How The Arecibo Telescope Could Help Save The World

  • Published on May 8, 2017
  • The radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico can do something that most radio telescopes can't: it can transmit. And that's useful for something other than sending messages to the stars: it might just help save the world one day.
    More about the Arecibo Observatory:
    Behind the Scenes, including helmet-cam footage of the walk to the telescope, over on the Park Bench:
    Camera and audio mix: Matt Gray
    Animation: Mat Hill
    Edited by: Michelle Martin @mrsmmartin
    I'm at
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Comments • 703

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott  8 months ago +2093

    A bit of context here: I've wanted to go here for... I don't know, about twenty years? But it was too far away, too expensive, too inconvenient, and there's no way they'd allow tourists onto the platform itself. And then, a few months ago, I got an email from one of the scientists there, asking if I wanted to film with them. Getting to do ridiculous things like this is one of the reasons I make videos, and I really am so, so thankful to everyone involved!

    • Shawn Stephenson
      Shawn Stephenson Month ago

      This is awesome stuff! Not only is this great stuff to learn about, working there is probably pretty thankless so it's good to see scientists getting recognition.

    • Mark Niedermann
      Mark Niedermann 3 months ago

      You have to go back and report on the hurricane damage!

    • Reed Harston
      Reed Harston 5 months ago

      Or play 007 Goldeneye for the N64. ;) As mentioned in a comment farther down the page, Goldeneye had a scene filmed at that exact telescope.

    • TheVocoderGuy
      TheVocoderGuy 7 months ago +1

      Thanks for doing what you do, it always brightens my day when one of your videos pops up in my news feed.
      Keep on educating!

    • Arnau Palencia
      Arnau Palencia 8 months ago +2

      for all those who want to visit it but just can't. Play the map called Rogue Transmission in Battlefield 4 it's almots identical

  • freetrader
    freetrader 14 hours ago

    I took an "origins of the universe" college elective with one of the telescope's previous directors. It's sad how the NSF is not going to fund the telescope anymore. The world might not be saved, after all.

  • 007bistromath
    007bistromath Month ago

    oh hey, this is the thing I pushed Alec Trevelyan off of

  • E Mcclellan
    E Mcclellan Month ago

    Is that the telescope that was used in the end of Goldeneye?

  • San Jones
    San Jones Month ago


  • Sam Harkins
    Sam Harkins Month ago

    Incredibly sad the damage they sustained from the storms this year, though pretty fortunate you were able to get there before it did.

  • cityraildude
    cityraildude 2 months ago

    That's interesting. Is there a Southern Hemisphere equivilant?

  • George Rogers
    George Rogers 2 months ago

    Didn't Sean Bean die here, once? xD

  • Novaturient
    Novaturient 2 months ago

    Cheers from puerto rico

  • JP05CPSN
    JP05CPSN 2 months ago

    I have no idea how you manage to swing access to all of these places.

  • Dormin
    Dormin 3 months ago

    Is that that one map in battlefield 4???

  • Kyle Stearnes
    Kyle Stearnes 3 months ago +2

    Pretty sure this was badly damaged during the hurricanes.

    • Gordon Taylor
      Gordon Taylor 2 months ago

      It actually didn't get hit as badly as much of the rest of the island, but a huge problem is finding the money to pay for repairs - they don't have it right now, and it's unlikely anyone will step up to provide it. You can read more here:

  • Oskari M
    Oskari M 4 months ago

    Suomalainen kansainvälisessä juutuupissa! Torille!

  • Katie
    Katie 4 months ago

    In some alternative timeline, Trevelyan is still running around those platforms

  • gamefreak974
    gamefreak974 5 months ago

    I wanna be a part of cool stuff like this.

  • xxxrossomaticxxx
    xxxrossomaticxxx 5 months ago

    why does it look like crap and run down

  • Edgar Gonzalez
    Edgar Gonzalez 5 months ago


  • The Ragged Stag
    The Ragged Stag 5 months ago

    rogue transmission? wait thats in china

  • dr techtek
    dr techtek 5 months ago

    the film contact :P

  • Stupetin
    Stupetin 5 months ago

    2:12 suomalainen mainittu, torilla tavataan !

  • Guillaume Ohz
    Guillaume Ohz 5 months ago

    SETI <3

  • Annoying Indian Guy
    Annoying Indian Guy 5 months ago

    2:37 that guy was talking like a kid

  • Bodhi McNally
    Bodhi McNally 5 months ago +2

    Anyone here from Matt and Tom's video where tom says he messed up a line in this video?

  • PimDoos
    PimDoos 5 months ago +1

    Only now that you mentioned it on the park bench I noticed the edit, nicely done

  • Super Catman
    Super Catman 5 months ago +2

    I couldn't even tell you recorded part of the intro's audio in central London

  • The Default Guy
    The Default Guy 5 months ago

    ayy i went there

  • Jacob Smith
    Jacob Smith 6 months ago

    i thought that that thing was familiar, then i played that map on BF4

  • LookRain
    LookRain 6 months ago

    It looks like something from a sci fi movie

  • Suyggyu
    Suyggyu 6 months ago

    2:07 = illuminati

  • oderbang
    oderbang 6 months ago

    Golden-eye is all i can think of watching this !

  • LitenAlskare
    LitenAlskare 6 months ago +1

    At 3:18 with the towers and how the ladders are structured, then the view of the dish I realized it was the basis of a bf4 map. I was a sniper in bf4 and I never went up on those towers, but when I started noticing peoppe getting uo there I learned the structure and committed it to memory

  • Zonies Coasters
    Zonies Coasters 6 months ago +1

    did you load up rouge transmission in a private server or did you manage to find an empty one?

  • Zonies Coasters
    Zonies Coasters 6 months ago +1

    does the mobile AA spawn underneath it?

  • Zonies Coasters
    Zonies Coasters 6 months ago

    can you flood the dish and disguise it as a lake?

  • reconquista
    reconquista 6 months ago

    Only they know the truth

  • Episch Erds
    Episch Erds 6 months ago

    Rogue Transmission


  • Spaghetti & MeatBalls
    Spaghetti & MeatBalls 6 months ago

    this was that place in one of the James Bond movies

  • Apokalypzx
    Apokalypzx 6 months ago

    They should have sent a poet...

  • Mike Cowen
    Mike Cowen 6 months ago +1

    Surprised nobody asked if you can get HBO with that thing...

  • SlayTheRake
    SlayTheRake 6 months ago

    Looks like Goldeneye

  • Swapnil Lonkar
    Swapnil Lonkar 6 months ago

    Thank god we dont have to send bruce wills... ;)

  • Hero Slippy
    Hero Slippy 6 months ago

    I am not sure if I want to build/design one of those or be the person that uses it.

  • Rockmyballsplease
    Rockmyballsplease 6 months ago

    same shirt again, mate!?

  • Belligerent Theo
    Belligerent Theo 7 months ago

    Didn't know so much work went into Rogue Transmission.....
    Thought it was just like every other map on Bf4

  • Andrew White
    Andrew White 7 months ago

    why would anyone dislike this?

  • paul Cooney
    paul Cooney 7 months ago

    Rogue transmission bf4...

  • Xeno426
    Xeno426 7 months ago

    "For England, James?"

  • limbo
    limbo 7 months ago

    The lady sounds kind of like Hila Klein.

  • Hidden Mask
    Hidden Mask 7 months ago

    *remembers trying to collapse something like this in Battlefield 4*

  • thegreentaxi
    thegreentaxi 7 months ago

    I believe I've blown that thing up in Just Cause 2

    • Eira
      Eira 4 months ago

      Yep, the PAN MILSAT Base is based on this dish

  • formerly 987946216430
    formerly 987946216430 7 months ago

    hah, too cute. We won't have to send Bruce Willis into space to deflect the asteroid. hah

  • Scootaloo
    Scootaloo 8 months ago

    I remember when I first learned of this telescope. I first saw it on Goldeneye back on the Nintendo 64. :D

  • RedTrueBlue
    RedTrueBlue 8 months ago

    For England, James?

  • William Stanway
    William Stanway 8 months ago

    Will someone please skateboard down that

  • WhiteChaos
    WhiteChaos 8 months ago

    One of my favorite Battlefield 4 maps!

  • Walter Marlin
    Walter Marlin 8 months ago

    2:52 Hey. Does that thing pick up cellphone transmissions?

  • YegorTheRussian
    YegorTheRussian 8 months ago

    1.2 JIGAWATTS!

  • Rock Balancer
    Rock Balancer 8 months ago

    this video is fake, that's the set of james bond goldeneye....... jk tom love your stuff dude

  • QuietDuplicity
    QuietDuplicity 8 months ago

    Nouns, adverbs, adjective here and there...

  • oDs Canadiann
    oDs Canadiann 8 months ago

    it's that battlefield 4 map XD

  • Jarka
    Jarka 8 months ago


  • Alfonso Mendoza
    Alfonso Mendoza 8 months ago

    Looks like that one Golden Eye multiplayer level

  • DontMockMySmock
    DontMockMySmock 8 months ago

    I remember killing 006 here

  • Thomas Wilson
    Thomas Wilson 8 months ago

    Where is it ?

  • Rexation
    Rexation 8 months ago +3

    I'm Puerto Rican, I hope you had a good time there.

  • alban maillere
    alban maillere 8 months ago

    brilliant, as always ...

  • Richard Georg Bayer
    Richard Georg Bayer 8 months ago

    Thumbs up for Bruce Willis pun :-D

  • Andrew Foss
    Andrew Foss 8 months ago

    Called it. :D

  • Estevan
    Estevan 8 months ago

    is there wifi up there

  • quiqueboricua
    quiqueboricua 8 months ago

    AMAZING! You went to Arecibo, Puerto Rico! This video was most needed to show the world the importance of Arecibo Radiotelescope. I visited it around 20 times when I was younger and always amazed me. The next time that you visit the Island send me a message and I can arrange visits to other places. Like always, great content!

    • Rexation
      Rexation 8 months ago +1

      quiqueboricua Hello fellow Puerto Rican

  • DriftKingNL
    DriftKingNL 8 months ago

    We don't need to send Bruce Willis to space anymore to save us. All we have to do is send Justin Bieber music to the asteroid and it will run away in fear.

  • Adam Snape
    Adam Snape 8 months ago

    James bond saved the world here. Something you might not know.

  • Chaz Hinkley
    Chaz Hinkley 8 months ago

    "For England James?"

  • Draconicrose
    Draconicrose 8 months ago

    Oooh I think I feel better knowing we have the means to detect and deflect asteroids now. This is an important place.

  • Coda Mission
    Coda Mission 8 months ago

    For all you Battlefield fans, yes, that's Rogue Transmissions

  • o0prince
    o0prince 8 months ago

    The scary thing is I can understand everything they said o.0

  • Tom
    Tom 8 months ago

    Love Sniping from them towers

  • pEf Alien
    pEf Alien 8 months ago

    It was good to know it was not going to hit Earth so we didn't have to send.........Bruce Willis.. :D ROFL !!! wasn't expecting that

  • de0509
    de0509 8 months ago

    Actually shouldnt it be super possible to not have to send any actors to deflect an asteroid and simply just beam a signal just enough to deflect it over the course of a few years, since this telescope is also capable of transmitting? Perhaps just takes a genius physicist to figure out the details

  • ShengJun101
    ShengJun101 8 months ago

    goldeneye anyone?

  • Bobby Lean
    Bobby Lean 8 months ago

    Not impossible on camera...just use a banana for scale

  • Lavender Shepsit
    Lavender Shepsit 8 months ago

    For England, James?

  • Corom D
    Corom D 8 months ago

    Is this the dish that's in Just Cause 2?

  • Liam Davis
    Liam Davis 8 months ago

    Why do you make so many videos about America?

  • Michael W.
    Michael W. 8 months ago

    James Bond Goldeneye?

  • Black German
    Black German 8 months ago

    Why is that circle underneath the telescope?

  • brianartillery
    brianartillery 8 months ago

    Nice to see that they managed to repair it after James Bond scuffed it a bit, several years ago. Seriously, though, a fascinating video.

    MRBLOBBY127 8 months ago

    I have blown that place up on bf4

  • Julika7
    Julika7 8 months ago

    They are funny and really seem to have fun in their job. :D

  • Hamilton Karl
    Hamilton Karl 8 months ago


  • Jesus Gonzalez
    Jesus Gonzalez 8 months ago

    What else did you do in Puerto Rico?

  • Usual Atoms
    Usual Atoms 8 months ago +1

    Now that is cool! And yay Finland!

  • J M
    J M 8 months ago


  • Amateur_Wizard
    Amateur_Wizard 8 months ago

    One day we will have to send Bruce Willis, and he will have to be ready

  • Aaron Ando
    Aaron Ando 8 months ago +1

    this is the bf4 map holey shite

  • ocean1
    ocean1 8 months ago +1

    Rogue Transmission :D

  • feeshschticks
    feeshschticks 8 months ago +1

    I'd like to think that somewhere out there Sean Bean is watching this youtube video and saying to himself. "I totally died there" and closes his web browser feeling ever so pleased with himself.

  • AlexSDU
    AlexSDU 8 months ago

    Can it shoot Alderaan?

  • Manchestersgirl
    Manchestersgirl 8 months ago

    Can it support an M1 Abrams, an LAV, a T90 and a Tunguska?

  • ProudWhiteMan 88
    ProudWhiteMan 88 8 months ago