In 2012, international surfing champion Greg Long set out to ride the biggest wave of his life. Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is a National Geographic emerging explorer and a hip-hop legend. In 2010, in Pakistan, we went to climb the first winter ascent of an 8,000 meter peak, Gasherbrum II.
The first assignment I did for the magazine was another step in that direction, where we started bringing together three-- I call it the golden trifecta: adventure, culture, and science. I started to look at storytelling and imagery as a way to look at some of the harder issues, the issues that our planet is facing. In 2011, mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to summit all 14 of the world's 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen by completing a daring climb of K2. Over a 30-year career, photographer Brian Skerry has produced mesmerizing images of the ocean that have inspired millions. Skerry has shot for National Geographic magazine since 1989, and he has logged more than 10,000 hours beneath the waves. Skerry was awarded the 2012 Emerald Award this week at the foundation’s annual Emerald Dinner, which celebrates the world-famous Sydney Harbor and marine environments across the world. In commending Skerry’s work, the SIMS Foundation said, “Skerry dives eight months of the year, often in extreme conditions beneath arctic ice or in predator-infested waters. This past Sunday, Skerry gave the first National Geographic Live lecture at the Sydney Opera House.
Skerry recently told National Geographic about one of his most iconic of recent images, a photo of a Southern right whale off New Zealand made in 2007.  “It was a stunning scene—a 45-foot-long, 70-ton right whale hovering over the bottom just a few feet away from a diver standing on the bottom. Through capturing moments like those, Skerry has brought many people closer to a world few see, but which makes up three-quarters of our planet, and is vital to all life on Earth. National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices. Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities. Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work. Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi.
With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa. In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave. BANABA ISLAND, Kiribati—Asbestos dust covers the floors of Banaba’s crumbling colonial houses, buildings, and schools. What if, unbeknownst to you, someonea€”or somethinga€”was controlling your behavior for its own nefarious ends? National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer talks about photographing global aid in Sumatra and Indonesia after the tsunami, and about his travels around the world capturing the impact of rising food prices on people and our planet. Each presentation is filmed in front of a live audience at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. But what's interesting is that, as important as that climb was for me, it was more important for my photography. We were using climbing, I had that skill set, to go into this ancient cave complex in the Kingdom of Mustang. Now, Skerry is being awarded the second annual Emerald Award by Australia’s SIMS Foundation, which supports the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. The Emerald Award recognizes someone who “has made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the marine environment.” Last year, National Geographic’s Sylvia Earle was recognized. Posters and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016. Upcoming Events at National Geographic LiveThe National Geographic Live series brings thought-provoking presentations by todaya€™s leading explorers, scientists, photographers, and performing artists right to you. So, if you earn two dollars a day, that means seventy percent of that income goes to just feed yourself.
How are we ever meant to truly grow in our lives, if we don't occasionally step out of that comfort zone? And I firmly believe that as we move further into the 21st century, one of the major issues facing us is climate change. The last time I remember the director of the rehab looked at me and he said, a€?If you leave, you will end up in the gutter. Because as you'll see here in the upper left hand corner of this, is the border of Pakistan and India. Instead, the whale also stopped, turned, and hovered over me as it stared with that soulful eye. They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society.
Get your passports, if you don't have with you then just lay low in the boat and we're gonna cross from Congo to Cameroon. I don't think it's a debate, I don't think it's something where the numbers and the science is unsettled.
You will never amount to anything, and you will likely die.a€? He's actually-- I don't begrudge him for saying those things. So while I was there, I was actually talking with Sadie Quarrier, who is one of the photo editors here, and talking about-- She wanted me to exercise my storytelling capacity. I'm going to try to tell the story of a changing landscape, a landscape that is changing because of our human impacts.
I'll take you to a lost world, an African river of giants, a place that did not just have one T. I hope we can have a sustainable energy future.Growing up in China, in the period that the cultural revolution was in the past, China has opened up its doors to look for better economy and better lives.
But I also think it's very clear that the arts have an incredible and very powerful role to play in raising awareness. You know, that was ingrained in me very early on, that pushing boundaries was something that was important to not just where I would be, where I was, but how far I could take myself.
It's about how we as a human family are impacting everything, and only through pushing my own boundaries as a storyteller and having that insatiable curiosity could I continue to do that. The first story I did was on global aid, looking at the tsunami that happened in the Indian Ocean.
So, tonight what I want to do is walk you through some of the issues that face me as a composer. But it was because of that time when I was homeless, for the most part, that I started to learn about the larger human struggle, that story. What does it look like when we mandate a way of life is different from something that everybody has always known? What happens when we don't take care of our planet, when we are not stewards of it in the right way?
A place that was home to a bizarre creature that is going to force paleontologists to rethink many things they thought they knew about dinosaurs.Now, before we travel back to the Cretaceous, we'll just travel back to my childhood. I remember I used to watch my Mom working in the kitchen under very dim light trying to save electricity. I have dedicated my life to following the greatest ocean storms around the globe, in pursuit of riding the biggest waves in the world.
And I also want to kind of walk you all through my hard drive here, some of the issues that I'm thinking about as I look at the role of the composer and the artist and the writer and this era of just very, very radical change in the environment.So, what I want to do is walk you guys through some of the material that drives, why I think the Arctic is so important. I was standing in a rice field when I got a text message saying, a€?Did you hear a wall of water had hit?a€? At the time we only knew about Thailand. As you continue to ride larger and larger waves, the stakes at play in order to do so, continue to escalate.
I ended up writing a book about the Arctic and Antarctic, but mainly from the viewpoint of science. And I went to Sri Lanka first, spent a week there, and we finally learned what had happened in Indonesia, in Sumatra.
What does it feel like to be a Pakistani soldier fighting on the highest battleground in the world. It can tell you where somebody's born, based on what's in their mother's breast milk, the water we drink. So I was equally happy handling live snakes on summer holidays, and practicing my dinosaur talks in my grandmother's garden in Germany. It's a line between riding that next greatest, biggest wave of your life, or possibly dropping down the face of the one that could end it.
But really early on climbing for me was about proving to everybody that I was not a (bleep) up. Now if where they were born and where they died is different, you can start to paint a picture of human migration.
I should add that my grandmother had no problem whatsoever with the dinosaur part, but she has a deep-seated fear of snakes and crocodiles. Such a system will heat up their domestic water so they can have access to hot water, and that makes a huge difference for their life quality. I was just trying to prove to the world that I was not that kid that was going to fall through the cracks. So, needless to say that at least from her point of view, things did not really get any better as I got older.But, I wasn't just interested in animals.
Like many families, they want to install such systems on the rooftop and it becomes a competition.
This is what happens, really when the Earth burps, or moves, which is naturally done for millennia. I was going to use the energy that I had to propel myself and tell this story, this larger narrative. So I went down, and I wanted to use imagery and media to talk about things in a cultural context.
I also really liked traveling, and one place I really wanted to visit was the Sahara Desert, not just because it's a beautiful place, but also because I was inspired by the discoveries of a German paleontologist who over a hundred years ago made some incredible discoveries in the sands of Egypt. But as I got into that, I started looking at people and characters, the people I was climbing with.
But I want to try and expand myself always and push boundaries of adventure and storytelling to give people a view that they might not expect. One day my father said, a€?It will be really nice, we can hang solar thermal panels outside our window, the piping will be simpler, and everyone will have access to the renewable energy.a€?That makes me think about there really is a strong need for this kind of flexible and lightweight solar systems. And I love thinking about that because he ends up writing this essay, Six Sides Of A Snowflake.
He described crocodiles and an entire ecosystem really, a predator's paradise, a very strange place.
That motivates me to develop later on the solar cell stickers, and this work is done by my students and me at Stanford University. I'm very proud of it because I noticed that I was pushing my own boundaries as a storyteller, which to me is invaluable. Probably his most important discovery was that of a large predatory dinosaur he called Spinosaurus. The solar stickers are like downside just like the stickers your kids put on your clothes to say, 'Thank you, Mom,' 'Good job, Mom.' You peel them off and then stick it to anywhere you want, so that we can increase the places we can use solar energy. Seven thousand people, wall of water, hundred feet high, moving in, speed of an aircraft, erasing everything but one structure, a mosque. However, what ended up happening was, rather than going out and climbing or skiing, or venting my frustrations as a young kid in high school, I basically glommed on to the older kids, and I started doing all the wrong things, hanging out with people that were more socially advanced than I was. And as the Indonesian government has started to mandate that they stay in one spot, that has changed everything. It's the snake which injects the most amount of venom, a spoonful, and has the longest fang, up to two inches long.
And I went back a week later, and there were only thirty some residents still living, and praying still in that mosque. So, you definitely don't want to get bitten by one of these.And you know, globally a 100,000 people die from snakebite and the only reason why they're dying because there is no antivenom.
It's an actual image of hope, of resilience, of standing up for the abilities to move forward, in the most crushing difficulty of nature coming at you.
As I traveled more and more and more, and climbed more and more and more, I started to observe that world. We have the perfect technology to make antivenom but there is just no money in some of these tropical countries. When the tsunami hit, people came from all over the world, everybody came in to try to help.


But when you reach deep within yourself, bringing your mind and body into momentary sync, with the rhythm and power of the swells, and for brief moment, seemingly defying nature, and successfully riding one of those waves. All of a sudden, something that was very, very much about me, a selfish pursuit, climbing, became about telling the larger story of the planet. The dark bones on this image are the ones that Stromer had found, but it became the centerpiece of the dinosaur exhibit in the Munich Museum where Stromer worked.So his career was going well, but things changed in World War II. The small circles in the center represent those renewable sources, their annual energy output, for example, wind, geothermal, etc.
It's known for its small perfect cobblestone point breaks that allow your average surfer to go out there and just really have a fun and joyous time.
I had gone from being a straight A student, to being a high school dropout, completely on the streets.
Stromer also lost two of his three sons in the war after they were drafted into the army including the youngest one in the middle, Gerhard, who died just two weeks before the end of the war in Germany.So I was fascinated by this dramatic story, and by his discovery of Spinosaurus. You can see our energy consumption is increasing as we want to preserve our lifestyle and people from developing countries are looking for better life quality.
This is what they call Max MSP patch and this is the music and software that you're going to be hearing in a moment.
So, in my early 20s, I decided to start a series of expeditions to the Sahara to explore the Cretaceous rocks in this part of the world. If we continue to rely on fossil fuels, we are going to deplete them one day, sooner or later, because we are using them simply at a rate much faster than can be regenerated. It took an entire day, sometimes two days, to pull these large vessels back in, so that fisherman could be fisherman again.
Essentially what we do is take the equations, plug it into the software and use it to generate mathematically correct, very specific sound patterns and again you are going to be seeing, that basically the mathematical equivalent of ice.My next book actually is about apps and design and I was really interested in the tension between those instruments, which are incredibly beautiful instruments. We have to rely more and more on renewable energy and solar is a wonderful resource.We are using solar energy now. In the US, out of the top three heart attack medications two of them are coming from snake venoms. And at 15 years old, I got to go down and surf this wave Todos Santos.At the same time I was competing competitively in the amateur series, in the Progressive Surfing, doing the turns in the small waves.
How do we figure on the role of apps and design in a modern sensibility with a composer who is very intrigued by data? There is so much information in this room, and there is so much that we have to share with each other, in order to solve our problems that we're facing as a planet. You probably all have seen this kind of flat panel looking thing, dark color, facing the sun. Other than this two medication we have 20 different medicines coming from animal venoms for high blood pressure, for cardiac failure, for cancer and HIV pain, top drug for diabetes.
When you think of this word, you have to think of what is at the heart of it, right in the center of it.
But still in nature we have 20 million toxins left unstudied, in different spiders, scorpions and so on.So, again it's not only snakes, it's sea anemones, different sort of fishes, amphibians, even some primates have toxic secretions. And so they dropped off t-shirts, and bikinis and little bits and bobbles, but this is an Islamic nation. That, in and of itself, alone, with everybody in this room, can change the course of our future. It's a beautiful place, and I decided to collect everything I could find in that environment, crocodiles, flying reptiles, turtles, you name it.This here's a skull piece from a crocodile. So what we do as pharmacologist is we collect all of these venomous creatures from all over the world, we gather their toxins and we create toxin libraries, and we screen that out of this massive toxin libraries which one is the best match for a target in the human body because that can be a potential future medication.So, in the next few minutes just bear with me and I'm going to show you what it takes to go around the world and collect these toxins because actually the least risky of the whole trip is catching the snake. And immediately I had all the surf industry taking notice saying, 'Okay, he's the next kid we need to sponsor'. The flow of electrons in the holes will generate current and that current powers the electrical load. Well, I was 18 years old, and I used that opportunity to sign my first professional contract, but in doing so, I knew that's not where my heart was. Most of the fossils are found along this escarpment so there's a lot of climbing involved, and it's really hard to find good fossils. And here are people having to look for what the could have, because they had nothing left except the clothing that they were wearing.
You can think about the solar cell as a sun-powered battery constantly charged by sunlight. And you know, here, you know, my helper and I, you know, we find human skulls instead of snake eggs what we were looking for.This is in the Arabian desert at the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border.
So for me as a Southerner, you know someone from DC, going to one of the most remote northern parts of the U.S. Taking the complex, boiling it down, to something that is beautiful, simple, and complete in itself.
If we look a little deeper into the solar cells, a solar cell just like a battery, as I mentioned, as all batteries you will have a positive and a negative side. So, in signing up professional contract, I was allowed a travel budget that I could use to go to the contest, or as I figured, at my own disposal.So I turned my back on competitive surfing and I set off on this life of adventure. And all the whole culture, the children had grown up seeing nothing but blood and conflict. So this next piece is dedicated to the people that think that there's no debate about climate change.
It's the upper arm bone of a large plant-eating dinosaur, but because it belongs to a plant-eating animal. What's in between is semiconductor, frequently silicon, that can absorb sunlight and generate electron hole that drives the current. I'd pack up my bags, and I would go, and I would live down in Cape Town, South Africa, the bottom of Africa. And in exchange I had to fed him with Khat, which is a local narcotic just to keep him high. And during the most torrential storms of the Roaring Forties, all in hopes of waiting for a wave by the name of Dungeons to awaken. If this whole thing is as thin as one type of solar cell called a thin film solar cell, then it has the potential to become flexible and lightweight.If we look at the key parameters we characterize solar cell, the one parameter is called efficiency. One thing we noticed was that the skulls of all these predatory animals were really different. We are now 7.3 billion fellow human beings, in the only place we can live and in the next twenty five years, we're going to be 9 billion fellow human beings with no other place to go. So it appears that they were eating different things and that may have helped them to coexist in the same place. You see a very prominent presence of the AK-47 And there are lots of military checkpoints in Yemen.
We also have a car-sized coelacanth, a giant sawfish, and even the skies were filled with predators. For example, if we have 15 percent solar panels, if you have one square centimeter area, you can generate about 150 watts.
So we had found this incredible ecosystem, but really only bits and pieces of Spinosaurus, and that was the one that I really, really, really wanted to find.
To increase the energy production by solar cells, one is to increase efficiency; the other to increase the area you want to use it.
So, since there is not a single person in the world who doesn't love his mobile phone, so I never ever had a problem after that at military check points in Yemen.We are going a little bit closer to the US, this is, this was just a couple of months ago. Sometimes, it was Mexico, it was one of my favorite destinations, wave called Puerto Escondido. We were just coming back from the field, and we stopped in a city called Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
And every day in thousands of these kiosks across Egypt, people were fighting just to be able to get food.
West Australia all of South America, Chile and Peru South Pacific, Tahiti, Fiji.Now people often ask me, 'Greg, do you ever get scared?' I do feel fear, but that fear is actually one of the underlying motivators of why I ride big waves, why I choose to put myself out there.
It's a fairly large place, and a man approached me and my colleagues and he had a cardboard box with fossils. For example, these are the rooftop solar panels at Stanford, that's over the Business Center, and those are great for rooftop applications.
And that's what big wave surfing has taught me, and one of the greatest allures of it, is embracing that fear in a positive light. It was kind of difficult to tell what exactly we were looking at, and he asked me, a€?What do you think these are?a€? It was really difficult to tell, but one piece really caught my attention. Simply acknowledging it as a space where I can grow in my life.Now, over the course of my surfing career in my later years, there was one wave that captivated me beyond comprehension.
It was a blade-shaped section of bone not very long, but it had a really strange cross section. It will be nice if we can put on cars, or maybe on the side walls of buildings, then those solar cells have to be flexible.What's the challenge?
And it is called the Cortes Bank, an underwater seamount that sits 100 miles off the coast of Southern California. You can see the cross section is the white, creamy part of the bone, and it's divided in two with this big red line in the middle. The bluish color is the sandwich structure, that's the solar cell that's the actual part that generates electricity. Cortes Bank has the ability to produce the largest rideable waves of anywhere in the world. I thought these are important specimens so I made sure that they were brought to the University of Casa Blanca in Morocco, and I thought maybe one day I'll be able to figure out what this is.Well, that day came sooner than I expected. Two Italian colleagues of mine told me that a partial skeleton of a dinosaur that had been spirited out of North Africa apparently Morocco, had gone through several hands and, you know, had somehow ended up in Italy, and, you know, they said I should have a look at it.
The solar cell part is only a couple microns, about one-tenth of the thickness of the plastic food wrap you use. So, I said, a€?God this is great.a€? You know, we are in the middle of the Amazon and you know, this engine just falls into this river and it is as you see it's not really crystal clear water. We also are having another divergence of food, out of our stomachs and into the stomachs of pigs, and also into the stomachs of our cars.
We may not notice it in this country, but if you live on two dollars a day, you'll see that it does. We are looking at the first Spinosaurus skeleton that had been found in over a hundred years. And made into the village, the GuaranA­ village along with the tapir you know, he's cooked.So the night is coming, so we've to consider our options. The currents out there are moving at the pace of an easy flowing river, so it is impossible to stay whatever it is that you want to without paddling incessantly.
My Italian colleagues didn't know where this skeleton came from, and that's a huge problem in paleontology. It's similar as the process as ladies doing make-up, we have the face as the substrate, we put layers and layers of materials and they are very thin, so they don't show up very much. The idea here is if we can replace the rigid substrate by something flexible, for example, paper or plastic, then essentially we can have a flexible substrate. There's no rhyme or reason as to how and where these waves actually break out, there on the seamount.Then, in late December 2010, another massive low-pressure system forms off the coast of California.
You don't know anything about the environment the animal lived in, but worst of all you can't even prove that all these bones were found in the same place and belonged to the same animal. And other nations want to do the same thing I was astonished by how many fires in a region was burning to make more farmland. And you can see that this lady, this Kalenjin lady she is all smiles here and she's a little bit concerned on the right side.
I thought that looks a lot like this bone I had seen in Erfoud and my mind just started racing.
Well, the difference between the two pictures that here I informed her that she is sitting next to 13 vipers. For this nineteen metric tons of soy beans going into a Greek freighter, to be shipped over to China, where we have 1.3 billion fellow human beings with a light switch of economic opportunity. I thought so those bones belong to Spinosaurus, but the size, shape, and color of these bones and the ones I'd seen in Morocco were so similar I started wondering maybe this is actually the same skeleton.It was a long shot, but I thought if this is the same skeleton then all I need to do is to find this one man in the Sahara Desert ask him to share confidential information with me, and show me where he found the skeleton, and voila. If you have some surgery background it helps, you know, to fix the puncture in remote places in Africa. It was a crazy idea and I knew it was a crazy idea, but I traveled back to Morocco and I talked to my Moroccan colleague, Samir, and he said, a€?Okay, how are we going to find this guy?a€? I mean he knows I'm crazy, but I mean he was like a€?How are we going to find this guy? Anything?a€? But all I had was just this mental image of this man I had seen several years earlier for a few minutes in Erfoud.
And, just in case, the AK-47 is standing by.Alright, so, so we get there we made friendship with the locals and the military.
Because they have the economic opportunity to do the things that we've been doing for eons in this country, right?


The pan is for the high temperature manufacturing process, and the paper is for the delivery and transportation purpose. But basically he was saying something along the lines of that's not an adequate starting point for our search. Went to another part of China where, at a religious event, where villagers for centuries have honored their loved ones who've passed away with a feast. We went to places where people were digging tunnels into the rock looking for dinosaur bones. So, I was standing on a termite hill try to take a picture of this elephant, was eating the other part of this bamboo. What we do differently is we insert a metallic layer in between, and that layer serves as a sacrificial layer later on. Then it came so close, put up the four feet in the bottom of the termite hill and I was thinking, God this is the end of my life. In this case, three thousand people coming together, simultaneously eating a thirteen course meal, all of which is hardly even eaten. The solar cells will be manufactured as identical procedures and conditions as your regular thin-film solar cells.
We couldn't find out anything about this skeleton, and so, you know, we went back to Erfoud.
So then my guide who used to be a poacher was standing on the other termite hill was whispering something to the elephant. And sat there and wondered for the rest of my life, 'Could I have made it?'I paddled back out and I wanted to do it again, not wipe out. It was the last day of our search, and I was just getting ready to give up, throw in the towel. So then elephant turned away and now I had courage to take a picture of his behind.This is in Solomon Islands, Australia.
So we were sitting in this cafe in Erfoud sipping mint tea, and I'm just thinking, you know, that's it.
And this wheat noodle maker was finding that he couldn't find enough customers to buy his wheat noodles anymore. Lineup the wave that I like, just like I had done so many times before, I put my head down and I go. And the reason why the mother is just lunging out because I asked my field assistant, that's a technical term for girlfriend, to check out what's happening in the crocodile nest.
Further on the shoulder I was joined by fellow suffer, Garrett McNamara and together we take the plunge down the face of this wave. India in the sixties was crippled, and hardly able to feed itself, coming out into independence.
We get to the bottom and we both immediately realize that we've misjudged the speed, and our distance to the shoulder.
And in this case, now they're in a bounty because, science and technology came together, fertilizers and pesticides. So, and just at that moment when I was at my lowest point and ready to give up, this person walks past our table. You'd never see that in America, code police would come out and say, a€?Too many people on your tractor.a€? I think it's beautiful actually. At that very moment, and I looked at the man's face, and I look at Samir, and I look back at the man, and he's walking fast, and we run down the street and catch up with him, and it was the man I was looking for. One for fabrication, one as the carrier when you use it.The magical part to me is really what happens in the water, and that is where we have worked on.
And in the Punjab region of Northwest India, birth defects and cancer rates through the roof.
Three friends of mine passed away from snakebites, so you have to be very careful.Anyway, so after all of this risk taking you are in a position to catch a snake.
Had never been done before, but I was like, I'm not letting you go before you tell me where you found this.So he agreed, and here's what happened next. In the Philippines, with the rising commodity prices, way up in the Ifugao region of Northern Luzon, children want to become farmers again. The man agrees finally to take Nizar to the site where the fossils were pulled from the ground. You can see in the initial one-half minute, he's just working through the edges, and then only within a few seconds, he peeled off the entire thing. Instead of going to the city in metro Manila or overseas to work in houses in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong as housekeepers. After nearly an hour drive, most of it off-road, and a 30 minute trek up the side of a mountain, the dealer leads Nizar to a nondescript looking hole in a hillside. What you see in the front is the silicon wafer that you can use for the fabrication of solar cells. Within minutes, in the fill surrounding the dig site, they discover fragments of bones and teeth, all but certainly Spinosaurus. You can see, after this process, it's very clean so you can use it again, just like the pans for pizza, for solar cell fabrications.
I'm holding 200 toxins in my hand, which has never been studied and we just don't know what kind of possible medications can be extracted from it.
And I'd been down so long running the risk of what's called 'the two-wave hold-down', where you don't actually make it to the surface before the second wave passes over you.
The one on the back, the shiny part, is the metallic layer and the solar cells come in behind that.
We're getting in a form of a tissue samples, from the DNA we can recreate every single toxin, and then we let the snake go. Sometimes I do bring back live snakes to the US and whenever I tell the taxicab driver what I got in the box those are end up my fastest rides from JFK to the city.And finally I mention the toxin libraries. And in the Philippines, is the International Rice Research Institute where everyday rice comes in from all over the world, and hands deftly sort each grain of rice for the strongest grains. My body instantly felt like it was torn in two pieces and shaken in this violent state of semi-paralysis. You can see this takes less than two minutes.We collaborated with National Renewable Energy Lab.
When Pol Pot decimated the agricultural industry of Cambodia, all of their rice fields got destroyed. And has a promising drug lead for autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. And they couldn't grow rice properly anymore when they brought in rice from Thailand and elsewhere.
And IRRI, International Rice Research Institute, had a small packet of seeds in their vault, and they brought those seeds back to Cambodia, and to this day, the Cambodians are growing their own indigenous rice again.
We found more bones of the same animal, and we had beautiful geology all around us so we had all the information we wanted. We CT scanned all of the bones, and built a digital dinosaur filling in missing parts with information we had from other Spinosaurus bones, isolated pieces I had seen in museum collections.This is work that was largely carried out by Tyler Keillor. This is the home of the snake, which give a medication, which is one of the most successful in the history of entire medicine, treating more than 40 million patients worldwide. So if you earn two dollars a day, that means seventy percent of that income goes to just feed yourself. When we put the entire skeleton together, we realized that we were looking at something that looked unlike any other dinosaur ever found. So, next time when you go here remember that behind this beauty you have these incredible creatures and they can save your life. You are going to be okay.' At the same time, the turbulence from that second wave that had hit me began to subside. We actually mounted it at life size, and because that's more impressive than a CGI model, I'll show you our skeleton. And he was able to sell some weeds, literally as fencing, to buy a small packet of rice and two sardines. As I started to think about swimming for the surface, I heard and I felt the third wave pass over the top of me. And I immediately go back into those cartwheels and spins, caught in the turbulence of it, and realize that, you know, these full body convulsions began to slowly settle down. Look at that skull, a long neck, and you'll see the big spines that Stromer had found over a hundred years ago.
And he took it back home to his family, where, in a male dominated society, he ate with his two sons, his only meal, and whatever was left over, could be had for his wife, because they could no longer afford food. It's a truly bizarre creature.I'm going to touch on this very briefly because this is still ongoing work, but the biology of this dinosaur is very, very interesting. We can have thin-film batteries, or sensors for human health monitoring or environmental monitoring, or any other thin-film electronic devices you can imagine.
I was standing in a field in Bangladesh, with a farmer harvesting his rice, and this woman comes out of nowhere, two women with baskets, begging a€?Can I please sweep and pick up every grain of rice that had dropped?a€? And for an hour she swept and picked up every grain of rice, because it was the only meal she could afford to eat, because she could no longer afford to buy rice. We have a nose opening that's pushed back on the skull, further back than in any other dinosaur.
With this technique, I dream one day we can stick those solar cells to the side wall of the buildings, to the shade of your windows, to your helmet, to the back of your phones, your iPad, to your backpack. With that, we can power the world, and with that, we can contribute to a sustainable energy future. Even the bone structure of this dinosaur looks more like that of marine mammals than typical dinosaurs.
And then we have these big powerful arms that may have been used to tackle large prey like the big Coelacanth you saw earlier on.
As fast as they could they rushed me back to our support boat, which you see in the distance here.
So it turns out that, you know, we had not only rediscovered Stromer's lost giant, we were looking at the first aquatic dinosaur.
And they began readying themselves to give me CPR, but first they are checking my vitals to see if there's any signs of life. It's a truly amazing creature.This piece of artwork, and all the other artwork you saw in this talk, is the work of Davide Bonadonna my Italian dinosaur illustrator, the Michelangelo of dinosaur illustrations.
And, as they're getting ready to start CPR and hopefully to bring me back, I let out the most feeble gasp for air. And this really shows you what this river of giants looked like, a place dominated by predators, giant fish, flying reptiles, and Spinosaurus, the ruler of this strange lost world. All the while, there is just water and foam and blood coming out of my mouth, but I'm still trying to breath, completely unconscious. It was about three minutes they sat there waiting, those gasps got larger and larger and then finally, the lights came back on.The coastguard was called, but we are a 100 miles into the ocean.
I was packaged up, friends walked me out to the bow of the boat and in the cover of darkness and massive seas, I was lifted in a basket up to the coastguard chopper.
I was life-flighted to San Diego, immediately admitted to the hospital, where I underwent a whole series of tests, CAT scans, x-rays, checking for the brain trauma, internal damage, internal bleeding. And then monitored for secondary drowning, making sure that my lungs didn't backfill with fluid as I slept through the night. The next morning the doctor comes in, signs-off on the paperwork and says, 'You are good to home, Greg.'I had promised myself I was done with big wave surfing. That I had pushed it to the edge, I was given a second chance that I've got no reason to go back there.
So it was a truly amazing adventure, and I feel really privileged to have been a part of it.So I will leave you with this beautiful image, and a promise that I will take you on many other journeys back in time to lost worlds that are more awe-inspiring, more thought-provoking, and more bizarre than we could possibly imagine. Mavericks is one of the premier big waves in the world and this contest is one of the most important in the big wave surfing world.
I would immediately disappear back into that deep, dark, lonely place beneath the ocean at Cortes Bank. While my mind would flashback to the physical agony that I was experiencing when I was lying on the deck of the boat, desperate to breath.
But for the next six months, I continued to push myself and surf every single big wave, travelling to all these destinations just as I had done so many times before. But it was also in that moment that I realized I had all the answers to this riddle that I was trying to solve in my mind.
I was just tossing and turning and living everything that I went through the last time I was out here. The last time, last thing I remember I was literally on the bow on the boat, like this, you know, looking up at the coastguard helicopter, you know, being lifted out of here in a freaking basket.



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