we move too much, like, there's so much pushing us--

Michael: So our first round is about weird natural phenomena, because who doesn't like a good mystery?

Hank: I do like that.

Matt: I love 'em.

Michael: So question 1: In a dried out lake in Death Valley National Park, sailing stones left researchers scratching their heads for decades.  These rocks weigh up to hundreds of kilograms and on sunny days after rainfall, they'd be found scattered across the lakebed with long trails behind them in the sand.  Geologists had some guesses about what was going on but they didn't have a definite answer until 2014 when researchers saw the stones move.  So how did they scatter?  Is it A. algae growth on the wet sand creating slippery tracks so that wind can push the stones?  B. Changing magnetic fields because the stones are made of a magnetic mineral?  C. Thin layers of ice forming so wind can push the stones?  D. Bacteria on the stones producing lots of gas which propels the stones in shallow water.

Hank: 'Cause they're farting themselves forward.  No, it's A.  It's the first one.

Michael: I'm afraid you are incorrect, sir.  

Hank: WHAT!  What happened?

Matt: C.

Michael: You are correct.  

Hank: Wait, what was it?  

Michael: Thin layer of ice forming so the wind can push the stones.

Hank: What?  Oh my goodness.  

Michael: The answer is C, ice.  Around January 2014, researched strapped GPS units to 15 rocks, set up time lapse cameras around the lakebed, and monitored weather station data to get to the bottom of this mystery.  It turns out the sailing stones are caused by a specific combination of things.  First, some rain needs to fill up the lake a bit but not enough to cover the stones completely.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

The night needs to be cold enough to create a thin layer of ice, just a couple millimeters thick, which starts melting and cracking the next day thanks to sunlight and some wind.  Then the wind pushes those sheets of ice across the water, including the slabs with rocks embedded in them, at a couple meters per minute.  Because ice is bouyant in water, it can make the rocks float just enough to move and scrape grooves in the wet sand.

H: Well, I was wrong.  I got the--I got bum information from a Discovery Channel documentary, but I guess that was before this happened.  

Matt: What a surprise.  Did you also have the megalodon came back?  

H: No, no, it was before the megalodon came back, but after there were mermaids.  

Matt: Ooh, my favorite time period.

Michael: So, question two.  Lake Natron in Tanzania is full of red water and is usually over 40 degrees Celsius.  

H: That's hot.

Michael: It's also the star of a wildlife photography series where creepy looking corpses of birds and bats crusted in minerals were posed on dead branches.

H: Ohh, like they're there naturally?  Or people put them there, like taxidermists?

Michael: I think they were there naturally.  

H: Okay.

Michael: I think.  I just read the script, man.  The dead animals look kind of like statues but even though the internet likes to make Medusa comparisons, the lake isn't an instant death trap that turns life into stone.  

H: Sure.

Michael: You wouldn't wanna swim in this lake, but there are flamingos that live around it along with bacteria, algae, and even a couple of species of fish in the water.  So what makes these corpses look petrified?  A) The lake is full of sulfuric acid and has a very acidic pH of around 0.3, B) The lake is full of sodium carbonate and has a very alkaline pH of around 10.5.

H: Well, this is gonna be a guess.

Michael: C) The bacteria eat the decomposing flesh and deposit calcium compounds or D) The fish eat the decomposing flesh and poop out a sodium sludge.

H: Are you gonna go first?  Thank you, I appreciate that.

Matt: I'm gonna go first.  I'm gonna go with calcium, C.

Michael: I'm afraid that's incorrect.

H: Oh, it turned Green there for a second.

Michael: Slight table function.

Matt: It was a little red.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

Hank: I'm gonna answer sulfuric acid.  

Michael: That is also incorrect.  The correct acid is that it's full of sodium carbonate with a very alkaline pH.  

H: Ahh, it's the one, it's the other one.

Matt: I wanted it to be the calcium one, so I guessed it.

H: I wanna know the mechanism though.  How does it work?

Michael: Tell ya right now.  The answer is B.  It's a super alkaline lake.  Natron is another name for a mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate, which is a water-soluble white compound along with other minerals that create a really alkaline or basic environment.  Swimming in Lake Natron would almost be like dunking your skin in bleach.  It'd be really unpleasant and give you chemical burns.  Historically, natron was used in Egyptian mummification to help suck the water out of dead bodies, which slows down any decomposition reaction and microgrowth.  So all these skeletal-looking birds and bats probably died of natural causes, fell into the lake, then got coated in some sodium carbonate and other powdery minerals before washing up on the shore.  No replacing tissues with minerals or real petrification involved.

We're on to round two, which is all about the birds and the bees.  

H: Yeah, wait, is it about sex or is it about birds and bees?

Michael: It's about birds and bees.  The albatross is a bird known for good luck, its keen sense of smell, and its ability to fly for ridiculous distances, like thousands of kilometers at a time.  Its nose isn't just good for sensing stinky seafood from far above the waves, though.  Some researchers think it's the key to flying so efficiently.  So what else can its nose sense?  A) Temperature, B) Air pressure, C) Humidity, or D) Oxygen content?

H: I did a like, karate chop.  It worked.  I was surprised.  I'm gonna go with air pressure, 'cause that's super weird and would be helpful.

Michael: You are correct!


Matt: Dang it.

Michael: The answer is B, air pressure.  Albatrosses fly using a technique called dynamic soaring where they use wind velocity, which includes speed and direction, to adjust their flight and use minimal energy as they glide, and to do this, they need to know the wind velocity somewhow.  In 2002, a biologist who studies animal flight suggested they figure this out using their noses.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

Specifically, their tube-shaped nostrils could act kind of like a tool on airplanes called pitot tubes, which use air pressure measurements to calculate the plane's speed relative to the air around it.  This method works because as air speeds up, its pressure goes down and vice versa, so by using the pressure sensors in their nose, these birds can tweak their movements to soar as efficiently as possible.

Hank: Alright, I've dug myself out of my hole.  I'm back to where I started.

Michael: Whoo!  

H: I think.  Yes.  Can I have confirmation from...pen?

Michael: From the pen?

Matt: Her name's Jen.

H: No, no, no.  That's what we call--it's what they call the scorekeeper.  

Matt: Oh, Jen Pen.

Michael: The Pen.

Hank: Yeah, Jen the Pen. 

Michael: Doves may not look all that remarkable, but the small grain-eating birds--

Matt: That's really judgy.

Michael: --have a skill that not many other birds do.  It's a skill that might make doves some of the only birds that could survive in the weightlessness of space for a while without too much special treatment.  What can doves do?  A) Resist cosmic radiation damage because of specialized proteins in their feathers? 

Hank: I'm just gonna say that's crap.  It's like, I'm just gonna give Matt that one.

Michael: B) Survive without water for months because their metabolism changes, C) Poop with force because of muscle tissue around their intestines, or D) Suck down water and swallow it instead of relying on gravity? 

Hank: I'm gonna go with that last one, suck down water and swallow it instead of relying on gravity.

Michael: Well, that's a green table.  Congratulations.

Hank: Thanks.

Michael: The answer is D, they drink water by sucking.  Most birds dunk their beaks in water to scoop it up, then tilt their heads back to let gravity do the work for them, pulling the water into their stomach, but doves live to snack on dry foods and need to drink more water because of it, so they've evolved a speedier chugging method.  They use what scientists call a double-suction mechanism, which involves two pockets of low air pressure that make it possible to pump water into their bodies. 

 (10:00) to (12:00)

First, they use their tongue kind of like a piston so it slides back and draws water into their beak and then they create another air pocket in their throats, which helps them suck water down their esophagus, no gravity needed.

H: Thanks, I'm glad I don't have to read the cards, 'cause apparently I'm not super good at that.  

Matt: It wasn't poop with force then.

H: But Poop with Force is a great name of like, an album.  Be like--

Matt: Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers: Poop with Force.

H: Yeah.  I have definitely felt a little bit a couple of times like maybe I'm pooping so hard I could like maybe, like, if you like, weighed me at that moment, I'd be like, getting a little bit of lift.  

Michael: Why are we talking about this?

Matt: So if you were in space, you could just shoot off the toilet?

Hank: I'd be like, phooooo, like that.  

Michael: Oh.  Good.  So um, those were the birds.  

Hank: Oh, there's bees, too.

Michael: Now for the bees.  

Matt: Mm, bee time.

Michael: Honeybees and hornets are often at war because hornets like to swoop in to beehives and hunt for helpless babies.  

Hank: Man.  Hornets.  They're terrible.

Michael: The Asian Giant Hornet is kind of terrifyingly huge and can grow over four centimeters long with a thick exoskeleton.  It's a formidable foe for Japanese honeybees, so these bees have developed a strange but super effective defense strategy.  What is it?  A) They form a bee ball around the hornets that roasts it with heat.

Hank: Ooooh, I like that.

Michael: B) Some bees dissolve the hornet's exoskeleton with acid, then others sting it.  

Matt: Real cool.

Hank: Ohhh, bee acid.

Michael: C) They make high-pitched buzzing noises that disorient the hornets.

Hank: It's like, oh man, these are some good superpowers!  

Michael: Or D) They spit a special sticky goo on the hornet's wings so they can't fly away.

Hank: That's also very good.  Oh, you beat me.  I hit your hand.

Matt: You did.

Hank: You okay?  I'm very strong.

Michael: That's minus one point.

Matt: I'm fine.  I'm gonna go with A.  

Hank: I was gonna go with A.

Michael: That is correct!

Matt: YEAH!

Michael: The answer is A, they form a hot, deadly ball of bees.  Because their stingers are too small to puncture the giant hornet exoskeletons, Japanese honeybees need a different strategy.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

They swarm an invading hornet and starting vibrating their muscles to basically create a mini-oven.  They roast the hornet at nearly 47 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, then stay clustered around it for a little extra cook time.  A particular gene in the bee brain kicks on when they form these deadly balls, which researchers think is involved in heat sensing.  This could be part of the reason they don't vibrate enough to kill each other, just their hornet enemy.

Hank: I know bees can adjust temperature.  When it gets cold out, they like, buzz together to make the hive warmer, which whenever I'm cold, I like to stand next to people I love and go bzzzzzz.  

Hank & Michael: Bzzzzzzz.

Matt: Don't get too close or you'll get roasted like a hornet.

Hank: That's right.  Roasted like a Hornet, another good album title.  

Matt: Oh.  We've got like, your next five album titles we're gonna plan out today.

Hank: Now we gotta just write some songs.

Michael: And with that, it's time for our final round.  Our contestants can wager any number of their points on their next question.  Matt, you have 1300, Hank, you have 1200.  This next question is going to be about extreme animal survival.  While you guys place your bets, we're gonna go to commercial break.  Maybe.  

Welcome back, probably.  On SciShow, we like to talk about all kinds of tough animals like tardigrades and axelotls, but naked mole rats have got some gusto as well.  One experiment from this year showed that they can survive for 18 minutes with no oxygen.  

Hank: That's prett good.  How long can I go?  

Michael: We could find out?

Hank: (inhales)

Matt: Wait until we're done.  

Hank: Ow, my ear.

Matt: Before you try that.  

Hank: Why did that hurt my ear?

Matt: You lasted two seconds!  

Michael: So, when humans, mice, or other mammal brains don't get enough oxygen, our cells can't make enough energy from glucose anymore and we die, but naked mole rats game the system with a unique adaptation.

Hank: Did you say 'gain'?

Michael: Game.  

Hank: Sorry, I interrupted you.  

 (14:00) to (16:00)

How do you gain the system?  Go ahead.  

Michael: But naked mole rats game the system with a unique adaptation.  How do they survive?  A) They have special cells that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, kind of like photosynthesis, B) They start metabolizing fructose instead, like a plant, C) They have a bunch of oxygen-binding protein called myoglobin like some diving mammals, or D) They have a specialized oxygen storing organ kind of like a fish's swim bladder?  

Hank: I don't know the answer to this question.

Matt: I totally do.  

Hank: I'm gonna end up with no points, da-da-da, no points, whoo, no points.

Michael: Da-da-da, da-da-da, ahhh.  

Matt: Alright.

Hank: What'd you guess?  

Matt: That's not how this works!

Michael:  Alright, so you're showing your answer to that camera, you're showing your answer to that camera.  You guys ready?  

Hank: All of these seemed unlikely to me!

Michael: Reveal your answers.  That's upside down.  And wrong.  

Matt: Yay!  

Hank: We're wrong.  Hey!  Tie!  

Michael: Yaaaay!  

Hank: You didn't need to wager that much!

Matt: I anticipated you wagering that much and I was like, go big or go home.

Michael: So wait, everybody tied with zero points?

Matt: Yeah.

Hank: That's correct.

Michael: Has that ever happened before?

Hank: Yes, I believe it has.  

Michael: Huh.  Well.  Okay.

Matt: We're bad at game.

Hank: Well, everybody wins?

Matt: I could always do one dollar less and I would have won.

Michael: Yeah.  Yeah, that's it.  Everybody wins.  

Hank: That is correct.  That is what you should have done.  

Matt: I also made it dollars, not points.  You're welcome.

Hank: SciShow bucks.

Matt: For zero dollars.

Hank: They're SciShow bucks.

Matt: Oh, that's right.  

Michael: So uh...Edward and Kelia--

Matt: You both get I Lost buttons?

Hank: Yeah, you both lose.  

Matt: You both lost.

Hank: Super bad.

Michael: Sorry 'bout it, but thanks for joining us on this SciShow Quiz Show.  Thanks to all of our--

Hank: But what was the answer?

Michael: Uh, oh.  I don't know.  The one with the thing, you know?  

Matt: So it was C, we were both right.

Michael: Metabolizing fructose.  

Hank: Metabolizing fructose?!  

Matt: That was going to be my last guess.

 (16:00) to (17:49)

Hank: Yeah, that was way out--

Michael: That's how they do it.

Hank: Wow.  Why do they have a bunch of fructose?  

Michael: Mole rats, man.

Hank: And also, why don't you need oxygen to metabolize fructose?  

Michael: It--I don't--

Hank: Are you gonna answer in an episode though?

Michael: Yeah.  Yeah.

Hank: Okay, that's good.  I'll watch it.  I'll find that one.

Michael: I'll let you know in a second, 'cause I have no idea right now.

The answer is B, they metabolize fructose.  Because naked mole rats live in underground tunnels that are usually crowded, they probably have to deal with low oxygen environments way more than we do.  To survive without oxygen, they lower their pulse to about 25% of what's normal and their bloodstreams get flooded with fructose as well as sucrose, which is just fructose and glucose linked together.  Instead of breaking down glucose to make energy with a pathway that needs oxygen to work, they start using fructose molecules and the pathway we've only ever seen in plants until plants until now.  Naked mole rats have a special fructose transporting protein in their brain and heart cells, which is typically found in kidney and intestine cells in other mammals.  This lets their brains suck up fructose molecules from their blood so they can use other chemical reactions to make energy without a step that needs oxygen.  Eventually, they will die without oxgyen, but their cells will hold out for a lot longer than ours.

So Edward and Kielia, I guess everybody loses today.

Hank: Ya both lose!

Matt: Sorry!  

Hank: Is that how it works?

Michael: SciShow, yaaay.

Hank: I'm sorry.

Matt: We're back where we started.  

Michael: Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow: Quiz Show.  Thanks to all of our Patrons on Patreon who make this show possible and don't forget that you can check out Matt's work on Animal Wonders Montana, Financial Diet, or Sexplanations.  Also don't forget to go to and subscribe.