Watch This: How mutant plants react to attack, an orca "plays" with prey, and more

Watch This: How mutant plants react to attack, an orca "plays" with prey, and more




An orca sends a sea turtle for a spin. Plus, acrobats defy death in 600-year-old Mexican tradition, Chicago's coolest historical spots, and more.
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National Geographic
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ANIMALS  |  EXPLORERS  |  NEWS  |  ADVENTURE
See our producers' favorite videos of the week.
      1:52 | NEWS     
Why an Orca Spins a Sea Turtle With Its 'Nose'
It's striking to watch (though you might sympathize with the turtle). Orcas are known to toy with their prey, sometimes without eating it. But sometimes the "play" serves another purpose. The marine biology student who witnessed and filmed this behavior believes this was an older male teaching two younger orcas, possibly offspring, how to hunt. While working on this video, I learned that orcas are one of only a few animal species that teach their young with step-by-step instructions and demonstration. It's fascinating to think we may be watching an interactive orca survival lesson.

— Amy Rankin, associate producer
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      7:36 | SHORT FILM SHOWCASE     
Watch This 'Flying Woman' Defy Death in a 600-Year-Old Ritual
Even though I'm terrified of heights, I couldn't look away from this mesmerizing and dangerous ancient ritual. Originating in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, the Dance of the Flyers is a high-flying acrobatic tradition to call for rain. In addition to hearing from the first female flyer in Mexico, I found it fascinating to see how the people from this region have merged an ancient tradition with their modern religious beliefs.

— Lauren Leadmon, associate producer
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EXPLORING SINCE 1888 | SUBSCRIBE NOW +
      0:56 | NEWS     
This Mutant Plant Glows When Attacked
Do plants "feel"? Are they intelligent? How do they know when to defend themselves, or when to stop growing? Scientists trying to answer these basic questions created plants that glow when attacked, revealing the mysterious ways they communicate danger.

Nick Lunn, producer
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      3:38 | 101 Videos     
The Story of Human Evolution
This was one of the most challenging, yet gratifying, videos we've created in the 101 series. Although I have a background in anthropology, distilling the millions-of-years-long history of humans into a punchy three-minute script was a bit tricky but fun nonetheless. It was exciting to trace back our lineage through the early hominin species, the australopithecines, and the Homo species and find a way to make what could be a daunting topic accessible and interesting to anyone.

Angeli Gabriel, producer/host
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      2:52 | Travel     
Explore Chicago's Coolest Historical Spots
Chicago is a city known for many things. Throughout its storied past, it has had a significant influence on the larger American culture, and the world. It is impossible to encapsulate all the amazing things to see and do in Chicago in one short video. So instead we highlighted some of the ways you can experience the historical sites that have played a part in making Chicago what it is today.

— Rebekah Barlas, editor
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FURTHER: Weekend Itinerary for the Explorer in Chicago +
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