This video by Australian company Veritasium about how trees create their mass – trunks, branches, so on – was originally linked to by NPR-crush Robert Krulwich. Would it be too embarrassing to admit that I learned something from it?
Yes, the video makes some of its points by demonstrating how few people know the answer (carbon dioxide) or understand the science behind it. You can tell some of the interviewees are floundering when the host, Derek Miller, asks them where trees come from and where they get the matter that makes them grow.
Plenty of the YouTube commentariat feel that he’s making fun of people’s ignorance, but I don’t think that’s the case. Totally the opposite, really – I think they explore this issue in a way that invites you to feel like you’re not the only one who could use a refresher on what trees “eat” and what they’re made of.