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Oklo, the Two Billion Year Old Nuclear Reactor

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SciShow takes you to a uranium deposit in Africa where, eons ago, a unique set of conditions came together to form the world’s only known natural nuclear reactor. Check it out! No radiation suit required! Hosted by: Hank Green ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/scishow Or help support us by subscribing to our page on Subbable: https://subbable.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Thanks Tank Tumblr: http://thankstank.tumblr.com Sources:
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Text Comments (2540)
Trevor Reilly (6 days ago)
wow this is fantastic....I have to see more about this natural reaction....make another video 😀
Adheer Singh (11 days ago)
Einstein can sleep peacefully now! Poor man thought he was the first to invent Nukes! Ha! Mother Nature beat him to it !!
Siggi Pedersen (12 days ago)
And the moon is made by cheese
Engineering8 (13 days ago)
There's another natural nuclear reactor out there. It's called the Sun.
Jason Ware (13 days ago)
that was cool. I had no idea there could be natural nuclear reactors.I wonder how all of the radiation from it affected any life that was near it.
Jess Allen (14 days ago)
Why does this make me think of old faithful
Flinders Stokes (15 days ago)
na dog not natural. ancient cilivisation
Controlled Strength (15 days ago)
Because science and math is just created by humans to study and imitate the patterns of the universe. Therefore, patterns existed long before we even do and things like this is possible without us because we’re the one who need these patterns to exist not nature ;)
tandem compound (16 days ago)
can someone handcuff this over active man
William Hutchinson (17 days ago)
i thought it was the annunaki.
shyvha beauregard (21 days ago)
ecologists be like "u wot negga"
Larry Blanchard (23 days ago)
Serendipity IS REAL ! ! ! ! ! don't we all love it Thank you!.
LEL Bean (25 days ago)
god I hate this incel
Who does nature think it is to use nuclear energy without US permission? We must bring democracy to nature and overthrow this dictator whatever he may be.
News Now Baytown (1 month ago)
Anyone dumb enough to believe this idioacricy
Kelvin Broder (1 month ago)
But the Tinfoil Hat people... I mean the people at the website Gaia.com said it was extra-testicles... I mean extraterrestrials.
David Kelley (1 month ago)
Way cool!
superferrariman (1 month ago)
Life in our planet came later.... Does that mean our planet was inhabited by destroyers before that?
Zeyde8 (1 month ago)
SciShow should be totally embarrassed by it's otherwise pathetic anti-nuclear stance... when will they wake up and recognize that 30% solar plus 70% nuclear is the only currently viable alternative to fossil fuels. As long as they keep hyping the solar solution as "more than a 30%" solution, they are firmly in the pockets of the fossil fuel solution.
Zerobladetion Wot (1 month ago)
Spread the word Boycott Americans good!
Mini Nuke81 (1 month ago)
GG Next (1 month ago)
It's pretty cool that nature figured out how to build a nuclear reactor before we did, and it's called the Sun.
Valters Plūme (1 month ago)
Nature has a completely unlimited amount of surprises.
Valters Plūme (1 month ago)
This is the closest thing to Godzilla that has ever existed on Earth.
Erick (1 month ago)
So just need some plutonium for a diy eh!
Trophgaming 04 (1 month ago)
knock knock it's the united states
Itzzben (1 month ago)
What the use of that thing
Third time Lucky (1 month ago)
The nuclear waste from Oklo is inside Justin Bieber’s brain. He is toxic.
Abdega (1 month ago)
so If I were to hypothetically perform a uranium heist, people won’t look too far into it if I make it look natural? *INTERESTING!*
Elu Fullard (1 month ago)
Two billion years...that's some straight up BS
Bat Fink (1 month ago)
What is magma contained by?
Cortez Hollister (1 month ago)
God is amazing
anonymous rydir (1 month ago)
Dump Trump (1 month ago)
Interesting subject, but highly annoying presentation.
AG AG (1 month ago)
Yasith Disanayaka (1 month ago)
Why was there a MINECRAFT advert?
Ichael Gaming (1 month ago)
Actually, it turns out that the dinosaurs mined the uranium and built nuclear bombs and committed war against each other. This is why the dinosaurs died.
Braeden Tiemann (1 month ago)
Pip Squek (1 month ago)
2billionYr semen..
the real PewDiPie (1 month ago)
Ancient tech ! not even today scientist can do it
Johnny Sunday (1 month ago)
Sol has that beat.
muklis alisyahab (1 month ago)
LOL_amazing34v2 (1 month ago)
There was no nuclear reactors 2 billion years ago Words wasnt invented yet 2 billion years ago
venbrou (1 month ago)
Technically, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Unless you believe that the Earth is only 4000 years old, and that all undeniable evidence against that was placed by the devil to lead good Christians astray.... If you want to believe in a book full of fairy tales, then I can't help you.
trucker dan (1 month ago)
Nope, it was aliens, they needed fuel to get back home.
LPG (1 month ago)
So mother nature just wasted alot of energy . Smh stupid earth
Truong Lam Lo (1 month ago)
Turns out god already wanted to nuke us all long ago
Spencer Cook (1 month ago)
According to chemistry lessons, the binding of atoms together releases a ton of energy so how is this possible that splitting atoms releases energy
Tyler Amon (1 month ago)
What?, Man, Nature figured out people before we have.
adamsauto89 (1 month ago)
where there steam turbines that naturally sprung up to convert the heat from the reaction into electricity? if not then nature was just wasting its time ...
Jan Hanchen Michelsen (1 month ago)
Radioactive decay in the earth’s crust is very common and of course natural. Of the seven mountains surrounding my hometown of Bergen, Norway contains enough uranium to maintain a core temperature far higher than the other mountains and the possibility of extracting geothermal energy from the mountain has been studied. The downside is radon intrusion into basements etc. This is a known health hazard and must be monitored.
Alan D1 (1 month ago)
What happened to all the radiation left behind as from a spent fuel rod. Surely this would have killed off all life and caused poisoned groundwater., which then would have left a decimated landscape for hundreds of miles and cell deformation in all plants and animals resulting in giant lizards. Oh wait, It did. Dinosaurs!
Michelle Koh (1 month ago)
woloabel (1 month ago)
The Curies developed the isotopic hypothesis having measured places more energized than others across Europe mainly in the northern mountainous region of modern day Germany where there are still significant Uranium deposits. ...
mubashar qadeer (1 month ago)
Dude you need to chain down your arms!!
Viper (1 month ago)
Depleted Uranium? Biggest Depleted Uranium stockpile in the world?
_SECRET SQUIRREL_ (1 month ago)
So what your saying is there were uranium deposits"supposedly" SUPPOSEDLY, In a mine that's actually just a hill and we're all, literally all of us are just guessing if a set of random events happened in a set of random ways Millions upon millions of years ago there was a possibility that a nuclear reaction to begin to take place possibly maybe we're about 3% sure about that definitely
Rup Ganguly (1 month ago)
So nature was the first nuclear state , I guess so?
Jonathan Hughes (1 month ago)
This guy is a 2 billion year old nuclear reactor my ass.
Your Local Meme Dealer (1 month ago)
God dammit Aliens you dun goofed this time.
Romuland Meier (2 months ago)
Actually without the natural nuclear reactions inside the earth, our favorite planet would look like mars today.
Terrae (2 months ago)
There are no nuclear reactions inside our planet. There is radioactive decay yes, but no sustained reactions like fission or fusion. Also, part of why Mars is dead and cold today is also relative to its smaller size.
Steve Nichols (2 months ago)
So, in theory, a natural reactor should form somewhere where the perfectly safe conditions are not present and there should be a nuclear explosion (or at least a major release of nuclear material.) Has this occurred?
Terrae (2 months ago)
For the good conditions to enable a self-sustained fission reaction, you need water and oxygen to oxydate the uranium and allow it to get concentrated. No water, not enough concentration and no slow neutrons. So no fission and no chain reaction. A natural nuclear explosion or uncontrolled chain reaction cannot occur.
c0ldw1nd (2 months ago)
The reaction stopping when the water starts to boil is basically a safety feature in almost all modern reactors. It's called negative void coefficient.
Mike Bready (2 months ago)
Well if people believe that randomness and “nature” took particles and magically made life which randomly populated the earth and developed from fungi into humans, I guess this is slightly easier to believe.
venbrou (1 month ago)
Better than believing a magical sky wizard plucked us from the dust, and then an evil magical ground wizard filled the world with fake clues to make us believe that something else happened.
Mike Bready (2 months ago)
Terrae nope.
Terrae (2 months ago)
You're underestimating the power of time and randomness.
Peter Diggler (2 months ago)
Should be labeled "Watch an ugly geek talk about Oklo, the Two Billion Year Old Nuclear Reactor". There's nothing here worth watching. There's other vids that actually tell you how it works without the ugly asf geek boi freaking you out.
Delkor (2 months ago)
akupehsluarketatAR (2 months ago)
E.T was trying to lit earth and turn it into a sun
dfctomm (2 months ago)
nature didn't figure it out. If you've ever seen kudzu climb up a telephone pole and cross a road you might think it was smart, but if you have enough time and resources to try every possible combination then you don't need to be smart.
Tallwhalebob Gaming (2 months ago)
If nature figured out to build a nuclear reactor, in 100 years it could probably build a TIME MACHINE or a PARTICLE ACCELERATOR
Terrae (2 months ago)
Technically, a black hole would both be a time machine and a particle accelerator.
Wayne Speer (2 months ago)
So was it really natural or signs of a advanced civilization ?
Wayne Speer (2 months ago)
Terrae hey you never know. If an advanced civilization used this kind of power don't you think it would be in a way that was some how more in a way that joined it in a natural way.
Terrae (2 months ago)
Definitely natural.
Han Solo (2 months ago)
so does it mean that there is probably a car created by nature out there :) ?
Terrae (2 months ago)
Don't be silly... Of course there is!
Kenneth Janczak (2 months ago)
To bad hippie scumbags and green"peas"...... Nuclear is natural..
Terrae (2 months ago)
There is a difference between a diffuse reaction in one part of the globe <ith a loooong time passing by to diminish the byproducts of nuclear fission, and hundreds of nuclear reactor working on very concentrated fissile compounds and making wastes that we don't know what to do with. I'm not so much of a greenpeace militant (not at all i would dare to say), but i like to put things straight. Every energy creation process is polluting, that is something that everyone has to aknowledge. Nuclear, oil, coal, windmills, solarpanels... Every single one has big issues regarding to our environment. Don't diminish it, don't ignore it.
GunFuMaster (2 months ago)
We wuz kangz building nuclear reactors and shieeet
Derek K (2 months ago)
Wait if all uraniums supossed to be realtivly similar whys saskatchewan uranium so pure? Just newer formerd uranium?
Roy Hemion (2 months ago)
And in other news, trees and grass rally everywhere demanding their own country.
Badum Tsss (2 months ago)
So how did they conclude that this was a natural creation?
George Sosinsky (2 months ago)
Eh ......... I think your stretching a good bit on this one. Not saying it couldn't or wouldn't happen. But honestly I think someone just missed read it a little. And as a human always does it needs to explained and rationalize because it just does. Where did the irradiated water go? Please at least answer that for me. I know you read these. What happened to the radiated water? Will not thumbs up or down until answer/consensus has been obtained.
Terrae (2 months ago)
It's a bit hard to answer where exactly it went. Hydrothermal fluids are difficult to track if the don't leave something behind. And maybe that's what happenned with some of the radio-elements contained in the water. It has been deposited somewhere else, at depths we are unable to detect. Also, the process took a very long time, the water was not as irradiated as the one you may find in nuclear reactors. Which means that when it travels a bit, the "pollution" dilute. Even more when it is able to reach the sea.
touristguy87 (2 months ago)
Pretty cool that you hive the forces that created you credit for being better at creating things than you...long before you ever existed, geek
James Simmons (2 months ago)
Are you on drugs or something? Slow it down and stop waving your arms around. Relax. Just speak normally. No need to use an announcer voice and go berserk.
Terrae (2 months ago)
\o_/ \_o/ \o/
Troy H (2 months ago)
Nature figured out how to make a self sustaining fusion reactor before we did and we still don't have one so........
Sophia bartolabac (2 months ago)
*N A T U R E I S A L W A Y S S M A R T E R T H A N Y O U.*
SHERMAN YOUNG (2 months ago)
So is the Earth core a type of reactor?? thanks
Terrae (2 months ago)
Nah, the core is mainly non radioactive metals like iron and nickel.
Rob Trubiano (2 months ago)
Contra? I know that music
bryanspoty (2 months ago)
Is the pyramid a nuclear reactor?
ComboSlicer (2 months ago)
I don't get it why people wear T-shirt under a shirt
Rye J (2 months ago)
some say this powered wakanda
Harley Rider (2 months ago)
Thats what the government is doing and why the earth is on fire. And their going to leave us to burn so they can go on to a new planet to one of these new found earth like planet's
RUSapache (2 months ago)
Each source of uranium (or any other metal) has different amount of metal. It's just fluctuations, you can not know for sure how much you get before trying out.
Martin Leong (3 months ago)
soo those guys in africa might have have a legend of the hot cave
Tucsonan Dude (3 months ago)
Maybe, it was the hidden power source for Wakanda?
Ausdeformality (3 months ago)
Chris N (3 months ago)
So we didn't invent it...we rediscovered it?
Robert Miller (3 months ago)
Could a nuclear blast be produced naturally
REDandBLUEandORANGE (3 months ago)
So where would the first neutrons come from
Peter James Ledwith (3 months ago)
How did they know the uranium was missing if they didn't know how much was there in the first place? Why the panic???
Peter James Ledwith (2 months ago)
Terrae I see.
Terrae (2 months ago)
Because you are supposed to find somewhat the same proportions between U238 and U235. In this deposit, there was unusually low amounts of U325.
Willaev (3 months ago)
"The world's only known natural nuclear reactor" This is false. The Earth's core is also a natural nuclear reactor.
Terrae (2 months ago)
Well no. You can't make fission with iron and nickel.
loafers (3 months ago)
Im woke af
pete craig (4 months ago)
kurt lindner (4 months ago)
Even the Earth is in favor of intelligently applied nuclear power.
Ginny Jolly (4 months ago)
BREATHE!!! Your announcing voice is way too quick and needs a second or two length of breaks. Make about 3 breaks to keep from scrambling people's brains! Please!
David Elliott (4 months ago)
"nature created a nuclear reactor before we did"..... Stars are nuclear reactors who arrived billions of years before the earth made one.
Terrae (2 months ago)
Technically, the stars are fusion reactors. :D
Iafiv Iv (3 months ago)
Don't overthink it.This is partially a clickbait site presenting facts in 'funny'(more like lame) ways while giving us a talking head meant to appeal to the youngsters.
TheSoljaOfTime Gaming (4 months ago)
Mind blown

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