Celebrate Fall with Amazing Leaf Art!

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When TED-Ed animators were tasked with animating a lesson about detritus, they challenged themselves to make all of the visuals out of dead stuff. It sure helped that they had a library of dried leaves to work with!

Check out these lovely little leaf creatures, and get inspired to make your own:

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And, thanks to the power of animation, they were able to bring a vast collection of dead stuff back to life!

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'Tis officially the season! Go grab some fallen leaves of your own, and see what kinds of creatures you can bring to life. Happy foraging, and happy first day of fall!

From the TED-Ed Lesson Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain - John C. Moore

View the TED-Ed Lesson Where do genes come from?

When life emerged on Earth about 4 billion years ago, the earliest microbes had a set of basic genes that succeeded in keeping them alive. In the age of humans and other large organisms, there are a lot more genes to go around. Where did all of those new genes come from? Carl Zimmer examines the mutation and multiplication of genes.

Different kinds of light are all waves, they just have different wavelengths and frequencies. If you know the wavelength or frequency of a wave of light, you can also figure out its energy. Long wavelengths have low energies, while short wavelengths have high energies. It’s easy to remember if you think about being on a boat. If you were out sailing on a day with short, choppy waves, you’d probably be pretty high energy yourself, running around to keep things from falling over. But on a long wavelength sea, you’d be rolling along, relaxed, low energy.

Animation by Pew36 Animation Studios

View the Making of a TED-Ed Lesson: Bringing a pop-up book to life

In ‘The Pangaea Pop-up’ Lesson, animator Biljana Labovic decided the best way to illustrate moving, shifting tectonic plates was to use a physical object that could also move and shift. Here, Labovic explains how she and her team of animators created a pop-up book to visualize Pangaea — and how you can make your own.

View the TED-Ed Lesson Particles and waves: The central mystery of quantum mechanics

One of the most amazing facts in physics is that everything in the universe, from light to electrons to atoms, behaves like both a particle and a wave at the same time. But how did physicists arrive at this mind-boggling conclusion? Chad Orzel recounts the string of scientists who built on each other’s discoveries to arrive at this ‘central mystery’ of quantum mechanics.