True Facts: The Science of Real-Life SuperPowers

True Facts: The Science of Real-Life SuperPowers

Go to to get a 30-day free trial + the first 200 people will get 20% off their annual subscription.

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Thanks to:

Dr Paul S. Hamilton, The Biodiversity Group
Dr Andrés Concha, Adolfo Ibañez University
Dr Carlos Taboada, Vanderbilt University
Dr Junjie Yao, Duke University
Dr John G. Capano, Brown University
J. Monge-Najera


Baer, A. & De Sena Oliveira, Ivo & Steinhagen, Max & Beck-Sickinger, Annette & Mayer, Georg. (2014). Slime protein profiling: a non-invasive tool for species identification in Onychophora (velvet worms). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 52. 265–272.

Baer A, Mayer G. Comparative anatomy of slime glands in onychophora (velvet worms). J Morphol. 2012 Oct;273(10):1079-88. doi: 10.1002/jmor.20044. Epub 2012 Jun 18. PMID: 22707384.

Baer A, Schmidt S, Haensch S, Eder M, Mayer G, Harrington MJ. Mechanoresponsive lipid-protein nanoglobules facilitate reversible fibre formation in velvet worm slime. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 17;8(1):974. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01142-x.

Bagge LE, Kinsey ST, Gladman J, Johnsen S. Transparent anemone shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) become opaque after exercise and physiological stress in correlation with increased hemolymph perfusion. J Exp Biol. 2017 Nov 15;220(Pt 22):4225-4233. doi: 10.1242/jeb.162362.

Capano JG, Boback SM, Weller HI, Cieri RL, Zwemer CF, Brainerd EL. Modular lung ventilation in Boa constrictor. J Exp Biol. 2022 Mar 15;225(6):jeb243119. doi: 10.1242/jeb.243119.

Concha A, Mellado P, Morera-Brenes B, Sampaio Costa C, Mahadevan L, Monge-Nájera J. Oscillation of the velvet worm slime jet by passive hydrodynamic instability. Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 17;6:6292. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7292.

Müller M, de Sena Oliveira I, Allner S, Ferstl S, Bidola P, Mechlem K, Fehringer A, Hehn L, Dierolf M, Achterhold K, Gleich B, Hammel JU, Jahn H, Mayer G, Pfeiffer F. Myoanatomy of the velvet worm leg revealed by laboratory-based nanofocus X-ray source tomography. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Nov 21;114(47):12378-12383. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1710742114.

Pomerantz AF, Siddique RH, Cash EI, Kishi Y, Pinna C, Hammar K, Gomez D, Elias M, Patel NH. Developmental, cellular and biochemical basis of transparency in clearwing butterflies. J Exp Biol. 2021 May 15;224(10):jeb237917. doi: 10.1242/jeb.237917.

Taboada C, Delia J, Chen M, Ma C, Peng X, Zhu X, Jiang L, Vu T, Zhou Q, Yao J, O’Connell L, Johnsen S. Glassfrogs conceal blood in their liver to maintain transparency. Science. 2022 Dec 23;378(6626):1315-1320. doi: 10.1126/science.abl6620.

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43 Responses

  1. @zefrank says:

    Go to to get a 30-day free trial + the first 200 people will get 20% off their annual subscription!!

  2. @humourlessjester3584 says:

    Really appreciate the citations. I always thought more educational content creators should do this to help students who watch them for a summary on their topics of interest.

    • @twistedNEKO says:

      i second this. i appreciate this channel in particular for that

    • @brotlowskyrgseg1018 says:

      This is certainly helpful. At the very least referencing those papers makes for a better introductory paragraph than “So I saw this video about how Spider Man would be able to squirt his bodily fluids all over the place and this motivated me to further investigate the specifics of that process.”

    • @TrickiVicBB71 says:

      As an archaeologist on TikTok I follow would always say, “SITE YOUR SOURCES!”

  3. @thekanable says:

    Ze Frank, you have taught me so much I didn’t even know I wanted to know. I’ve never thought about how a constrictor breathes while it’s constricting but there you have it. 🤯

    • @primmoore6232 says:

      I have! While at a zoo presentation the rosy-tail boa I was holding got nervous while wrapped around my lower arm. My hand went numb while he calmed down, sighing and relaxing little by little. SO cool!

    • @thekanable says:

      @@primmoore6232 whoa cool. 😮

    • @gotdangedcommiesitellyahwa6298 says:

      Probably because if one were to ever constrict you, the last thing you’re worried about is, “How does this snake breath while it’s killing me?”

    • @thekanable says:

      @@gotdangedcommiesitellyahwa6298 Oh couldn’t be me, I do not exist “things that will eat me” adjacent. 👍🏿

    • @tatchik77 says:

      I never thought about where a boa constrictor’s testicles are!

  4. @charlii2048 says:

    Part of how snakes breathe despite swallowing something the size of their heads is the fact they don’t have a fixed skull like we do. They have a “kinetic” skull that’s held together with ligaments and allows them to move parts different segments of their jaw independently. Which further allows them to move around a breathing tube at the base of their mouth called a glottis.

    If Clint from Clint’s Reptiles ever sees this, thanks for the knowledge!

  5. @floorpizza8074 says:

    “Put on a blindfold, and try to miss… you’ll still end up kicking a snake in the nuts.” Completely lost it on that one, Ze, thank you for the well needed laugh.

  6. @ethanpflederer3395 says:

    I’ve always loved velvet worms. Thanks for covering them.

  7. @bretthake7713 says:

    Spidey’s webs dissolve over time but it’s different in different comic runs and movies. Usually breaks down in a few hours to a day

  8. @southernfriedwestcoaster says:

    I think you and Casual Geographic would be great friends. Y’all are both so funny and educational.

    • @kellymay8208 says:

      And Lindsey!

    • @anniereddj says:

      Yes! WATOP also. The addition of humor makes learning fun and, I think, increases the likelihood of retention. No one makes me laugh and learn like Ze though!!

    • @sarafleming9893 says:

      I was thinking Ze Frank and Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”. Not a single subject would be safe, and the hysterics would run rampant! 🤣🤣

    • @Grobohalic says:

      I remember a while ago Casual Geographic posted somewhere “why did no one tell me about ZeFrank? His videos are amazing,” and I replied “dude, that’s on you. I assumed you already watched his stuff.”

  9. @debramiller3548 says:

    I’m so happy to learn really fascinating scientific things with a hysterical twist. ✌🏼💖

    • @T3RRY_T3RR0R says:

      Hysterical comes from the medical Latin word hystericus, which described a female neurotic condition, thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus. Hysterical is still used today by psychiatrists, though in a broader way, to describe someone suffering from a psychological stress condition.

  10. @MsRENO1977 says:

    I can’t put how much these videos mean to me into words. I was having a crappy day and was in a very bad mood…. This video actually made me laugh and I am still smiling. I love Ze more and more with every new video he does…if I could, I would have him do a funny eulogy at my funeral party…..

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