Why Are You Alive – Life, Energy & ATP

Why Are You Alive – Life, Energy & ATP

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At this very second, you are on a narrow ledge between life and death. You probably don’t feel it, but there is an incredible amount of activity going on inside you. And this activity can never stop.

Picture yourself as a slinky falling down an escalator moving upwards – the falling part represents the self replicating processes of your cells, the escalator represents the laws of physics, driving you forwards. To be alive is to be in motion but never arriving anywhere. If you reach the top of the escalator there is no more falling possible and you are dead forever.

Somewhat unsettlingly, the universe wants you to reach the top. How do you avoid that and why are you alive?

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70 Responses

  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell says:

    Get your free 2 month trial of Skillshare here: https://skl.sh/kurzgesagt7
    Thanks a lot to Skillshare for supporting this channel.

    • ice_2 _no1 says:

      Will you do a video on exotic matter one day?

    • Ryan no last name says:

      thank you for the classes

    • Someone YT 2 says:

      Nani. Lol that was funny with the anime cell

    • Please I need a better name says:

      Nani a EDUCATIONAL YouTube channel just said in one of it’s videos anime betrayal and it’s kurzgesagt!?

    • Eddie A-G says:

      Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell Why is there such an antagonistic relationship between life and everything else. It’s as if life is in an active fight against entropy. Why is the universe using entropy to run down systems like cells. I guess what I am getting is can entropy be reversed

  2. Giorno Giovanna says:

    Cell 1: “Omae wa mou shindeiru”
    Cell 2: “Nani?”
    Kurzgesagt: *This is widely considered one of the biggest anime betrayals in evolutionary history*

  3. Highlander Hamish says:

    I’ve been watching this channel for years and “anime betrayals” really caught me off guard

  4. Shubh Thakkar says:

    I died laughing at “this was one of the greatest anime betrayals of all time” XD

  5. Ilias Moumen says:

    That anime betrayal joke is the most wholesome thing I ever heard.

  6. Toby Creamer says:

    *”Mum, can I have a bird?”*
    “Why do you want a bird?”

  7. Yogesh Mehta says:

    In serious voice: “This is widely considered one of the biggest anime betrayals in evolutionary history.”

    I think the quarantine’s really starting to get to Kurzgesagt.

  8. Azzie Studios says:

    “This is widely considered one of the most biggest anime betrayals in the evolution of history.”

    *_OH GOD_*

  9. Tyberfen says:

    “Greatest Anime Betrayel in evolutionary history”
    That is pretty much the last thing I expected. Completely out of nowhere.

  10. Pavle Totić 1-8 says:

    Kurzgesagt: life is nothing, but it actually isn’t

  11. Konidias says:

    “Why are we still here? Just to suffer?”

    Entropy: “Yes”

  12. Mistaken Rants says:

    Me: depressed and bored and hungry because of quarantine

    Kurzgesagt: “Why are you alive?”

    Me: *existential dread and nihilism intensified*

  13. Stop it Mom says:

    “When a cell found out how to eat the sun” sounds like an action movie of something

    • Trevor Smithy says:

      Lol, true. I was thinking the whole “Now you can eat sunlight!” thing from History of the entire world, I guess

  14. Thegreatduc 69 says:

    YouTube: Are you going to sleep now?
    Me: Yes, now shut up
    YouTube: *But don’t you want to know why are you living?*

  15. juste kevin says:

    Man : *Lives*
    Entropy : I’m about end the man’s whole career.

  16. Fazbearsgamingbagel says:

    “We can all trace back our existence to this cell”

    Adam and Eve have left the chat

    • karma tam says:

      God got curious

    • Juniper Lemuel Jingco says:

      …This cell that happened to form on earth. Earth that happened to have all the right mix of atoms and molecules to sustain life, also happened to be revolving around the sun just at the right distance and momentum to keep doing so for millennias and with a moon to regulate the ocean tides.

    • William Brown says:

      Juniper Lemuel Jingco then moon is hollow and lopsided. Also, just to give us just the right amount of tide movement. All designed in 7 days.

    • Quasar says:

      They never joined to begin with.

  17. magic boogaloo says:

    “The universe wants you dead”
    Never before have I felt such a level of existential dread

  18. Creeper says:

    Picture this:
    There’s life in the ocean.


    Somethings alive in the ocean.

    Oh cool, is it a plant or an animal?

    No, a microscopic speck. It lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh, made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever.

    Oh yeah, it can do that.

    It has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. So that’s pretty nifty, I would say.

    Tired of living at the bottom of the ocean?

    Now you can eat sunlight!

    Using a revolutionary technique, you can convert sunlight into food.

    Taste the sun!

    Side effect, now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky is blue. 

    Then the Earth might have been a snowball for a while. Maybe even a couple of times.

    It’s a sponge. It’s a plant. It’s a worm, and some other types of weird, strange water bugs and strange fish.

    It’s the Cambrian explosion!

    Wow, that’s animals and stuff.

    But we’re still in the ocean. Hey, can we go on land?



    The sun is a deadly laser!

    Oh, okay.

    Not anymore, there’s a blanket.

    Now the animals can go on land. Come on animals, let’s go on land.

    Nope, can’t walk yet. And there’s no food yet, so I don’t care.

    Okay, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here?


    …said some bugs… and fish.

  19. Akenaa says:

    “To be alive is to be in motion but never arriving anywhere”

    I felt that sentence on a deeper level.

  20. Shubham Garg says:

    Me: having in a midlife crisis
    *Opens YouTube*
    “Why are you alive”
    Me: Oh FFS

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