By Brandon Shenkman, Education Program Manager04.02.20
2020. 8 Episodes, approx. 40 m. each
Recommended Age 14+
This show contains occasional adult subject matter. We recommend it for ages 14+.
Available on Netflix.
100 different people, as eclectic a group as you can imagine, come together to act as guinea pigs in the experiments of three zany scientists. Each episode tackles a different topic in this mashup of reality T.V. and Mythbusters.
Why JBFC Education Program Manager Brandon Shenkman recommends it: 100 Humans is a quirky, funny, and sometimes illuminating show. It puts 100 volunteers through the wringer, asking them to participate in zany experiments designed to answer questions on topics ranging from pain to attractiveness to cleanliness habits. While some of the activities can be knowingly over-the-top, and I'm not sure the results could be published in any respectable review, the show is light, breezy, and original. I'm not sure I've seen anything else quite like it. Check it out if you want a fun distraction with a little bit of science behind it.
Fun Fact: Some of the participants in the experiment became so popular for their quirky personalities and behavior, that they have begun to become famous on social media in their own right!
If you had 100 people to experiment on, what questions would you want answered?
- Choose a topic not included on the show 100 Humans and develop a question around it. For example: "We all know there are sounds only dogs can hear, but are there sounds only kids can hear? If so, what are they?"
- Design a short experiment that attempts to answer that question.
I might gather the adults and children in my life, in person or over the phone/internet, and ask them to listen to this video, preferably with headphones on. WARNING: High pitches are present in this video, make sure your volume is medium to low before you start.
I'd ask each participant to note at what frequency they start hearing sounds (it will be low and bassy) and at what frequency they stop hearing sounds (it will be high and shrill).
For reference, humans can theoretically hear from 30hz to 20,000hz, but I myself at age 34 can't hear anything above 13,800hz! The normal frequency of human speech caps out at around 8,000hz.
Finally, once you've thought up a question and designed an experiment around it, share it with us on social media! We'd love to know what the community comes up with.
Take it Further:
Conduct your experiment! While we can't get our own bunch of 100 humans together right now, we can still communicate with them. If possible, try and adapt your experiment so that it can be done at home.