The Most Unknown (2018) Movie Script

Watch your head.
This is beautiful.
We've gotten lucky here.
We've seen them before,
but they bloom only in certain conditions,
when the water level is very low.
So to have stumbled upon a bloom
of this exciting magnitude
is really... it's lucky.
So, I'm really excited.
It's kind of surprisingly hard to catch.
It's like you almost don't feel it.
These strange, squiggly slimes
form on the walls.
And these are really...
They're probably the most
beautiful slime I've ever seen.
We don't understand how they form.
It's still a mystery,
but we know they're made by life.
This question of how much
of the universe is understood
is very much a moving target.
Because as we are able
to stand in a new place,
because we've learned something new,
we then see other wonders
that were not even visible to us before.
Wait, wait, wait...
Let us in.
That's forbidden.
Do I get points for pedestrians?
How can this be the right way?
-[horn honks]
-Yeah, yeah.
He's late for lunch.
That's why he's impatient.
He's late for lunch.
We are headed for physics lab
to talk to a physicist
in the physicist habitat,
which is always interesting
to see, you know,
an organism in its natural habitat.
So, I'm a microbiologist
and I'm hoping that the physicist
will be able to communicate
what he does and why,
in terms that I can understand.
I'd like to keep an open mind about this.
[speaking Italian]
You need to fill in some forms.
-So the disclaimer...
-I love forms. I love forms.
Okay, and then we can eat
some lunch in the cafeteria.
Oh my God, look at him! He's awesome.
The hair.
Galileo, Newton...
[Davide] Okay, dark matter is something,
we do not know what it is.
We believe the dark matter is there,
but we have never detected it.
It's good, this cafeteria?
It's better than the average
cafeterias, I would say.
Buongiorno. Ciao.
So I'm sorry, but you
won't like this lunch much.
[Jennifer speaks Italian]
-What is dark matter?
-Okay. We don't know.
[laughs] That's great.
That's why it's called dark.
[Davide] Exactly.
Do you know we have dark matter
in microbiology too?
That's still the word.
What do you use it for?
Well, we...
We have some evidence that
there are something like
35 trillion microbial species.
And we've met about...
a million?
So the rest is dark matter.
-Yeah, we stole it.
I admit it.
Yeah. I think it makes sense,
because we...
What we call dark matter is
some kind of new particle
which we haven't discovered yet.
[Jennifer] So, the hypothesis is
that dark matter is out there
because it's consistent
with all of our observations.
-[Davide] Exactly.
-And so,
it might not be out there.
But we think it is,
-because of what we...
-I think we detect it.
-We cannot say we
are sure. -Uh-huh.
All observations point in that direction.
-This is very mysterious.
-This is very mysterious, yes.
[Davide] Dark matter is
one of the big unknowns
in particle physics.
Of all matter that should be out there,
about 85% of this is invisible.
These particles are moving through us,
through our bodies while we're talking
and most of them just go
without any interaction.
So how are you going to find it?
How are you going to detect it?
why are we here?
[chuckles] Why are we here?
We are here, under about
1,800 meters of rock.
We are deep underground because
all the experiments here,
whether they look for
dark matter or for neutrino
or for any other kind of rare event,
they need to be shielded
from the cosmic radiation.
There are protons or ions
that heat the atmosphere.
They create a shower of particles
that hit us above ground.
And the mountain is a filter for this.
So if you go here, you have
the so-called cosmic silence.
-Cosmic silence?
-Cosmic silence.
We're here in the cosmic
silence under the mountain.
I love that.
So, you can't hear the cosmic rays here.
I would love to see the new detector.
-It's not ready yet.
So this is your new experiment?
Yes. This is a prototype still.
It will prove the old detector concept.
Okay, so this dark matter
that we think exists,
but we're not that sure...
The crystal that you're
going to put inside here
is going to help you?
It's going to be the best possible detector
-that you know how to build?
There's crystals inside there.
How do you see what the crystal is seeing?
How does the crystal talk
to you on the outside?
It emits light, and then you have
two photomultipliers on each side.
Then you read the photomultipliers...
-They go out?
-...that go out to here.
It's very simple.
Yeah. See, the lights?
My friend, the dark matter physicist.
What's simpler than that?
[Jennifer] I keep having
to, like, loosen my helmet,
'cause my head is getting
bigger by the minute.
I have to say that I was starting from
pretty much zero on dark matter.
So, this is what I
understand about how it works.
We are rotating within a
sea of dark matter particles.
There is a, uh...
So we build a,
a detector, which is a...
which, whose core is a...
Special, very carefully grown crystal.
A sodium iodide crystal.
When the crystal gets hit
by this dark matter particle...
You see a tiny flash of light.
That light is going to be
detected by these devices
that are sticking into
the edge of the container.
And those devices then translate the light
into an electronic pulse
that goes to a computer
that says, "Hey, dark matter particle.
I'm here."
So, if you just had to...
I know this is not what we do but,
if you just had to guess,
where are the...
where is the dark matter?
-Can you guess?
-You would not...
-Science is not about guessing.
I know, I know. It's not about guessing.
But I mean, sometimes I dream
about a result that I might get.
I can tell you this. So
here, you also see the models.
The models
foresee dark matter in this area here.
Extra dimensions models foresee
dark matter in this area here.
-These other guys, it's
going to be here, so...
-So we have no idea.
Some other guys would place
it here, so we have no idea.
In my field, I would say 10 years ago,
if you asked me
where would we be now today,
I would've had a very hard time answering.
Because we're really... We're not just...
We're not just... We're not just...
We're not just filling in the details.
We're looking into some dark abyss
where we just can't see very far in.
And depending on where the
flashlight shines first,
we might go a different
direction completely.
So, it's very hard when you're
right on the edge of this big unknown.
It's very hard to say where
the science is going to go next.
Is that where
dark matter physics is now, or is it...
Is there something analogous?
We are surely on the verge of something.
We don't know what it is.
[Davide] It's so unbelievable that there is
so much more matter in the universe
than we have realized so far.
We don't know what it is. I mean, it's a...
We need to find out if this is true.
If there's really dark matter out there,
if there is another explanation
which we haven't thought about,
because science is also this.
Sometimes you spend
several years looking for something,
and then in the end, it's not there,
and you have to change
the way you were thinking of things.
Okay, I'm going to the toilet.
Do you want to shoot that too?
Oh, look at that.
You guys! This is incredible!
These are stalactites.
Do you see? It's a soda straw.
This place wasn't here 20 years ago.
-So it cannot be.
-No, it can be.
-Can it?
-I think, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
I'd like to know what it's made out of.
It could be salt,
and then it can grow very fast.
See, all these stains?
They're all all light-harvesting microbes.
All of them.
The red color is one kind.
The dark color is another kind,
The green one is another one.
[Davide] So you have
flavors, like neutrinos?
-Flavors of microbes?
-We have flavors of microbes.
-About how many do you have?
We have 35 trillion flavors.
Okay, that's more than...
than the three flavors we have.
-I guess.
Yours are sterile or not?
-Ours are not sterile.
-Not sterile?
No, we don't know any sterile flavors yet.
That could be, that would be...
Oh, that's an interesting question.
There's this problem in... in biology
where... we think all the life,
all of the 30 trillion species
have descended from a common ancestor.
But... and that means
it's easy for us to see them,
because we know what to look for.
But if there were another ancestor...
we wouldn't be able to see it
'cause we don't know what to look for.
[Jennifer] How long have we
been looking for this stuff?
This dark matter?
How long have we been looking for it?
[Davide] At least 20 years.
From the research, many more.
Okay, so that's... Yeah.
Of course, if you see dark matter, you win
the Nobel Prize.
But if you don't, you're going to make
-a good publication anyhow.
-You'll still feel good.
So what makes you different?
What makes you willing
to search after something
-that we don't even really know exists?
-It must be there. Come on.
Where do you get that, though?
[Davide] Science is a journey
to take you somewhere where
you've not been before.
Some people prefer to
concentrate on life sciences.
Some others prefer to understand
how the universe was built.
I mean, I've studied only
physics, so I don't know
what my mind would be if I had
studied a different subject.
I feel absurd.
Those two days in Gran Sasso
weren't enough to get used to this.
[man] Where are we going now?
You mean today?
I don't have the faintest idea.
I want to be shocked.
-Hi! Davide.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, yeah.
-So you're Davide?
-You know I'm a psychologist?
-Yeah, I know.
But I don't know what you do to study.
So, I really have no idea.
I can imagine something
like the Ghostbusters scene
where you show me cards and
I have to guess which one...
Yeah, no. Don't worry.
[Axel] My main research
interest is consciousness.
How and why the biological
activity of the brain
produces conscious experience.
So, Professor...
No, I'm not going to psychoanalyze you.
We work mostly on consciousness.
Consciousness has been described
as one of the most significant problems
of the 21st century,
on a par with the origins of the universe
and the origins of life and
these super big questions.
It really remains a sort of mystery
to figure out how the
biological activity of the brain
produces minds, basically mental states.
One of the difficulties
with studying consciousness
is that it is a private phenomenon.
I know I'm conscious.
I think you are conscious,
because you behave in ways
because you behave in ways that I...
expect to be associated with consciousness,
even though I cannot really define it.
But, the point is I do not have access
to your own mental states, right?
So, we have two experiments planned.
You're not going to stick
pins through my head, no?
No, but... But if you're willing,
we're going to put
electrodes around your head.
Oh yeah. Why not?
See if you can make a...
robotic hand move by your thoughts.
I always thought I would've
donated my brain to science.
[Axel] What we're trying
to do here, through learning
what thoughts to imagine
so that the hand will move,
what the distinction
is between thinking that
and thinking something
else where it doesn't move,
and so on and so forth.
The argument, the crucial argument,
is that this is not built in.
During your development, you have to learn.
Your brain has to learn
to interact with your body.
Agency is part of what
it means to be conscious.
Each three seconds,
you will see a red arrow,
pointing to the right,
appearing on the screen.
And when you see this red arrow,
you have to imagine a movement.
Given that this is a right robotic hand,
it's better if you imagine
movement of the right hand.
[motor whirring]
This one is intentional.
This one is intentional.
This one, not.
-Is that okay?
I would like to spend here
a week and master this thing.
Yeah, there's lots of interesting physics
questions to be asked.
I'd like to explore all
the different movements.
Do you now feel you have
some control over that hand?
So that's about sense of agency reading.
-But there's also...
-If I can really focus,
in a sense of... excluding any noise,
Then, I get like...
four of five movements right.
But then, when I start thinking
about what's going on...
-Yeah. It's fragile.
-It's fragile, then I lose it.
But, so the idea is that it
gets less and less fragile,
or more and more robust.
That's true. Even in these ten minutes...
As expertise goes on.
Until the point where...
you don't have to do anything special.
Basically, your...
All this effortful thinking
that you're doing just goes away,
and you just will the
finger to move and it moves.
And that's what happens.
That is what happens with natural bodies,
with our own bodies.
It's important in this
context to remember that
consciousness is not one thing, right?
It's different kinds of mechanisms
which together characterize
the adult human mind,
which we know is a conscious mind.
If you're an
empirically-oriented scientist,
like I am,
you want to do experiments.
So, the challenge is to figure out
how we can explore
more mental states from
a scientific perspective.
All that happens in our mental life,
it all comes from the
biological activity of the brain.
And the brain is this
incredibly complex organ
composed of about 88 billion neurons.
Each neuron has a connection with about
10,000 other neurons.
How do you design experiments
that will help us understand
this relationship between
the mind and the body?
You are trying to solve this problem, like,
"How do I design the algorithm?
-Or you know, do one?"
-It's creative. Yes.
Yeah, it's really creative.
But, I wake up at night thinking about it.
There's almost nothing else.
You can't go to sleep if you have that.
So you're a nerd too? Yeah!
100 percent.
I think this laboratory
is doing really interesting things.
It's going through very basic questions
about what actually is the
definition of consciousness,
of self-awareness.
I never knew that there was somebody
tackling these questions
from a... with a real experimental point.
So this is far more
experimental than I expected.
I said, "Okay, these guys are psychologists.
They're going to talk all
the time. That will be it."
That's not the case.
They have... They perform measurements.
They discuss data.
I think we're on the same page with Axel.
I mean, really.
[Axel] So dark matter has mass?
Dark matter must have
mass. Yes, must be massive.
So mass you can detect, right?
-Yes, yes, yes.
-That's all we know it is.
That's how we know it's there. where is it?
It's going through us.
This is the hypothesis.
-So, the...
So this place is full of dark matter?
Yeah, it's like neutrinos in a way.
We're the only ones drinking.
[Davide] Well, what I'm
afraid of, of course,
is that there is no dark matter out there.
-Because it's...
-How is that even a possibility?
If there is no dark matter out there,
we need to think really hard
what's the other explanation.
-And your career is over.
No! I mean...
-It's never over.
-No, no. It's never over.
-You throw something down...
-Of course! That's the thing.
-That's the thing.
-When it violates expectations.
Well, that is what makes
science really exciting.
Right? Whatever happens happens.
There's always something to think about,
or theorize about, or understand.
So, if there is no dark matter indeed...
You know, that's what it is.
Well, I'm not worried that
there's no consciousness.
Right? That's a problem I don't have.
I know there is consciousness.
If there's one worry, it's that...
You know, we're not making
sufficiently fast progress
to truly understand how it works.
But what is defining how
fast enough is fast enough?
I don't know. In my lifetime, maybe?
You know?
That's sort of worrying.
I don't know. Sometimes I feel
that we're sort of really far off.
As an individual, you've
done that for 10 or 15 years.
You feel, "Okay, We're getting there.
We're getting there!" We're not. You know?
I know exactly what you mean.
Yeah, yeah. I'm sure.
[Axel] Of course,
everybody's dream is to make,
as a scientist,
is to make a big discovery, you know?
And to... To truly advance the field.
I don't think it's going to
be me. I mean, you know? But...
There's something exciting
about, as an individual
feeling connected to
these really big issues.
This is what we want to do.
We want to try to solve
the hardest problems.
Why would we be here if not to do that?
[man] Is there gonna be a text?
That says "Dr. Luke McKay, Astrobiologist,"
at the bottom of the screen?
[man] Is that what you'd like?
What would you have it say?
[Luke] I mean...
What keeps me up at night is...
are we alone?
The microbes that I study in hot springs
clearly defining the boundary conditions
of life on Earth,
is kind of paramount to understanding
where life could be in space.
You know the term shotgun?
No. Well, I know what a shotgun is.
Well, that's from the olden days
when people would ride horse and wagon.
-And you would be out...
-There was a guy with a shotgun?
We'd be on the frontier,
and the guy riding shotgun
would be ready for the bandits.
-All right.
-So you ride next to the driver.
This is how you would get to Burning Man...
I'm told. I've never been.
And now you're too old.
And now I'm too old.
So the Earth's crust sort of is this
crust layer on top of everything,
and then wherever there's kind of a puncture
or a crack, a hole in that...
-You get this.
-Is where you get this.
This whole...
This whole region is geo-thermally active.
But you can see in this entire area,
its connection to the subsurface world.
-That sounds spooky.
Connection to the subsurface world.
So this is it? There's
fumes coming out of it.
Oh yeah. Look at that!
Just quickly, we'll give you a spiel
about safety around hot springs.
When a lot of people hear
the word "hot spring,"
they think of something that you can get in
and have a nice time in.
But, the hot springs that we
typically associate with and study
are way too hot for that.
-And you could go in once.
-But only once.
-And you'll never come out.
You won't come out the same.
[Axel] Is there anything
to like about this place?
I mean there's snakes, fumes...
danger, temperature...
-That's exactly the question.
-That's exactly...
What is there to like about this place?
-We love this place.
-This kind of place.
So the extremophiles are you guys?
Yeah. We both are.
Wherever there's something.
We're the extremophile of philes.
So, this is a little bit wet here.
It's getting more wet.
-Are you guys okay?
-I'm okay.
All right, let's just do it.
It's going to get wet, a little wetter here.
You just turn that on,
I'll drop the end of it in
and let me know what that says.
I'm interested in what the
microbial community is here.
So the first thing I
want to do is figure out
what's the temperature
range and what's the Ph.
-It's hot enough.
-Hot enough!
Great. Now, that should slowly climb.
But you let me know when...
-It turns pretty quickly. maxes out.
The temperature is 72.2 Celsius.
We can start collecting.
It's really quiet. You
can feel it complaining.
Yeah, so there they are. Our friends.
At this point, I don't know who lives here.
These are sediment samples
taken from the edge of this hot spring.
We'll take these back on dry ice, to the lab
and we'll perform what
we call a DNA extraction
to see what sort of novel, unknown
microorganisms might
live in this environment.
While I feel strongly that
life exists in outer space,
it is technically an unknown.
This is probably what links my work
to Axel's in a way.
What would it be?
What would their equivalent of a brain be?
What would their equivalent
of consciousness be?
There you go! Nice.
-All right. Cool.
Yeah, okay. Now finish everything else.
Now you just kind of unravel them.
They'll kind of tell
you what they want to do.
Do you think the universe is knowable?
I don't know. That's a question...
-for a physicist, I guess.
-Dark matter is a great example.
This very concept that does
not interact with light...
We have no way of perceiving it,
that feels really weird to me, you know?
That there's... That there's, I don't know.
Matter around here, maybe? That...
Yeah, yeah.
We have no way of perceiving.
In a way, we sort of forget
that we're always limited
by our own senses, right?
Right here... Human beings.
-[Axel] Okay.
-Okay. That's a human.
So, if you had to guess
where on this tree of
life would be a palm tree,
where would you point?
Well, here. No?
-Right here?
-Yeah. Right there.
-A palm tree?
Why? Why would it be there?
Because I didn't draw every
branch of the tree of life.
-Okay. Yeah.
So, there's more than...
What is this, 50 branches?
There's more than that many
organisms on earth, right?
I'm drawing these major groups, okay?
So if you had a guess
where a fungus would be...
Now you know, now you know.
Yeast would be here, or maybe back here.
Insects, flowers...
When we think of the diversity of life,
we don't think anywhere close
to the total diversity of life.
-This is a domain.
-Point well taken.
This is a domain called eukarya.
And that's our domain, Eukaryotes.
And then, this... is archaea,
which is what I'm very interested in.
-And this...
is bacteria.
Wow. You know what?
You just, you sort of just drew a brain.
I can't believe it. We're
back to brains, you know?
Can you show me where the hippocampus is?
Oh, it would be here.
It would be here in the blue.
But, the point is amazing. You know?
The point you're making about diversity
and how we think about it.
-Yeah, exactly.
-And all this unknown bit,
that nobody sees, in fact.
The point that I want to make
is that even microbiologists
know very little about bacteria and archaea.
Historically, our knowledge of microbiology
is based on this sliver of
the total diversity of life.
And it wasn't until DNA sequencing
that we started to discover all of this
enormous majority of life that's unknown.
Let me get this started,
then I'm going to let you do the fun part.
Why don't you put two scoops in?
Come here.
There's a very dark, tiny
bit that I'm interested in.
-We're going to shake it.
Those beads are going to shear the cells,
and that's going to spill the DNA.
And... We put them inside here.
It's a centrifuge, so it
spins things very quickly.
But it's an ultra centrifuge.
So it spins things really, really fast.
[Axel] You want to be really sober
when you're looking at this.
-Start to feel a little wobbly?
-It's like fireworks. Yeah.
No, no, no. But I mean, it's...
so colorful and so...
literally full of life.
Each of these brightly fluorescing squiggles
is a different type of bacteria,
or maybe the same.
Then, if we change it...
to green, now we're looking
at the archaea again,
and you see in the same hot spring,
the same sediments from
the banks of a hot spring.
This is many more archaea
in that same hot spring.
Yeah, it's a whole
universe in a single drop.
And it looks strangely
similar to the universe.
Well, you know, I wasn't
going to say that, but...
-I'll stop with the analogies.
Yes, it is. It does.
[Luke] It's really cool
to have that perspective of
peering down so closely
and focusing on microbial life.
At the same time, you have this
visual connection to outer space.
[woman] I am an observer of forming stars.
I'll be looking at clouds of gas,
trying to understand these
mysteries of planet formation.
This is the origin
question of how we got here.
-Hey. I'm Luke McKay.
-I'm Rachel Smith.
I don't even know what you look like.
I didn't know who you were.
Yeah. Well, here I am.
[Rachel] Hey, look at that!
-Some real cows they brought in.
-Real cows.
-They might be robots.
-Some Hollywood cows.
You never know, or holograms?
I don't believe it.
Who manages their cows that way?
I love going to the summit.
It's one of my favorite places on Earth.
Scientists all over the world
want to get time on these
It's one of the best observing
locations in the world.
The altitude can affect
people in different ways
-that aren't always predictable.
-How high is the summit?
[Rachel] It's about... almost 14,000 feet.
You sure this isn't a motor smell?
-Or gas pedal smell?
-I think it's just dust.
-We're really ascending now.
[Luke] Whoa, look how
high we are! Oh my God.
-We're like, above everything!
-We're above everything.
I feel like a little kid on Christmas.
I feel like myself on Christmas,
because I really love Christmas.
That's the altitude, but okay.
The happiness is the lack of oxygen.
[Rachel] You don't
appreciate how big they are
until you get here.
Oh, my God.
So cool.
It's back! Yay! Oh, it's our instrument.
-C'mon! Let's get a photo.
[Luke chuckles] This is so cool!
The primary mirror is what
we're looking at right now.
And you can see our individual segments.
There are 36 segments.
-Hexagonal in shape.
It makes up that ten meter surface.
The point of the mirrors is to capture
and concentrate the light.
-Everything comes in, boom!
-Mirrors send it to an instrument.
-Send it to a single point.
Okay, I got it.
So this is a tool, this giant mirror
with its 36 segments,
on this high location on the planet
to explore towards the center
of the galaxy, essentially.
That's the coolest sentence
I've ever heard, I think.
We're going to point this
at the galactic center.
Yeah! We're going to get light
from this center of the galaxy.
We're going to be looking
at some forming stars.
This is like a spaceship, in a way.
But instead of bringing us to space,
it brings space to us.
[Luke] There are very many analogues
between what she's doing and what I'm doing.
And the way she takes a sample
as she's capturing light
from these distant places
in the galaxy,
and using different machines, basically,
to look at that light in different ways.
Something about the
light can actually tell us
something about the chemistry of that zone
of star formation.
And we're going to stay up all night
'cause night is when all
the good stuff happens.
[Rachel] We work hard to
get this telescope time.
Writing the proposals...
and it's a privilege.
One night we had bad
weather, and that was it.
You could come all this way,
and we could have fog,
and they close the dome.
[Luke] To be perfectly honest,
I didn't really get the whole
thing of not looking into
a telescope.
I didn't understand that the telescope
is way up there, on top of the volcano,
and we're going to be down here in town
looking at computers.
Which in hindsight,
makes tons of sense to me.
But I guess when I heard
that I'd be doing this,
I was like, "Oh! Sweet!
We're going to be up all night,
peering through the
lenses of this telescope."
And that's in fact not
at all what's happening.
There's the filter to
do the telescope focus.
Those webcams look great.
It's going to be a great night.
Layer of relative humidity is quite low.
We're ready to go.
[Luke] Is this a filter wheel?
-It's exactly like a
microscope. -Mm-hmm.
A microscope is a little telescope.
-For the tiny things.
It's a telescope for the tiny things.
It's cool. You can see it moving.
-And the stars become lines.
-There it is.
That big, bright light is your first star?
[Rachel] And this is showing
how much of the light is coming through.
There's a nice bright star
without a lot of sky.
You know how we saw all that
noise in some of the data?
This is really perfect.
Look at it, it's like a painting.
It's like what... we'd love this all night.
[Luke] So, we've been here for...
seven, maybe eight hours?
Wandering through the Milky Way
with the Keck telescope.
Rachel's signature of choice
is carbon monoxide.
that is... that can tell you a lot.
That molecule can tell you a lot
about star formation.
And this is clearly where
my understanding breaks down.
Cue, Rachel.
[Rachel] The cloud of
gas around a forming star
is made up of lots of molecules,
one of which is carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is the exhaust
that comes out of your car, and it's toxic.
You don't want to breathe that stuff.
But it's actually a
really important molecule
to study in our galaxy.
Carbon is a key element
to understanding how planets form
and understanding
how molecules we need for life are formed.
We don't have that full
picture well understood.
The data we get from the telescope
open up a window
into something that might be going on.
How can I, as a small person,
answer a question about the causes?
You have a puzzle with a
million or a billion pieces,
and we've got one piece.
Star Log...
Chapter 24, Part three.
The film crew is gone.
It's just us.
I'll do a perspective shot, like this.
-All right, but don't touch it yet.
-I'm not touching anything.
It's almost 5:15 AM, in the morning.
We're getting the last bit of data possible,
before the sun comes and ruins everything.
[Rachel] So, have you ever
seen flowing lava before?
[Luke] No.
-Oh, my God!
-Oh, my God!
Oh, my God!
This is so cool!
-Oh, my God.
-Oh, my God.
[Rachel] It's like the same thing.
We can't go to space,
but we can use telescopes
and we can come here.
-It feels like...
-It's like bringing space to us.
It's bringing space to us.
And this process makes me
feel the same way it felt like
on Mauna Kea at Keck.
In a way, it's like looking at origins
in space, and this is
an origin of our planet.
[Rachel] I would love the
experience of going to space.
Seeing out a window,
being surrounded by the darkness of space,
really going off into a
capsule, kind of looking out,
and just being part of
the cosmos that way...
Do you want some water?
Do you want some water?
I'll get you some water.
I have coconuts, pina colada.
Pina colada!
Yeah! Want rum?
No, coconut. We're working, right? Yeah.
If he starts licking his balls, you know...
maybe cut it there.
Hi sweetie. Are you a girl?
You might be a girl. Awwww!
From what I understand,
we're going to a methane seep.
And it's cold down there,
and that's all I know.
I don't know how deep it is.
I was curious and I don't know
exactly what they're studying.
But I imagine it's some kind
of cool community of creatures.
[woman] There's something very magical about
being down there, looking out the viewport,
seeing things that
maybe no other human has
ever seen on the seafloor.
-Rachel, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-How was your trip?
-It was wonderful.
Really amazing.
-How was your trip out here?
-Great. So far, amazing.
-Super amazing.
How many dives have you been on?
I'd been trying to figure
this out the other day.
I think I have... maybe 17 dives?
It's kind of cool. When
you're diving tomorrow,
just watch during the descent
and you'll see all these crazy animals.
Can you get pictures
of those as you go down?
-I didn't get...yeah.
-Oh, you weren't?
We weren't able to get...
Unless you go down too fast
to get a picture, right?
Yeah. Usually, you're just so caught up...
In doing the actual work, right?
We could go into the juice bag business.
They remind me of juice boxes.
But no, you wouldn't
want to drink this juice.
Well, you know. If you're a microbe...
-Unless you're a microbe.
-That's good for now.
We're going to leave a
little corner open so we can
-add the chemicals.
Science made delicious.
These are all archaea?
They're not all archaea. So, it's...
It's both archaea and bacteria.
We're interested in the organisms that
eat methane and are living in the rocks.
So, people ask me this question a lot
about why I'm doing what
I'm doing and stuff, so...
Is there a bigger-picture answer
that understanding the carbon usage
in the microorganisms tells you?
Yeah, well.. So methane is a really
very potent greenhouse gas, right?
We have huge stores of methane
locked up in the deep sea, all
along the continental margins.
And most of that methane
doesn't get into the atmosphere
because of these microorganisms
that eat it before
it's released into the water column
and up into the atmosphere.
When you dive in Alvin, do you...
And when you dive in Alvin...
-Do I get to dive for sure?
-Tomorrow, it's you and me.
Oh, yes! See? Confirmation on film.
-It's you and me tomorrow.
-It's on the schedule.
-Oh, I'm so excited!
I was saying it's like
going to another planet.
Yeah, it is.
It feels like another planet sometimes.
We haven't set up the ping pong table yet,
but that is a high priority for today.
-Is it really? All right.
-Yes. Yes.
This is the main lab.
[Rachel] When you're down there, Victoria,
did you ever feel something like, this void?
-Or not so much?
-I... No.
I feel totally at calm down there.
Yeah. I would stay, stay down there.
What would you say is the most
amazing thing about diving down?
It's one of the largest habitats,
if you want to call it that,
or environments on our planet.
We've barely begun to scratch the surface.
You said, like it's
this... empty barren plane.
But when we see that, we both
see an amazing diversity.
They're tiny and they live in the mud,
and you can't see them.
And most of them are unknown, right?
And haven't been described,
but they're there.
It's one of the most
diverse places on Earth.
So the other thing you're
going to want to do is...
the day you dive, we request
that you take a shower
-before you come in the sub.
And that you wear clean clothes
as clean as you can possibly stay.
-Is it because of how I look now?
-No, no.
We just always say that.
This is where we're going.
This is everything on the basket.
At the end, when we're
running out of batteries,
that's what really defines...
-how long the dive is.
As long as nothing else goes wrong.
Which it won't, because
you said many times...
-nothing will go wrong.
-Yeah. I guarantee it.
-You guarantee?
-It's your personal guarantee?
[buzzer sounds]
So because it's cold in
this sub, I brought...
Everything has to be a natural fiber.
Appropriately selected long sleeve shirt.
How are you feeling today
as opposed to yesterday,
about the dive?
Just excited about it. Yeah.
Do I seem nervous about it?
Should I be?
-Bon voyage!
-Thank you, thank you.
All right!
[ship's horn sounds]
Oh my gosh!
[man over radio] Copy, we have a match.
Alvin, top lab...
Your launch altitude is 1,000 meters.
By type, you're clear to
dive soon as we're cleared.
Copy. 1,000 meters by type,
standing by for swimsuits.
Alvin in one, Swimmers are cleared.
[man 2] Copy. Swimmers
are cleared. Alvin diving.
Oh, wow! It's green.
Yeah, it's really green.
Is this the light?
No, we're in the middle
of a big plankton bloom.
Am I seeing the bottom?
This is the coolest capsule.
It is like being in space.
It feels more spacious, the
more time we spend in it.
We have enough peanut butter sandwiches
to last at least another 30 minutes...
the rate we're eating.
Oh my! Oh, look at these mussel beds!
Wow! This is nice.
When they turn the lights on,
you see these bright red shrimp.
Which is striking, considering
the muted colors otherwise.
There's kind of a drabby color environment.
Everything just seems slower
'cause you're at such high pressure.
The connection between
the seeps and global warming
is really interesting.
I hadn't thought much about that
until talking to Victoria and Erik about it.
[Victoria] Methane is a greenhouse gas
much more powerful than carbon dioxide,
in terms of its potential
to warm the planet.
And it turns out these
microorganisms that we study
are using this gas
to support their life,
and also support other animals
that are found in that environment.
[Rachel] You get to the methane seep,
you see these really cool creatures.
You see the yeti crabs eat the bacteria.
The base of this food chain is
the bacteria and the methane.
[Victoria] Even though
they're very small in size
and we can't see them with our naked eyes,
these microorganisms that we study
are basically the methane gatekeepers.
Hi, Rachel. This is
Victoria. We were curious
how your experience has been so far.
I've been taking video
of what's out my window.
And they've been getting samples,
Erik and Mike have been getting samples.
It's been really, really interesting.
It's awesome down here.
Well, bring back good samples.
Give my best to Erik.
[Erik] We're taking rocks
that are right in the middle
of this flow of gas,
and we're moving them
different distances away to see
if they change, depending on
how far away from the seep they are.
We're trying to learn how
this methane input
affects the entire ocean.
[Rachel] When you move
past the methane seep,
the amount of life kind
of vanishes pretty quickly.
You end up being in this void...
relatively fast.
I really like looking
out and seeing nothing.
It's like being in a spaceship.
Welcome back.
You know, I sympathize with astronauts
who haven't walked on firm ground.
We were only there for six hours.
What was your favorite part?
I liked being inside the orb.
Like, you just imagine we're
in a metal sphere in the ocean.
It's kind of a little trippy inside,
with all the red buttons.
We could be anywhere in the universe.
[Victoria] I really love
looking at the samples
when they come up the seashore.
Kind of like every Alvin
dive is Christmas morning.
You know? The samples come up,
and we get to go and look
at what people collected.
My hope is that eventually, one day
we'll be able to really understand
how microbial ecosystems tick.
I don't think this is
even a ten-year achievable goal.
It's been almost like this,
this long-term obsession.
The projects that I work on
are a multi-year investment.
Maybe many people
who aren't in the sciences...
A lot of times, you just
see a finished product
of a nice publication.
And we rarely write in the publication,
"We spent three years doing
all of these other things
before this finally worked."
-[man] Hi.
-Hello, Jun!
-Victoria. Welcome to Boulder.
-Very nice to meet you.
-Thank you.
-Very nice meeting you.
So you live in California?
You're based in California?
Yeah, I'm at Cal Tech.
-Cal Tech?
-In Pasadena, yes.
Oh, I didn't know!
You didn't tell me they're from Cal Tech.
[Jun] As we know, time and space
is fundamentally connected.
We are really exploring the frontiers
of quantum physics and quantum technology.
Have you watched the
movie called Interstellar?
-I haven't seen Interstellar.
-It was a great movie.
These astronauts went
in near the black hole.
When he came back,
the daughter was much older than him.
You'll see some of that in our lab tomorrow.
-It's not science fiction.
You'll actually see clocks slow down
as you get closer to
the center of the earth.
No kidding?
So, that's...
It's the relativity effect that Einstein
postulated a hundred years ago.
It's called general relativity,
that time is all relative,
and when you have heavy mass,
it's going to warp the
space-time around you.
-And time is going
to be different.
And we can test that.
If you raise your watch
by a couple of centimeters,
the time speeds up...
at a very small level.
Only modern atomic clocks
now can detect those.
Okay, so you're saying if
you move your watch a few...
centimeters distance...
-You can tell the difference. Yeah.
-You detect change?
And at what level... Like, how many...
How many decimal points
do we need to go out?
-It's 10 to the 18th.
The clock is already a quantum sensor.
I actually like to call it a sensor.
It's something we use to measure.
Thanks everybody for showing up.
I would like to introduce you to Victoria.
She's a professor at Cal Tech.
The thing that impressed me
most is that she dived down
5,000 meters to the bottom of the ocean
and studied ecosystems.
I'm part of the Geological
and Planetary Science
division at Cal Tech.
But, today... I think we
I think we want to give her a treat.
To kind of participate in a group discussion
that's very technical on the physics side of
making clocks and
understanding strontium atoms.
Go easy with the descriptions.
When things get really, really cold,
The quantum mechanics mayor
the fact that an atom is on a particle.
But a wave begins to matter.
We want a very particular frequency.
We want that to be as precise as possible.
For this upcoming clock
comparison, we're going to
one of these strontium
optical lattice blocks
to the terbium optical lattice blocks.
This is a boring image, and that's good.
We want these images to
be as boring as possible.
So hundreds of terahertz as opposed to
tens of gigahertz frequencies.
Just to make sure I understand...
So you have your ground state,
then you shine... light
at a certain frequency,
and then you look at it again?
-And then, you're seeing,
how many of those atoms
then are at the excited state
and what's their spatial distribution?
Isn't that amazing? Isn't it amazing?
She totally understood
the clock measurements.
Welcome to our lab.
It'll be different from the ocean field.
Yeah. Yeah.
So, it will look a bit random
with lots of ancient things.
But believe me, all the cables there...
There is a purpose for all these cables.
I'll take you right into
this particular system right here.
If you look just to the
right side of this lens,
into the vacuum chamber,
do you see that little ball of blue light?
-These are 10 million atoms
of strontium fluorescing under this light.
And you can see, it's stationary.
There's nothing else in there.
It's a vacuum chamber and a light.
Those atoms provide this swing
of the pendulum when you
open a grandfather clock,
that's the first thing you see,
that there's something swinging
back and forth, a pendulum.
That's your pendulum right there.
The blue ball, which is oscillating
at about a million
billion cycles per second.
This is actually the world's
most accurate atomic
clock that's ever built.
It's called a strontium
optical lattice clock.
What it means, over the
entire age of the universe,
it would lose less than
one second of the time.
The fact that we have this open right now
and we are filming it...
The clock won't work very well right now
because we are all here.
We are warm bodies.
We have a lot of temperature gradient.
It's probably changing these mirrors by
just such a small, tiny amount
that can cause a little
bit of a misalignment.
[Victoria] The fact that
they can control atoms
under super-cooled conditions,
but we're looking at it
like it's just hanging like a magic ball
of light, it's wild.
So Chris and I are academic brothers.
Yes, we've known each other for
more than 20... about 25 years, I guess.
So this laboratory has one of our
optical atomic clocks in it.
Atomic clocks play, actually,
a very important role,
even in driving your car in the sense that
the whole GPS constellation
is full of atomic clocks.
How many people hit...
and just use a data server
to synchronize their clock?
We get something like 20 billion hits a day.
-20 billion?
-Billion! Which is...
I mean, Google, I think, gets
something like 7 billion hits.
Now granted, Google's requests
are a little more complicated
than "What time is it?"
Computers all around the
world are constantly hitting
this to re-clock, asking
for what time it is.
So what we have here is
the calcium thermal beam clock.
By far the best part is when the light
is hitting the atoms, and the
atoms are telling you stuff.
-This process just...
It really is infectious.
You can tell Chris is very passionate.
He's talking about atoms
and humanizing them.
He's talking about he and she,
and she is communicating back.
Once you get into this very intimate game of
getting information, you do feel
like you're talking to something
almost intelligent, but... But, it's...
It's just something you
can't help because you get
such an intimate working
relationship with them.
Some people say, what do you need
another digit on your atomic clock for?
I get asked that question all the time.
And the answer is that
time, sort of paradoxically,
is a quantity that we don't understand
philosophically very well at all. I mean...
no one really has a great
sense of what time really is.
But we can measure it,
5,6,7 orders of magnitude better
than any other physical quantity.
We have not really seen
any fundamental limits clocks.
-What you can't do yet, yeah.
-Right, exactly.
-You can't just say, "Oh!
We'll never get better than that."
We haven't really seen that.
[Jun] To build the very best clock,
if you say, I raise my clock
from the ground up,
and the time speeds up a little bit.
As you move towards the mountain,
time will slow down.
[Victoria] Just like going
to the center of the earth.
You're moving towards a bigger mass.
Exactly! It's the big mass that matters.
Could you by following how much time
slows back out the mass?
-That it's?
Say we place a clock around
Yellowstone National Park,
and see whether there will be a danger,
where there's too much mass
starting to amass underneath.
Eventually, it's going to erupt.
It would be great to have that warning.
The clock will tell you that.
Measurement really is at
the heart of modern science.
Everything is based on measurement.
There's still certainly
many mysteries out there.
Science has always gone this way...
You use what you have understood.
You build better instrumentation
and you go out there.
You measure, you find things
which is different from what you predict.
You have heard the terms of
dark matter, dark energy.
There's something beyond.
We don't know yet what that is.
There are explosions happening
when the black holes merge.
There's gravitational waves being emitted
throughout the universe.
Maybe we can even hear the echo
of the Big Bang
coming back from the edge of the universe.
As you build the clock
to the 19s, 20s digits,
what are we going to see?
[man] I guess I was always
interested in the brain.
It still, at the end of
the day, might prove to be
this mystery that we can't understand.
-Hi. Jun. Nice to meet you.
-Anil Seth. Very nice
to meet you.
Thank you for coming to meet both of us.
Welcome to the beautiful Sussex countryside.
This is incredible. I've never been here.
The ocean's right here.
Anil, what do you do?
I'm a neuroscientist.
Actually, my background is quite varied.
I was trained in physics, actually.
-To begin with, or I started.
-I'm a physicist.
That's what I've been
told. Looking forward to...
I'm just learning about
you right now, as we speak.
I'm a physicist. I build instrumentations.
That's why I'm curious about
how you interface with the brain.
I think what's frustrating is
we recognize how poorly
we're able to measure things.
There's always this analogy
that the current brain
imaging methods that we have,
it's a little bit like
having a microphone like this,
500 kilometers in the sky,
and you're trying to listen
to a whole bunch of people shouting
different things in a field below.
We may still just lack
the sufficient technology, yeah.
-And it's...
-You hit a resonance there
when you said it's all
about measurement in science.
I have colleagues who build magnetometers,
which can be implemented.
-Oh really?
-Around brains to
do brain imaging.
So, we develop instrumentation
that hopefully can be useful for you guys.
Excellent! Bring any with you?
No, I didn't.
That's the other important part...
-Welcome to the UK, of course.
-Thank you very much, yeah.
See some countryside, have a drink.
And a...
-Do you just want...
-Just a glass of water.
Yeah, thank you.
I'm interested about our experience
of what you might call psychological time.
-Speeding up as we get older.
-It can be very subjective.
Part of the puzzle is that
we don't have time detectors
in in our brains.
I think it's one of the longstanding...
is to figure out
how the brain constructs
the experience of time
given that it's got no time sensors.
What's it based on?
I'll be very interested to
see what you think of this.
-And this is...
-Warrick Roseboom.
Hi, I'm Jun. Nice to meet you.
He really knows much
more about time than I do.
This will be the first time
we've run a person as subject
on this particular experiment.
What's going to happen is
he's going to watch this video.
That will go for some duration.
If you look through the,
through the magnet ball.
-At the back, there's a screen.
It's showing the same thing you see here.
And then after that video
finishes, this will come up.
You just move the joystick
until the number on the scale represents
-how long you felt it went for.
[Anil] We are going to be recording
what his brain is doing.
The reason we're doing this is...
It's obviously nice to
see inside somebody's brain
but we are trying to see
how well our model of time perception
matches to what Jun's brain is doing.
[machine beeping]
Quite loud.
Is that okay if we start
the experiment now, Jun?
-Are you ready?
-Yes, I'm ready.
So now, we're waiting for
the first video to come up.
Pretty stable scene.
There's not much going on.
This is one of our office spaces
in the other building.
It's just lots of people thinking very hard,
not much actual visual stuff happening.
Good, you can see he's making a response.
Let's see how long he thought that was.
How well did you think you did?
I felt...
I felt I was doing well.
We think you may not
have done quite so well.
Okay, that's good. Yeah.
The first few videos, it seemed that...
-I was way off?
-You were.
It looked like you were overestimating.
-Quite, quite a lot.
Which is interesting,
for somebody who's built
the world's most accurate clock.
That is my brain, huh?
That. That's your brain.
Do you recognize any
bits of your brain there?
I don't.
This is my first time looking at my brain.
-I've never done this scan before.
[Anil] We don't have
time sensors in the brain.
Time has to be a construction.
One idea is that our experience
of time comes about through
how things change in our visual perception.
There's lots of change, and maybe
our durations will seem longer.
If nothing changes,
our experience of time
will be really impoverished.
We're trying to close
the loop and come up with
a unified explanation
of human time perception.
But it goes deeper than that.
If you want to understand
the relationship between
brains and consciousness,
in my lab we've got mathematicians
and physicists and
virtual reality engineers.
[Jun] Oh, now it looks very strange!
For a second, this didn't turn into animals.
I've never seen things like that before.
[Anil] One of the things that I've
really tried to cultivate
is a very interdisciplinary approach
to get at this problem, this basic problem,
of how consciousness happens.
What a beautiful place.
There's this perspective,
I think it's a pretty poor argument,
but it's called Mysterianism.
So there's the idea that
even if we have arbitrarily fast computers
and all the technology that we want,
there will still be some things
that will forever defy our understanding,
because we humans are
cognitively limited in some way.
However much we magnify
our cognitive abilities
through technology, there must be things
that we cannot understand
however much help we have.
In the same way that if you're a frog,
however much help you give the frog,
it's not going to
understand quantum mechanics.
It's still a frog.
So there might be an equivalent for us.
On the other hand, the history of science
has been quite astounding.
There have been things
that people would've thought
completely beyond our understanding.
We can and we have.
[Jun] Though I have only
known Anil for two days,
I feel he's a... a true scientist.
It's really appealing to me that
we can speak from, coming from
very different scientific disciplines.
And yet, we speak a common language.
It's been a really pleasure
to spend time with Jun.
He's a... such a nice man,
in addition to being a brilliant scientist.
And you never know where...
where these conversations go.
[Jun] Step by step, we can ask
deeper, deeper questions,
so we know we are making progress.
But how long it's going to get there?
If you asked me that question,
I couldn't really make that prediction
because discovery itself
is a very uncertain process.
It's actually exciting
that there remains to be
very many mysteries out there
that are waiting for us to discover.
[Anil] The history of
science is full of examples
where an understanding has been developed
for something that seemed
previously entirely mysterious.
And the reason it can do that
is because it's a cumulative enterprise.
You don't start from scratch.
Every time in science, you're building on
a whole tradition, not only of knowledge
but also of methods and techniques.
[woman] The mind is all the
time processing all this stuff
that it shouldn't have
the capacity to process.
One of these things is our experiences.
How do we make sense of an event?
Like you're, you're...
Folks are watching this movie,
and at the end of this movie,
someone might be like, "Hey,
how was The Most Unknown?
How was that film?" And
people will have an answer.
How did they do that?
Is your mind keeping a running ticker
of how good the movie is?
They see the monkey parts,
that was really good and it goes up.
But, this physics... boring.
But, so it turns out that
when psychologists look at
that, people simplify it.
So people only take into account two points:
the peak of how good
it was and how it ended.
That's all we're taking into account,
which is kind of amazing.
It means that the movie
has to end really well.
So, I'm glad I get to be the last scientist.
We're here in Puerto Rico,
and in a few minutes,
we're going to be going to
an even smaller island in the Caribbean,
which is an island that's just
off the coast of Puerto Rico
called Cayo Santiago.
It's home to about 1,000
free-ranging monkeys.
Glasses fog up.
[gasps] Puppy!
I know! I know you don't these folks.
You want non-shiny glasses.
Non-shiny? So not these ones.
Yeah, they won't like that.
See? That's good advice. Yeah, I didn't...
They'll see themselves, and
it'll be very threatening.
Ah, okay.
It's prettier than the lab.
-This is a lot prettier.
-It's an early wake-up call,
but it's really beautiful
and you get to enjoy it.
[Anil] It's fantastic.
First question: What is the main motivation
for your research out here?
So, I... I am a psychologist,
a cognitive psychologist by training,
which means, I'm kind of
interested in how humans think.
But I find it's really hard to test humans
by testing humans.
We have culture, we teach it.
To get, to kind of get
down to human cognition
without all the extra stuff is hard.
And the beauty of the
monkeys, as you'll see,
is they're just being monkeys.
You guys into Pokemon Go?
There's really good Pokemon on the docks.
I always try to catch the Pokemon.
No one can get these 'cause they're here.
However we're walking around the island,
find a path that's, like,
furthest from all monkeys.
Staring at them right in
the face is like a threat.
If they get upset with
you, you'll know about it.
They'll start threatening you like, "Ah!"
How close is this to
the natural habitat they
might have come from?
Macaques are the most
ubiquitous primate, other than humans.
The lore is they treat
us like walking trees.
If we almost stepped on
them, they would move.
But we're just kind of
part of their environment.
We're a slightly bigger
group with the camera
than we normally would be, so
some of them are like, "What?"
Our group does cognition work down here,
which means we're really
setting up experiments.
We have to kind of stay in a compact spot
so we're not interfering with data.
We're going to also get
a little poolside show.
Those are a bunch of kid monkeys.
Who's gonna go for it?
-Psych yourself up.
But, it's... It's so high, right?
[Anil] So they... are they having fun?
[Laurie] Yeah, this is playing.
Maybe, do you think the female on the rock?
-I was looking at her, yeah.
So what we're going to do is,
we're going show the monkeys
a little show about what,
what information Casey has
about where an object is.
So this one, she's going
to do is the boring one.
So, this is one that
the monkeys shouldn't look
for a very long time at all.
They see her, watch it go into that box...
and she reaches for it there.
What we're looking for
is long they watch that.
You can see Shireen is
behind her and she's filming
how long they watch it.
The expectation is the
monkeys should lose interest
more quickly.
Is this something that works
in controlled conditions,
that monkeys can do, or...
I think it would work
under controlled conditions.
But, you don't often in captivity have
big enough sample sizes to do it.
So, now the monkey is going
to have a different belief
than Casey.
They see Casey watch it go into one spot,
but then when Casey's not paying attention,
the monkey can see a switch.
You can see this monkey
doesn't seem to fine anymore.
He's looking for a long
time because it's unexpected.
We're interested in whether the monkeys know
that somebody has a different
perspective than they do.
We're expecting other minds
to do these kind of jumps
that our own minds do.
It's not clear if they do the same thing.
There's been this real question
about whether another animal
can think about what
somebody else is thinking.
Can they think about
what somebody else sees?
If monkeys know what other individuals see,
they should use that
information in productive ways.
One productive way is in
the concept of deception.
We've got to find a nail or a stick.
Most of monkey science
happens with duct tape...
and foam board.
What are you making?
We're going to make a little platform
for them to steal grapes off of.
We give them the opportunity
to steal stuff from humans.
The question is, do the monkeys steal more
when folks aren't paying attention?
This experiment is a first pass to see,
can they use any of the
social abilities they have
to deceive us?
Are they sensitive to this simple thing
of what we can see, and what we can't see?
Take one step towards them, like this.
Then now, hold your platform
horizontal, like this
and show him the grape.
Then place the grape
down onto the shish kebab.
Now we're going to put the
platform on the-- Hey! Wait!
No, buddy. You've got to wait.
Step back. Take your grape off.
Yeah, he's very forceful.
Nope, now you don't get to
play 'cause you're being mean.
We could try again but let's
do it from slightly further back
-So, we'll do it even from here.
Hey... Monkey!
Okay, turn around.
All right, he's...
-I have no idea what's going on.
-One sec.
-You can turn around and grab the grape.
-I can turn around?
And turn around.
Anything happening?
They're staring at the
film crew a little bit.
Now he's threatening the film crew again.
I'm trying to just stare
off into the distance
and pretend I'm not paying attention.
What's fascinating here, is
we just tried this experiment
and it didn't really quite work.
Typically, when we run these studies
it's just two people, two grapes.
No one else is around.
Quite a large camera
crew hanging around too...
[Laurie] It fits with our hypothesis, right?
The hypothesis of, monkeys see
people are paying attention,
they just hold back, they
don't steal from anyone.
And there's a lot of people
here paying attention.
They're very worried about the surveillance
that you guys started on their core island.
[Laurie] Whatever we do
down here, it's nice if
other folks are doing
similar work in other places,
so we can triangulate what
the animals really understand.
Even when we find things that don't work,
we replicate it, we try it again.
Part of our task is to
put the pattern together
of what works and what doesn't.
To be a scientist, you have
to deal with uncertainty
all the time.
But you're just thinking
about other possibilities
in general.
What if the world was this way?
Science is all about holding
multiple things in mind.
And ultimately it's probably using
these very same rudimentary capacities
that we're seeing in the monkeys.
Getting outside your own head
is a lot of what science is about.
That's what we're trying to
do with the brains we have,
to understand our place in the universe.
You might think, watching scientists,
that we go through a
lot of frustrating things
to do our science, like, why would we do it?
Functionally, what
scientists are doing is that
we're trying to solve a
really long mystery novel
all the time.
We get to the end of the chapter,
and we think we've made progress.
but then there's a new door and a new twist!
For us, that's fun, that there's more to go.
Are you Jen?
-Hi, I'm Jen!
-It's good to meet you.
I'm going to give you a hug.
I feel like I know you already.
I can't believe you made
it here before I did.
I was so excited about the
caves, I couldn't help myself.
So, let's see...
All right, I've got to
figure out how this hat works.
Is it, like...
See, there's a...
-a little button there.
-Oh, yeah.
I think you gave me a broken one.
One thing I feel at a gut level
is that humans get smarter,
the more different things they experience.
We can't possibly imagine the things that
we might learn, that might be useful to us.
We're slowly creeping towards understanding.
But we're... We're sort
of toward the beginning.