THE MORNING LIST
Understand the theory of special relativity, the principle of black holes or the mysteries of crop circles (“Culture circles”, in French) allegedly attributed to extraterrestrials: this is the objective of popular science channels on YouTube. Some bring together millions of spectators and demonstrate that humor and scientific theory can be variables in the same equation. The old dunces will be able to forget the cold sweats of physics lessons. Here are our six favorite channels.
The most cosmic: “Mental stroll”
Black holes, exoplanets covered in lava, the mysteries of Sirius… The “Mental Walk” channel takes us into the meanders of astronomy, but also to the depths of the abyss. In short, heavy, serious… Thirty-year-old Théo Drieu, who created this channel in 2015 with his ex-colleague Kévin Fauvre (they were both mediators at the La Rotonde scientific cultural center in Saint-Etienne), manages to make his accessible videos, in particular thanks to humor.
Rigorous, with energetic editing, moving imagery and a sense of storytelling (especially in the newer videos), ” mental stroll » is a big hit with audiences (600,000 subscribers), and videos that exceed one million views – like the one that tells about the last places discovered on Earth. With, sometimes, effects “wow” that make you dizzy: you don’t come out unscathed from the video “Plongée dans l’infiniment grand”. Jessica Gourdon
The most demystifying: “AstronoGeek”
” AstronoGeek is one of those scientific popularizers who invite you to dream while keeping your feet on the ground. From the school of zetetics (the art of doubt), Arnaud Thiry promotes critical thinking. And dives into the most nebulous theories, starting with that of extraterrestrial life. For example, he dissects the testimonies of those who think they have seen flying saucers – which often turn out to be the Moon. He also studies the chance of the physical alignments which allowed the appearance of life on Earth, a great mystery of which “it is precisely because it is a coincidence that you think it is not a coincidence”he said mischievously.
From the hollow earth hypothesis to the appearance of crop circles in our fields, each video deconstructs, using the scientific method, the mechanics of the conspiracy. Useful in troubled times. Three years before don’t look up (2021), he also published the video “What if an asteroid hit the Earth”, one of his biggest hits with 3 million views. Where we learn that the meteorite which would have collided with our planet 66 million years ago did not completely defeat the dinosaurs. And that these, contrary to the imaginary constructed by the film Jurassic Park (1993), were in fact probably covered in feathers. Alice Raybaud
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Source: Le Monde