Great Mysteries Series | Episode 05


Despite sciences’ amazing advances in the past century, we are still in the dark about some of the basic facts in life. For example, what is hiding in the sea? Why do we age and die? These are still mysteries and we will talk about these two questions and many more in today’s episode of our series Great Mysteries in which we will focus on mysteries relating to the living world.

Audio Episode

Episode Transcript

Despite sciences, amazing advances in the past century, we are still in the dark about some of the basic facts in life. For example, what is hiding in the sea? Why do we age and die? We still don’t have answers to these basic questions. This is what we’re going to talk about today in great mysteries, and we’re going to focus on the living world. And let me tell you about what questions we’re going to talk about today, we’re going to ask so many puzzling and mysterious questions that you’re going to find today’s episode. So exciting from our great mysteries episode. How do animals navigate? Why are some animals altruistic? What lives in the deep sea? What’s the secret behind trees longevity? What causes mass extinctions? Can science ever find the source of consciousness? What’s behind mass hysteria? Why do people succumb to Stockholm Syndrome? Are we always unconscious under anesthesia? Why do people feel phantom limbs? Why do we sleep? What do dreams mean? Why do we have fingerprints? What turns a sell cancerous? Why do our bodies age? And finally a very big question. Is there an afterlife? All these questions are in today’s episode. So aren’t you excited to hear about these questions? In today’s episode, great mysteries. That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode. This is your host Danny and this is English plus podcast.

Now before we start, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode on my website English plus You will find the link in the show notes it will take you to the custom post I created for this episode. And while you’re on the website, you can explore the website find out about the audio series, the video series and many other learning opportunities that are entertaining and educational at the same time. And if you want to make the most of it, become a patron on Patreon. The link is also in the show notes. When you become a patron you will have a lot of benefits and you will unlock all the content on the website. With that being said let’s not waste any more time and let’s start with our very first question for today’s episode. How do animals navigate that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

In summer, Monarch butterflies migrate 1000s of miles from fruit trees in central Mexico north to the United States where they lay their eggs and die. The Next Generation having metamorphosed into butterflies fly back to those same trees, although they have never before seen them. Pacific salmon return from the ocean to the streams where they were spawned desert ants when they’re 600 feet or about 183 meters in search of food and then return directly to their burrows. homing pigeons take into distant unfamiliar locations find their way home. How do they do it? Animals have a wide range of subtle senses unavailable to humans, and different species use different inborn and environmental cues. Scientists have yet to understand all of them, but with clever experiments, they have pinpointed a few techniques. Some animals guide themselves by the sun’s position in the sky. Monarchs discern this with their antennae. Other animals follow stellar clues such as the Indigo bunting, which orient itself by the North Star. Still others use magnetism. Sharks can orient to magnetic fields as tiny as five billions of a volt per centimeter. The famed homing pigeon is still something of a mystery. It may orient by magnetic fields smell, or even low frequency sound. But it is still a mystery. We know some of the answers, but we don’t know all of them. And that’s why this question is worthy of being added to our series great mysteries. But that’s only the first mystery we’re talking about in today’s episode. Next, we’re going to wonder why some animals are altruistic. That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s not surprising that sterile worker bees will devote themselves to the Queen Bees larvae or that a male black widow spider will give himself up to a hungry mate. Though self sacrificing the behavior benefits the animal’s offspring or close relatives perpetuating its genetic legacy. less clear is the motivation for young ravens to invite unrelated ravens to a feast or for female vampire bats to share a meal with unrelated females. Altruism has even been observed across species dogs, for example, will nurture

Birds or even tiger cubs. Recently, a group of sperm whales took in a deformed bottlenose dolphin. In most cases, Researchers theorize animal help familiar creatures because it benefits them as a group. Female bats that share blood live longer than male bats that don’t with a potential to reproduce more ravens who call in a flock can protect their food from larger birds. Scientists find that altruistic behavior varies depending upon the environment. When food is scarce, animals tend to help each other in ways that provide food. When food is available. Altruism is more likely to take the form of protection from predators in the long run. Altruism may never be completely selfless, but we still have those things that we cannot have a clear answer for that sometimes we may theorize and answer we may come up with a logical answer to what’s happening in nature. But believe me, it’s not the final answer. It’s not the definitive answer, and that’s why it is still a mystery. But while that is a mystery, obviously, it is not the last one. In today’s episode. Next, we’re going to talk about what lives in the deep sea. So don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.

Although the ocean is the birthplace of life, we know far less about it than we do about the surface of the Moon or Mars, and we have seen only a fraction of its inhabitants. The Census of Marine Life in 2010 brought the total number of described nonbacterial marine species to 250,000, but estimated that some 750,000 remained to be discovered. The most mysterious are the waters below about 3280 feet or 1000 meters and that’s where sunlight disappears. It’s a challenging environment for both ocean dwellers and explorers. Darkness means photosynthesis will not operate and light won’t help either predators or prey. Most deep sea creatures live on detritus floating down from higher waters, temperatures sit around 32 Fahrenheit or zero degree Celsius. pressures can reach an obliterating 1000 ATM. And we’re not going deep into that. But just imagine that one atm is roughly the pressure at sea level. So imagine multiply that by 1000. It is difficult to imagine who can live in such a hostile and difficult environment. Only specially built submersibles can travel there and live specimens hold to the surface typically die on the way up unable to tolerate lower pressures. It’s surprising that any life survives there. But scientists have so far found 5700 species in these darkest waters, and this number belongs to a few years back so maybe they’ve discovered even more species by the time you listen to this episode. These species include some surprising giants including the colossal squid 46 feet or 14 meters long and a 30 foot long or 11 meter giant oarfish a sea serpent look alike to worms and bacteria first found around deep sea vents in 1977 represent archaic forms of life but are new to science subsisting on chemosynthesis of sulfur compounds, about 500 new benthic species were discovered during the recent census. And with each new venture into deep waters, they find even more. So what lives in the deep sea? How do they manage to live in such an environment? We still don’t know. And it may still remain a mystery, because it’s very difficult for us to go there in the first place and find out who’s living there and what’s going on. That is another mystery for our episode. And that’s not the last one. We talked about the deep sea. Next we’re going to talk about trees and my question is, what’s the secret behind trees longevity? That’s what we’re going to talk about next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

The Langer new use spreading its branches over a graveyard in Wales saw Britain’s Bronze Age. The bristlecone pine known as Matthew Sela in California has a new forest is even older at 4765 years, possibly the world’s oldest individual tree. The bando Aspen colony in Utah makes them look like saplings however, considered a single living organism because it’s genetically identical stem spring from a single root system, the Aspen colony is at least 80,000 years old. By some estimates, it may be as much as 1 million years old, how to trees defy the aging process that oh life should be

Air to. According to scientists, they have advantages the human body lacks their genes don’t seem to mutate or become damaged over time. They retain stem cell like cells with each growth cycle, their vascular system allow a portion of the tree to survive if another part dyes they can replace damaged organs, and some can form clones, as in the case of the Panto, Aspen’s but why can’t researchers be definite about the pandal colonies age? Well, because it lacks three rings and observers make estimates based upon what they know of aspirin growth rates. Other and maybe older Aspen colonies may yet be found in the Western United States, scientists are also learning to regenerate ancient plants. In 2012, a Russian team reported that it had grown a delicate Siberian flower from 32,000 year old seeds, and as much as it is so beautiful, it is mysterious. And that’s why we have it in today’s great mysteries episode. And remember, we’re talking about the living world. We’re talking about everything animals, trees, and people are coming soon. And next we’re going to talk about frogs. Where have all the frogs gone? That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

The Costa Rican golden toad, a vivid little symbol of the Cloudforest has become a different kind of emblem last seen in the wild in 1989. It represents one of hundreds of amphibian species that have recently become extinct or critically endangered. joining in on the grim roles are the Panamanian golden frog, the Wyoming Toad, the African painted frog, and many others. herpetologists estimate that amphibians are vanishing at 211 times the normal extinction rate, up to 50% of all amphibian species may be threatened. Why this is so is still being studied. It’s still a mystery. Many factors likely apply vanishing habitats, water pollution, exotic predators, and in some places climate change and resulting drought may be killing these creatures. But preeminent among the threats is a fungal disease. And this disease is called Chi tridium ECOSYS I had a lot of problems trying to pronounce this. So it’s chi tridium ECOSYS. And I hope I’m pronouncing it right. So for the scientists who are listening to me who know that for sure, please correct me if I’m wrong. So here let’s not forget what we’re talking about. We’re talking about one of those threats. This guy through the OMA Kosis which is a fungal disease, and scientists have found the fungus in Dead specimens ranging from Australia to the Americas. Investigators are looking into natural bacteria defenses against the fungus found in some species, hoping that these can boost immunity in other frogs. Some researchers have even been able to bring back the dead scientists at the University of New South Wales were able to create embryos with the genes of the extinct gastric brooding frog. But where have all the frogs gone? Now we have some explanations. We have some reasons, but we still don’t have a definitive answer. And that’s why it is one of our great mysteries. And that’s why we have in our series, and that’s not the last mystery for today, of course. Next we’re going to talk about what causes mass extinctions, so don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

I extinction obviously means the disappearance of a species from the living world, and extinction on its own is a natural event. But at five times in Earth’s history, at least 50% of all species have died out in mass extinction events. What causes these catastrophes are we in the middle of a sixth wave? The five great extinctions in chronological order, where the Ordovician Silurian, which happened about 440 million years ago, when 85% of marine species died, and the cause is unknown, but possibly it’s the migration of the supercontinent Gondwana. Then we have the late Devonian about 359 million years ago, when 75% of species particularly corals died, the possible explanation is a comet or asteroid impact. Then we have the Permian, which happened between 266 and 251 million years ago when 95% of marine species and 70% of land species died. possible explanations were impacts from space or volcanic eruptions. And the next one was the end Triassic which happened about 200 million years ago when 75% of all species died, and possibly because of huge volcanic eruptions, and the final mass extinction probably the most famous of all is the Cretaceous Tertiary which happened

about 65 million years ago when 80% of all species, including dinosaurs died. And that’s what we know most about because it has to do with dinosaurs, but also the cause is unknown. And why we don’t know for certain what happened, we have a probable cause. And that might be an asteroid impact for this last mass extinction. Now, most biologists agree that we are now in the midst of a sixth great extinction with a rate up to 80 times higher than normal. And if unchecked, 75% of Earth’s species are on track to become extinct with the next 300 years. Now, one thing that is not mysterious about this mass extinction we are in the middle of is the causes, because we know exactly what is causing the mass extinction that nobody cares about. Now, to list just a few reasons, we have the loss of habitat pollution, the introduction of non native species, and climate change. And these are the top factors, they’re all linked, obviously, to the human activity. So in other words, this time, it’s not an asteroid, or a huge volcanic eruption, or some aliens who came and killed us all. It’s us, we are causing the latest mass extinction that is actually happening right now. So this one is definitely one of the mysteries in our episode, and maybe one of the lessons we might take, because it’s not gonna happen, just like in movies, when it’s gonna happen just in one day, and we don’t feel anything. And of course, I’m not saying that I know how it’s gonna happen. But I believe the most logical thing is as going to happen over time. And when we talk about overtime, we’re talking about maybe hundreds of years, we’re going to become extinct over hundreds of years, not over a year or two. So imagine how the last few 100 years would be like if we are not careful. And I have a strong belief that we can still save our environment, save the world, save all the species if we want to. But unfortunately, greed and money is not going to stop anytime soon. Anyway, that’s not what our series is about. It’s just that this topic is so dear to my heart. But now let’s move to the next question. In today’s episode, and this one is about consciousness. Can science ever find the source of consciousness? This question is what we’re going to talk about next. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

It’s a very old question tackled by philosophers and scientists and children alike. What is the self that experiences the world? Is our sense of subjectivity of identity or sentience, strictly a physical result of our big brains? Or is the mind distinct from the body? Scientists have typically approached the question from the perspective of brain structure. Perhaps some theorize there is a critical point at which the sheer number of neuronal connections between the cerebral cortex and the rest of the brain gives rise to conscious experience. From a physical perspective, our experience of the world seems to arise from the organized interaction among the emotional, sensory and executive portions of the brain. This still leaves many questions however, are we unconscious when asleep? What about when we take action before becoming aware of our decision? Could an advanced computer become conscious? Many also wonder, Are we the only conscious animals on this planet? Well, not according to the 2012 conference of consciousness in human and non human animals. Scientists at the meeting after reviewing studies of such animals as grey parrots, elephants and octopuses issued a declaration that said, among other things, obviously, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Well, we might not be the only conscious animals on this planet, there might be others, and we still don’t have a definitive answer. And that’s why it’s a mystery. And next, we’re going to talk about something that’s also related to humans. And that has to do with mass hysteria. What causes mass hysteria that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

In 1692, young Betty Parris of Salem Village Massachusetts began complaining of strange pains and fevers and contorting her body. Soon six other girls exhibited the same symptoms to the alarm of their community. The matter ended with 20 men and women blamed for the malady and hanged as witches 320 years later, close to 20 teenagers in LeRoi, New York began to twitch, tick and contort in spasms. This time, witchcraft was not invoked as a cause, but almost everything else was including infections, vaccines and environmental toxins. In the end, doctors have given the incidence in LA Roy and

Salem the same diagnosis conversion disorder, neurological symptoms stemming from psychological conflict in groups. It’s known as epidemic or mass hysteria. Episodes of mass hysteria date to ancient Egypt. The word hysteria comes from the root word for womb, reflecting the undeniable fact that most sufferers are female. Many episodes begin with the report of a strange smell some wax and wane within a day, whereas others like the LeRoi incident last for weeks, no single physical cause for mass hysteria has ever been pinpointed. Stress seems to be a precipitating factor. And the incidence may be fueled by public attention, the kind of notice easier than ever to come by in an age of social media, of course, but what is the real cause of mass hysteria? We still don’t know. And it is a mystery. Next we’re going to talk about something as mysterious as this mass hysteria and that is the Stockholm Syndrome. You might not have heard of the Stockholm Syndrome that’s we’re going to talk about next and our question is going to be why do people succumb to Stockholm Syndrome? That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

One of the most famous symbols of Stockholm Syndrome is Patty Hearst, the heiress kidnapped in 1974, two months after her abduction by the terrorist group, SLA Hearst robbed a San Francisco bank with SLA members. She remained with a group on the run from the FBI until being captured in 1975. Hurst’s behavior is typical of Stockholm Syndrome, which takes its name from the 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. After being held hostage at gunpoint for six days in a bank vault captives fought off rescuing police. One later set up a fund for the criminals defense the FBI estimates that the syndrome occurs in fewer than 30% of hostage situations, it most often develops in emotionally intense crises, and because of many reasons, it happens when the captive cannot escape and is under the control of strangers when the captive is isolated from the outside world when the captive fears for his or her life. And finally, when the captive is not harmed by the captor. These four reasons lead directly to the Stockholm Syndrome. But of course, it doesn’t happen in all hostage situations. It happens according to FBI estimates only in 30% of hostage situations. The psychological basis for the condition isn’t clear. Freudian psychologists say that the victim stripped of independence regresses to a childlike state. Others say it is simply an unintentional but rational response to danger captive must become extra sensitive to the captors moods. Building a bond of sympathy lessens stress and gives the victim the illusion that fondness will keep them from harm. But these are just explanations. These are just psychological explanations that are not definite and it is still a mystery. We know what Stockholm Syndrome is, but we don’t know why people succumb to this Stockholm syndrome. And next we’re going to talk about anesthesia. And the question is, are we always unconscious under anesthesia that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.

Anesthesia is ranked as one of the great medical discoveries and few could argue with that general anesthetics erase awareness, pain, movement and memory of painful procedures. physicians know that the drugs affect the brain but just how and where they have little idea, hard to believe, but it is true. Researchers are concerned with preventing a rare but very unpleasant complication in which some patients wake up during surgery but cannot move or speak and perhaps one or two cases in 1000 patients report feeling some sensation or hearing doctors talk during an operation. In most cases, they don’t feel pain, but the memories can be traumatic. Many hospitals employ a bio spectral index monitor which observes brain waves to measure a patient’s level of awareness before surgery. However, recent studies show that the monitor may not prevent awareness under anesthesia. Another approach may shed some light on the problem. PET scans of brains recovering from anesthesia reveal that awareness emerges first in old deep brain structures such as the thalamus and limbic system. This may explain why devices that monitor just the brain’s cortex are less effective. Someday these studies of the awakening process may even help explain just how signals among the brain’s interconnected regions add up to human consciousness. So it’s not just about the effect of anesthesia

Yeah, but understanding this may lead to other great discoveries as well. As this, we talked about a couple of things that have to do with the brain. If you are interested in learning more about your body and brain, you can do that by listening to my other series an Essential Guide to your body and brain where we talk about the body in one episode and the brain in another. And it has a lot of mind blowing facts that you don’t know you have inside your body, or in the three pound you hold within your skull. If you’re interested, you can also check out my other series, an essential guide to your body and brain. But now that we’ve talked about anesthesia, that was another mystery in our great mystery series. And next we’re going to talk about phantom limbs. Why do people feel phantom limbs that’s coming next? Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.

The phenomenon of phantom limbs has been recognized for as long as people have lost body parts. Captain Ahab complained of it in Moby Dick. Look, put the live leg here in the place where mine once was, he says, So now here is only one distinct leg to the eye yet to to the soul, where they’ll feel singling life. They’re exactly they’re there to a hair the why, of course, that is the work of fiction, but that is true. Most people who have lost a limb continue to feel some sensation, including pain or unbearable itching in the vanished art, and that’s why we call them phantom limbs until the 1980s. The most common explanation was that irritated nerve endings somehow supplied the illusion. More recent research, however, suggests that the sensation begins in the brain, the body is mapped to the brain somatosensory cortex. Some portions handle sensations from the lips, for example, whereas others register the shoulder. When a limb is amputated, the brain map no longer matches the perceived body and this results in pain. The body map may also be overwritten, patients can trick their brains by placing a mirror beside their intact limb and manipulating it until the brain believes the Phantom is moving, easing the old to real discomfort, you might find it hard to believe, but that’s how the brain works. And that may be another reason for you to check out an Essential Guide to your body and brain because you’re going to learn incredible things about your body and brain in that series. But anyway, let’s continue. And our next question is very simple, but it is definitely a mystery. And the question is, why do we sleep? You might see that yeah, it’s obvious but wait for me. I’ll be right back and you will see that it is not that obvious. Don’t go anywhere.

The country’s preeminent sleep scientists Stanford University’s William Demant puts it this way. The only reason we need to sleep is because we get sleepy. If it sounds circular, it is decades of research into sleep have failed to come up with a reason for its existence. From an evolutionary perspective, sleep seems both wasteful and dangerous. Sleeping animals don’t reproduce and they could be vulnerable to predators. Yet sleep also seems to be essential. Humans do it for roughly eight hours a day, as do old birds and mammals. People with a rare inherited form of insomnia typically die within a few years. Rats kept from sleep also die within weeks, though their autopsies reveal no physical cause. Many theories have been advanced, but none proven about the reason for sleep. Some scientists believe it must bolster brain functioning. Experiments have shown that during sleep the brain may consolidate recently learned information while weeding out other underused connections. Other researchers think sleep also serves the body by conserving energy and resources while allowing for rapid arousal If danger threatens. We have a lot of theories. We have a lot of things we don’t know about sleep. But one thing insomniacs know. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re going to miss it for sure. And next we’re going to talk about something that is pretty much related to sleep. And that might be one of the great things that happen when we sleep. And here we’re talking about dreams. What do dreams mean? That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

Freud believed that dreams were the royal road to knowledge of activities of the unconscious mind. In dreams. He said we see our own repressed desires and many people do find insight in their dreams, emotions, and symbols. If dreams contain clues to our memories or desires, those clues typically point to anxiety. Among the most common dream themes are being chased missing an exam being naked in public, missing a plane or train or being lost.

too rarely are dreams surrealistic. They tend to be bland with familiar faces in ordinary locations. Scientists have a more mechanistic bent, however, search for neurological reasons for dreaming. Most but not all dreams occur during REM sleep that is short for rapid eye movement sleep. Experiments indicate that people who take naps that include REM sleep do better on creative tasks than those who don’t dream. People who sleep long enough to dream may also find painful memories ease upon awakening. Some Researchers theorize that dreams have no intrinsic meaning at all. They are simply the brain’s way of interpreting random signals during sleep connecting the mental dots while the brain performs some nocturnal housecleaning. So whether it’s just housekeeping whether it is a window into the unconscious mind, who knows we have a lot of explanations, but not one of them is definitive. So that’s why it is a mystery. And next we’re going to move away from the brain and talk about the fingerprints. And my question is very simple. Why do we have fingerprints? That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

Fingerprints are the visible imprints of delicate swirling epidermal ridges found on the undersides of our fingers. These ridges present across the padded surfaces of hand and feet begin to form in fetuses at 10 weeks after conception, and don’t change after birth. It is generally accepted that no two people have the same fingerprints. Even identical twins have slightly different though very similar epidermal ridges, probably because of minut variations in their prenatal environment. But what’s the point of the little ridges, one explanation calls them friction ridges and suggests that they provide needed friction when hands hold smooth objects. Recent experiments however, testing the frictional force of fingers across a smooth sheet of clear acrylic resin showed that the ridges actually reduced friction by reducing the amount of contact between skin and surface. It’s possible however, that ridges improve a person’s grasp when he or she holds a rough object or grips a smooth one very firmly. Another study provided a different theory, grooved skin may produce more vibrations when it swipes across an object allowing the sensitive nerves of the skin to pick up impressions more easily. A third theory says ridges allow water to run off fingers like the grooved surface of a highway. So we have all these explanations, but no single explanation has one out yet. While we still have a lot of explanations to come and these explanations that you just told you about it is highly unlikely that these ridges evolved to help police track down criminals. We use it this way. But that’s not actually the reason why do we have fingerprints, it’s still a mystery. And it is not our last mystery for today’s episode, we still have a couple more so stick around because next we’re going to talk about something very important. And that is what turns a cell cancerous don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.

All cancers begin with a single cell, a cell that decides not to die. The rogue cell may reside in almost any kind of tissue from bone to lung to blood, it divides and divides again, and its daughter cells divide in an uncontrolled surge of growth that typically creates a tumor. Cells that break off the original tumor may travel to other parts of the body and invade new tissues. scientists around the world are still trying to understand the mechanism of the uncontrolled growth and the trigger that starts it. The search is complicated by the fact that cancer itself is complicated, involving more than 100 distinct forms, the harm almost certainly begins in the cell’s DNA. However, in a cancerous cell, the normal genetic controls that determine when a cell stops growing and dividing have been turned off. Many agents can mutate genes, including radiation, environmental chemicals and viruses. In some cases, this may not do any harm. But we now know that cell growth is controlled by certain specialized genes. Proto oncogenes promote cell division tumor suppressor genes inhibited damage to these genes may open the door to uncontrolled growth. Other systems regulate cell growth and death, including a complex web of internal controls repairing cell damage and preventing uncontrolled division. Understanding how to prevent the system from breaking down is key to finding a definitive cure. So it might not

He that big of a mystery, but it is still not explained like not 100% Because if we know the definitive answer for this question, we would have a definitive cure for cancer today, but we still don’t. And that’s why it’s still a mystery. And now to the next mystery, and that has to do with our body’s aging. Why do our bodies age that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere, we’ll be right back.

Aging specifically senescence, which is the gradual breakdown of the body in old age is a set of cellular changes that occur over time in adulthood, cells work less effectively as the body ages. Eventually, they stop dividing and die. As a result, tissues shrink and organs don’t function as well as they once did. The aging process is still a mystery of human biology. What biological imperatives dictate this decline, theories abound? Well, they can generally be grouped into the gradual damage over time camp and the genetic programming camp. The first camp holds that the body ages because of cellular wear and tear waste products build up backup systems fail repair mechanisms break down and the body simply peters out. In particular, researchers have found that damaged proteins and destructive molecules called free radicals accumulate in cells over time, DNA also picks up damage and mutations. And that’s what the first camp says. The second camp says that aging is driven by our genes by an internal moleculer clock set up to a particular timetable for each species support comes from animal studies in which scientists have altered just one gene and increase an animal’s lifespan. As for evolution, the benefits of natural selection greatly decline after reproductive age. Therefore, evolution favors genes that are helpful early in life, the body must make trade offs and we enjoy the positive end of that trade in our youth. But that doesn’t mean that we have a definitive answer to the question, why do our bodies age and that’s why it’s a mystery. And now we come to the very last mystery for today’s episode. And the question is very simple. Is there an afterlife that’s coming next? Don’t go anywhere. That will be our last mystery for today. I’ll be right back.

People have believed in life after death ever since the first humans buried their dead with food and weapons. The reality of a life beyond this one is a bedrock of many faiths. outside the bounds of faith. However, the existence of an afterlife is a matter of claims and counterclaims, but little in the way of hard evidence. arguments in favor of an afterlife usually rely on accounts of Near Death Experiences. Typical anecdotes describe events in which people lose consciousness during an accident or operation. They feel as though they are leaving their body and floating away viewing themselves from above. They may be surrounded by light and see a loved one or a benign figure who tells them that they need to return to life. Although many who recount these incidents weren’t in critical condition, some came close to death and believe that they glimpsed a life beyond in his book Proof of Heaven. Neuroscientist Eben Alexander tells of entering another dimension while in coma and meeting an angelic figure 1000s of such stories have been recorded. There is no doubt that many who tell them genuinely had some sort of transcendent experience arguments against the existence of an afterlife point to evidence that these experiences are simply hallucinations. Neuroscientists have been able to bring about the out of body sensation by stimulating their subjects temporal lobes, no proof exists that an unconscious patient has learned things during an out of body experience he couldn’t otherwise have known nor has any other kind of evidence turned up to testify to an afterlife. So do we know for sure if there is an afterlife or not? Well, we don’t. But it’s a matter of faith. And I believe that sometimes until we have a definitive answer to things, maybe maybe it’s better to leave it to faith. So whatever you believe in, you’re good to go. And you should hold on to your faith until we have a definitive answer that comes from science. And then we might argue against some common beliefs people have with that we come to the end of today’s episode, which I hope was an exciting episode and you learned about a lot of interesting mysteries, great mysteries from our series. And with that, I have to remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode on the website. The link is in the show notes. You will also find another link that will take you to Patreon. Become a patron and enjoy a lot of benefits in

cluding unlocking everything on the website having access to special writing assignments which I will see personally and give you my personalized feedback too. And of course this way you will be supporting the show and you will be supporting me as a content creator helping me and the show go on. That will be everything for today. This is your host Danny, thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

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Great Mysteries Series | Episode 2

Great Mysteries Series | Episode 2

We keep wondering about many things happening around us or things that happened in the past and even things that will happen in the future and we find in most cases that we have no clue or we have a vague explanation at best, but that’s ok because these things keep driving us to learn more, trying to understand the mysteries all around us and that’s what makes us humans after all. In today’s episode of our Great Mysteries series, we will explore some of these questions. What is hidden in the emperors’ tomb besides the terra cotta army we can see? Where is Genghis Khan’s tomb? Was Machu Picchu a sacred site? Where is the Holy Grail? Can science find the source of consciousness? Why do we yawn? What’s the point of laughter? What is dark matter? What triggers an earthquake? Will we ever find Amelia Earhart? What happened to the Neanderthals? And finally, how will the universe end? These questions will be our quest in today’s new episode from our Great Mysteries series, presented to you by your host, Danny, and English Plus Podcast. Enjoy.

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