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Meet Dermatophagoides farinae.
Crawling around on eight legs,
this creature has no eyes to appreciate the kaleidoscope of colors around her.
She relies on her extraordinary sense of smell
to lead her to food and safe places to lay eggs.
And she's smaller than a pinhead.
Dermatophagoides farinae is a dust mite.
Less than a tenth the size of an ant,
a dust mite's whole world is contained in the dusty film under a bed
or in a forgotten corner.
This realm is right under our noses, but from our perspective,
the tiny specks of brilliant color blend together into a nondescript grey.
What are these colorful microscopic particles?
What distinguishes the dust in your house from, say, sand on a beach
is that it is a mixture of many different ingredients.
It can contain grains of sand,
dead skin cells,
tiny hairs and threads,
animal dander,
pollen,
manmade pollutants,
minerals from outer space,
and, of course, dust mites.
Dust mites eat animal dander,
human skin,
and some fungi.
We shed dead skin cells constantly,
and wherever we live, they mix into the household dust.
The same goes for our pets:
their dander and hairs enter the mix,
as do tiny pieces of thread and cotton fibers from our clothes.
'These components make every household's dust
a unique blend of bits from its particular inhabitants.
Household dust also contains substances that blow in from the wider world.
Depending on the local geology,
finely ground quartz, coal, or volcanic ash
might enter the air as atmospheric dust,
along with pollen and fungal spores.
Industrial activities also contribute cement powder,
particles from car tires,
and other chemicals to the airborne mix.
The combination of these elements can be as unique as a fingerprint.
In Spain, where the land is rich in carbonate materials,
dust contains 20 times as much calcium as dust in Nigeria,
where the geology is quite different.
After a particularly violent storm,
scientists identified dust from the Sahara Desert
thousands of miles away in London,
based on its specific composition.
In the future,
we may be able to pinpoint the origins of dust samples even more specifically,
down to a particular neighborhood or even house
something that may be of great help for forensic specialists.
In addition to markers of humans, animals, and landscapes,
dust also contains particles from further afield.
When a star explodes in a distant galaxy,
super hot gases vaporize everything nearby.
Then, the dust settles; minerals condense out of the gas.
Floating out there between planets and galaxies,
this extraterrestrial dust contains tiny pieces of extinguished stars
and the building blocks of future celestial bodies.
Every year, tens of thousands of tons of cosmic dust
lands on Earth and mingles with terrestrial minerals.
This blend of chemicals, minerals, and intergalactic particles
settles out of the air onto surfaces in our homes,
mixing with the detritus of each house’s occupants.
Stars explode,
mountains erode,
and buildings, plants, and animals
are all slowly but surely pulverized into fine grey powder.
We’re all destined to become dust,
but it's also possible that we came from it.
Interstellar dust has been found to carry organic compounds through space.
It’s possible that billions of years ago,
some of these cosmic particles were the seed of life
on our little blue planet.
Have you ever visited Ted-Ed's Patreon page? Every donation helps support our non-profit mission.
And there are some pretty cool perks, including discounts for the Ted-Ed shop, exclusive digital downloads of amazing art from our lessons, and more
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【TED-Ed】灰塵是由什麼組成的? (What is dust made of? - Michael Marder)

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April Lu 發佈於 2018 年 8 月 6 日    April Lu 翻譯    Evangeline 審核

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東西只要擺放一陣子,上頭就會有一層灰。你是否好奇過灰塵裡蘊含些什麼呢?灰塵中其實有一個精彩的小宇宙,除了人體剝落的細胞,還包含了來自外太空的星球碎屑。這些小東西是如何聚集成我們看到的那層灰呢?讓我們來一談究竟!

1from sb.'s perspective0:42
from sb.'s perspective 意思是「從某人的觀點看來」,其中 perspective 就是指「觀點」;類似的片語還有 from sb.'s point of view 、 from my standpoint 、 in sb.'s opinion 。
Maybe you should try to look at the situation from your sister's perspective.
或許你該試著從你姐姐的角度看這個情況。

In my opinion, we should focus more on the victim instead of the abuser.
依我來看,我們應該多聚焦在受害者而非施虐者身上。


*同場加映:
【TED】在我死之前,我想... (Before I die I want to...)


2pinpoint2:35
pinpoint 作動詞使用時,意思是「精確定位、確立」,搭配用法如 pinpoint the source (定位來源)、pinpoint the problem (確立問題);作名詞使用時,可用來指「極小的東西、大頭針的頭、小尖頭」等等;做形容詞是,意思則有「精確的、精準的」。
Based on the dirt left at the victim's house, the detective pinpointed the location of the suspect's house.
根據遺留在受害者家中的塵土,偵探定位出嫌疑犯居住的地方。


*同場加映:
你知道現今有多少稀有民族存在嗎? (How Many Isolated Tribes Still Exist Today?)


3vaporize3:01
vaporize 的意思是「使蒸發、使汽化」。這個單字拆開來其實就是 vapor (水蒸氣) 加上動詞字尾 -ize ,直觀來講就是「將......變成水蒸氣」。 -ize 這個動詞字尾有「使......化、使成為......的狀態」的意味,常見同字尾的動詞還有 humanize (使人性化、教化) 、localize (使地方化) 、 sterilize (使不育、節育、貧瘠化) 。
The menu of McDoanld's is localized based on local tastes.
麥當勞的菜單根據地區口味而在地化。

Under such high temperatures, it is easy for water to vaporize.
在如此高溫下,水很容易蒸發。


*同場加映:
臭氣逼人的馬桶歷史 (The Toilet: A Stinky History | Ancient Rome to Medieval England | Laughing Historically)


4extraterrestrial 3:13
這個超長的單字意思為「地球之外的、外星的」,將它拆解開來就會成為 extra- (額外的、附加的) 和 terrestrial (陸地的、地球的、世俗的) 。extra- 為一個常見字首,相關常用單字有: extraordinary (超乎尋常的、驚人的、非凡的) 、 extravagant (奢侈的、浪費的) 、 extracurricular (課外的) 。
Scientists have long been searching for extraterrestrial life.
科學家長期以來都在尋找外星生物。

Besides taking classes, college students often have extracurricular activities.
除了上課,大學生通常還有課外活動。


*同場加映:
【TED-Ed】歌舞伎:用動畫帶你認識日本的傳統戲劇文化 (Kabuki: The people's dramatic art - Amanda Mattes)


5celestial3:20
這個單字作形容詞的意思為「天空的、天文的」,延伸意思有「天國的、神聖的、絕佳的、美妙的」;搭配用詞如: celestial music (美妙音樂 --「 此曲只應天上有」) 、 celestial body (天體) 。若是用作名詞的話則有「天神、天堂居民」等意思。
This renowned restaurant serves celestial delicacies.
這間知名的餐廳提供絕妙珍饈。


*同場加映:
教你如何表達愛意? (Expressions of Love)


6mingle3:28
mingle 的意思是「與他物混合」,同義詞有:blend 、 combine 、integrate 。
Spanish cold soup, gazpacho, mingles the flavor of tomatoes with cucumbers and green peppers.
西班牙冷湯 (gazpacho) 將番茄的風味和小黃瓜還有青椒混合。

Stop standing in the corner. Go and mingle with other guests!
別再站在角落裡了,去認識認識其他客人!


*同場加映:
【艾倫秀】這些網站可能幫你找到真命天菜 (Ellen Helps You Find a Date)


大家聽過 Dust in the Wind 這首七零年代的老歌嗎?小 V 看完這部影片之後馬上想到這首歌,歌詞內容就和這部片一樣,在講我們每個人其實有可能都是沙子。想想就會覺得,一切都從自然而來,最後也會歸為自然,所以還是專注活在當下最實在!

文/ April Lu

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