Inspiring Video: The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck

by Nancy Atkinson on July 31, 2012

How many times a week do we use the word “awesome” here on Universe Today? While we haven’t kept track, we admit it’s quite often. We feel privileged to be able to share with you the incredible — yes, awesome — images, videos and stories of our exploration of space. And it turns out, being awestruck could actually be good for us.

“Our ability to awe was biologically selected for us by evolution because it imbues our lives with a sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive,” writes filmmaker Jason Silva, who has produced this awesome new video about being awestruck.

Based on three different researcher’s work, Silva’s film highlights how having regular experiences of awe makes us feel good, provides a reason to live and love, spurs us to keep exploring and pushing onward, and provides an “unprecedented expansion of human vision.” The video shows many images from space, especially pictures produced by the Hubble Space Telescope, and Silva told Universe Today that this video is actually dedicated to the HST.

Sit back and enjoy the wonder of being awestruck!

Caption: A firestorm of star birth in the active galaxy Centaurus A. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck – by @Jason_Silva from Jason Silva on Vimeo.


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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