August’s Top 9 Animated Explainer Videos That Went Viral

Animated explainer videos are a great medium to educate people of all ages. Many independent video creators have created educational and entertaining videos that have enjoyed viral distribution. On our new section on Animations World, we are featuring animated videos on various topics that have attracted widespread appeal, publicity, and exposure for the last month.

A Tour of Academia

Published on: Aug 2, 2016
Views: Over 300K

In the following exurb1a video, the narrator labels fictional regions with the names of academic disciplines such as philosophy, physics, math, astronomy, engineering, literature, humanities, and others. The narrator discusses several anecdotes poking fun at people involved with each subject. He also names parts of each region by the actions taken when working with a particular discipline. For instance, Litigation Street and Matrimonial Highway will leave you “bankrupt and paying for your ex’s lawyer.”

How Long Is A Day On The Sun?

Published on: Aug 4, 2016
Views: Over 800K

Ever wonder how long a day on the sun lasts? Me either (or you’re a way more inquisitive and exploratory person than any of us are). MinutePhysics hypothetically asks what actually constitutes a day on the sun. The narrator explores what would be the length of a day on the sun based on figures like how fast its equator and poles rotate, and even how long a human holds her breath underwater.

What Would Happen If You Never Left Your Bed?

Published on: Aug 15, 2016
Views: Over 1.4 Million

Life Noggin starts this video by citing a NASA study where they paid a guy $17K dollars to lie in bed for 70 days. They wanted to see what would be the effects to the human body, as lying in bed can simulate what happens to a human body when it is in space. One of the effects is that the person’s heart beat raced to 150 beats per minute once he stood up. Citing several other sources the video explains the physical consequences of lying bed forever: Development of bed sores due to limited blood supply to the skin, increased risk of pneumonia, loss of physical strength, and other drawbacks.

Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever

Published on: Aug 10, 2016
Views: Over 3.1 Million

If you don’t watch any other of these explainer animated videos, definitely carve out 16 minutes of your Netflix time to watch this one. The narrator opens his presentation stating how back in the 1980’s nobody would have ever thought of operating the power of a super computer in their mobile devices. Partially based on that observation, no body now will be able to foresee what will happen as a result of genetic engineering. The Kurzgesagt YouTube channel narrator then outlines a brief history of genetic engineering dating back to when scientists inserted DNA into plants, animals, and bacteria to study and modify them. He continues explaining how genetic engineering was used to develop life-saving chemicals, like growth hormone and insulin in the 1980’s, to when the first genetically modified tomato was produced in 1994, and to when maternal infertility was treated by having babies carry genetic information from 3 parents.

CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) then became the way through which it became a lot more cost efficient and effective to edit genes. CRISPR promises to help develop designer babies, keep people young for way more time than today’s current life spans, and aims to end disease. The narrator defines how helping bacteria produce a protein called CAS9 will allow bacteria to fight off viruses. He highlights how CRISPR was used to cut HIV virus from cells. CRISPR aims to end herpes, HIV, cancer, and genetic diseases. And he goes on to explore how genetic engineering can generate humans with enhanced metabolisms, extraordinary intelligence, perfect eyesight, stronger muscular structure, and other enhanced attributes. He closes by delving into how genetic engineering can potentially end aging to allow humans to live thousands of years. He includes some caveats into how continued development of genetic engineering is a must to keep it regulated towards the benefit of mankind.

How a single-celled organism almost wiped out life on Earth

Published on: Aug 11, 2016
Views: Over 255K

The following TED-Ed animated video gives you a expeditious 4-minute overview of an organism called Cyanobacteria and its significance to our existence. The narrator explains how between 3.5 to 2.5 billion years ago a microbial species in the water evolved the ability of photosynthesis to pollute the atmosphere with oxygen. At that time, every organism on Earth lived in a atmosphere that constituted nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane; so every organism that lived on Earth died (the Earth’s first mass extinction), for they could not exist in a oxygen-rich environment. The video continues to detail how that the chemical energy in that oxygen allowed other beings to evolve into humans and other organisms that roam the Earth today.

How Not To Get Stuck In Traffic

Published on: Aug 11, 2016
Views: Over 1.2 million

It’s no surprise that traffic delays are a huge problem, and we all notice tweaks to infrastructure and car manufacturing to try to alleviate this issue. According to the following video, there are 4 billion hours of travel delays in America every year, they cost over $87.2 billion, and they significantly add to pollution and fuel waste. The video features a experiment where cars in a circle caused a traffic jam when they were unable to maintain a constant speed. Hard braking of one car led to braking of the rest of the cars behind it, which is the main cause of traffic jams. The narrator gives us as drivers tips on how we can work to prevent traffic jams by allowing there to be a equal amount of space between our car and the one in front of us. This will allow us to brake to slow the vehicle down instead of stopping it completely and hence making vehicles behind us stop completely and cause a traffic jam. The advent of self-driving cars aims to end traffic jams because all vehicles will potentially drive at the same speed. Travel time in Los Angeles dropped by 14 percent when it became the first city to synchronize street lights to direct cars to drive at a constant speed.

How To (Literally) Save Earth

Published on: Aug 16, 2016
Views: Over 305K

Failing to take care of our soil will reduce the amount of land on which we could farm crops. The narrator of this video warns that we can potentially be reduced to fighting for soil-rich land if our farming practices keep making more soil erode than is produced. According to the video, people on a island in the Pacific called Mangaia, fought for land on which to farm and had to eat rats and each other to sustain themselves. The video lays out a simple strategy to ensure that the planet stops losing soil faster than it produces. It argues that if we plow less often, plant trees that keep soil in place, and leave cover crops to protect soil from water and wind, we could cut soil erosion by 90 percent.

The Simple Solution To Traffic

Published on: Aug 31, 2016
Views: Over 3.2 million

This video animates the results of the study we mentioned earlier that demonstrated how cars driving in a circle get into a traffic jam when a single car stops abruptly. It states that the main cause of traffic jams is a lack of coordination between drivers. Drivers do not accelerate simultaneously and have slow reaction times, and attention spans. Therefore, if an obstruction causes a car to stop on a highway, cars behind it will have to continue to stop even after the obstruction is cleared. Spoiler alert: the simplest solution is to ensure that everybody drives at an equal distance from the car in front of you as the car behind you. The twist to this will be revealed upon pressing play. Enjoy!

Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the left lane

Published on: Aug 26, 2016
Views: Over 5 million

Perhaps the summer-driving season got these creators frustrated enough to put together videos addressing the traffic issues through which they had to endure. The narrator for the following piece starts off the Vox animated hit for August by telling the story of why he got stopped during a road trip from Chicago to New Orleans. He was driving slowly in the left lane, which in many states is illegal. Studies show that a driver who drives slower than surrounding traffic is more likely to cause an accident than a driver who is driving faster than surrounding traffic. The problem this creates is that cars that want to pass slower drivers in the left lane have to change lanes, slow down, speed up, and perform dangerous maneuvers that can cause an accident. On the German highway system, called the Autobahn, no speed limits are posted, and there is a surprisingly low accident rate. Since many cars are driven incredibly fast, most drivers use the left lane for passing only.

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