Human history is told by the energy we use. At first we had to use our muscles, then we learned to control fire. We industrialized the world using coal and oil and entered the Atomic Age when we learned how to split a nucleus. At each step, we increased our energy harvest to a scale never seen before and advanced as a species. Currently, we’re slowly transitioning to renewables and if we’re lucky, fusion energy will become viable in the future. As humanity progresses further, if we don’t destroy ourselves or our habitat, we will likely gain complete control of our planet’s resources. At that stage we’ll probably begin to look outwards for new places to expand into. But space is hard and establishing a serious human presence in the solar system will require ungodly amounts of energy. Luckily, we know where to find it. The Sun – the ultimate source of energy. A furnace 100 quintillion times more powerful than our most efficient nuclear reactor. It shines with the energy of a trillion nuclear bombs per second. So, how do we get this energy? Not some of it, all of it. If we want to collect the most energy physically possible, we’ll have to build the largest most ambitious structure in the universe. The Dyson Sphere, a megastructure that encompasses a whole star to capture its power output. For an intelligent species, building a Dyson Sphere is a technological leap on a par with the discovery of fire for our ancestors. The transition from a planetary species to an interstellar species. It would usher in an age of exploration and expansion on a scale we can barely imagine. So, what would it look like? Solid shell enveloping the Sun is probably not the way to go a large rigid body like that would be vulnerable to impacts possibly shattering it would be liable to drift and could crash straight into the Sun a More, viable design for a Dyson Sphere might be a Dyson swarm an enormous set of orbiting panels that collect the sun’s power and beam it elsewhere such as sward would give humanity basically unlimited energy but building it won’t be easy the Sun is very big so we need a lot of satellites if Each satellite is a square kilometer we’d need around 30 quadrillion to surround the Sun even if they’re built as lightly as possible we need about 100 quintillion tons of material and Then we need the energy to actually put the parts together and deliver them to their positions around the Sun on top of all that we need to have a permanent infrastructure set up in space to start building let’s assume for the purposes of this video that our descendants will take care of that and want to create the mega structure We can sort the challenges into three main categories materials design and energy To get the vast amounts of raw materials required for our Dyson swarm will have to largely disassemble a whole planet Of the planets available mercury is the best candidate it’s the closest to the Sun and very metal-rich close to the Sun also Means less moving stuff around and mercury has no atmosphere and only about a third of the surface gravity of Earth making it comparatively easy to launch material into space Next we should consider the design of our swarm simpler is better Conventional solar panels are far too intricate and short lives our satellites need to operate without repairs or intervention for astronomically long times and they need to be cheap to produce But they’re most likely going to be enormous mirrors which refocus sunlight to central collecting stations like in concentrated solar power on earth to build and launch them efficiently they must be incredibly light made of little more than polished metal full bound to some supports and Last we need the energy to build and launch the swarm itself taking a part of planets and launching things into space requires an enormous amount of energy for example if we used all the fossil fuels and Uranium on earth and we? Were perfectly efficient we could only launch as much Mass as Mount Everest into space a rather meager accomplishment compared to planetary disassembly To get the energy needed to build a Dyson Sphere it’s almost as if you’re going to need the power output of a dyson sphere But that’s. Ok there’s plenty of sunlight to be had on Mercury so let’s get to work Humans are expensive to keep alive and are very sensitive to the environment So, we’d want to automate as much as possible Ideally we’d have a small crew of controllers who oversee an army of autonomous machines doing the actual work There are four major pieces of technology required solar collectors miners refiners and launch equipment the solar collectors are going to give us the energy we need to disassemble the planet To start maybe we deploy something like one square kilometer of them either as mirrors or as traditional solar panels they’ll provide the energy to run our miners which strip-mine the surface of the planet and our refiners which extract valuable elements and fabricate them into our swarm satellites to get them into space we need a creative and efficient solution Rockets aren’t too expensive and difficult to deorbit and reuse Instead, we’ll want to use a sort of railgun a longer Electromagnetic track which launches our satellites at high speeds Our swarm satellites will be packed tight for launch unfurling like an enormous origami once in orbit from this point we can take advantage of exponential growth using the energy of the existing parts of the swarm to build more infrastructure on Mercury and launch new panels faster and faster each panel provides the energy to build another those to work together to build the next to Four become eight eight become 16 and so on within just about 60 doubling times the Sun would be completely surrounded by solar panels and This can happen quickly if a square kilometer of solar collectors takes a month to build we could be done in a decade if only our infrastructure on the planet’s surface can keep up with the quickly growing budget of energy Even collecting 1% of the sun’s energy is an unbelievable change in our species energy budget We could create the infrastructure to being basically unlimited amounts of energy around the solar system for all sorts of projects colonies on other worlds terraforming planets constructing more mega structures or even traveling to other stars it could be the start of an interstellar Civilization based on physics alone this is not just possible but easy It’s such a simple process and such a necessary step for any species to expand beyond their home planet that many astronomers Think there are probably Dyson spheres already out there in the Milky Way we haven’t spotted any yet but they could be there it’s far from certain that humanity will ever get to this point our attention is too often focused on short-term political gains and Conflicts that will not matter in the long run but if we survive the challenges we’ve set ourselves we could potentially become the first species in the universe to create a structure with the scope of a star if We? Do it the only limitation left will be our own imagination We’ve just hit you with a lot of pretty wild claims and crazy concepts if You’re like us and enjoy using the power of science to determine absurd ways to destroy stuff you might want to hear how you can come up with something like that yourself Brilliant is a problem-solving website that helps you learn stuff through fun puzzles that split up a complex problem into bite-sized chunks and build up to an interesting conclusion It helps you understand how science works by actually using it instead of just memorizing a bunch of stuff brilliance has tons of interesting courses and puzzles on things like quantum computing astronomy and logic and even dyson sphere’s if you visit brilliant org slash nutshell Or click the link in the description you can sign up for free and learn all kinds of things as A bonus for cooks without viewers the first 688 people will, also get 20% off their annual membership with brilliance you can finish each stay a little bit smarter and Just maybe you can help to expand the human species into the universe one day We love dyson sphere’s so much that we’ve also made a poster about them it will look pretty on your wall but Also has some information about the concept of a Dyson Sphere a great way to start a conversation Or you can just stare at it and dream about the future go get it here

How to Build a Dyson Sphere – The Ultimate Megastructure
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100 thoughts on “How to Build a Dyson Sphere – The Ultimate Megastructure

  • February 8, 2019 at 1:44 pm
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    There's brand new stuff in the Kurzgesagt Merch Shop. Check it out here: shop.kurzgesagt.org

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  • September 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    Magikarp!

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  • September 4, 2019 at 7:18 pm
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    Stop killing all the birds

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  • September 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    alright boys who wants to have a lightsaber fight after making these?

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  • September 4, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    THIS IDEA IS WHAT U MEAN BY HUMANITY DESTROYING ITSELF IN THE FERMI PARADOX VID
    OUR NEXT BARRIER

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  • September 4, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    So we make a dyson sphere, how do we get the energy to us?

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  • September 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    These videos give me so much hope for humanity

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  • September 4, 2019 at 10:09 pm
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    You should make that into a game

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  • September 4, 2019 at 10:15 pm
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    Somehow that looks pointless

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  • September 4, 2019 at 10:16 pm
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    It would not be reflective panels because there would be absolutely no need to amplify the energy, it's already more powerful than manageable. Focusing it into a point is not practical by any means.

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  • September 4, 2019 at 11:05 pm
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    Is this video suppose to be a irl stellaris tutorial?

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  • September 5, 2019 at 1:02 am
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    7:10 you're most construct additional pylons :v

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  • September 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm
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    Also consider that Earth will likely still be the dwelling of the majority of civilisation, so Earth still requires the sunlight so it doesn't freeze. The Dyson Sphere has to make sure to avoid reflecting light from the Earth and account for the path of the panels to also refrain from blocking the sunlight.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm
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    "Press F to pay respect to all the birds that has died while making this big project."

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  • September 5, 2019 at 2:13 pm
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    I kinda actualy want to make a game based around this video

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  • September 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm
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    1:59 nice details with the fractals.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 5:31 pm
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    Meh. Theoretically possible in a technical sense (literally) and exceedingly exciting, but in a practical sense, not so much.
    When you get flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, religious fundamentalists (not only islamists…), etc.

    And knowing we are not so far from running out of easy fossil fuels which would enable this endeavour…

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  • September 5, 2019 at 5:44 pm
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    Think mercury is enough to make a Dyson swarm for our sun? Lol that thing is actually massive. Have you see how big it is lol

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  • September 5, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    I want to keep the audio from 7:25 to 7:50 on repeat in every single government building from every country just so they can get it through their heads that we could all be a great species and do brilliant things if only we’d stop arguing with each other

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  • September 5, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    I think before we even set foot on Mercury let's first get a permanent moon base. Because otherwise we could now be talking about how to make first contact with species we find.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 8:05 pm
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    I came across a Dyson Sphere once, but this Fallen Empire came along and yelled at me to bugger off

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  • September 5, 2019 at 8:11 pm
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    Kurzgesagt: let's strip mercury of all its resources

    Mercury: say sike right now

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  • September 5, 2019 at 8:15 pm
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    2:35 "quadrillion" nice insert lol

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  • September 5, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    Imagine NASA built a Dyson sphere but it did not work and Mercury was destroyed for no reason

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  • September 5, 2019 at 10:26 pm
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    What does Elon think?

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  • September 5, 2019 at 10:48 pm
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    1:51 Usher? Yeah man!

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  • September 5, 2019 at 11:02 pm
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    how to get creative mode irl

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  • September 6, 2019 at 12:21 am
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    Can someone show this to the government so we can get to work please?!

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  • September 6, 2019 at 12:43 am
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    Whoever makes the animations should make a mobile game or something

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  • September 6, 2019 at 1:44 am
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    ERROR
    Dyson Sphere requires:

    DYSON SPHERE

    best error signal in the world

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  • September 6, 2019 at 2:13 am
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    Why arent we funding these? Instead of wars?

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  • September 6, 2019 at 3:42 am
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    Mega structure complete
    Energy: +800
    Stellaris players here?

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  • September 6, 2019 at 7:24 am
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    The first step to ending "Past" and accepting "Global Friendship" is globally abandoning religion.
    That's, sadly, not as easy as pressing a button.

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  • September 6, 2019 at 8:31 am
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    I wish we can have an actual game of humanity like from wood then fire then atomic then dysonsphere

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  • September 6, 2019 at 10:35 am
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    absolutely loved the music!

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  • September 6, 2019 at 10:42 am
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    You can say it's a Dyson sphere tycoon

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  • September 6, 2019 at 11:05 am
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    Make a game about this

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  • September 6, 2019 at 11:32 am
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    Tbh is awesome but dangerous

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  • September 6, 2019 at 2:01 pm
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    They updated factorio?

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  • September 6, 2019 at 3:26 pm
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    Just like we burn down the Amazon to use its resources I wonder if one day some aliens will build a Dyson sphere around our sun, and we die but remember it’s okay as long as they do it out of selfishness instead of spite…

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  • September 6, 2019 at 3:31 pm
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    I am not supposed to learn thise but why not

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  • September 6, 2019 at 4:24 pm
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    what's up with that poor Magic Carp ?

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  • September 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm
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    We just need to invent the world devestators and all resource problems are solved

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  • September 6, 2019 at 7:02 pm
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    I’ve watched this 14 times because i like the music I’m a NERD and i play games

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  • September 6, 2019 at 9:21 pm
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    2:48 – "OH. THAT WENT SOUTH SO FAST"

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  • September 6, 2019 at 10:29 pm
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    Government:
    Isis: meh
    9/11: meh
    WW2: meh
    1 mil dollar space mission: >:(

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  • September 7, 2019 at 12:52 am
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    2:48
    RIP birb
    5:01
    RIP
    birlb

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  • September 7, 2019 at 1:33 am
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    :')

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  • September 7, 2019 at 1:49 am
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    looks like mercurys is going to get freedom'd in the near future

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  • September 7, 2019 at 2:10 am
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    Looks like building a Dyson sphere requires humans evolve into birds

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  • September 7, 2019 at 2:51 am
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    In the future, this will be a D.I.Y video

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  • September 7, 2019 at 3:48 am
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    Who else is watching this and thinking this would make a great Tycon

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  • September 7, 2019 at 4:06 am
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    collab ?

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  • September 7, 2019 at 5:16 am
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    "in the end, the only limitation will be our only imagination"
    i didnt come for the happy earth speech i came for the existential dread, kurz

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  • September 7, 2019 at 5:20 am
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    Damn this looks like a space game simulation. Keep up the nice work

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  • September 7, 2019 at 5:31 am
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    Kurzgesagt please make a videogame but dont over work yourselves you are my favorite just forget I said anything sorryyyyyyyyy

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  • September 7, 2019 at 6:18 am
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    Humanity: Let's build a Dyson Sphere

    Politicians: How about we burn the Amazon forest instead?

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  • September 7, 2019 at 6:33 am
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    we should make it a worldwide goal as a species to launch just one piece of the Dyson swam just for the sheer large quantity of clean energy it would provide

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  • September 7, 2019 at 7:38 am
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    But how would we transfer the energy across space and store it?
    Also, could we posibly keep up with the rate of production?

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    I thought this was an add at the starting.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    We should save materials if they want change

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  • September 7, 2019 at 10:52 am
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    um
    why arent we doing this

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  • September 7, 2019 at 11:34 am
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    Who own magikarp own the universe

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  • September 7, 2019 at 11:35 am
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    *After watching this video*
    Nobody:

    Not a Single soul:

    Elon Musk:

    *Decides to create the Model L, A dyson Sphere around Beverly Hills that runs on Instagram Likes by 2021*

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  • September 7, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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    Gorgeous animation at 1:25

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  • September 7, 2019 at 1:07 pm
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    As this Video demonstrates, humans might destroy themselves beforehand,
    But our succesors the birds will manage to build one

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  • September 7, 2019 at 3:39 pm
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    We would be done if we started now

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  • September 7, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    7:35 `End "past" and accept "global friendship"? // I prefer misery || Duh! 👈`
    Rewatching this video, realizing what might be the single best slide in your series history.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm
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    wtf this man created a sim city rpg game but in extreme hd good quality toon graphics that's so rarely seen in the genre, and all for what 3-4 seconds, then does the same for a universe macro version for 10 seconds, then I'm hit with the same shock and awe from every frame and characature and daaaaaymn its just so impressive to me, as a person on youtube and as an animator myself whom couldn't hope to measure up to such simplicity mixed with finessé, proud to be a subscriber.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 5:23 pm
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    This is the only way to truly make solar power viable, and it still relies on nuclear fusion.
    It also requires you enclose the sun in a reactor and energy transmission apparatus.

    Green hippies are retarded economic terrorists.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 6:03 pm
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    I feel like dismantling mercury isn't such a good idea for the solar system, would that not mess with the gravity of the whole system?

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:59 pm
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    Just evolve the "red herring" into a Gyarados. Problem solved.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 12:36 am
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    So than… LETS DO IT!!

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  • September 8, 2019 at 1:11 am
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    Can’t we start out small? Like make the entire planet of mercury a solar panel. Than we can use that energy to mine material on nearby asteroids, maybe even have a second team in the asteroid belt. Than we can use the material to make mirrors, than we can use the railgun type launcher on mercury to launch into the sun and THAN we can start with a small piece of the sun and grow exponentially. After making the Dyson sphere we should make a ring world that we can move. Using the amount of energy from the Dyson sphere we can get near a black hole and create the black hole bomb thingy. By that point we can try to find uses for strange matter and maybe have an unlimited amount of materiel with strange matter duplication. we can look for a new earth and find nearby creatures to work together with. By that point we should become a little more than type 2 civilization. Like 2.763726 or something.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 3:09 am
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    i wish this was an actual game

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  • September 8, 2019 at 3:31 am
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    7:07 starcraft?

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  • September 8, 2019 at 4:23 am
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    Okay this is all great and I'm probably just stupid but how the heck do we laser beam that much energy around at all and especially without incinerating ourselves

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  • September 8, 2019 at 4:52 am
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    But how about the metoerites thats travelling around the sun wont it hit the satelites?

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  • September 8, 2019 at 5:11 am
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    1:49 halo joke

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  • September 8, 2019 at 5:55 am
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    Large scale Sterling Engines. This way, all you have to do is put one side in the sun and it just works. Also, if Mercury is rich in metal, then likely one of those is Uranium. It may or may not have Thorium. Then there are the operational temperatures to consider on Mercury.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 6:25 am
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    Take notes,NASA

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  • September 8, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    Kurzgesaget: you’re gonna take the full power of a star, it will kill you
    Bird: only if I die

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  • September 8, 2019 at 11:32 am
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    It’s kinda depressing to think that we’ll probably be dead before we get to witness any of this

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  • September 8, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    How to beam it to earth? A microscopic mirror mistilt from Mercury orbit can mean the difference from beam it to a receptor in the middle of Pacific ocean and turn New York extra crispy.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm
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    And then you remember that in the future these genrations who are supposed to build this gigantic project are playing fortnite and flossin

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  • September 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm
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    When we are done building this, we just make uranus, saturn, jupiter, and neptune collide, and then build another one around that.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    Dyson Sphere?
    More like
    DEATH STAR

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  • September 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm
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    Serious question here, Why do the Planets Have genders? 3:12

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  • September 8, 2019 at 4:02 pm
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    Soo futuristic..🤖

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  • September 8, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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    And with that ammount of energy, as far as I know we could be able to create water, which is already nowadays a problem.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 6:06 pm
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    Looking at how deep world powers is into war and dumb shit, we 99.99999999% will destroy ourself. There's wont even be any human left to see our sun dying in the first place.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 6:59 pm
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    Solid fuel families:

    No you won't!

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  • September 8, 2019 at 8:45 pm
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    2:49 *SHEEZAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! *
    ITS A MOTHERFUCKIN JOJOS REFERENCE

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    nobody apparently realize the gargantuan amount of material needed to do that. and fucking rare materials

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  • September 8, 2019 at 10:51 pm
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    7:08 this looks like a starcraft refrence you got the zerg on the right and then in the middle you have the Protoss

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  • September 8, 2019 at 10:59 pm
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    I would love to see everything that is I. the video as a game

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  • September 8, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    Someone please make this into an actual game

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  • September 9, 2019 at 2:06 am
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    This is the death star

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  • September 9, 2019 at 3:30 am
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    as a psychonaut, this video hurts my soul.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 7:13 am
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    Imagine doing this then the sun turns into a red giant then the satellites get launched to the sun

    Reply

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