There’s a £100,000 coin buried under this London building

The 1933 British penny is one of the most famous coins in the world. I’m not saying this is definitely a heist movie waiting to happen… but I do think someone should write it. ■ Thanks to the team at Baldwin’s, and the penny’s owner, for letting me film it! https://www.baldwin.co.uk/ I’m at https://tomscott.com on […]

Ten years ago, I predicted 2022. Did I get it right?

Predicting the future is a fool’s errand, but I tried it: talking about phones, lifelogging, and social changes. And on top of that: what do I think’s coming in 2032? ■ Full original talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcPhMqLPuvQ 2012 photo credits: Andy Davidson, IMG_1790, https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_d/7906847522/ Andy Davidson, IMG_1791, https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_d/7906848920/ both licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ The […]

The meters-high mountain of mannequins in the Midlands

Mannequins are generally bought, used once for a project, and then thrown away to landfill. Except here, at Mannakin in Lincolnshire. Thanks to Roz and the team at Mannakin: https://mannakin.com My first thought was “don’t those mannequins rot, just sitting out there in the weather?” And then I realised: no, not really, they’re fibreglass. That’s […]

Five YouTubers. Five games. $10,000. ⋮ Money: the full series

I invited Rohin from @Medlife Crisis, Sophie from @Soph’s Notes, @Mike Boyd, Sam from @Wendover Productions, and @Mia Mulder to play some games. They’ll be tempted by individual profit over group wealth, in an environment designed to slowly break their team apart. But all they knew is: they’d be sat around a table trying to […]

The hidden background noise that can catch criminals

Electrical Network Frequency analysis, ENF analysis, matches background hum against power grid logs. I talked to one of the researchers who works on it, and also set them a challenge. Thanks to @Answer in Progress, @Hannah Witton and @Steve Mould! I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as […]

The Thames Barrier must never fail. Here’s why it doesn’t.

The Thames Barrier is a wonder of engineering. If it fails, then London floods. Here’s how the engineers there make sure it doesn’t fail. More about the Thames Barrier: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-thames-barrier Producer/Director: Cambria Bailey-Jones Editor: Michelle Martin Camera Operator: Jamie MacLeod Drone Director: Alex Glynn Drone Team: Ian Hunter, Tim Hubbard Runner: Rebecca Johnson Colourist: Jamie […]

Hello YouTube! Want to work together on stuff?

➕ CREATORS: https://tomscott.com/people 🗺️ PLACES: https://tomscott.com/places 🤝 COLLABS: https://tomscott.com/collabs 📰 NEWSLETTER: https://tomscott.com/newsletter 💡 IDEAS: https://tomscott.com/ideas 👥 TECH DIF: https://youtube.com/mattandtom ➕ PLUS: https://youtube.com/tomscottplus I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo 0:00 Intro 0:05 Call for creators 0:41 Call for locations 0:55 Collaborations 1:13 Newsletter 1:34 Ideas for […]

The world’s most expensive object by weight

At $8.3 million dollars for around 40 milligrams, the British Guiana 1c magenta is the world’s most expensive object by weight: it’s a postage stamp from 1856, the only one of its kind. More about the stamp and Stanley Gibbons: https://www.stanleygibbons.com/collecting-stamps/one-cent-magenta I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram […]

The town where holding fireworks over your head is a tradition

Bridgwater Carnival, in Somerset, has a long tradition of squibbing: a huge procession of people holding fireworks right above their heads. This year, I got the chance to be one of the squibbers. Thanks to all the Bridgwater Carnival team: their site is https://www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk/ Camera: Dave Mackie and Nyles Hollister Edited by Michelle Martin: https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin […]

This tiny railroad across the sea has an important job

The Lorenbahn, the Lüttmoorsiel-Nordstrandischmoor island railway, is famous for the tiny, private trains that take residents to and from the mainland. But that’s not why it was built: and it’s got a more useful purpose as well. Thanks to everyone from Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz Schleswig-Holstein, and to the islanders, for all your […]

Why this “falling rocks” sign is more important than most

In Brienz/Brinzauls, a small village in the east of Switzerland, there’s a village slipping into a valley and a road that’s surprisingly dangerous. Thanks to everyone I interviewed: pull down the description for links and more details! CCTV footage from Geopraevent, used with permission: https://www.geopraevent.ch/ More details on the Brienz radar: https://www.geopraevent.ch/project/rockfall-radar-brienz/ CSD Engineers: https://www.csd.ch/en […]

The highway where trucks work like electric trains

In Lübeck, Germany, there’s one of several eHighway test projects: overhead catenary wires, where electric trucks with pantographs can pull power directly from the grid. Thanks to everyone who gave so much time to make this video possible! More about the eHighway: https://www.ehighway-sh.de/de/ehighway.html Prof. Cebon’s work at the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight: https://www.csrf.ac.uk/author/dcebon/ Camera […]

The shooting range where you fire over a busy road

The Brünnlisau shooting range in Switzerland has its targets on the other side of a major road. And it’s safe. Here’s how and why. Thanks to everyone at the Schiessanlage Brünnlisau! Camera: Alicja Pahl Producer: Sebastian Capeda at Viven https://viven.ch Editor: Michelle Martin https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott […]

The world’s only float-through McDonalds

On a little canal off the Elbe river in Germany, sits the McBoat: the world’s only paddle-through McDonalds. It seemed like the sort of thing I should investigate. Camera operator: Richard Bielau Producer: Maximilian Thesseling of Klein Aber https://kleinaber.de/ I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo

I thought the Schmid Peoplemover was impossible

An elevator that can go smoothly from horizontal to vertical isn’t possible… right? Turns out that the conventional wisdom is wrong, and the Schmid Peoplemover has been doing that for many years. Camera: Moritz Janisch Producer: Marcel Fenchel https://www.fenchel-janisch.com/ Engineering consultant: Calum Douglas Animation: Pete McPartlan I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook […]

The world’s most useful model railway

In Darmstadt, Germany, there’s the Eisenbahnbetriebsfeld: a model railway connected to actual railway signalling equipment, so that controllers can learn without putting any real trains in danger. I got to learn the very basics. ■ More about the railway (in German): https://www.eisenbahnbetriebsfeld.de/ Camera: Moritz Janisch Producer: Marcel Fenchel https://www.fenchel-janisch.de Editor: Isla McTear With thanks to […]

The public toll road with no speed limit

The Nürburgring Nordschleife is the longest permanent racetrack in the world: 21km of unforgiving blind corners and hills, nicknamed “the Green Hell”. Oh, and some days, it’s also just a public toll road with no speed limit. More about the Ring: https://www.nuerburgring.de/en.html About “Touristenfahrten”, Tourist Drives: https://nuerburgring.de/driving/touristdrives Driver: Andy Gülden Camera: Moritz Janisch Producer: Marcel […]

Why this observatory fires lasers at satellites

NERC’s Space Geodesy Facility, hidden away in the English countryside, fires lasers at satellites. Because it turns out that knowing a satellite’s position exactly is really, really difficult. More about the Facility: http://sgf.rgo.ac.uk/ Thanks to Jay Dickieson for the suggestion! I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as […]

I took the world’s shortest flight. It was underwhelming.

The flight between Papa Westray and Westray takes 80-90 seconds and covers about 2km. Why does it exist? And what’s it like? On a rainy day in the Orkney Islands, I went to find out. Thanks to Sam from Wendover Productions! https://www.youtube.com/wendoverproductions I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on […]

The Islands With Too Much Power

The Orkney Islands, off the northern tip of Scotland, have so much electricity that it’s actually a problem. Here’s why: and here’s what they’re doing about it. Kirkwall Pier drone shot by Colin Keldie, courtesy of EMEC: http://www.emec.org.uk/ O2 Turbine drone shot courtesy of Orbital Marine: https://www.orbitalmarine.com/ SOURCES: https://www.4coffshore.com/news/ofgem-extends-orkney-transmission-link-deadline-nid23512.html New renewable generation connections welcomed for […]

I helped cover a 5,000-year-old monument with worn-out tires

Ness of Brodgar, in Orkney, is one of the most important archaeological sites in western Europe. This week, it was covered by old, worn-out tires. Here’s why. ■ Thanks to the Ness team! More about them, volunteering, and donating: https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/ I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as […]

How one little boat (and me) held up miles of London traffic

Tower Bridge is a tourist attraction these days: but first and foremost, it’s a working, lifting bridge. And river traffic comes first. • Thanks to the Tower Bridge team: they have details of their tours here: https://www.towerbridge.org.uk/ Produced by: Cambria Bailey-Jones Edited by: Guy Larsen Camera: Jamie MacLeod 2nd Unit Camera: Jimmy Blake Drone Director: […]

The diving gondola: a strange elevator to the ocean floor

On the German coast of the Baltic Sea, there’s a tourist attraction that I think is very strange: the “Tauchgondel”, a room that sinks under the waves and lets you go diving… without getting wet. More about the Tauchgondel: https://www.tauchgondel.de/ Filmed safely: https://www.tomscott.com/safe/ Camera operator: Richard Bielau Production team: Klein Aber https://kleinaber.de/ Thanks to Letizia […]

I tried to film a volcano and it was a complete disaster

Iceland has a new volcano, Fagradalsfjall: I wanted to visit, to talk about the infrastructure around it, and work out how the country deals with a new and dangerous tourist attraction. It didn’t go well. Thanks to Bjorn Steinbekk, who I thoroughly recommend if you need a fixer or drone pilot in Iceland! https://www.steinbekk.com/ He’s […]

An Unedited, Rain-Soaked Ride on Claughton’s Aerial Ropeway

Here’s the full video from a camera attached to a bucket on the Claughton Aerial Ropeway! And here’s my whole video about the ropeway and its history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RiYXI1Tfu4 Thanks to all the team at Forterra: https://www.forterra.co.uk/ Filmed on a GoPro Hero 9 with Hypersmooth Boost enabled I’ve got a newsletter now! It goes out every […]

The UK’s last aerial ropeway uses no power, moves 300 tonnes a day, and will be gone by 2036.

In Claughton, Lancashire, the Forterra brickworks produces 50 million bricks a year, from shale that’s quarried a mile and a half away. To get that shale to the brickworks: the last aerial ropeway in the country. These used to be common: but now, the last one will be gone by 2036. Thanks to all the […]

How many robots does it take to run a grocery store?

In Ocado’s grocery warehouses, thousands of mechanical boxes move on the Hive. Are they all individual robots? Or is this one giant hive mind? • Thanks to Ocado: https://www.ocadogroup.com/technology/technology-pioneers (this video is not sponsored, and they had no editorial control). Reference: Strandwitz P. (2018). Neurotransmitter modulation by the gut microbiota. Brain research, 1693(Pt B), 128–133. […]

The Shocking New Use for Red Telephone Boxes

What do you do with a disused phone box? And can they help save lives? • Thanks to the Community Heartbeat Trust: https://www.communityheartbeat.org.uk/ • and the East of England Ambulance Service: https://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/ Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, help save lives: but they need to be in an obvious, easy-to-access, public place that’s protected from the […]

History forgot these old fireworks. We recreated them.

Around the old mining areas of North Wales, you can find rock cannon: old Welsh firework sites. Most of the world has never heard of them: so we recreated them on a test range. • Thanks to Steve from Live Action FX: http://liveactionfx.com/ • Thanks to Owain for the idea! Edited by Michelle Martin: https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin […]

Landing at the only airport that’s also a public beach

Barra Airport, in Na h-Eileanan Siar in the west of Scotland, is unique: it’s the only commercial airport where the runway’s made of sand, and tide covers it up twice a day. Here’s how it works. Thanks to all the team at Barra Airport: https://www.hial.co.uk/barra-airport I chartered with Hebridean Air Services from Oban: https://www.hebrideanair.co.uk/ Scheduled […]

The world’s last turntable ferry has a really clever design

In Glenelg, on the west coast of Scotland, there’s the Skye Ferry: the last turntable ferry in the world. And the reason for that turntable is a lot more clever than I initially thought. Thanks to all the team at the Skye Ferry! https://skyeferry.co.uk Editor: Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Graphics: William Marler https://wmad.co.uk Location fixer: Vikki […]

The Accidental Rush for Anthrax Island

Gruinard Island, in the north-west of Scotland, was where Britain tested its biological weapons. That story’s been told many times: but I found something in the archives that I don’t think anyone’s ever noticed before. Thanks to the boat crew and voice artists! Location fixer: Vikki McCraw at Locations 365 http://www.locations365.co.uk/ SOURCES from the National […]

The Long-Forgotten History of the British Moon Spacesuit

Decades before NASA’s Apollo program, the British Interplanetary Society wanted to go to the moon: in a spacesuit that looked like a suit of armour. Thanks to all the team at the National Space Centre: https://spacecentre.co.uk/ And to the British Interplanetary Society for their archive images: https://www.bis-space.com/ Drone filming by special permission of the National […]

I promise this story about microwaves is interesting.

I found an article that said “The microwave was invented to heat hamsters humanely in 1950s experiments.” And I thought, no it wasn’t. …was it? Pull down the description for thorough references and credits. Thanks to James Lovelock for his time! His latest book is Novacene: https://amzn.to/3hmKsWz [that is, of course, an Amazon affiliate link] […]

The Beach Where Lego Keeps Washing Up

Perranporth Beach, in Cornwall, is famed for being the “Lego beach”. The truth is more complicated. • Thanks to Tracey Williams! 📸 Lego Lost At Sea: https://instagram.com/legolostatsea or https://twitter.com/legolostatsea 📕 Her photo book ADRIFT: https://amzn.to/3a8glNW [aff. link] Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Sound mix by Graham Haerther I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on […]

Taking The Emergency Exit From A Wind Turbine

Wind turbines have emergency exits, but they might not be for the reason you think. • Thanks to Octopus Energy: https://octopus.energy/octopus-fan-club/ (This video isn’t sponsored, but obviously they did let me go up their wind turbine.) Drone camera: Tom Francone Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Thanks very much to all the team at Octopus Energy […]

England’s Oldest Attraction Turns Teddy Bears To Stone

In Knaresborough, in Yorkshire, sits Mother Shipton’s Cave. Folks there have been charging admission for nearly 400 years, and the star of the show is a “petrifying well”. A few folk legends do actually turn out to be true. Mother Shipton’s Cave: https://www.mothershipton.co.uk/ – thanks to all the team there, and especially to John! Edited […]

I asked an AI for video ideas for other YouTubers. It went badly.

GPT-3: not quite up to the task. Yet. • ElectroBOOM: https://youtube.com/electroboom • Answer in Progress: https://youtube.com/answerinprogress • hbomberguy: https://youtube.com/hbomberguy • MrBeast: https://youtube.com/mrbeast6000 Includes text generated by OpenAI’s GPT-3 at my request: https://openai.com • OpenAI had no control or sign-off on this video, although I agreed to abide by their ethical guidelines and social media policy. […]

What Color Is My Hoodie?

Grey? Blue? Purple? It can look different, depending on the context. Let’s talk about color perception, color temperature, and the history of laundry. Atmospheric opacity image from ESA/Hubble (F. Granato): https://www.eso.org/public/images/atm_opacity/ – image licensed under CC by 4.0 – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ The optical illusion is original, but based on the work of David Novick: https://twitter.com/novickprof/status/1139342022551191553 More […]

The Difference Between High Explosives and Low Explosives

I didn’t even realise that “low explosives” were a thing; let’s talk about deflagration, detonation, and how high explosives can actually be safer. • Thanks to Steve from Live Action FX: http://liveactionfx.com/ Filmed safely: https://www.tomscott.com/safe/ Camera: Simon Temple http://templefreelance.co.uk Edited by Michelle Martin: https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott […]