Thanks for CuriosityStream for supporting
this episode of SciShow! Go to CuriosityStream.com/SciShow to learn
more. [♩INTRO] The highest permanent human settlement is
a tiny mining village called La Rinconada, in Peru, which is about
5,100 meters above sea level. Considering that some people start to get
altitude sickness at around 2500 meters, that’s pretty intense. Not everything on Earth is as restricted as
we are, though. You might have heard of the hardcore microbes
that can live at super high elevations or the deepest parts of the ocean. But there are surprisingly complex forms of
life that can survive in those places, too. They just need some extreme adaptations to
do it. The most immediate thing you’ll notice at
higher elevations is that it’s way harder to breathe. The higher you go, the less air pressure there
is. Your lungs struggle to take in oxygen, and
you can develop altitude sickness, where the lack of oxygen causes symptoms like
nausea, a rapid heart rate, and in severe cases, swelling
in the brain. Spend enough time up there, though, and your
body will start to adapt by producing more oxygen-carrying red blood
cells. Other complex animals, like mammals and birds, can have pretty similar problems. And yet, yaks regularly hang out at elevations
of 6,100 meters. To cope with that, they’ve evolved larger
chests, lungs, and hearts, as well as thick, shaggy coats to help deal
with the bitter cold. Researchers have also discovered a bunch of
changes to their genetic code that help them survive up there, like by controlling their body’s stress
response when they’re low on oxygen. Birds can go even higher. The bar-headed goose, for example, regularly migrates over the Himalayas at altitudes
up to 7,000 meters. And the highest known vertebrate ever recorded
is Rüppell’s griffon vulture. In 1973, two pilots flying at 11,000 meters, 2,500 meters higher than the top of Mount
Everest, made a sudden and terrifying discovery when
a bird got sucked into the plane’s engine, forcing
an emergency landing. Not a good day for anybody involved… We don’t fully understand how these birds
do it, but both the bar-headed goose and Rüppell’s griffon vulture have genetic
mutations that allow the hemoglobin proteins in their blood to hold onto more
oxygen. Researchers have also found that when they’re
low on oxygen, bar-headed geese can move more air in and
out of their lungs than any other species we’ve ever studied. Any higher and you start to get into the realm
of microbes. Bacteria, for example, have been found at
the tops of storm clouds and up to 15 kilometers above the surface
of the Earth. We don’t yet totally understand how they
survive, either, but it’s not too uncommon to find microbes
in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. It doesn’t take quite as many genetic changes
to adapt when you’re a super tiny simple organism. Funnily enough, the biggest problem for survival
at extreme depths is the same as at extreme heights, at least for mammals. You start running low on oxygen. The deepest a human has ever dived without
taking oxygen with them is about 250 meters, but that’s nothing compared
to some other mammals. Southern elephant seals can dive more than
2400 meters, and in 2014, scientists watched as a Cuvier’s beaked
whale dove 3000 meters below the surface. Since mammals have to breath air, they need special adaptations to dive that
far. For example, some species have more red blood
cells, can slow down their heart rate, or can temporarily shut down non-vital
organs like their kidneys. Some also have extra myoglobin, a protein
that stores oxygen in muscle cells. But these divers are just visitors. There are species of animals that spend their
entire lives in the deep ocean. In 2017, scientists found the deepest known
vertebrate: a pink, wiggly snailfish at over 8,000 meters down in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. The fish doesn’t have that oxygen problem
that whales and seals do, since it gets its oxygen directly from the water. But there is another problem: pressure. Water is heavy, and the deeper you go in the
ocean, the stronger the water pressure becomes. At 8,000 meters, the pressure is like having a cow sitting
on every square centimeter of your body. And not a small cow either… At that point, the pressure is so great it might actually destabilize the proteins
the fish’s body is made of. To compensate, biologists think the fish’s
tissues are full of a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO for short,
which can help stabilize proteins. TMAO is common in fish, and the deeper you
go, the more of it they tend to have. But even with this adaptation, this may be
the deepest fish we’re ever going to see. Researchers have calculated that beyond 8200
meters, fish would need so much TMAO to withstand
the pressure that their cells would be saltier than the
seawater around them. Except then more water would rush into the
cells through osmosis, and then they would explode, and you can see
why that would be a problem. And yet, we can go even deeper. In 2012, James Cameron, yeah, the guy who made Avatar and Titanic, visited the deepest part of the Mariana Trench
in a submersible. And even there, over 10,000 meters below the
surface, he was greeted by relatively complex life: giant, foot-long
crustaceans known as amphipods, sea cucumbers, and weird, gooey, shelled things
called foraminifera. There’s a lot we still don’t know about
the organisms that live in the deepest parts of the ocean. It’s one of the biggest habitats on Earth,
and yet it’s also the hardest to explore. But we do know that life is super adaptable. And with a collection of those amazing adaptations, complex life can exist at some incredible
highs and some very low lows. If you want to learn more about science, and of course you do, because you’re watching
SciShow, as well as other topics like history and technology, we think you might enjoy the videos on offer
over at CuriosityStream. Today’s episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, which is a subscription streaming service
that offers over 2000 documentaries and non­fiction titles from some of the world’s
best filmmakers, including exclusive originals. They have videos on nature, history, technology,
even society and lifestyles, which is one of the reasons why we like them
so much. Like, if you liked the extreme environments
in this episode, there’s a whole show called Underwater Wonders
of the National Parks. As if national parks don’t have enough to
offer above ground, there’s even more to discover beneath the
surface. Even in Death Valley. They’ll take you diving in the underwater
cave of Devil’s Hole. You can get unlimited access to content like
this starting at $2.99 a month. And as a special thanks to our SciShow audience, you can get the first 30 days for free! You just have to sign up at curiositystream.com/scishow and then use the promo code “scishow”
during the sign-up process. [♩OUTRO]

The Most Extreme Complex Life in the World
Tagged on:                                                                                                                         

100 thoughts on “The Most Extreme Complex Life in the World

  • March 9, 2019 at 10:07 pm
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    Go to https://CuriosityStream.com/SciShow to start streaming Underwater Wonders of the National Parks. Use the promo code ‘scishow’ during the sign-up process to get your first 30 days free.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm
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    someone messed with your shirt pockets.
    thx for info.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 11:15 pm
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    5:55 & 5:57 anyone can guess what movie, serie or video that is ?

    Reply
  • March 21, 2019 at 5:35 am
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    Imagine the life in another planets or moons 😍

    Reply
  • March 21, 2019 at 10:37 am
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    Control your hands..

    Reply
  • March 21, 2019 at 8:59 pm
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    The problem is not the pressure but the density of the air!!
    And this is a scientific channel… 😣

    Reply
  • March 22, 2019 at 2:14 am
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    Why do u look wet, u kool af tho!

    Reply
  • March 22, 2019 at 1:13 pm
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    TMAO

    Reply
  • March 23, 2019 at 10:31 am
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    But none of those environments are that extreme. They are only extreme to US! Bear in mind that oxygen is toxic and corrosive. Look what it does to steel. We have adapted to our environment and they have adapted to theirs.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 1:58 am
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    im glad the ocean deeps are hard to explore so those greedy pigs wont be able to build there land grabbing businesses down there

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 3:08 am
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    You talk too much

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 3:54 am
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    I WANT A SNAILFISH NOW. I WILL RECREATE THE MARIANNA TRENCH.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:06 am
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    I just got back from Arapaho Basin Colorado (10,700-13,500) for a Bucket list trip of snowboarding in the Rockies . I thought I was gonna Die just walking to the lift in all my gear. XD. I have never worked so hard to risk my life,… Headed back next week. XP

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    Are you any related to SPIKE JONES ?YOUR CLOTHES ARE VERY SIMILAR TO HIS, AND YOUR ARM ACTIONS LOOK LIKE THE LEADER OF THE BAND. CHECK IT OUT.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 2:02 am
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    I learned about TMAO from a Curiosity Stream documentary!

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 11:11 pm
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    Pretty sure the highest vertebrate was either cheech or chong.

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 1:49 am
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    I really feel like got they passed up a lot of opportunities to make 420 jokes

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    ayy TMAO

    Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 1:22 am
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    I cant stop looking at your breast 😂

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 4:46 am
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    I rarely find sponsors content to be particularly relevant to me, but this made me subscribe to curiosity stream instantly. Goodbye endless searches for New documentaries on YouTube with actual Scientific value. This is gonna be like heaven. Thanks a ton for that sponsor. I feel saved!

    Reply
  • March 29, 2019 at 5:32 am
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    ads too dark

    Reply
  • March 29, 2019 at 11:55 pm
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    That is prolific!!

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 5:40 am
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    I guess the geese and the yak seem tasty…why do we care about the other ones?

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 5:21 pm
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    If life is that adaptable then i would love to explore life outside Earth….😍😍

    Reply
  • March 31, 2019 at 3:26 am
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    Im a simple organism and im offended

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 4:31 am
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    "and not a small cow either"

    Reply
  • April 3, 2019 at 5:19 am
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    Aquaman lives under the ocean. MYSTERY SOLVED!!!

    Reply
  • April 3, 2019 at 5:15 pm
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    "and not a small cow either" lmao

    Reply
  • April 3, 2019 at 8:58 pm
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    so if I sit on a snailfish it won't get hurt?

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 1:31 am
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    4:07

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 2:32 am
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    Stop saying meters. Just say feet. I get it's not SI but just quit.

    Reply
  • April 6, 2019 at 12:25 am
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    From the thumbnail, I thought that snailfish was a testicle…

    Reply
  • April 6, 2019 at 11:13 am
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    Has anyone noticed that he looks like Shaggy?

    Reply
  • April 9, 2019 at 8:55 am
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    TMAO

    Reply
  • April 20, 2019 at 1:42 am
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    Guys I love your show, love love love it, but come on…meters? You have a lot of American viewers. And I suspect you guys are American. How about throwing in the occasional foot.

    Reply
  • April 20, 2019 at 7:02 am
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    Really? No one is commenting on that hair strand ?

    Reply
  • April 25, 2019 at 4:05 am
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    Aww you didn't mention Loriciferans, some species are the only known Metazoans that survive without oxygen at all!

    Reply
  • April 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm
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    I honestly hate how they make so much eye contact with the camera.

    Reply
  • April 27, 2019 at 11:46 pm
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    Fish at 8,000m: “TMAO”

    Reply
  • April 30, 2019 at 3:22 am
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    https://youtu.be/-_BZovJrnHM?t=356 i dont understand: curiosity stream was checked out, but it buffers a lot. i dont think ill keep it for the entire 30 day free trial

    Reply
  • May 1, 2019 at 9:48 am
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    I'm pretty sure the yaks' thick Shaggy coats are a tribute to the elder god.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2019 at 10:43 pm
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    I didnt know I was allowed to say funnily enough.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2019 at 11:36 pm
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    4:00 It was a bit abstract and hard to understand, but thanks, this analogy helped a lot.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2019 at 8:53 am
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    who else read (TMAO) as To ma to

    Reply
  • May 6, 2019 at 2:25 pm
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    every land mammal: pressure is too great on ocean's deep water
    fish: TMAO BRUH HOLD MY BEER

    Reply
  • May 11, 2019 at 9:33 am
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    The most extreme complex life form would be my college gf.

    Reply
  • May 14, 2019 at 4:53 am
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    no such thing as good or funnyx or not

    Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 4:42 am
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    Do foraminifera taste good?

    Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 12:24 pm
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    The thumbnail looks like a testicle.

    Reply
  • May 17, 2019 at 1:18 am
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    fun fact: if a human breathes pure oxygen below 8m they will die

    Reply
  • May 17, 2019 at 11:02 pm
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    Bacteria on clouds? Mmk👏

    Reply
  • May 21, 2019 at 8:07 pm
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    James Cameron, director of Avatar and Titanic… Are you freakin' kiddin' me? People shouldn't mention Avatar or Titanic when talking about James Cameron as a "director of…", he has Aliens and Terminator 2 under his belt, smh.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2019 at 6:37 am
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    "…Saltier than the sea water around them." Damn, science had some great burns.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2019 at 4:47 pm
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    7 minutes of my life, wasted. Tank talk talk…

    Reply
  • May 27, 2019 at 4:22 am
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    would love to hang with some yaks. also congrats to commentor 666, you're coming soon

    Reply
  • May 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm
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    Silly vultures flying at cruising altitude.

    Reply
  • May 31, 2019 at 2:03 am
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    Thumbs down. If you are going to express distance in meters, you should have a foreign accent. The metric system is a degenerate measurement system full of arbitrary units of little practical use, it blows my mind that it is so popular.

    Reply
  • May 31, 2019 at 9:44 pm
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    Ru Paul’s Gryphon vulture can go so high because drag queens can perform feats that normal humans can’t

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 12:23 am
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    Would Walter White be able to make his signature "Blue" from those Snailfish?

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 1:34 am
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    Damn, that's a lot of sources in the description

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 3:23 am
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    What can be the simplest form of life possible? Have we discovered the plancton, amoeba or bacteria with the shortest, simplest DNA having the minimum necessary instructions to be a living organism?

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 4:31 am
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    Meters? Thanks for the freedom units I'm sure I'm the only American watching this

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 9:57 am
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    In my native language, Yak (the animal), "How?" and "Like" (meaning "alike", "similar") are the same word and they all sound "Yak". So there's this joke:
    – Yak yak? (How's Yak?)
    – Yak yak? (How's how? i.e. confirming the question) Yak yak yak… (Yak like Yak…)

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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    We humans can go deeper than 8000km only with the assistance of a submersible. Other wise we can’t do it. So, I’d rephrase that we can go that deep. That is a lie.

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm
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    Like having a cow sitting on every square center of your body….. um….. okey…..

    Reply
  • June 2, 2019 at 1:07 am
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    "Birds can go even higher!"

    You don't say.

    Reply
  • June 3, 2019 at 12:11 am
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    James Cameron does what James Cameron does because he is James Cameron

    Reply
  • June 3, 2019 at 8:00 am
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    I wonder, do fish that live at great depths have the same pressure inside as outside. If they don't, why not? If they do, wouldn't all the pressure everywhere be balanced, and then it doesn't matter what it is. Anyone knows the answer?

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 4:21 am
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    Click hole

    Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 8:02 am
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    would have been nice if he also talked about incredibly hot, cold and acidic environments but the video was alright.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 12:08 am
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    This was so confusing, why not simplify the measurements? Isn't it much easier to say 5.2 kilometres instead of 52 hundred metres?

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 3:11 am
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    There's 2 major things wrong with this video:

    The most complex life at the bottom of the ocean are actually Godzilla and Cloverfield. Don't be so ignorant!

    Reply
  • June 12, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    Couldn’t the presence of a contractile vacuole in a fish or that worm thing mean they could have high amounts of “tmao” and not have their cells explode from the rushing in of water into their cells from osmosis ??? Someone answer that

    Reply
  • June 14, 2019 at 2:05 pm
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    lmao how did they find those microbes in those storm clouds?

    Reply
  • June 21, 2019 at 10:29 pm
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    Life uh… finds a way

    Reply
  • June 22, 2019 at 9:12 am
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    At 3:11
    Past tense of DIVE is DIVED. DOVE is a white bird

    Reply
  • June 22, 2019 at 9:21 am
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    Microbes can survive in the most extreme environments on Earth – Jaclyn's lipsticks! 🤣☠

    Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 3:40 pm
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    Cows per cm2

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 2:49 am
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    Don't go deeper or the meg will get you

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 7:22 am
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    your videos are amazing. Thank you for making them. I have been a fan of you and your brother since you guys started…

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 12:31 pm
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    Lmao “devil’s hole”

    …I’ll see myself out

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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    Well, you can let the men from Montana tich ypu science, bit you cant stop him from mentioning caws♥️

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    They don't have genetic mutations they were simply made that way

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 7:04 am
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    Just paused half way through – waiting for him to get to tardigrades.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 5:32 am
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    James Cameron doesn't do what James Cameron does for James Cameron .

    James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron .

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 11:22 am
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    That bird was probably the one who could fly higher than any bird in the world, and we killed it.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 7:29 pm
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    All I know is that Hank resides in the extreme reaches of my heart. He’s a genuine nerd and I can’t get enough of it.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 11:53 pm
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    sees title
    Creationists will use this against us 😀

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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    whats a kelometer is it like a foot or a meter

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    Sea cucumber!! Sea cucumber!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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    hey i just thought imagine if a extremophile bacteria started effecting humans

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm
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    Hank is a shill. However the information provided is factual.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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    I find life forms on this planet continually amazing in their adaptations including humans. 🙂

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 7:17 pm
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    Me: "How do you do it?"
    Bar-headed Goose: "Pass me a 🍺 and don't 😁at my name."

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 7:18 am
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    Creationists loved this video…

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 12:01 am
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    This one is easy, it’s woman…. My Girlfriend might be the most complex.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 11:53 pm
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    Does TMAO ZEDONG exist down there?

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 10:44 pm
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    I LOVE THIS GUY

    Reply

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