Hey, hey, hey.
How you doing?
-Hey, dude. Hey! -How you doing, 2 Chainz.
-What’s up? -I’m Paige.
-Nice to meet you, Paige. -Noah.
-It’s so nice to meet you. -How you doing?
-How you doing? ♪♪ This particular episode is
the “Most Expensivest: Future” where we talk about bees
and how we don’t have a future
without the bees. Now, I’m a well-known
bee swatter down my way. I can’t lie. I’m not, like, hanging with
the bees or whatever. But I’m interested in seeing
what you guys mean when you talk
about the future. Yeah, future or present,
you know. If you eat food —
you eat food? [ Heroic music plays ] ♪♪ Uh, yeah,
every chance I get. Yes, I love food. -Then you need bees.
-Yeah. Bees are everywhere
around the world. So no matter
what culture people come from, they need pollination
to get fruits and vegetables. So they connect all of us. And they contribute one
out of every three bites of food you eat the bees
are responsible for. All right, to set up
something like this as someone’s business or
rooftop, what is the cost? So this service would cost
anywhere between $1,250, to $1,750
for commercial sites. -A year?
-Mm-hmm. So with our service,
we’ll install and manage beehives
for home gardens, for hotels —
like, hotel beehives. Manage beehives? We put them in a cool spot
like this one right here, and we come once a month
and we check on them. We get people their honey
when they’re producing enough. So they get to take part
in saving the bees. We send them an e-mail,
and then we also offer some customization
of the beehive. So that’s my role
in the company, is I pimp out
some of the hives. So you can pick your colors,
your stripes, silk screen — really do the whole thing.
-This is deep as hell. But we’ve got some
businesses nationwide — million-dollar accounts. So, you know,
it is big business, big bank with beekeeping. What we’re trying to do
is actually not talk about the money behind it,
but the value, right? So how do you put a price
on food? ♪♪ Bees contribute $100 billion
to the global economy every year —
that’s an estimate, right? And they free, so y’all just got
to catch ’em and go to work. This is
a pretty good hustle. You know, it’s all about
finding your Zen. You know,
when you’re in a beehive, it’s actually so relaxing. [ Bees buzzing ]
[ Screaming ] Oh, my God!
It’s bees! What — what made you think
of this? I was finishing up my PhD
in honeybee immunology, and I realized —
-That’s a class? -Yeah, it’s a class.
-And I was like, “I can’t
get a job with that degree,” so I had to start
something else, right? Nine years later, you know,
we’ve raised a couple million dollars nationwide
for bee research. -Mm-hmm.
-You know, just for
the citizen science approach. -This is crazy.
-Our data goes to NASA. This beehive is a NASA data
point looking at climate change and stabilizing food systems. Hey, man, congratu–
Hey, man. -Thank you.
-Thank you, yeah. [ Slow clapping ] Thank you, 2 Chainz. This is — this is —
I’m prou– Th–th–th–this —
this is — this is — this is — this is —
this is — this is. -That’s good. Thank you. -Thank you. We’re so happy.
-This is good. This is good.
I’m blown away. I’m blown away so hard. All right,
let’s go get stung. -Okay.
-Let’s go get stung! -No stings.
-No stings? Nice and vegan. ♪♪ I’m with all this shit, man. Where they at?
Come on, where y’all at? -Are you ready?
-Where y’all at?! Check ’em out.
Let me introduce you right here. Where they at?
Let me talk to ’em. [ Laughs ] So we’re going to smoke ’em now
and make ’em nice and calm. You keep saying vegan —
they don’t bite you? -No, they’re chill.
-They don’t bite you? They don’t bite.
They could sting, though. [ Laughs ] [ Buzzer sounds ]
No, I’m just playing. I’m playing with you.
Let me know, man,
’cause I don’t want to look like no simp in this shit.
-Yeah. Why you put the smoke
in there? To calm ’em down. Now smoker fuel, plant material,
that’s what we use. You can use any plant. It calms the bees down. [ Chuckles ]
I’m a bee. They glue their home together
with their bee’s wax. It’s one of the many products
that they make. Oh, bee’s wax.
I twist my hair with that. So that’s what this is?
-Yeah, yes. Yeah.
We can get you some. Saying we can start —
let me see. Yeah. Bee’s wax is more expensive
than honey. -It is?
-It’s a valuable waste product. Look at all of this honey
just dripping out. You can eat this.
-Ooh, that’s honey? Yeah.
-Let me see you lick it. -You can eat th– right here.
-Come on, lick it. So honey — you don’t need
a food permit to sell honey. Why you do that? It n– you don’t have to add
anything to it or cook it. It tastes like your land.
-No, don’t swat. Hey get out. [ Crunching ] You know, they’re kind of —
I won’t say they’re cute. That might make me
seem kind of weird, but they’re gentle
pollinators. If you like — if you passionate
about ’em, then they are cute. This the
“Most Expensivest: Future” to let you know
you can’t really do nothing without these bees, baby. It’s a wrap.
All right. -You did great.
-Thank you guys. -You’re a beekeeper.
-You did so good! I’m hungry!
(intense music) – [Narrator] Welcome to
the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, let’s
meet your 10 finalists. From Texas, 13 year old
Nihar Janga is a winner of the 2016 Scripts National Spelling Bee. When he’s not studying
geography, he enjoys playing football and video games with friends. From California, 13 year
old Venkat Ranjan plays the piano and has been
competing in both his school and state bees since 2015. From Arizona, 13 year old
Gayatri Kaimal has been snorkeling in Hawaii, when
she’s back in the lower 48, she loves listening to music and reading. From Ohio, 13 year old
Saket Pochiraju has won the Ohio State Bee three years in a row. He’s also quite the outdoorsman. He loves playing tennis
and exploring nature. From New Jersey 13 year
old Anoushka Buddhikot has been playing violin
since the young age of seven. She’s also an avid reader
and plans on writing a novel about an explorer, from
Massachusetts, 11 year old Atreya Mallanna is
an accomplished athlete. He plays cricket, soccer and swims. From Oregon, 13 year old Ashwin Sivakumar is a composer and birder. He’s even spent time bird
watching while traveling through Costa Rica, from Georgia,
14 year old Vishal Sareddy counts Hawaii among his
coolest destinations and loves playing basketball
and running cross country. From North Carolina, 14
year old Jonathan Song plays golf and is on a
competitive robotics team. When he’s not tearing it up on the course, he loves traveling, he’s
made it all the way to China. And finally from New Hampshire,
14 year old Sean Cheng enjoys speed cubing,
traveling and fishing. A competitor in all areas,
he also loves to play high level soccer, here they are, the 2018 National Geographic Bee finalists. (applause) And now your host, journalist, humorist and Emmy Award winning writer Mo Rocca. (applause) – Well hello everyone I
am thrilled to be back in Washington DC hosting the
National Geographic Bee which turns 30 this year
which means it’s only two years older than I am.
(laughing) This year 2.6 million
students competed in their school Geographic Bees, 54
top geographers from state and US territory earned the
right to compete this week. And after a series of preliminary rounds, 10 extremely worthy finalists
made it to this stage. Today one of these bright
minds will earn a $50,000 scholarship and the title of National Geographic Bee Champion. (applause) Are you ready to begin, let’s get started. The first seven rounds
will focus on US geography. This first round will
require spoken answers only. I’m going to ask each of you
a question about a capital city in the United States,
a photo related to your question will appear on your monitor. You will be asked to name the
city and state that its in. These questions are worth one point. You will have 12 seconds to
answer, students are you ready? They’re ready, here we go. Nihar, we begin with you,
here is the first question. This state capital on the Pearl River was named after a President
of the United States. Name this city and state.
– Jackson, Mississippi. – [Mo] That is correct
for one point, Venkat, home to the Mark Twain
house and museum this state capital is north
of the Long Island sound. Name this city and state.
– Hartford, Connecticut. – [Mo] That is correct,
Gayatri, located in the central valley this state capital
was the western terminus for both the pony express and the first transcontinental railroad,
name this city and state. – Sacramento, California.
– You got it. Saket, this state capital
is northwest of Daniel Boone National Forest and is located
in the Blue Grass region. Name this city and state.
– Frankfurt, Kentucky. – [Mo] That is right,
Anoushka, this state capital is located near both the big
belt mountains and the source of the Missouri River,
name this city and state. – Helena, Montana.
– That is correct. Atreya, founded by the
French, this state capital is located 150 miles upstream
from the Mississippi River Delta, name this city and state. – Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
– That is correct. Ashwin, located on the Hudson
River, this state capital was an active trading post in the 1600s. Name this city and state.
– Albany, New York. – [Mo] You got it, Vishal,
located about 20 miles from the Platte River this state
capital building is topped by a nearly 20 foot statue of a farmer. Name this city and state.
– Lincoln, Nebraska. – [Mo] Lincoln, Nebraska is correct. Jonathan, located on the
eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada, this state capital
experienced a silver rush in the 1850s, name this city and state. – Carson City, Nevada.
– That is right. Sean, this state capital is
east of the Ouachita Mountains and is home to the William J
Clinton Presidential Library. Name this city and state.
– Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. – [Mo] I’m sorry, the answer
was Little Rock, Arkansas. And we are off and running
at the 2018 National Geographic Bee.
(applause) These 10 gifted finalists
are competing for $85,000 in college scholarships, today’s
champion will win 50,000 of it along with a lifetime
membership to the National Geographic Society and a
Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the
National Geographic Endeavor Two, second place will
earn a $25,000 scholarship and $10,000 goes to the
third place finisher. Sounds pretty good right?
(applause) I’d say so.
(applause) For round two, you’ll use
your stylus and tablets. Everyone answers this next
question at the same time. This question is worth
one point and you’ll have 12 seconds to write your answer. National Parks have been
called America’s greatest idea and yet these and other public
lands face serious threats. National Geographic is
dedicated to furthering our understanding of these
critical eco systems and inspiring action to protect them. Take a look at your monitors. Yellowstone National Park is
a geological and ecological wonder, it was the world’s
first national park and covers nearly 3500 square miles. But it’s eco system is
threatened by activity outside it’s border, while it
is best known for it’s bison, bears and wolves, the park’s
most abundant large mammal is the elk who’s migration
paths reach well beyond Yellowstone’s boundaries
and here is your question. Elk once roamed most the
United States but hunting and loss of habitat
reduced their range to the area of what mountain range that includes Yellowstone National
Park and that stretches from New Mexico to British Columbia. You will have 12 seconds
to write down your answer. (intense music) (bell dinging) Time’s up, let’s see what you wrote. And surprise, surprise,
for one point the correct answer is Rocky Mountains.
(applause) 10 for 10, nicely done. You can now put down your
stylus because round three will require spoken answers only. I’m going to ask each of
you a question that will test your knowledge of revered
places in the United States. When it’s your turn a photo
related to your question will appear on your monitor,
Nihar, we begin with you. Here’s your question,
sacred to many Alaskans, this mountain was known
by the early Athabaskan people as the tall one
and it may have been central to their creation
story, name this mountain. – Mount Denali or Mount McKinley. – [Mo] Well done Denali
is correct for one point. Mount McKinley was also
acceptable, thank you. Venkat, Thornhill Chapel blends
into the surrounding woods giving visitors a sense that
they are seated in the forest itself, the chapel is
located in what physiographic region that covers much of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri? – The Ozark Plateau.
– The Ozark Plateau is correct, Gayatri, Big Sir,
a scenic region along the California coast has long
attracted native Americans, hermits and artists, this
region stretches from Carmel by the sea to San Simeon
along what mountain range? – The Sierra Nevada.
– I’m sorry. We were looking for Santa Lucia. Saket, the city of Nauvoo
attracts visitors due to it’s historic importance
as the home of the Latter Day Saints from 1839 to 1846 before the Great Salt Lake,
Nauvoo is located upstream from Quincy on what river? – The Mississippi River.
– That is correct. Anoushka, this famous gospel
choir performs all over the world sharing the joy
of faith through music. The choir shares its name
with a large neighborhood in upper Manhattan that is a
center of African American culture, name this neighborhood. – Harlem.
– Harlem is correct. Atreya, ceremonial
chambers called kivas were a feature of pre Columbian
structures in North America. Built by the ancestral Puebloans, Kivas can be found in what canyon
that shares it’s name with a national historical park
in northwestern New Mexico? – Choco Canyon.
– Choco Canyon is correct. Ashwin, each year Marti
gras celebrations draw thousands of revelers to
public spaces throughout New Orleans including Bourbon
Street and Jackson Square. In what district that
is the city’s oldest? – French Quarter.
– French Quarter is correct. Vishal, formed by the
eruption of Mount Mazama 7,000 years ago, this
lake in Oregon was held sacred by the local
Klamouth people and is the main feature of a national
park, name this lake. – Crater Lake.
– Crater Lake is correct. Jonathan, Mission Concepcion built in 1755 was one of several Spanish
missions established to protect borders from French encroachment and to convert Native
Americans to Catholicism. These missions are near
what river that shares its name with a large Texas City? – The San Antonio River.
– That is correct. Sean, Native Americans
in North Central Wyoming have long used this stone
medicine wheel for ceremonies and to predict astronomical events. This sacred site is a
national landmark in what mountain range that is the
source of the Powder River? – The Apsoroca Range.
– I’m sorry. We were looking for Big Horn Mountains. Three rounds down, four more to go before we say goodbye to the students
with the four lowest scores. But with eight points up for grabs, it’s still anyone’s game,
now before we dive back into competition, let’s get
to know a little bit more about our 10 fine finalists. Nihar, let’s begin with you. You are also the winner of the 2016 Strips National Spelling Bee,
that is very impressive. Can you spell my first name? (laughing) In French?
– M-O. – I’m sorry, it’s M-E-A-U.
(laughing) We’ll settle it later with the score. Venkat Ranjan, you are from
San Ramone, California. Give me a fun fact about San Ramone like maybe a point of interest. What’s the best thing about it? – The headquarters of
the oil company Chevron. That’s all we have.
(laughing) – Little company that you
plan on taking over maybe once you leave here and it’s
a great place to live, right? – Yeah.
– Okay. He’s gonna work for the
Chamber of Commerce. (laughing) Gayatri, it says here that
you went snorkeling in Hawaii and had a family of dolphins
swim right next to the boat. How could you tell they were a family? – Well, that’s what the
tour guide said, so. (laughing) – I’m sorry, what’s that?
– That’s what the tour guide said.
– I know. But they could’ve been
friends just hanging out. Was it exciting, was it exciting? – Yeah.
(laughing) – Alright excellent. Saket, you are from Ohio
and you won the Ohio State Geo Bee three years in a row, were all the questions about Ohio? – No.
(laughing) – Oh okay, right, well do
you know that old sound. ♪ Round on the end and
high in the middle, Ohio ♪ (laughing) You have to be 49 or older to get that. Oops, I gave it away,
Anoushka, it says here this is really cool, that
you enjoy reading fiction and plan on writing a
book about an explorer. Which explorer are you interested in? – I think everything the
Renaissance and all the explorers coming to the new world. That’s something that’s
really interested me. So I think that’s an
interesting story concept. – Okay, interesting, alright. And you’ve played the violin for how long? – Six or seven years.
– Six or seven years. And how was it balancing studying for this and playing the violin or did
one help the other in a way? – It’s a really good break a lot of time. If I’m studying and I’m
just not remembering stuff. Then it’s something I’ll just
go and do, play for an hour and then I’ll be able to retain much more information that way. – Right, I love that she blows
off steam by studying the violin, I’m like, how low do I feel? That’s very impressive,
just gonna mess around. Get off that violin, come
on, you’re wasting time. (laughing) Alright, Atreya, you are
the youngest one here. How does that feel, you’re in fifth grade. – It feels good to be the youngest one. Like I have nothing to lose.
(laughing) (applause) – You got time, you’re gonna survive all of these people here. You got years ahead of you, right? But that’s a good point,
you can just, right, really just have fun because
you’ve got years to go with this eligibility.
– Yeah. – And you really are just
11, this is not a rouse. – Yeah, I’m 11.
– Okay. Alright Ashwin, this
is the second time I’ve moderated with you up here,
you were here two years ago. What happened last year, no, I’m kidding. (laughing) No it’s very very impressive
that you’re here twice. Now you were just recently
traveling through Costa Rica. Tell us about that.
– Well it’s really cool ’cause unlike other
countries in Latin America, Costa Rica has really
taken a lot of efforts to preserve it’s biodiversity
so we got to travel through a lot of really pristine
rainforests and natural environments that don’t
really exist anymore anywhere else in Latin America so that was pretty incredible. – Well that’s wonderful
and there’s, I think, an election coming up in Costa Rica and he should be on the ballet. Vishal, you are from Georgia. Georgia has a lot of great crops. So I have to ask you the
questions, peanuts or peaches. – Peaches.
– Peaches. That is correct for an extra point. It’s a wonderful state
though, a beautiful state. – Alright, Jonathan, from
North Carolina, Jonathan Song, you were on a robotics team
that competes in the first tech challenge, what is that? – Well it’s like, you make
these like mini robots. It’s not the full size
ones but they compete on a field and they do missions and stuff. – When you eventually
create your own robot, what is your priority,
what is the one thing you want your robot to be able to
do if it could do anything? – Cook for me.
(laughing) – And I’m guessing Jonathan’s
parents feel the same way. (laughing) Alright Sean Chang from New Hampshire. Your hobbies include speed
cubing and at first when I read it I thought it was speed clubbing and I thought you’re a
little young for that. What is speed cubing? – It’s just solving Rubix
Cubes as fast as you can. – [Mo] Is it specifically Rubix cubes? – There’s different size ones
like the traditional ones, like a three by three but
there’s different sizes. – And how fast can you do
an old fashioned Rubix cube? – My best competition
time is 9.29 seconds. – 9.2 seconds?
– Yeah. – Oh my gosh, that’s, wow. That’s how long it takes
me to make the first turn. Oh and I read, do you know what the state fruit of New Hampshire is?
– No. – Alright well it’s in the
final round, no, I’m kidding. It’s a pumpkin, I thought
that that was kinda cute and confusing because I
thought a pumpkin was just a decoration or maybe a
vegetable, alright and let’s give a shout out to
our other 44 finalists. These brilliant students.
(applause) And now back to our competition. For round four, you’ll
need your stylus again because everyone answers this
question at the same time. This question is worth one point. The National Geographic
Society is committed to exploring and protecting
our planet and supporting bold individuals who are
pushing the boundaries of knowledge, take a look at your monitors. Daniella Kavachi is a biologist
and National Geographic young explorer, as a
child in Mexico, she was attracted to strange and
misunderstood animals like spiders and snakes,
today she is fortunate to work with one of the most
mysterious creatures, bats. Daniella’s current project
is to identify and preserve bat species in archeological zones. So at night, she spends
time inside pyramids looking for these beautiful animals. And here is your question,
some female lesser long nosed bats migrate to the
United States to roost in a National monument that borders Mexico. These bats are the primary
pollinators of a species of cactus that gave it’s
name to the monument. What is the name of this cactus? You will have 12 seconds
to write down your answer. (intense music) (bell dings) Time’s up, let’s see what everyone wrote. For one point the correct
answer is Organ Pipe. Okay so let’s see how everyone did. Three of you had the correct answer. That was a nail biter there. We’ve come to the first Geo
Challenge of the competition. We’ll be testing you not
just on what you know but how well you know
it, each of you will be presented with a different
map of the continuous United States and two choices
for what the map is showing. You will have 10 seconds
to tell us your answer. If you are correct, you will
receive one point and the opportunity to explain why
for a possible two additional points, we will give you a
few moments to think about your response and when
the bell rings, you’ll have 20 seconds in which to
complete your explanation. A panel of judges will
determine if your explanation is strong enough to earn the
additional two points. When it’s your turn, take
a look at your monitor. Ready, Nihar, take a look at your map. Does this map show vegetation
zones or average wind speeds? – This map is showing vegetation zones. – [Mo] I’m sorry, the correct
answer is average wind speeds so unfortunately you don’t get any points. Venkat, take a look at your map. Does this map show irrigated
land or peach production? – This map shows irrigated land. – That is correct for one point, for two additional points tell us
why this answer is correct. – This map is showing
irrigated land because areas that do not naturally
receive a lot of water that support farming are
shown in the map like the Central Valley of California
and the Snake River Valley of Idaho, this map cannot
be a peach production map because most peaches
are grown in the south especially in Georgia.
– Alright. And we’re gonna give the
judges a moment to confer. And the judges are quite
satisfied with your answer so two additional points for you. Gayatri, take a look at your map. Does this map show percent of federal land or miles driven per capita? – This map shows miles driven per capita. – That is correct for one
point, for two additional points tell us why this answer is correct. – Had this map shown
percent of federal land, places like Arizona and
New Mexico with lots of land owned federally by
the government would’ve had a higher shading, this map
shows miles driven per capita because open places like
Wyoming and Montana have. (bell dings) – We’ll give the judges
a moment to confer. And you just got those
two additional points for your answer for your explanation. Saket, does your map
show average minimum wage or ferry boat boardings by state? – This map shows average minimum wage. – [Mo] I’m sorry that is incorrect. The correct answer is ferry
boat boardings by state. So no points for you,
Anoushka, does your map show pesticide use or number of dairy cows? – This map shows pesticide use. – Pesticide use is correct,
you earned one point. For two additional points, tell us why this answer is correct. – This map shows pesticide
use because the highest concentrations are in
great plains and along the Mississippi River where a
lot of pesticides are used in farming, if this map was
showing number of dairy cows, there would be a much
higher concentration in Wisconsin and Texas.
– We’ll give the judges a moment to confer. And Anoushka, they like your answer. Two additional points for you. – Atreya, take a look at your map. Tell us, does it show percent
homeless or literacy rate? – Literacy rate.
– I’m sorry Atreya. The correct answer is percent homeless. Ashwin, does your map show
the range of the black bear or the range of the Ponderosa Pine? – Range of the Ponderosa Pine.
– That is correct. And for one point, for
two additional points, tell us why this answer is correct. – This map shows range
of the Ponderosa Pine ’cause all of the coloring is
in the Western United States where the range of the Ponderosa Pine is in the interior west, it
doesn’t show black bears because black bears are also found in the eastern United States.
– Judges, what say you? The judges like that answer,
two additional points for Ashwin, Vishal, does your
map show number of days with freezing temperatures
or average annual snowfall? – Average annual snowfall?
– It is average annual snowfall for one point,
for two additional points, tell us why your answer is correct. – This map shows average
annual snowfall because areas such as the Colorado
Rockies and the Sierra Nevada have a high concentration on this map. And this map does not
show freezing temperatures because there would be
a higher concentration such as north, like western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee where they would be. (bell dings) – And the judges approve
of Vishal’s explanation for two additional points. Jonathan, take a look at your map. Does this map show public
libraries or golf courses? – Public libraries.
– Public libraries is correct, you earned one point. For two additional points, tell us why this answer is correct.
– This map shows public libraries because
the higher concentration on this map is in the cities
where the majority of public libraries are located, it
doesn’t show golf courses because golf courses can
also be found in rural and suburban areas.
– Judges. The judges like that answer, two additional points to Jonathan. Sean, does your map
show Superfund hazardous waste sites or four year colleges? – Four year colleges.
– I’m sorry the correct answer was Superfund
hazardous waste sites. And that concludes the
first Geo Challenge round. Five rounds down and two more to go before our first four eliminations. There are four points up for grabs over the next two rounds, you’ll
need your stylus again in round six, we’ll be hearing
from a National Geographic explorer, take a look at your monitors. – Hi, I’m Courtney Borgerson,
I am an anthropologist, a conservation biologist and a
National Geographic explorer. You’ll often find me in
Madagascar where I study eco system balance and
the illegal hunting of endangered lemurs but I’m also
passionate about education and I visit classrooms in the
US to teach students about scientific inquiry right
in their own backyards. Now here’s your question,
one of my first experiences with science was a school
field trip to a US island that is home to the world’s
longest running predator prey study, this lake island
is now overpopulated with moose and scientists want
to bring the island back into ecological balance by
repopulating it with wolves. Name this lake island which
is also a national park. – You’ll have 12 seconds
to write down your answer. (bell dings) Time’s up, let’s see what everyone wrote. For one point, the correct
answer is, all together now Isle Royale.
(applause) Now let’s take a moment
to review the scores before our next round, Ashwin is in front and there is a five way
tie, Venkat, Gayatri, Anoushka, Vishal and
Jonathan right behind there. Okay after this round,
the four students with the lowest scores will leave us
but there are still three points up for grabs for each student. In round seven, the aptly
named lightning round. Here’s how it works, I’ll
give you each, I’ll give each of you three questions
in a row and you’ll have six seconds to answer each. One point is awarded for
each correct response. Get ready, this one moves like. – Lightning.
– Like lightning. – Like lightning, I’ll
work on my delivery, okay. Here we go, Nihar, what
is the name of the largest swamp on the border of
Virginia and North Carolina? – The Great Dismal Swamp.
– That is correct. And again Nihar, Wayamaya
Canyon is located on which Hawaiian island?
– Kawaii. – [Mo] That is correct, name the state reptile of Mississippi. – Alligator.
– The American Alligator, that is correct,
Venkat, name the oldest existing National Park east
of the Mississippi River? – Acadia.
– That is correct. Again Venkat, name the widest falls section at Niagara Falls? – Horseshoe Falls.
– Horseshoe Falls is correct, settlers in Oklahoma
who started the land rush early inspired what
nickname for the state. – The sooner state.
– That is correct. Gayatri, what large city
in eastern Tennessee was the state’s first capital? – Memphis.
– I’m sorry. The answer is Knoxville, again Gayatri. Providence, Rhode Island is located at the head of what bay?
– The Naragazit Bay. – [Mo] That is correct,
what is Washington state’s most valuable food crop
in terms of total revenue? – Apples.
– Apples is correct. Saket, name the highest
mountain peak in Vermont. – Mount Mansfield.
– That is correct. What is the largest
island of American Samoa. – Tutuila.
– Tutuila is correct. What fruit is on the standard
Florida license plate? – An orange.
– An orange is correct. Anoushka, name the rift lake
on the San Andreas fault that is the largest lake in California. – The Salton Sea.
– Salton Sea is correct. Name the sub range of
the Rocky Mountains that marks the western border of Montana. – The Bitterroot Range.
– That is right. What two and a half mile
walking route in Boston, Massachusetts connects 16 historic sites? – The freedom trail.
– The freedom trail is correct, Atreya, name the
largest city on Colorado’s Kaushalya River?
– Fort Collins. – [Mo] Fort Collins is correct. Name the group of islands
in northern Wisconsin that make up part of a national lake shore? – Apostle Islands.
– You got it. What gift from France
is pictured on the state quarter of New York?
– Statue of Liberty. – [Mo] Statue of Liberty is correct. Ashwin, name the largest lake in Alaska? – Lake Iliamna.
– That is correct. What river forms most of the border between Texas and Louisiana? – The Sabine River.
– The Sabine River is correct, what is the official
dance of the state of Hawaii? – Hula.
– Hula is correct. Vishal, what bay is the
sunken estuary of the Susquehanna River?
– Chesapeake Bay. – [Mo] That is correct,
name the largest city on the Kiahoga River.
– Cleveland. – [Mo] Cleveland is correct,
what is the popular name for the group of stars depicted
on Alaska’s state flag? – The Big Dipper.
– The Big Dipper is right. Jonathan, name the highest
mountain peak in California. – Mount Whitney.
– You got it. Name the capital of Guam. – Could you repeat?
– Name the capital of Guam. – Agana.
– That is acceptable, yes. Hagotnia or Agana, that’s correct. What is the official
crustacean of Louisiana? – The crawfish.
– That is correct. Sean, what North Carolina city is located at the Confluence of a Swananoa River and the French Broad River? – Charlotte.
– I’m sorry. The answer is Ashville,
name the largest lake in Maine which is the source
of the Kenebeck River. – Moosehead Lake.
– That is correct. In 1812, soldiers from
Tennessee inspired what nickname for the state?
– The volunteer state. – [Mo] The Volunteer state is correct. (applause) That deserves a round
of applause, I’m winded. (applause) Now we have reached the
conclusion of part one of the competition and we
now have the tough task of saying goodbye to Atreya,
Nihar, Saket and Sean. A huge round of applause,
valent competitors here. (applause) One of these six students
will be named the 30th champion of the
National Geographic Bee. Remember, there’s a lot on
the line for these finalists including $85,000 in scholarship money. Now you may not know this or maybe you do but I love geography and
we thought it would be fun to turn the tables and
have the students quiz me on their home states so
hit me with your best shot. We’ll start up here, Venkat. – Name the smallest county
by area in California. (laughing) – Ya know, I bet, I bet,
there’s a whole lot of people packed in there, I
bet it’s Los Angeles county. – No.
– Alright, then I bet. Well it’s not orange county. I bet it’s, is San
Francisco it’s own county? – Yes.
– So it’s the San Francisco county.
– Good job. – What’s that?
– Good job. – Okay, alright, well I sorta got that. (laughing) Okay, how small is it?
– I don’t know, just small. – Well, we’re even then, Gayatri. – What is the Indian reservation located inside of an Indian reservation? – An Indian reservation inside
of an Indian Reservation, so an Indian reservation inside, oh, it’s the Turducken nation.
(laughing) If you don’t say I’m
wrong, then I’m right. (laughing) What is it called?
– Do you want the answer? (laughing) – Well I mean, at this point, I think we might as well resolve it. – Okay, it’s the Hopi.
– The Hopi. What are they inside of?
– The Navajo. – Oh my god, that must be so suffocating. (laughing) Well you learn something every day you moderate the National Geographic Bee. Anoushka, I love New
Jersey and just before you ask me anything, I just
want everyone to know that New Jersey has the most diners in America. And that is true. – This one’s really hard, okay? What’s the highest point in New Jersey? – What’s the highest point in, what’s the highest, the
highest point in New Jersey? It’s not Trenton, it’s, Newark, is there, there’s gotta be a mountain in New Jersey. Mount Soprano.
(laughing) What is it?
– It’s called High Point. (laughing) – That is such a dad joke.
(laughing) After the explorer book,
you’ve gotta write a book of one liners, that’s great, I like that. I love New Jersey, New
Jersey also has the most scientists and engineers per square mile. (laughing)
Okay, Ashwin. – Name the western most point in Oregon. – The what?
– The western most point. – Oh, the Pacific Ocean.
– That’s. – No, the western most point, is there, I once went to Pacific City, Oregon. I’m sure there’s some
dude from Portland who has a house boats that’s
drifted out to sea so far he forgot where he was. – I was thinking of Cape Blanco but you were actually
correct at Pacific Ocean. – Thank god, I know
how to game the system. I should be there, Vishal,
ask me about Georgia. – The University of Georgia is located in which city Northeast of Atlanta. – Athens.
– Yeah. – This is the way it should go every time. (laughing) Jonathan, as me about North,
I love North Carolina. I spent two summers in Winston Salem. – What city was created in 1913 by the merging of two major tobacco towns? – Winston Salem.
– Yeah. (laughing) – Wow.
(applause) And now back to the game.
(applause) From this part of the competition on, we’re going global, questions
are now worth two points. And after six more rounds,
the three remaining students with the lowest scores will be eliminated. Let’s move on to round eight. This round will require
spoken answers only. I’m gonna give you each a
question to test your knowledge and recognition of national capitals. When it’s your turn, a photo
related to your question will appear on your
monitor, you will have 12 seconds to answer beginning with Venkat. Once a viking settlement,
this capital city is located on the east coast of an
island where the river Liffey enters the sea, name this city. – Dublin.
– Dublin is correct. Gayatri, this capital city
is home to the Grand Palace which was once the official
residence of the Kings of Siam, name this city. – Bangkok.
– Bangkok is correct. Anoushka, in 2011 Tahrir
Square was the focal point of a revolution in a capital
city, name this city which is located between
the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis and one of the
world’s major river deltas. – Kyro.
– Kyro is correct. Ashwin, southwest of the
highest point in the Andies Mountains, the capital
city is located on the Mapocho River in a geological
zone prone to earthquakes. Name this city.
– Santiago. – [Mo] Santiago is correct. Vishal, founded by the
Spanish, this capital city was supported by Soviet Subsidies
for much of the second half of the 20th century,
name this city located along the Straits of Florida.
– Havana. – [Mo] Havana is correct. Jonathan, this capital city
is located northwest of the Cyclades on a peninsula
that borders the Aegean Sea. Name this city which was
once a powerful city state. – Athens.
– Athens is correct. No time to waste, let’s
get right to round nine. For this next question, you’ll
need your stylus once again. We have another special guest,
take a look at your monitors. – Hi, I’m Grace Cowart
Young, an ocean engineer, Aquanaut and National
Geographic emerging explorer. I’ve lived at the bottom of
the ocean in the Florida Keys, sailed across the Atlantic
Ocean and I’ve worked with NASA to create 3D maps of astroids. Right now I’m worked to
refurbish a submarine in Kansas of all places, my great
passion though is connecting art with science, for example,
by creating 3D maps of coral reefs and dancing underwater. Now here’s your question, my
research has taken me to the coral reefs off the island of Utila. Utila is the western most
island of what arapeligo off the coast of Honduras. – You’ll have 12 seconds
to write down your answer. (bell dings) Time’s up, let’s see what everyone wrote. For two points, the correct
answer is Bay Islands. Let’s see how you did, three
of you had the correct answer. Students please keep your
stylus out for this next video question, this year National Geographic, the Audubon Society,
Bird Life International and Cornell Lab of Ornithology
are joining with nature lovers around the world to
celebrate the year of the bird. Birds symbolize nature’s
interconnectedness and our next special guest
is raising awareness of the importance of protecting
birds in a changing world. Once again, take a look at your monitors. – Hi, I’m Washington Washira,
I’m a wildlife conservationist and a National Geographic explorer. Now here is your question,
African crowned Eagles can be found in forests in a capital city near the Athy River, name this city which is sometimes called the
grain city in the sand. – You have 12 seconds to
write down your answer. (bell dings) Time’s up, let’s see what everyone wrote. For another two points, the
correct answer is Nairobi. Back row there all had it correct. In this next round, I’m
going to give each of you a question inspired by the
National Geographic channel series called one strange
rock which explores the fragility and wonder of planet earth. A photo related to your
question will appear on your monitory, you’ll have
12 seconds to answer. Venkat, in northern Quebec,
the Pingualuit Crater is an example of how Meteorites
have shaped our planet. Pingualuit Crater is located on what large peninsula south of the Hudson Strait? – The Ungava Peninsula.
– The Ungava Peninsula is correct, Gayatri,
the convergence of three tectonic plates created this depression where the ground spits acid. Located in the northern
part of the Afar region on the horn of Africa, what is
the name of this feature? – The Danakil Depression.
– The Danakil Depression is correct, Anoushka, around
the world waters is temporarily harnessed by tens
of thousands of large dams such as the Xiaolangdi
Dam in Hanon Province. The Xiaolangdi Dam is
located on what river north of the Qin Ling mountains? – The Yellow River.
– The Yellow River is correct. Ashwin, millions of years
ago, super volcanoes set off an extinction event that
killed most of life on earth. Protected in its underground
burrows, a reptile called Thrinaxodon survived,
fossils of this species have been found near
what river that rises in the Lesotho Highlands and
flow through Upington? – The Orange River.
– The orange river is correct. Vishal, covering over
5% of earth’s land mass, lichens such as these in
Ontario break down rocks, generate oxygen and absorb pollution. These islands can be found in what bay east of the Bruce Peninsula? – The Georgian Bay.
– The Georgian Bay is correct. Jonathan, on the Togian
Islands in the Gulf of Tomini most children learn to
swim before they can walk. The Gulf of Tomini is one
of three gulfs that define the unique shape of which of
the Greater Sunda Islands? – Sulawessy.
– Sulawessy is correct. For this next question,
you’ll need your stylus again for a question from a
special repeat guest who visited us last year from Kositchstan. Take a look at your monitors. – Hello, my name is Paul
Selapeck and I’m a journalist and National Geographic
fellow and I’m 1500 miles further along on my 21,000
mile Out of Eden Walk. I’m following the pathways
of our ancestors who migrated out of Africa
60,000 years ago writing about topics such as
climate change to migration to technological innovation
and you can follow along on this 10 year journey at
www.outofedenwalk.org. Now here’s your question,
soon my walk will take me to a city in India renowned
for it’s architecture and urban design, it was declared
a union territory in 1966 and serves as the joint capital
of two neighboring states. Name this city. – You will have 12 seconds
to write down your answer. (bell dings) Time’s up, let’s see what everyone wrote. For two points, the correct
answer is Chundagar. Let’s see how you all did,
four of you had it right. 12 rounds down and one more
to go before we have to say goodbye to the three
students with the lowest scores. So let’s take a look at
the current standings. Venkat and Anoushka are
tied in first place. Vishal is not far behind,
six points though are still up for grabs in our second
and final lightning round. Once again, when it’s your
turn you’ll be asked three questions in a row and have
six seconds to answer each. This time you’ll receive
two points for each correct response, a lot at stake,
there’s a lot of room to make up ground, kids, okay. Students, are you ready,
Venkat, name the largest of the Baliaric Islands.
– Mayourka. – [Mo] Mayourka is correct,
the Sawine River flows into the gulf of Martaban
before entering what sea? This is for you Venkat.
– The Ondomon Sea. – [Mo] That is correct. What religion is
practiced by a majority of people in Mongolia?
– Buddhism. – [Mo] Buddhism is correct,
Gayatri, the far east of Bolivia is part of what
large tropical wet land? – The Grand Chako.
– I’m sorry. The answer is the Pontinal,
name Sweden’s largest island. – Gotland.
– Gotland is correct. What is the official
working language of the federal government of Ethiopia? – Umharic.
– Umharic is correct. Anoushka, what channel
connects bath and bay with the Boford sea?
– The Perry Channel. – [Mo] Perry Channel is correct. What is the name of the highest
mountain peak in Algeria? – Mount Tahop.
– You got it. What is the predominant
religion of Marishis? – Hinduism.
– Hinduism is correct. Ashwin, what large salt
water lake is located just west of Tabris, Iran? – Lake Ormia.
– Lake Ormia’s correct. Name the gulf on the
southern coast of Honduras. – Gulf of Fansica.
– Gulf of Fansica’s correct. What is the official
language of Mozambique? – Portuguese.
– Portuguese is correct. Vishal, name the southern
most state of Mexico. – Wahaka.
– The answer, I’m sorry, is Chiopas,
what man made lake spans one third of the border
of Zambia and Zimbabwe? – Lake Curiba.
– Lake Curiba’s correct. What is the official currency of Denmark. – The Chrone.
– The Chrone is correct. Jonathan, what channel
south of the Irish Sea separates whales from Ireland? The answer is Saint Georgia’s Channel. Matsayama is the largest
city on what major Japanese island?
– Checoku. – [Mo] Checoku is correct. What is the official language of Andora? – Catalan.
– Catalan is correct. Alright the time has come to
bid farewell to half of the students on stage, let’s
take a look at the scores. We must say goodbye now to
Gayatri, Ashwin and Jonathan. A huge round of applause
making it this far. (applause) Here they are, the final three. (applause and cheering) Each of these three finalist
has now won at least a $10,000 scholarship so big
congratulations to each of you. You’ve already won big.
(applause) Next we get one step closer
to crowning our champion as these three students square off in the final Geo Challenge Round. – [Narrator] To learn more
about how your school can participate in the 2019
National Geographic Bee, visit our website,
natgeobee.org for details and instructions on how to get started. Maybe we’ll see a student
from your home town here next year.
(applause) – We’re ready to continue
with the 30th National Geographic Bee, our three
finalists are sequestered back stage where they can
neither see nor hear anything happening on stage, in this
next Geo Challenge round we’ll bring them out one
by one to test ’em not just on what they know but
how well they can apply and communicate that knowledge. Each student will answer
the same question which poses a real world scenario
and they’ll be given three possible answers
from which to choose. Our panel of judges of will
score their responses based on three criteria, accuracy,
reasoning and presentation. Each year millions of tons
of plastic waste end up in the oceans threatening everything
that depends on earth’s largest eco system, National
Geographic has begun a multi year effort to raise awareness
and help find solutions to this crisis, our three
finalists will be asked to identify a location for
an ongoing clean up effort to recover plastics from a local river. The goal is to reduce the
amount of plastic that leeches the ocean, the students much tell us which river is the best location and why. The students must focus
their effort at the Mouth of one of three rivers, the
Niger river, the Rhine river or the Yangtze River,
they must factor in the area’s population, plastic consumption and plastic waste management. The Yangtze river is the
best choice because of the high population and high
plastic consumption in the Yangtze river basin, it’s
also a rapidly growing area with overwhelmed waste management. The Niger river would be
the second best choice. The region has less population
and plastic consumption than that of the Yangtze though it’s waste management is also strained. The Rhine river is the weakest
choice for the clean up effort, it has the lowest
population and while it has high per capita plastic consumption, it has the strongest
existing waste management. The students must choice the
answer that best fits the scenario and explain their reasoning. We will give each of them
a moment to think about it. But once the bell rings, they’ll
have 45 seconds to respond. If he or she falls silent
for more than five seconds, their time will be up. This question is worth
a whopping nine points. So this is a game making
or game breaking moment for our finalists, the students
have been briefed on these rules but obviously not the question. And remember this is not
just about right or wrong. This is also about reasoning,
the quality of presentation. We begin with the student
currently in third place. Vishal, please come on out
on stage to be the first to answer this Geo Challenge. (applause) I’m gonna ask you to take
right front and center. Vishal, here is the question. Each year millions of tons of plastic debris ends up in the oceans,
much of it from rivers. Your goal is to help reduce the amount of plastic that reaches
the oceans by organizing a clean up effort to remove
plastic from a major river. You can focus your
clean up effort near the mouth of one of three
rivers, the Niger river, the Rhine river or the Yangzke river based on the criteria of population, plastic consumption and plastic waste management, on which river would your clean up effort have the greatest impact? You will have 15 seconds to think about your answer. When the
bell rings, please begin. (bell dings) – I would focus my clean up
effort on the Yangzke River because first of all, the
Yangzke river has a really great population with cities
such as Shanghi and Nanging. Second of all, there’s a lot
of plastic consumption with China having one of the most
plastic consuming countries in the world and China doesn’t
have the best plastic waste management so a clean up would really help to clean up the plastic
on the Yangzke river. The Niger river on the other
hand, does not have as much plastic consumption as the
Yangzke and the Rhine River is really good with
plastic waste management and doesn’t consume average
plastic as the Yangzke river. For these reasons I would
choose the Yangzke river for my clean up efforts.
– A round of applause for Vishal, nice done, so come
back here if you would. (applause) And I’m gonna ask you to stand
like right in here, okay. Alright, now let’s bring
out Anoushka, okay. Anoushka, come on out.
(applause) I’m gonna ask you to stand
front and center there. Anoushka here is the question. Each year millions of tons
of plastic debris ends up in the oceans, much of it from rivers. Your goal is to help reduce the amount of plastic that reaches
the oceans by organizing a clean up effort to remove
plastic from a major river. You can focus your clean
up effort near the mouth of one of three rivers, the
Niger river, the Rhine river or the Yangzke river based on
the criteria of population, plastic consumption and
plastic waste management, on which river would your clean up effort have the greatest impact? You will have 15 seconds
to think about your answer. When the bell rings, please begin. (bell dings) – I would choose the Yangzke
river to focus a clean up effort on, the Yangzke river
flows, the mouth of the Yangzke river is at Shanghi which
is a major city in China. Between the many people in
the city, there is a lot of plastic waste that occurs
and China is often considered one of the most populated,
populated and polluted places in the world, on the other
hand, the Rhine river mouth is in the Netherlands where
there is a stable clean up system already in place and
a much smaller population. Along the Niger river there
is also less plastic waste being used, for these reasons
I would choose the Yangzke river to focus a clean
up effort on, thank you. (applause) – Anoushka, I’m gonna ask
you to come back here please and stand to the left of Venkat, perfect. Alright, and now let’s bring out Venkat. (applause) Venkat, if you wanna stand
right front and center there. Here’s the question. Each year millions of tons
of plastic debris ends up in the oceans, much of it from rivers. Your goal is to help reduce
the amount of plastic that reaches the oceans
by organizing a clean up effort to remove plastic
from a major river. You can focus your clean
up effort near the mouth of one of three rivers, the
Niger river, the Rhine river or the Yangzke river based on
the criteria of population, plastic consumption and
plastic waste management, on which river would your clean up effort have the greatest impact? You will have 15 seconds
to think about your answer. When the bell rings, please begin. (bell dings) – I believe that the Yangzke
river is the best river to focus my plastic clean up effort on. This is because tens of
millions of people live on the Yangzke river today and
they produce a lot of plastic as the Yangzke river in China
has a huge manufacturing industry that produces
a lot of plastic waste. Also the China does not
have a very good waste management program, unlike
the Rhine River in Europe and the Rhine River is
not a good choice because even though it produces a lot of plastic, as I said before, it has good
plastic waste management. The Niger river is not a
good choice because not too many people live along
it’s banks and it has very low plastic consumption, that is why. (bell dings)
(applause) Okay, I’m gonna ask the two
of you to come with me please. If you would Venkat, stand to the left and Vishal all the way on the
right and Anoushka in between, the order in which you came out. Great job by all of our finalists. (applause) Now our judges will take
a few moments to confer. (intense music) The judges have tabulated the
scores for this Geo Challenge and are ready to share the results. Judges, we’ll start with Vishal. – Hi Vishal, you responded
with the Yangzke River which was the best choice, you
gave great supporting facts for all the criteria we
were looking for including mentioning Shaghi and
Naching, your excellent presentation was also very
well organized and had an excellent progression as well. We gave you eight points. – And that gives Vishal
a total now of 30 points. And we move on to Anoushka now. – Anoushka, you also
mentioned the Yangzke river which is what we were looking for. You had good facts to
support all of the criteria and contrasted the weaker
choices against the best answer. Your presentation was
very very clear but it did feel a little rushed, we
gave you seven points. – And that gives Anoushka
a total of 33 points. And finally Venkat.
– Venkat, you also mentioned the Yangzke river. You had excellent details
and a more complete explanation to support your
choice including mentioning the industrial base of the Yangzke basin. Your presentation was
effective but overall could’ve been smoother,
we gave you eight points. – That gives Venkat a total of 34. Tremendous job by all,
that was a real nail biter. (applause) And after tabulating the
scores, we must say goodbye to Vishal but don’t forget
you’re still leaving here a winner, there’s a $10,000
scholarship with your name on it. (applause) A big congratulations to
you for making it this far. (applause) And then there were two, Anoushka
Buddhikot from New Jersey and Venkat Ranjan from California. (applause and cheering) We are gonna get set
up for the final round and when we return, one
of these gifted students will become the 2018 National
Geographic Bee Champion. (applause) – [Narrator] There is a lot on
the line for these students. The Champion will receive a
$50,000 scholarship plus a lifetime membership to the
National Geographic Society and a Lindblad Expedition
to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National
Geographic Endeavor Two. Now back to Mo Rocca. – Welcome to the Championship
Round of the 30th National Geographic Bee,
out of 2.6 million students, 54 of the country’s brightest
young geographers made it here to Washington DC, the
top 10 earned their place to compete today, now we’re down to two. 13 year old Venkat Ranjan from California and 13 year old Anoushka
Buddhikot from New Jersey. Congratulations on to you
both on making it this far. (applause) So Venkat, what would it mean
to you to win this thing? – That would be good.
(laughing) – Be good, you’re underplaying
it right now, right? – Maybe.
– I get it, okay. – Anoushka, how long have
you prepared for this moment? – I’ve been participating
in the National Geographic Bees since I was in fourth grade. – Since the fourth
grade, nine or 10 years, eight or nine years old, right? Excellent, okay, well you’ve
come a long way, both of you. And now it’s time to get down to business. Here’s how it’s going to work. You each begin this final
round with a clean slate. The Championship round
is single elimination. You will both be asked the
same question at the same time. The contestant who correctly
answers the question that the other contestant
misses will be named our National Champion,
so watch closely because every question could be
the winning question. You’re gonna need your
stylus for this final round. I will read each question
twice so listen carefully before answering, you’ll
then have 12 seconds to write your responses, for the final time, students, are you ready? They’re ready, here is your question. Name the small southeast
Asian country that has a northern coastline on the
Wetar and Ombai Straits. I repeat Name the small
southeast Asian country that has a northern coastline on
the Wetar and Ombai Straits. (intense music)
(bell dings) Venkat, what do you have?
– East Timor. – Anoushka.
– Timor Leste. The correct answer is Timor
Leste, also east Timor. So you are both correct.
(applause) And we like variety, okay,
onto the next question. Lebanon has a population most similar to which South American country? I repeat Lebanon has a population most similar to which
South American country? (bell dings) Venkat, what do you have?
– Paraguay. – Anoushka.
– Guyana. – Two different answers, I
can tell you now that one is correct so we’re
about to learn who is the 2018 National Geographic Bee Champion. The correct answer is
Paraguay, so Venkat Ranjan is the 2018 National Geographic Bee. (intense music)
(applause) – Congratulations.
– Congratulations. (applause and cheering) – [Narrator] A dramatic end
to a terrific competition. Here’s how our 10 finalists
officially finished. And remember each of these
students outlasted millions of others around the country
to make it to Washington DC and end up on this stage. – And now to award the metals
to our top three finishers, please welcome Mike
Ulaka, interim President and CEO of the National Geographic
Society, thank you, Mike. (applause) Finishing in third place
and winner of a $10,000 scholarship, Vishal Sareddy from Georgia. (applause) Wonderful job, wonderful. Our runner up and winner
of a $25,000 scholarship, Anoushka Buddhikot from New Jersey. (applause) Congratulations again, wonderful. And the winner of a $50,000 scholarship, a lifetime membership to the
National Geographic Society and a trip for two on
a Lindblad expedition to Galapagos Islands aboard
the National Geographic Endeavor Two, the 2018
National Geographic Champion Venkat Ranjan from California. (applause)
(intense music) Thank you Mike and I’m
gonna step over here. And Venkat, I’ve gotta ask
you what was going through your mind on that last
question about population of Lebanon being similar,
most similar to which South American country.
– I don’t know this so I’m gonna have to guess something. – So you winged it.
– Kinda. – Right and we’re lucky that
in the midst of those two minutes, Paraguay didn’t have
a huge baby boom or something like that.
(laughing) Thrown the whole thing
off, now please join me in congratulating Venkat,
our other nine finalists and all 54 of the
students who made it here to Washington DC.
(applause) I’m Mo Rocca, thanks for watching. And remember the science,
exploration, education and story telling can change the world. And I want the parents
of our three finalists to come on up on stage,
let’s get the parents. (applause) Come on up. (upbeat music)
(applause) Congratulations, congratulations. (laughing) Love it, love it, love it. (upbeat music) Congratulations all of you. (upbeat music)
Somewhere in the Colorado Desert on the day of the Winter Solstice I am using dry tinder to light the fire with the hot coals from the campfire that burned through the night Mixing the hot coals with dry tinder and oxygen will cause flames to ignite and recover the fire If we let go of our prejudices, the elements of nature will conspire in our favor It usually takes a few minutes for the tinder to heat up enough to catch fire You can not rush things in nature, you must allow time for things to happen This dying mesquite tree is the best source of firewood that I found here I carry a lot of my supplies in this cattail basket that I made The basket is the perfect size to carry my cooking pot The pot is filled with acorn flour This is my tool pocket I made it to carry important tools such as a spoon, fire drill sticks, pine pitch, and resinous pine wood I will be using my spoon for this task This acorn flour was made mostly from acorns collected from the California scrub oak I do not want to cook all of it yet so I am removing some from the pot A small amount of water is added for the cooking process Acorns are a rich source of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates Acorns ripen in the fall months and are a very important food source for native people and wildlife too After stirring in the water I place the pot of acorn mush directly on the hot coals I usually allow it to cook for about ten minutes Fuel must be added to increase the heat This basket I made contains fresh toyon fruits that I collected near the coast Toyon fruit ripens in the late fall and early winter months Toyon fruit has a very mild flavor that is enhanced with drying or cooking Toyon fruit goes well with acorn mush I will cook this for a few more minutes The taste is quite bland but I am more interested in the nutritional value of this meal I also brought mesquite pods with me to eat as a tasty trail snack Mesquite is sweet and delicious I want to reignite the flames This is a very basic and primitive way to cook and eat acorn mush It can also be prepared with other seeds and flours, fruit, and even meat Acorns are very nutritious and I also feel a sense of satisfaction after eating a meal of acorn mush Remember that it is important to process them properly before consumption The bitter tannins must be removed in order to make them edible Watch my recent video about processing acorns or another source of information to learn how Always remember that the purpose of food is nourishment and not pleasure
Imagine if you were an alcoholic
and you drank every day and woke up feeling like shit
and somebody gave you something where you could get the same
sensation of getting fucked up and you wake up the next morning
feeling fresh and you’ve actually slept well. That’s the danger of G, it’s almost too good. GHB, or its precursor chemical, the industrial cleaning product GBL, is a deadly drug that has been
sneaking into dance floors across Europe. It’s previously been known
as a date rape drug and for its use in the gay chemsex
scene, but we’ve discovered that under
the radar it’s been spreading into mainstream nightlife. One milliliter too much can land you
in a coma or kill you. Anybody who raves knows someone
who takes G and anyone who takes G seems to know of somebody who’s died. We wanted to know how popular GHB
really is but the problem is that there’s no reliable statistics
on how many people are taking it. So we decided to do a call out
asking people for their experiences taking the drug and pretty much immediately we were inundated with voicemails
and videos from all across Europe. Music sounds a lot better, sex feels a lot better. I’ve always had good positive effects
from it. Recently my mate passed away on it. He was on G and then he fell asleep.
Just didn’t wake up. Some of my friends have been
hospitalized and died, some of them have even tried
to commit suicide off it. It makes you feel horny if you like,
or fruity. G makes you feel really active. It was like, a pretty dramatic uptake
in the Berlin scene. GHB was my favorite drug experience
that I’ve ever had. When you have GHB, you blackout, you are not in control
of whatever you do. Some people claim that
the Netherlands is one of the places where GHB began its new
relationship with dance culture. In the last five years, Amsterdam’s
OLVG hospital has seen a 266% increase
in GHB overdose admissions. We’ve just come to Groningen which
is in the northern Netherlands. We’re here to meet a dealer
who sells GHB and according to him, this area
is going through a bit of a GHB epidemic especially amongst the
hardcore music scene and the police have started
to make it a priority. Hey man I’m at the address you
gave me. “OK, I’ll come out, just a sec.” OK, cool. Is this the G? This is it, yeah, absolutely. And what’s this over here? – Coke.
– OK. Do you sell Coke as well? Yeah, anything. Out of all the stuff that you sell,
which sells the most? GHB, for sure. So why did you start selling GHB? People are getting more and
more into GHB. It would be stupid to not
take advantage of that, also because it’s so easy to get. It’s so easy to produce. It’s low effort, high price,
high profit. It’s a perfect business to be honest. How do you usually measure it out? I just put it in a big bowl. Let’s see. So how many milliliters is that
or are you still going? That’s 10. So this has to be 50 in total. How much is this 50 ml bottle
going to go for? 50 euros. So it’s about 1 euro per milliliter. That’s incredibly cheap. Yeah absolutely. Is that one of the appeals
of this drug? Yeah, absolutely. Most people I sell to are pretty
heavy users. OK. And they’ll f**king use it in church,
anywhere. So they’re using it every day?
They’re addicted? Yeah, absolutely. How aware are you of
the dangers of GHB? Pretty aware, I’ve seen a lot
of people going to s**t who were using it. Do you know people
who have died from it? Yeah, maybe around five or six people
I know have died from it, from overdosing on it, on the party itself,
so it will happen. There’s nothing people can do
about it. How popular is G in the Netherlands? It’s absolutely an epidemic. So many people using it nowadays
compared to a few years back. Well my mates are actually up there. I see the cool masks so I assume
you guys always hang out like this. For a pre-party, I feel like
it’s quite a lot of cocaine. – Yeah.
– It is. Do you guys do G as well? Yeah I like the feeling but I don’t
want to do it too often. – So what are you doing now?
– Taking the GHB. So I just poured it in
from the little tube. So what does that taste like? Oh s**t. Well it’s a bit thick so you really feel it
gliding through your throat. So do you just take GHB as like,
a chill one? Yeah absolutely. I really like it for just
a casual setting When you go to these hardcore parties do you see people on G often? At a festival people often use a lot like all day and all night. They get really active and energetic
and they start making weird noises and doing weird things
with their hands and at the end of the festival
they’re just f**ked. Bright and early the next day,
I was with Dirk and his friend on a five hour road trip to Europe’s
biggest hardstyle festival. So it’s 7 AM and we’re
on the party bus to this hardcore festival and as soon as we got on the bus, they started playing hardcore
very loud and everyone started doing
very large amounts of drugs. And meanwhile the whole time these two guys are pipetting out doses of GHB for the bus ride and it’s still not even 9 AM. On the bus stop, some people
asked me to make these so just making them
on custom order. The guys took a break from their
mobile drug laboratory to sell capsules of G to people
at the petrol station. They then took their first dose and for some reason set an alarm. So we’ve just arrived at the festival after a gruelling four hour bus ride and I noticed you putting
an alarm on your phone. Yeah. What was that for? I do that because otherwise
I will take a shot earlier than I should be. Basically keep yourself
from overdosing. That’s the point of it. The combination of speed, cocaine, G, alcohol and 200 BPM music might seem like a recipe
for disaster, but for the veteran drug users
of Holland’s hardcore scene, G has simply become another drug
on the narcotic menu that makes violently punching the air
more enjoyable. But it’s not just the Dutch gabber
scene where GHB is taking hold. The drug is quickly spreading. Especially to Europe’s
Disneyland of drugs, Ibiza. We’ve heard that GHB is bigger here
than anywhere else. It’s sort of a strange world with no
rules or ramifications, where it’s kind of like an arms race
to see who can do the most and the most intense drugs. Yeah, GHB is getting quite popular. Slowly everyone is knowing about it
and people are taking it. The younger generation is trying
their hand at it and with something that’s really
quite dangerous and heavy. Well, when I first came out here last
year I was like, “That’s f**king
weird as f**k, why the f**k would I ever take that?
That’s weird.” But then I took it because I was like
“Oh why not.” It’s actually quite cheap in
comparison to like, cocaine or something like that. We’re all f**ked up on the Gs people are going to be horny as f**k,
do you know what I mean? Now we’re even talking about it now,
it makes me actually want to do it. Give me some f**king Geebs. You see people getting carried out
of clubs all the time in Ibiza. I know of people who have died
from taking Geebs or things that are related
to taking Geebs. I went under and I was taken to an ambulance,
had to be resuscitated because I nearly died. At the first party we went to, we immediately saw a girl being taken
away on a stretcher by paramedics. It can’t be verified but we were
told by her friends that she had taken too much GHB. If we saw a potential G overdose,
known as ‘Going under’, after two hours of landing in Ibiza, we could only begin to imagine
how many similar tragedies were happening on this island
at any given time. It’s not just your health that’s
a problem when partying on G. It can dramatically affect
your behaviour with users reporting
an almost feral libido. For example, it took several police
officers to subdue this Dutch man after he lost control on G. People have done things that are
probably out of character. They’ve acted, not within
their own headspace. At the time it made my friend
so horny that she had to go back to our
apartment and use one of our friend’s dildos. If you dose too high and you take
too much you act irrationally, and you’re super horny
and kind of touchy but in a way that could
offend people. In 2018 the Ibiza resident DJ,
Jackmaster was accused of touching people
inappropriately during a G session and it heavily impacted his career. So much so, that he hasn’t spoken
to the press until now. I first started using GBL
four or five years ago. I started to like it and I got to the stage where
I was really relying on it to do gigs like if I didn’t have it before a gig
and during a gig I would feel pretty anxious. My use of it just started to spiral
out of control, you know. I was buying it in liters. I would have a liter under my sink
in the house. I’ve woken up at festivals before in a pool of my own sweat but freezing cold and I’ve not even known
what festival I was at. Would you call it an addiction? I would probably call it
an addiction, yeah. I mean at my 30th birthday, I overdosed on G
and I collapsed on stage. That was probably as close as I’ve
ever had in my life to dying you know and I probably was close and I did promise that I would stop and you know, I just fell into the
same bad patterns months after because the drug had such
a hold on me, you know. Since then, worse things
have happened, you know. There was a situation at a festival
last year and I’ve been told that I had acted
inappropriately to a number of women at the festival. I was bouncing around
from girl to girl just being inappropriate,
grabbing them, trying to kiss them. You don’t want to blame the drug
and make it an excuse. It’s absolutely not an excuse man, but it does go some way to explaining
why I acted out of character. I chose to pick up that bottle
and drink it. It’s my fault. I’m just so sorry and upset that,
you know, I hurt these women, I hurt the spirit of these women
and it’s just, it’s just really been heartbreaking
for me to know that. And you know, there’s a lot of people
in the dance music scene who are addicted to G and who are
using it far too much. So do you know many DJs
who are using GHB? I know a lot, not just DJs. I know a lot of people in the scene
who are doing it, you know, at after parties and stuff. It’s the number one drug that
people use to stay awake and hop from after party
to after party and it’s just that’s a really
dangerous culture considering the severity
of the effects that that drug can have on you. The growing popularity of G, combined with the lack of awareness
about its dangers, is inevitably going to lead
to more and more overdoses. I wondered how frequently
British doctors were dealing with GHB casualties and what you can do to
help people who have gone under. How dangerous is GHB compared
to other drugs? It’s a very dangerous drug
if used in overdose. If you had to estimate how many
people per week come in here with a GHB overdose? I guess it’s about two to three
a week, maybe more. But it’s pretty regular. It’s a fairly common thing. – Really?
– Yeah, absolutely. So one of the problems with it
is that it’s not just the overdose, it’s also that people can also
withdraw from it and if somebody stops GHB suddenly, they can have quite severe
withdrawal symptoms, much as you would if you were
a dependent heroin user and you suddenly stopped using it. So is GHB particularly addictive? Yeah, it has got addictive
tendencies, yes. Is there a way to take GHB safely? I guess the only way to be taking it
safely would be in an incredibly regulated fashion where there is no danger of you
overdosing, in an environment where everybody
knows exactly what to do if you do overdose. That sounds like a pretty
unlikely environment. I think it is. What can someone do if they see
someone who is passed out from GHB? Certainly if someone starts snoring
or they become really unrousable, then you’ve got to be worried. If somebody has passed out and you’re worried that they’re going
to lose their airway, they might suffocate, you need to get them to hospital. You can just simply put the person
in the recovery position, keep an eye on them try and keep them awake and get help. How can you tell if someone’s
passed out from GHB? Most of the deaths are pre-hospital so there isn’t a specific test that
we do in the emergency department to look for GHB or in any other emergency department. So there’s not really any way of us knowing the scale of the GHB problem? There are toxicology testing
that you can do for GHB which can be done in
a post-mortem setting. One of the things with it is that
the results aren’t instantaneous so within an emergency department
you need to do tests that are going to give you
results right now so you can act on them
to care for your patient. but we certainly don’t do a full,
complete toxicological drug screen that would take a few days to come
back for every single patient who comes through our doors. Emergency departments in the UK
aren’t testing for GHB or GBL in situ, and post-mortem toxicology reports
rarely are either, despite searching for over 300
other drugs. The dilemma is that public health
bodies across Europe won’t acknowledge there’s a problem
unless there are statistics, but will only gather
comprehensive statistics when they know there’s a problem. Because of this, the reports
that have been published are merely the tip of the iceberg. From everything we’ve seen, G does seem to be spreading rapidly and that increase in popularity
is being matched by a dangerous lack of awareness. I don’t know what the f**king
recommended amount is and young people aren’t going to know
what the recommended amount is, so the information is not there
for people. There should be a lot more education
on GHB and recommended dosages as well so that people know how much to take. Part of the danger of it
is how good it is and that’s why I think
there needs to be education. The stigma that surrounds drugs
isn’t helping which is especially amplified when it comes to the date rape
rust remover drug, GHB. The comas and deaths will continue
to happen until we accept that a ton of people are taking these dangerous drugs, and open up the conversation to spread awareness.
[MUSIC PLAYING] MALE SPEAKER 1:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [SOVIET ANTHEM PLAYING] ALISON SEVERS: In 1979, the
Soviet army entered Afghanistan, engaging in a
brutal 10-year conflict which kick-started the Afghan
opium trade. It was sold all over the world
to help fund the fight against the Soviets, but the main
customers of the opium were the Russians themselves. After the fall of the Soviet
union in 1991, Russia’s heroin problem continued to grow. So much so, that in 2011, the
country has become the world’s biggest consumer of heroin. [MUSIC CONTINUES] ALISON SEVERS: With a southern
border more than 4,000 miles long, we’re talking about a
patrol area greater than the distance from New
York to London. It’s no wonder the drug trade
is out of control. We travelled to the small
Siberian city of Novokuznetsk, which lies just over the
Russian border with Kazakhstan, and is
on the front line of this heroin epidemic. Once a Siberian industrial
powerhouse, now this city has fallen into decline, with 20%
of its population allegedly addicted to heroin. We’d heard stories about
ex-addicts building coffins to bury their friends, and
religious cults disguised as rehab clinics. Worst of all though were rumors
of a new moonshine drug called krokodil that has some
terrifying consequences. Nowhere are Russia’s
drug problems more evident than here. We’ve come to an area where
there’s a lot of derelict building that are being squatted
by addicts as a place to use and to live. Everywhere I look around
me, there are syringes. There’s more syringes here
than I’ve ever seen in my entire life. MALE SPEAKER 2:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Why are
you hanging out here? MALE SPEAKER 2:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: This area is
called Zavodskoy and was once the purpose-built
housing estates of the Soviet workforce. Now, these imposing tower blocks
are just empty shells. These young men have been
living in this abandoned building for two months. MALE SPEAKER 3:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 4:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 5:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 4:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 5:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 4:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKERS:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 3:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKERS:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 3:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 4:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 3:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 4:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE INTERVIEWER: When was the
last time you went to see a doctor or a hospital? MALE SPEAKER 3:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 6:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MALE SPEAKER 3:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [MUSIC PLAYING] ALISON SEVERS: Sasha Pelikhov
works for an organization called Regenerate Russia,
which helps rehabilitate heroin addicts in
Novokuznetsk. Sasha explained to us that there
might be more to the drug trade than just
making money. SASHA PELIKHOV:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: There’s a widely
held belief that a phenomenon called
narcoterrorism fuels the drug trade. It’s said that Afghan terror
groups help expediate the supply of heroin to Russia in
order to both profit from their former invaders and also
weaken the population by poisoning them with heroin. This is what’s known as
the Golden Crescent. It’s the route that heroin
takes from northern Afghanistan, throughout Central
Asia, and into Russia. Sasha told us that the center of
the local trade was at the food markets just outside
the city center. It’s where trucks from
Kazakhstan are offloaded with heroin for distribution
around Novokuznetsk and the wider areas. We were told to approach this
place with extreme caution, and not to get out of the car. As we drove slowly through the
market, we noticed gangs of men doing business next
to their trucks. Many of them bore Kazakhstan
license plates. It didn’t take long
to get us noticed. All of a sudden, someone spotted
our cameras, and people started beeping their
horns and yelling. MALE SPEAKER 7: Why are
people beeping? MALE SPEAKER 7: Yeah,
everyone’s checking us out now. MALE SPEAKER 8: Yeah, let’s
just get the fuck out. MALE SPEAKER 7: Let’s get
the fuck out of there. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. ALISON SEVERS: There’s two
pretty snazzy cars behind us. Those are the first snazzy
cars I’ve seen since we’ve been here. Probably going to follow
us and kill us now. The vans have got along the
right-hand side of the number plate, had KZ, which means,
obviously, the cars have been trucked in from Kazakhstan. MALE SPEAKER 9: It doesn’t
mean Kool Zines? ALISON SEVERS: No. It doesn’t mean kool zines. It means fucking naughty
heroin trafficker from Kazakhstan. That’s what it fucking means. Well, there’s still a car
that looks the same. Or maybe all the cars
just look the same. OK. We lost the cars and headed back
to meet Sasha somewhere safe, or so we thought. MALE SPEAKER 10:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: It kind of just
feels like walking into a forest in the middle of Siberia,
plus a lot of very angry dogs. That one actually did that
whole, like, err, I’m going to fucking kill you thing. After about five minutes of
walking through Vorstadt, we met this guy. Sasha told us he was salvaging
scrap metal, which is the most common way for heroin users
to fund their addiction. MALE SPEAKER 11:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [MUSIC PLAYING] MALE SPEAKER 11:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [DOG GROWLING AND BARKING] MALE SPEAKER 9: What is it? ALISON SEVERS: Because I can’t
see where the syringes are. They’re fucking everywhere. Opposite the rehabilitation
center, there’s just a deserted building where there’s
syringes all over the floor, and, like, empty
bottles of this stuff. ALISON SEVERS: What’s this? Sasha. MALE SPEAKER 12:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SASHA PELIKHOV: What
is in Tropikamid? [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Sasha explained
that the eyedrops were one of the main ingredients of a new
drug called krokodil, a kind of moonshine heroin. Krokodil is so called because it
turns the user’s skin scaly and eats them from
the inside out. SASHA PELIKHOV:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: That woman walked
past us earlier when we were on our way out
to the brothel. And Sasha told me the she’s on
the road, which mean she’s a working prostitute. She’s just walked past now. She’s met up with a guy, and
she’s going to go have sex with him down there. Brilliant. That’s completely depressing. Fucking hell. With high volumes of drug
addicts comes high volumes of prostitution. And Novokuznetsk is
no exception. What was worrying here was
how young the girls were. So over there, I can
see two girls. One of them looks about 14, and
they’ve been talking to a succession of men who are
stopping in cars at the side of the street. And in fact there’s so much
going on here with crime and drug use, you’d expect to see
police cars and ambulances, but I haven’t seen
any of them. [MUSIC PLAYING] NATASHA: [SINGING IN RUSSIAN] [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: The Russian
government offers very little support for addicts. There are no local state-funded
rehab centers, and so the void has been
filled by private organizations. They range from centers like
this one, where the addicts provide volunteer work to pay
for their treatment, to evangelical churches that
have been accused of running like cults. OLEYSA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: I heard
a lot of people died. OLEYSA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] NATASHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Oh. NATASHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] NATASHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [CHOIR SINGING] ALISON SEVERS: After we left
the girls, we went to visit the priest of the main
orthodox church in Novokuznetsk. I had to wear a head scarf
in order to be able to talk to him. Spasibo. MINISTER VASILY:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: So this is the
bit that we bought in the shop in your church. And it says, Christian sects,
how they’re servants of the anti-Christ. Is this relevant in this city? MINISTER VASILY:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] YEVGENY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: This
is Yevgeny. By day, he’s a funeral director,
and by night, he run the Novokuznetsk branch of Teen
Challenge, which is an American Christian charity that
now has missionaries and centers in over 70 countries
around the world, and it’s growing rapidly. He told us to come along to
meet his congregation in a remote part of the city which
was an hour drive up a very steep hill. And when we arrived,
we found this. [RUSSIAN ROCK MUSIC PLAYING] ALISON SEVERS: This is the
sleeping room for the brotherhood here at Teen
Challenge, which is Yevgeny’s church group [SINGING IN RUSSIAN[ ALISON SEVERS: This is a
rehabilitation center for people involved in Teen
Challenge, which is an American church that’s
come to Russia. And now Yevgeny practices
their doctrine. I think that Teen Challenge
is a cult, to be honest. MALE SPEAKER 13: Today, I
live here six months. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ help me. [SINGING CONTINUES] MINISTER VASILY:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [SINGING CONTINUES] [APPLAUSE] WORSHIP LEADER:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: This is Sergey. We met him begging outside on
the street, and he said most of the people he knew
have been affected by heroin and krokodil. SERGEY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SEREZHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Later that night,
Sergey took us on a tour of local pharmacies to show
us how easy it is to pick up the ingredients
for krokodil. So these are 24-hour pharmacies that we’re going to. You can do this any
time of the day. SERGEY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Sergey said he
knew someone who could cook the krokodil for us. He promised to meet us again. That was the last
time we saw him. ALEXEY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Alexey is the
pastor of an independent church that reforms heroin
and krokodil addicts. ALEXEY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: Alexey took us
to meet his friend, whose family has been destroyed
by krokodil. With a drug that can kill it
users so quickly, it’s very rare to meet survivors. LYUDMILA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MISHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SERGEY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: And you
been taking krokodil? SERGEY: We have, yeah. MISHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: When did
you start taking it? MISHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SERGEY: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] MISHA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] LYUDMILA: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] ALISON SEVERS: I felt quite
helpless leaving Lyudmila’s house, but nowhere near as
helpless as she must feel. Her health, home, and family
life have been totally destroyed by krokodil, a drug
you can just work out how to make with the help of
internet forums. President Medvedev has talked
about closing down the websites that are providing
this information, but the internet seems harder to
police than the border. I can’t see any way out for
these people if they’re relying on that. Drug users are developing new,
terrifying ways of consuming opiates faster than the
government can decide on any form of policy. The church and the sects aren’t
the answer, but sadly, they seem to be the best hope
these young people have in a city that really does feel
like it’s been forgotten.
Spice just hits you like a truck,
it just knocks you out. Whereas bud you just sit and chill. You know what? I wish I could go back to my bud. Because you know what,
Spice, it’s horrible. I woke up after the Spice,
with vomit all over my bed, and myself. I know a kid who died of it. Couldn’t get his heart beating more. It was beating too fast,
it just went and shook out. As the new government began
making moves to ban all legal highs, we headed to Manchester,
where synthetic drugs like Spice, and other brands like Vertex,
Pandora, and Insane Joker, are freely available to buy from news
agents and places known as head shops. Although manufacturers state on
the packets that they’re not fit for human consumption,
legal highs are used recreationally. And they make the press when
students overdose on them. Most people thought it was
a recreational drug, a party drug, something that you could,
perhaps, dip in and out of. But actually, nobody really knows
what they’re made of part and what structure they have and
how they impact on the body. Although students with a support
network tend to dip in and out of synthetic drugs. We wanted to meet a much more
vulnerable group of people who can suffer from the affects of
a real dependency on legal highs. All the clients that
are presenting here are using spice. It’s affecting the mental health,
it’s affecting the physical health, and it’s a massive, massive problem. Manchester has more rough sleepers
then anywhere else outside of London. Cuts to council services have left the city with 20% fewer emergency
beds than there were five years ago. And during that time, legal highs have become a crutch to many
of the people who now live on the streets. I use it myself, and I use it because it takes the pain away. It’s legal. What can I do? I can sit here now, there could be 20 officers around
me with guns and everything. As long as pull a bag of spice out and
start rolling it, I can roll it. Nothing that anybody can do. I pull a bag of weed out and
they’ll all be on me like a car bonnet. How might people go about trying to
get hold of it once you can’t go to a shop and buy it? There’s always gonna
be some match level drug. There’s already street dealers out there. Are you worried though that it
might start criminalizing people? Yes, yes I’ve seen some bad you
have got to look at this drug, it’s bringing heroine addicts, I know a
heroine addict that’s a Spice addict now. He takes Spice like he used to take
heroine every single day of the week. He doesn’t took to heroine now, so that heroine a class A drug and
the Spice is bringing him off that. What is in this stuff? It’s amazing. The Misuse of Drugs Act
controls substances on the basis of their structure. The banned cannabinoid in weed is THC. Synthetic cannabis like spice mimics
the effects of weed by replicating and slightly altering the chemical
that gets people high. Legal high manufacturers design
cannabinoids and constantly update the composition of their products,
so that they remain within the law. But, these experiments can leave
the users smoking a legal version of weed that can be a hundred times stronger. One of the few volunteer
organizations that caters to Manchester’s homeless
community is Lifeshare, a charity that looks after young people
seeking advice and accommodation. Where I’ve just come from
is everywhere… It’s everywhere… Yeah, it’s everywhere. People are making thousands
of pounds off that. In jail, yeah. And trust me I’ve seen
some kids in wheelchairs. It’s funny, yeah, but afterwards it’s not. So more people just die. Pretty much most of our
clients use the Spice. I think the main reason that it’s
being used quite a lot, is it’s cheap. People that used to smoke cannabis,
they’re spending ten pound on cannabis. And they’re getting two smokes out of it. They’re spending five
pound on a gram of spice. And it’s going a lot further and
it’s a lot stronger as well, I believe. What I’ve noticed when it comes
to Manchester is the number of rough sleepers there are. Most of our clients now
are homeless and will sleep here. Why is that? Well, realistically there’s
budget cuts to various services or whatever, and homelessness has been a major one. We need more shelters and
we need more hostels. Lifeshare is the first point of contact
for people living on the streets, and currently sees over 100 clients. A regular member of their
drop-in clinic is Titch. I’ve got a spliff there. Where do you sleep at night, Titch? Car park up Portland Street. Are you waiting for a hostel? When was the last time
you had a Spice hit? About half 10, 11 o’clock this morning. How are you feeling right now? Like I want to kill someone. I want to go back into Strangeways
(Prison) and do a 28 day detox. But that would be pointless. Why would it be pointless
going into Strangeways? Because there’s more Spice in there
than what’s out on the streets. [INAUDIBLE] You look like you’re about to roll a spliff. Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] I forgotten
a spliff this morning. That’s about 40 spliffs
right there in that one. I don’t want it, but I’m in pain. I’m in that much pain. Where does it hurt? My stomach, shooting pains down my leg, shooting pains up my spine. Pains in my neck and in my arm. Harmful if swallowed. May cause respiratory irritation. Do you want a glass of water to drink? Have you ever seen any other drug like this? This is supposed to be legal, but it has a sense of deterioration
that you don’t expect from crack. Crack cocaine, and then quickly, rapidly deteriorated,
over a few weeks of using it. I’ve gone from that to this. Can you remember the first
time you started Spice? In the summer seeing young people
begging that would have never normally begged before and
they’re going begging for Spice. Risking their accommodation and
everything, cuz they’re not going home to accommodation cuz they’re off their
faces on Spice in the car parks. How much Spice do you smoke? Six grams a day. Six grams a day?
– Yeah. And how much does that cost? It’s three for 20 pounds so
you are looking at about 30 pounds or 40 pounds a day. I’d rather it be illegal because, do you
know what yeah I’d rather blaze my bud. Look at me now yeah, right,
I’m rattling, right, my head’s all over, right,
and I can’t think straight. Now, if this was bud, don’t get me wrong,
I’d be sat here stressed, Judy’s seen me stressed when I’ve not had bud, but I’m not like this, I’m not rattling. You know what, it’s horrible. And it’s the same irritability that
you would associate with crack, but you’re actually sometimes now showing
physical withdrawal signs as well, which you usually associate with heroin. I mean some of the young people here
describe the heart palpitating and really, really going really fast. They just will not take on board that how detrimental it’s gonna be to their
mental health, their long-term well-being. How did it make you feel? The first time I had it?
– Yeah. It was actually Pandora’s box as well. Were you there? We can do that. I think. I don’t know! What are you doing with your legs? And I was just waving my legs,
laughing my ass off at every single thing. I don’t know. You had a spliff about half an hour ago now. How are you feeling now? I’m not as bad, a bit anxious but not too bad. I’m putting my full time into
getting off Spice, I know I can but I have to be away from
being surrounded by it. At the moment the town has
become a breeding ground for it. Everybody comes into town, they won’t
go home because they need to get Spice. It’s being in this
situation on the streets, while everybody else is doing it, that I
kind of find it hard to get away from it. Titch, do you see that your way out
of Spice, and being surrounded by Spice culture is by getting
a secure accommodation in a hostel? Yes, d’you know what? I’ve said this from day one. I will stop smoking Spice when
I get in a hostel, right? And the only reason, the reason is yeah,
is because of the bud. I’d love to smoke my bud after
this because I know yeah, my bud ain’t making me unfit,
it ain’t making me drop, it ain’t fucking my head up and that. Before meeting Tim, Johan realized that
legal highs like Spice were addictive. He’s only gone a few hours without smoking
it before showing signs of withdrawal. There’s the rattling going now. I wanted to find out from someone
whose job it is to get people off drugs, if the legal status of a particular
substance had any impact on whether people take it or not. There is a level of naivete
around thinking that by making legal highs illegal,
people will be less inclined to use them. If somebody is already in a situation of
relative chaos in their life in general, it would be unlikely that we would see
a significant impact in people using them. It’s not necessarily gonna positively
impact on the people who are using it, but it impacts on who’s in charge of the
supply and where the supply comes from. It’s a public health issue. And what we wouldn’t want to see is for the criminal aspect of that problem to be
prioritized over the public health aspect. I think all services providing
information, support, access for members of the public, we’ve had
significant financial cuts, I think, over the last five years. And that’s probably going to continue, so there’ll be a 25% reduction in
the overall spend on drugs and alcohol. He’s one of the biggest
Spice heads in town. I know two people who have died of it. At a city center soup kitchen, local health workers are dealing with
Spice casualties on a daily basis. The guy that we first
came across on the wall, he was completely out of it, unconscious. We’ve been talking to
lots of people about it. They say they’ve never seen a drug
have as massive effects as legal highs do on people. No. We’ve gone from having no problems with it to now we’re getting three or
four people every night. We’ve had no training on it, obviously,
when we did the training it wasn’t there, now we are starting to get training on
it because there’s so much out there, it’s so bad. Outlawing something doesn’t sort of
change people’s intention to do something. It doesn’t no, but it becomes
illegal more can be done about it. Same again, now I can smell it now. – Yeah, me too. And it doesn’t smell like weed,
does it? No.
It is so much chemically related, that nobody really knows what’s in it. It will knock you out and it will numb
your senses to the elements and stuff. This is why it’s becoming
a homeless phenomenon, it’s because it numbs your senses and it makes you dull and
it makes the elements not bother you. Later that night we went to find it. As we wandered the streets,
it was hard to ignore the irony and the fact that Spice was, to some degree,
a problem of the government’s own making. And there seemed to be a similarity
between Titch’s cycle of satisfying his own addiction and the government’s way of handling drugs. A sort of Whac-a-Mole tactic that
only serves as a temporary solution. As ministers debate the details of
the new psychoactive substances bill, while cutting addiction services and
housing support, only time will tell where the problem
might pop up again in the future.
Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you very much. Thank you! This is a genuine shock,
especially this year. I’m shaking here. We want to say thank you
to everybody. I mean, I really don’t feel like
I can accept this award this year. The one reason we won the award
this year is because of this guy. His hard work, dedication, wit,
funniness and being the best mate
there is out there. I love you man.
♪ ♪ On today’s episode we’re
meeting artists who are taking something ordinary
and transforming it into something extraordinary. ♪ ♪ I’ve cut up so many books,
that I almost look at all books as if they’re
material for a collage. Jimmy is just the most
beautiful person. He’s the most charismatic
person I’ve ever met. ♪ ♪ Hello and welcome to CBC
ArtsExhibitionists, the tv show that is dedicated
to introducing you to the coolest
people in the world — artists. I’m your host
Amanda Parris. Today we’re meeting artists
who take everyday materials, the ordinary things we
see in our daily lives, and use their creative talents
to transform these things into extraordinary
works of art. We start our journey
in Sudbury, Ontario. Those of you born after
the year 2000 probably don’t know this, but
research for a school project used to require something
called an encyclopedia. These were usually very
large books packed with tons of information
and, if you’re lucky, very colourful images. The Internet has now made
encyclopedias obsolete, but this artist is bringing them back
in a meaningful, new way. ♪ ♪ I’m Sydney Rose, and
I’m a collage artist in Sudbury, Ontario. I like to re-combine images
that had a previous meaning and take them out of their
original context and see what kind of stories you can
tell by re-combining them in new ways. ♪ ♪ I’m from Sudbury. I was born and raised here. There’s something
about Sudbury. When you leave, something
draws you back in. And sometimes you need to
get away a little bit to realize what
Sudbury has to offer. It’s a really neat place to
be, and a really neat time to be in this crater. We can make it what
we want it to be. After my grandparents died I
moved back into their home to help my family kind
of sort through all of the leftover stuff. There was a lot of stuff
that needed to be donated or thrown away and
sorted through. But a lot of what was
left over was fabric and books and things that
you can’t really donate. And there was alot of that
left behind, and I kept alot of the books around because
I thought I would like to read them. But there was also these
encyclopedias that I remember when I was a kid having to
do little research papers for school. So flipping through them
again I had that nostalgia. And I wanted to give the
images a new life again. I felt it was a shame for
these beautiful illustrations to be hiding in the dark
in a basement and not see the light of day. I think it’s important to
keep track of where we’ve come from and we’re going. ♪ ♪ While it’s a shame in some
ways to cut up something that may have value or
may have importance or a history to it, I think as
long as what I’m creating tells a new story that’s worth
telling, I don’t feel so bad. I’ve cut up so many books that
I almost look atallbooks as if they’re material
for a collage. ♪ ♪ I hope that my artwork and
my collage work encourages people to just try
to make things. I like collage a lot
because anybody can do it. It’s very accessible. I’d like people to know that
if you’re interested in art at all, or even if you
don’t feel like you have any talent that collage is
probably a good place to start. There’s not much pressure on
the collage-making process. It’s very easy.
It’s very relaxed. I think that’s what I’d like
people to take away from my work is that art can be
playful, it can be accessible, and it doesn’t have
to be so serious. The worst that can happen is
you make a piece of bad art. But even bad art
is worth making. ♪ ♪ Our journey continues in
Calgary where this next artist creates these really
cute and fuzzy animals. They were all made by our
exhibitionist in residence, an artist whose work we’ve
chosen to showcase this week. I’d like you to meet
Dena Seiferling. I’m an illustrator and
fibre artist based out of Calgary, Alberta. I really like to sculpt
and draw animals. And that’s mostly because
I’m inspired by them. I also create characters
with them that people can connect to. Lately I’ve been experimenting
with how animation can help bring life to those
characters even more. I think that the element
of movement really inspires imagination and believability. And the GIFs work really
well on Instagram. ♪ ♪ We’re moving from the animals
that run around in our backyards to the plants that adorn them. You may recognize
this next artist. We visited him a few weeks
back when he showed us his signature insects. Today he’s showing us
his step-by-step process for how to turn the stuff
that’s in your garden into extraordinary works of art. ♪ ♪ My name is Raku Inoue. We’re going to make
insects out of plants. ♪ ♪ Picking the material. You know, it’s always about
finding interesting shapes, interesting colours. And also at the same time, it’s
also about cleaning our garden. So, you know, when you have a
garden you have to trim out some excess branches anyway,
so instead of just throwing them in the compost I will
use them for my arrangements. During summer we have
much more choice. As you can see, pretty much
everything is dead right now. But there’s still beauty
when we look closely. I come back inside. Usually at that time I pour
myself a second coffee. And by drinking the coffee,
I just let my creative thought go. So the goal is to
really be free. I guess, creative freedom
is what I was seeking. ♪ ♪ I usually start with
interesting shapes, so then I will start
selecting, I will start trimming what’s nice
and what’s usable. At that time usually I
have a general direction I want to take. So I usually just pick an
insect or just a basic shape, and I’ll try to fill that
shape up with materials that I just picked. I am making the horn now for my
Japanese rhinoceros beetle. I usually try to do this
without glue, without tape. There we go. And then I’ll just
start adding to it. But like everything
in nature, sometimes it’s
hard to control. So controlling was never
part of this exercise. It was always meant to go
with the flow, I guess. This fits like
a small puzzle. I just try to
find the pieces. This is Ikebana scissors. They’re very useful to
cut any type of branches. Just clean up…
and it’s done. Complete. I make sure it looks nice
from above because when I take the shot, I take the
shot from bird’s-eye view. ♪ ♪ Coming up, an artist whose
photography has a far greater destiny than a gallery wall. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Welcome back. In a typical exhibition,
photographs are printed, framed and hung on a wall. But for Jeff Bierk, he
had a different vision. He wanted his work to live
in the world, not just in the gallery. So he printed his
portraits on blankets and gave those blankets
to his collaborators who have made sure that
his photos turned up in the most
unexpected places. The Back Forty is my home. I’ve been here for twenty
years in the Back Forty. I’ve slept here,
I lived here. I have a home now, but
I’m still back here because it’s my
second home. The Back Forty is like
a secluded parking lot that is behind my apartment. And it’s just this place
that is secluded and relatively private. And so a lot of the work
I make is documentation of things that have happened
in the Back Forty, or it’s about relationships that
were fostered in the Back Forty. ♪ ♪ My name is Jeff Bierk. I’m a photographer
and a human being. For Contact Photography
Festival in Toronto I’m doing a public installation
where I’m making 10 blankets in collaboration with two of
my friends, Jimmy and Carl. It’s taking place in
two neighbourhoods, the neighbourhood that I live
in and the neighbourhood that I work in. It’s a collaboration in the
sense that I’ll be making blankets of my friends. So it’ll be a photograph
printed on a fleece blanket. There’ll be a sort of dance
or exchange where I’ll give the blanket to my friend. We’ll photograph it and
then kind of let it exist in the world and
see what happens. Like this, okay? Okay, leave this hand
like that, yeah. [camera shutter clicking] Yeah, that’s perfect!
Beautiful. ♪ ♪ I was taking a lot of
photographs of people sleeping on the street
without consent. I saw it at the time as
like a kind of evidence of poverty in Toronto that
I thought people needed or should see. At the time I was trying
to articulate my experience of loss and death
and addiction. I was taking pictures
of other people to try to talk about those things and make
sense of those things for me. I got an offer to publish
that work in a book, and I became really, really
uncomfortable with the idea of showing or publishing
this work of people’s faces and images that were
taken without consent. And I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t
publish the work. And so that marked a big
change in the way that I was making photographs. And so when I started to
photograph Jimmy, it was beyond just asking if it was
okay to take a photograph. It was taking a photograph,
showing Jimmy or whoever the image of themselves. You know, letting them know
that I was putting it on Instagram or whatever
kind of Internet platform. If I was printing work for
a show, it would be like a collaborative process
where we would pick the image, the subject or the person
would be comfortable with the image we were using. They would sometimes
help with the title. So there was like a complete
transparency in the way that I was making
the images. I have hundreds and hundreds
of photographs of Jimmy. Jimmy is just the most
beautiful, beautiful person. He is so funny. He’s the most charismatic
person I’ve ever met. You know, that’s why I was
initially drawn to Jimmy. He’s a panhandler, he
washes windows in the Annex, and he’s just hilarious. He’s so funny
and beautiful. ♪ ♪ Hold it up. Check it out, Jimmy. Get a haircut.Youget a haircut. Okay, you’re going to
do this one, Jimmy. Come here. See, take this. I love photography. How long you been
taking pictures? Oh, for a long,
long time. What do you
think of that? I love it. It’s really cool. ♪ ♪ In my opinion, Jimmy
deserves to be honoured in this neighbourhood, this
neighbourhood that he’s been in for such a long time. I’m so grateful that we’re
friends and that we have this nice kind of
like exchange. It’s great. That story made me feel
really good about how art can bring people together. But this next story may be
offensive to some viewers. It’s about a topic that is
incredibly divisive and very controversial. Pineapple on pizza. We teamed up with CBC
Radio’sAs It Happensand animator Hyein Lee
to bring the story of Hawaiian pizza’s
origin to life. And who better to tell
the tale than the creator himself, the
late Mr. Sam Ponopoulous. ♪ ♪Sam: The pineapple come up
over there while we wereworking on it.There was a can of pineapples
on the shelf, you know.We just throw it on.Interviewer: You just
had some around?Sam: Yeah.We just pass them on top.At first I had a
bite and I like it.I pass it in to some
customers that didn’t like itto begin with.But after a while
they were crazy.Everybody want it.Interviewer: Are there certain
other toppings that go bestwith pineapple?Sam: Yeah.Everybody start putting
everything on it.You can put sardines on it,
you can put salmon in it,you can put green peppers,
onions, whatever you wantyou can put today, and
everybody eats it.Interviewer: So you agree
because the President ofIceland also says seafood
is good on pizza.Sam: Yeah, I think, yeah.But after my
pineapple, tell him.Interviewer: Your
pineapple’s first.Short hair, curly hair,
red hair, purple hair. But have you ever
heard of denim hair? That’s coming up next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ We’ve seen artists transform
encyclopedias, turn leaves into insects, and now we
turn our attention to denim. When you’re done with
a pair of jeans what do you do with them? Give them to Goodwill,
throw them in the trash? How about transforming those
high-waisted ‘mom’ jeans into a stylish bob cut? Renée Matthews works with
denim, burlap and other found materials to create
beautiful wigs that remind us there’s no limit to what
you can do with some discarded material and
a little imagination. ♪ ♪ You can change who you
are from, like, one minute to the next. And, like, hair’s the
easiest way to do that. Or make-up or the
way that you dress. But hair’s the most fun. ♪ ♪ My name is Renée Matthews. I am a multidisciplinary
artist. [ripping] Today we are deconstructing a
pair of jeans, piece by piece, to harvest fabric from them. ♪ ♪ My process for deconstruction
is basically just cutting out sections, deciding on
the length that I want, and just pulling
apart piece by piece. This is the most fun part. It’s the most tedious,
but it’s so much fun. When it gets more into the,
like, tiny picking apart that’s alot more headache
inducing, I guess. But still fun. My relationship to
picking has been lifelong, and I didn’t realize that
until maybe a year before I started doing this
I realized that I had been doing it my whole life. Like I’m even doing it now. But, yeah, it’s always been,
I think, just a stress coping mechanism. Like I automatically just
start picking at stuff. It used to be, like,
the bottom of my feet. When I was really young
I would pick at that. And then I think in high
school I was constantly rubbing my forehead. And then recently
it’s been my hands. So doing the denim
deconstruction felt good to kind of put it into,
like, a constructive and creative mode rather than
borderline self harm. Deconstruction opens up
an entire new way of looking at it. You’re not really thinking of
it as, oh, this is something that I could wear in a
completely different way. With the pin I’m just
separating or loosening the weave so that it’s easier
to get a grip on to pull out. Denim forms these strands
and just behaves so similarly to hair, it was
like, this is going to work really well as a wig. Anything that forms into
strands automatically can be manipulated and worked
with the same way as hair. Today we are about to
reconstruct all of the tiny little pieces of
denim that we took apart. ♪ ♪ The construction of the
actual wig itself would take about 26 hours. ♪ ♪ I just like the idea of it
being kind of like an everyday whatever thing
that you don’t think about and being able to make
something great or at least beautiful or
something from what you can just look at as
something that’s kind of ordinary to begin with. ♪ ♪ They’re not obviously
current replacements for wigs, but in a very, like, almost
Jetsons type of way I hope this is the beginning
of thinking about other ways that we can change our
hair and wear our hair and play around
with identity. ♪ ♪ If there’s an artist you
think should be on CBC ArtsExhibitionists,
let us know. Send us a message on Twitter,
Instagram or Facebook. Our handle is: I’ll be back next time
with even more artists, from Pembroke to Sherbrooke. Until then, keep
creating and innovating. But, before I go, I’m
gonna leave you with a time-lapse video of
artist Alexis Eke using Photoshop and Illustrator
to transform regular photographs into extraordinary
futuristic works. You may recognize the
person in her portrait. She has, er, great
hair, and apparently looks really good
in black lipstick. Peace. ♪ ♪
Hey! We’re here with Corrie Moreau, who’s the curator of insects here at the Field Museum. – Hi!
– Hey! And today, we’re going to talk about ants! – And ant sex. For Valentine’s Day.
– Yeah! ‘Cause there’s nothing more romantic than ant sex. – So this is actually a worker of a turtle ant in the genus Cephalotes. One of the things I love about this ant is sort of the remarkable anatomy of it. So you see this head capsule is a totally different shape than all the other individuals in the nest. So most individuals in the nest look like this small one here, where they don’t have this odd-shaped head. Where, in the larger individuals in the nest, we actually see that they have this large head capsule- and you see it almost looks like a dinner plate or a saucer. That’s because they block the nest entrance of the hollow twigs they live in. So they act just like a living door. So all day long, all they do is sit and block the nest entrance.
– They just like… – Yes, absolutely.
– With their face in the door. Don’t they get bored? – Probably.
– Probably? – People often think of ants as being, you know, the strong and mighty ones like this, the workers and the soldiers as being male. But it turns out almost every any you’ve ever seen in your life is female.
– No way. – If you’ve ever seen an ant without wings, it’s female.
– Why? What’s the benefit of only having one sex in an entire colony? – So in this case, it has to do with relatedness. So you can imagine that we have all of these individuals that have forgone the ability to reproduce, to have sex. Right, so there has to be some benefit to them. And so, what happens is that sisters are more closely related to each other than they are to their brothers or even their mother. – Really? Why?
– Yeah. So it’s called haplodiploidy. So unlike us—where in order for a new offspring to be formed you have to have the sperm and the egg unite, and then you get half of your genome from your mom, half from your dad— in hymenopteran, including the ants, the way that it works is that females are produced when an egg and sperm are united, but if no sperm is ever introduced to that egg, that becomes male. So a male only has half the size of the genome. – So, if there are no males like existing in these societies, how do they get sperm then? – Yeah, that’s a good question. So, in the ants, about once a year, they make sexuals; or the males, and the new females—the virgin queens— and they go off on mating flights and reproduce, and then the males die almost right away. Now the female, who’s mated just this once in her first year of life, she flies around and finds a new habitat, digs down and starts a whole new colony of all females. And she stores all that sperm in a special organ inside her body—it’s called a spermatheca— – I’ll play that word in Scrabble next time. – And then she can store that sperm for her entire life, so sometimes it’s for a few years, sometimes up to 25 years. So she never leaves the nest again, she never mates again. She just lays an army of all female workers and then once a year produces sexuals. – So, just to clarify, she’s got all this sperm stored up within her body, and she can produce females without needing to draw from that sperm bank. – No, the females she uses to draw from the sperm bank. The males are just eggs that are unfertilized. – What?
– I know, it’s cool. – That is crazy.
– Yeah, yeah. And so in insects, the way that they reproduce is that the males have essentially a penis, but it’s called an aedeagus, and that’s the sort of delivery vehicle to the opening in the female. This is actually a female queen. You can see her sting right there?
– Wow. Yeah! – And that’s what she would deliver a venom from, right? And that’s right above where she can lay eggs. So actually in this case her sting is a modified ovipositor but is now no longer used for egg laying; it’s actually just used for venom delivery. These are called bullet ants. I actually have a whole giant tub of them here. These are found in Central America and South America and they’re called bullet ants because their sting is so painful it feels like you’ve been shot by a gun.
– REALLY? – Yeah, here, you can hold one.
– Have you ever been stung by o—I don’t know if I want to hold it! Even though it’s dead! – I have been stung by one once. It was really hot. I actually got stung right on the tip of my finger and it was like my finger had a total fever—shooting pain up my arms…it’s really pretty terrible. And in this case, I mean, I got stung pretty minimally, but I know people who have been stung by like 20 at once and then had to be carried out of the rainforest. – Oh my gosh!
– Yeah, it’s really terrible, and then you have fevers and flu-like symptoms for several days. – Can you die?
– I think the only way you would die is if you had anaphylactic shock. So just essentially if you were allergic like a honey bee. The turtle ants that I was showing you earlier, these girls here, actually have no ability to sting. Their sting’s been so reduced that they don’t sting, and then their jaws are so little they can’t bite. They’re the perfect ant: they don’t bite or sting, and they’re beautiful! But then another group of ants that I brought actually, are army ants, and one of the things I love about army ants is the soldiers can become so highly modified. I mean, you almost can’t even recognize them, necessarily. These are two sisters from the same colony, from the same mother.
– Woah. – Yeah, exactly. So this little tiny one at the bottom: the role of that individual is really to go out and do all the foraging, the nest cleaning, the caring for the larvae. Where these big soldiers here, not only are they much bigger, but their whole role is defense. And so you can see from their mandibles or their jaws.
– Oh my gosh. – Yeah, they’re essentially these tusks, right?
– Woah. – So they come down to these, almost like, pure spikes on the ends of their face and their jaws have become so highly modified for defense and nothing else. They can’t even feed themselves anymore. I mean imagine, there’s no way you can get food from here up to your mouth up there, right? So they actually rely on other workers to carry food and place it into their mouth. – Really?
– Yeah! It’s really amazing.
– That’s amazing! I can’t imagine my sister coming up to me and like, hand-feeding me. That seems so strange. – Ants, it turns out, have helpful gut bacteria, just like we do, so we can actually study the bacteria using DNA based technologies to investigate how they’re actually processing the food that they bring to the colony. And one of the really cool things is that all ant species actually have mouth-to-mouth food sharing; it’s called social trophallaxis, where they just essentially regurgitate to each other.
– Really. – But in the case of the turtle ants in particular, because they also need to share their gut microbes, mouth-to-mouth isn’t very good, so they participate in oral-anal trophallaxis to reacquire their gut microbes. – Wh— They like eat— They eat poop? – That’s essentially right. So just like termites in order to re-seed their stomachs after metamorphosis, ants do that as well. So they actually have to find another individual that has a good, healthy gut community and lick the rear end of their sister. – Oh my god. The Brain Scoop is brought to you by The Field Museum. …it still has brains on it.