What we have forgotten

In this video, natural scientist Janine Benyus tells us about what we've forgotten about the natural world.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


If I could reveal anything that is hidden from us, it would be to reveal something that we've forgotten, that we used to know as well as we knew our own names. And that is that we live in a competent universe, that we are part of a brilliant planet and that we are surrounded by genius.

Imagine designing spring. Imagine the timing, the co-ordination, all without top-down laws or policies. This happens every year. There's lots of showing off. There's lots of love in the air. There's lots of grand openings. And the organisms, I promise you, have all of their priorities in order.

I have this neighbour, he came up to me. And there was a wasps' nest that I had let grow in my yard, and he asked me how I had made the house for those wasps, because he had never seen one this big. And I told him, the wasps actually made that. But it occurred to me: how had he already believed the myth that if something was that well done, that we must have done it?

How did he not know that we're not the first ones to build. We're not the first ones to process cellulose. We're not the first ones to make paper. We're not the first ones to try to optimise packing space, or to waterproof, or to try to heat and cool a structure. We're not the first ones to build houses for our young.

People are beginning to remember that other organisms, the rest of the natural world, are doing things very similar to what we need to do, but in fact are doing them in a way that have allowed them to live gracefully on this planet for billions of years. 

© Sustainable Human


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Average: 4.5 (8 votes)

Submitted by sabilaferisya on Sun, 28/04/2024 - 16:39


It is definitely a thought we should always remember by. We as humans can learn more from how nature and animals live life. It reminds us that we should never forget or abandon our Earth, the place where all organisms gather to live and love.

Submitted by sekerz on Sun, 16/07/2023 - 14:16


This video is good at opening our minds. Yes, there is a huge world, called nature, we don't know much. In this world, we can find many similarities to our world. Discovering the things which are similar to ours may be a milestone for human life.

Submitted by Cucciolabietto.84 on Sat, 17/06/2023 - 10:33


I think that this idea is interesting because we must find the solutions for our Earth. We must teach future generations to respect the animals, environment, nature and the people too. We can live togheter and help each other for a better world. All organism must have the opportunity to live. We don't forget this! We don't forget them!

Submitted by dAbESTvato on Mon, 14/03/2022 - 18:39


Maybe this woman is right. Okay wait. What constitutes the universe. It's all what we seen, whatever we see and what we will see. As we humans become more developed, we become a little more selfish at the expense of nature and animals. I am, you are ,this little aunt is, big elephant is and one tiger which is scared because of humans, represents this kind and lovely world:).

Submitted by ellendara0 on Sun, 13/03/2022 - 14:44


I think the ideas discussed in the video are quite right. After all, we are not the only ones who live on this planet and therefore are not the only ones who have learned to build and create.

Submitted by Miguelitorico1996 on Mon, 24/01/2022 - 17:05


I think nature is really wise, animals are underestimated just because they can't talk like us, but they are very smart in my opinion. They also use reason but to a lesser degree than we do.

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Submitted by deeq1995 on Sat, 10/07/2021 - 16:59

it was a great presentation and I really enjoyed it, she remembered a lot of things that I witnessed in my childhood, such as birds building a nest. I got very interesting points like not only humans built houses for their young, and other organisms do what we need to do gracefully.

Submitted by trungkien on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 13:21

THis just bring a smile in my face