Why danger symbols can’t last forever

  • に公開 2018/01/26
  • How to design fear, explained with 99% Invisible. Check them out here: 99pi.org
    Correction: The correct spelling of “warning” in Persian is هشدار.
    Watch the previous episode from this series: bit.ly/2DDIQAL
    Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl/0bsAjO
    Chances are you wouldn’t be able to recognize a biohazard even if you were looking right at one. But the biohazard symbol? It’s pretty easy to spot. Most warning icons rely on previously established objects or symbols: a general caution might use an exclamation point, and a fire warning might use an illustration of a flame. But the biohazard symbol references an idea that is much harder to picture - and in the 50 years since its invention, it has become one of the most recognizable icons on the planet. But can the meaning of a symbol like this last an eternity? A special Department of Energy project is trying to figure that out.
    Read more: goo.gl/U82Ehn
    This video was made in partnership with 99% Invisible, a podcast about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about, hosted by Roman Mars. You can find full episodes at 99pi.org
    Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com
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コメント数 • 5 996

  • Vox
    Vox  年 前 +1122

    Watch the previous video from our partnership with 99% Invisible here: bit.ly/2DDIQAL

    • Ruthless
      Ruthless 3 ヶ月 前

      Vox at 0:14 why do you eat your mic?

    • StormyWeather
      StormyWeather 4 ヶ月 前

      My aunt's ex boyfriend's dad (from many years ago) designed the danger gas flammable signs on gas trucks and made $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    • Timothy Benjamin
      Timothy Benjamin 4 ヶ月 前

      Screw VOX

    • Iz Flash
      Iz Flash 4 ヶ月 前

      The Arabic version of warning or attention is wrong

    • EG:UK
      EG:UK 5 ヶ月 前

      The skull is a timeless indicator of death.

    RED SHIRTS 時間 前

    Amazing video

  • Dusky Racer
    Dusky Racer 8 時間 前

    Cities will disappear
    Cats will glow
    The End is near
    Now we must go

  • Jonathan Sawyer
    Jonathan Sawyer 日 前

    This makes my skin crawl

  • Whatchyamacallit

    Why not put more time and energy into finding ways to process or renew nuclear waste into something less harmful or reusable. Then, you don't need to worry about this...

  • metal87power
    metal87power 日 前

    radioactive wasteland as a place where pirates buried their treasure!? xD hilarious

  • Soturian
    Soturian 2 日 前

    I think any culture that stumbles on a radioactive site will learn this water is no good, or there is sickness in that place. Assuming they don't go extinct before they figure it out.

  • Goldenhordemilo
    Goldenhordemilo 2 日 前

    glowing cat spec

  • Luke Nallen
    Luke Nallen 2 日 前

    Biohazard symbol = hardstyle symbol

  • baka nga?
    baka nga? 2 日 前

    Remember Egypt's Hieroglyphs our past future selves. Everyone forgot what's the meaning of icon and logo. History will repeat itself after 500 - 1000 years after a holocaust

  • Michael McLaughlin
    Michael McLaughlin 2 日 前

    the bio hazard one has always kinda creeped me out, but if we as a species have to result to spikes an pyramids to warn off people from nuclear then the worst has already happened

  • Aaron Kuenzi
    Aaron Kuenzi 3 日 前

    Giant spike field...count me in, I would definitely go check it out

  • Rob
    Rob 3 日 前

    Now I want a cat that glows.

  • aran best
    aran best 3 日 前

    Anyone 2k19?

  • Jason Voorhees
    Jason Voorhees 3 日 前

    2:53 I always see that symbol, everytime I go to a doctor appointment we go in a room and on the walls there's a see through orange container that has needles in it and there's a sticker on the container with that symbol

  • Warren Searle
    Warren Searle 4 日 前

    Interesting video 👍🏻

  • Ordonix HD
    Ordonix HD 4 日 前 +1

    Ok so basically, who wants a hug?
    *looks at profile pic*

  • Dim TS7
    Dim TS7 4 日 前 +1

    I have the biohazard symbol as a wallpaper on my phone. I've gotten used to it and it means nothing to me when I see it...

  • *Cory in the closet*

    Just put a bedrock wall around it, no one can break through it

  • Michael Collins
    Michael Collins 6 日 前 +1

    Yes they will,
    Because forever through time will people look at your publication symbol and think "bullshit news"

  • Jorge Campos
    Jorge Campos 7 日 前

    universal sighn for buthole through safety data sheets * look it up

  • Sehnsucht
    Sehnsucht 7 日 前 +3

    Broke: literally using the international symbol of death, a skull

  • isokessu
    isokessu 9 日 前

    6:41 lol, too much signs for each door

  • Dream7
    Dream7 9 日 前

    This is very interesting, but why couldn’t we just pass down the information of the current symbols?

  • angelasings24
    angelasings24 10 日 前 +1

    this voice sounds just like the nerdwriter and i got excited cause he hasn’t posted in a while. is this where he’s been???

  • Honest Opinion
    Honest Opinion 10 日 前

    Lack of Education is the problem. Not the symbol.

  • DANCERcow
    DANCERcow 10 日 前

    Is it because these signs are
    .......in danger? 😏

  • Oleg Bezman
    Oleg Bezman 11 日 前

    Or we could build a pyramid or a half sphere that rotates on its axles so that no one can enter it but can see the symbol it portrait. A bit like the pyramid but more "technologically advanced". The truth is as long as we use stone/very hard material/super very hard material to write important things on it like the alphabet and our history, we should be fine to indicate what symbols we use.

  • Paul Newton
    Paul Newton 12 日 前

    2:47 highly memorable but meaningless , an unforgettable blank slate to give meaning

  • pulakification
    pulakification 12 日 前

    Draw poop.

  • Chaos Tade
    Chaos Tade 13 日 前

    the most useless educational video i have ever seen in my life.

  • Nathanator
    Nathanator 13 日 前

    Use a face in agony because aslong as humans don’t evolve a major amount people could see it

  • Internetzlaf Haterinski

    Yeah, lets create some cult arround radiation. Religious gibberish will totally prevent future individuals from opening the site. This has worked so well for the pyramids...

  • MrMetalHead1100
    MrMetalHead1100 14 日 前

    Origin of the children of atom

  • mine is 3 and half inches

    Very good, kanye

  • Jerry Tang
    Jerry Tang 15 日 前

    To all of you that say that the skull and crossbones are still able to convey information well, it DOES NOT specify what danger it is, if you took a look at 100 years ago there were maybe tens of thousands of engineers in the world, everyone else was a layman. In that context its just better for most people to ignore the area. But look at the 21st century, tens of millions are now engineers and chemists that have to solve the problems. If a chemist saw a skull and crossbones on a box they cannot know if its a biohazard or chemical hazard. So we have things like Nfpa 704 for specialists but providing more information also tells the passerbys how much caution to exercise. No matter how you put it giving more information in a dangerous event always increases survival rates

  • Kathryn della Porta
    Kathryn della Porta 16 日 前

    A fascinating bit of speculative short fiction tried to answer this very question, that is, how would a future civilization that looked nothing like our own react to the warning message we left behind? The result was about what you'd expect: they went there and died, but not before figuring out the message and translating it into all of the languages in use in their time.
    Read it here: bit.ly/2MNLJ7D

  • Ryan 8191
    Ryan 8191 17 日 前

    The skull and crossbones were also used by the Nazis!! I know i have a couple original ones!

  • Brian Mo
    Brian Mo 17 日 前

    How about just a sign that says “Warning, hazardous materials”

  • Jarred Powell
    Jarred Powell 18 日 前

    At the WIPP, this plaque can found in multiple languages, with the intention of being decipherable for 10,000 years:
    "This place is not a place of honor.
    No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.
    Nothing valued is here.
    This place is a message and part of a system of messages.
    Pay attention to it!
    Sending this message was important to us.
    We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture."

  • ThriquinoX
    ThriquinoX 18 日 前 +3

    Biohazard symbol looks like a cool fidget spinner lmao

    Edit: Just read a comment saying 9 year olds will think it's a fidget spinner.

  • AnasGuideToTheGalaxy

    Thank you Vox for this video, it inspired my 8th grade science fair project.

  • ole9421
    ole9421 19 日 前

    If you've seen, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, then you know how this all ends.
    "Glory be to the bomb and to the holy fallout. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen."

  • Guest 000003
    Guest 000003 20 日 前

    Why didn't they use words? Biohazard Radioactive

  • 123fendas2
    123fendas2 20 日 前

    0:21 Really? I associated it with poison/toxicity/lethality.

  • Annoymov S
    Annoymov S 22 日 前

    Let's be honest, if u walk up to an empty field and see a warning sign with those symbols, it's actually hella creepy...

  • Diogo F
    Diogo F 23 日 前

    Weird thing to be worried about. If an apocalypse happened and people had to start from scratch I think they'd have bigger worries than just avoiding a tiny radioactive waste area

  • hbarudi
    hbarudi 24 日 前

    Another reason why nuclear waste solutions are desperately needed. The best place for such waste would be their own reactor and even better if we knew what atoms make up that waste and what nuclear reactions might be needed to convert it into harmless waste if possible.

  • Nero von Aarfeste
    Nero von Aarfeste 25 日 前

    Oh hey, a Vox video I actually find interesting - nice!

  • Blayne Miller
    Blayne Miller 25 日 前

    An atomic priesthood and glowing cats? Might as well just genetically engineer orcs or trolls to stand guard, if you're gonna go that far.

  • K. Chris Caldwell
    K. Chris Caldwell 27 日 前

    The longest enduring symbol of danger: imgur.com/a/GU1jhyT
    _One is not a true American until resident in the ADL's database._

  • The Happy Wanderer
    The Happy Wanderer 28 日 前

    1:46 Illuminati confirmed

  • The Happy Wanderer
    The Happy Wanderer 28 日 前

    I dunno, these symbols make me feel nothing

  • HyperlordXP
    HyperlordXP 28 日 前

    See Vox, all you have to do is create content like this and we'll be alright.

  • wgpoprock
    wgpoprock 29 日 前

    Don't change colour kitty

  • Ya Boi
    Ya Boi ヶ月 前

    Personally I like the radioactivity cult. I’d join

  • feynthefallen
    feynthefallen ヶ月 前

    The radiation symbol already has failed that test, and not through time, but through simple lack of education. We westerners pretty much take for granted that everybody knows the meaning of those symbols, but forget that we acquire that knowledge mostly through schools, media and computer games. Many people don't have access to any of those, and surprising as it may seem, there's people who have never heard of ionizing radiation and don't know the trefoil symbol. As a result of that, several incidents have occurred, among them e.g. the Samut Prakan radiation incident. In all cases, the radiation sources involved were clearly marked with the trefoil symbol. In response, the Symbol ISO21482 was created, which connects the trefoil with depictions of emission, the more widely-known skull-and-crossbones poison symbol and the depiction of a fleeing person.

  • Paola Michaelis
    Paola Michaelis ヶ月 前

    The glowing cat religion is just plain stupid

  • Lara Weinberg
    Lara Weinberg ヶ月 前

    Did this guy say Christianity is tens of thousands of years old... Jesus was born around the year 0 and it’s 2019

  • Pushing 30
    Pushing 30 ヶ月 前

    I disagree.. i mean pirates? cmon man

  • mueez adam
    mueez adam ヶ月 前

    Really tired of JPclips forgetting I liked a video

  • Baconkiddo
    Baconkiddo ヶ月 前

    If you think skull and bones are an universal symbol of danger you're completely alienated by your own culture and missed the point of the video.

  • Wolf
    Wolf ヶ月 前

    Just let them die lol

  • Lego_ Nidas
    Lego_ Nidas ヶ月 前


  • nsa3679
    nsa3679 ヶ月 前

    Just draw a red X!

  • David Vandermeer
    David Vandermeer ヶ月 前

    Humans are very good at recognizing what a healthy human looks like, even across cultural boundaries. This is sensitive enough that we feel afraid or unnerved even if something looks a little bit off, hence the uncanny valley problem which artists face when depicting humans. So couldn't a universal sign of danger to life be the image/sculpture of a human corpse? I imagine an area surrounded by sculptures of dead humans would tip the scary vs. intriguing balance the right way better than spikes. And we've dug up sculptures from ancient Egypt that we can still make out what they are, so they could be made to last long enough.

  • The Pip
    The Pip ヶ月 前

    I remember my dad telling me about this when I was really little. I’m talking crazy young. I don’t know how I still remember it. He said that if we left warnings communicating “dont go here. You will die horribly if you do” future people would ignore them. After all, the pyramids have all sorts of warnings and curses in them, and we’ve still looted those. Future archeologists would assume this is no different.

  • T_Nation
    T_Nation ヶ月 前

    Robot guards.

  • The Red Sterling Mc'Bae

    Why don't you just draw a creepy image of some person's skin melting off with them pointing in the direction of where you don't want them to go? XD

  • Newby Ton
    Newby Ton ヶ月 前 +1

    TFW you get a biohazard bubble from Greenland in Plague .inc

  • William Thompson
    William Thompson ヶ月 前

    I went down a suggested bar rabbit hole and somehow ended up here

  • Sergio Castro
    Sergio Castro ヶ月 前 +1

    Why not just write a paper, a book, leave it on the entrance saying why you have to leave this place as soon as possible? 😂

  • fred
    fred ヶ月 前

    whats with the BASS BOOSTED voice??

  • Mojos Bigstick
    Mojos Bigstick ヶ月 前

    Make it stink?

  • AtlasTheAdventureHusky

    This makes little sense to me. I’m no Einstein, and I still know what the danger symbols such as biohazards and poison and java always known. Just tell someone once. Nuclear warnings work the same way

  • T H A N O S
    T H A N O S ヶ月 前 +1

    3:17 they kinda look like fidget spinners

  • Nikolas Michael
    Nikolas Michael ヶ月 前

    I find it odd that they are focusing on making symbols that are able to retain their meaning for generations with the assumptions that future generations are going to somehow forget what radiation is, how to detect it and the affects of it. Information gets passed down and sometimes it takes investigative work to know its meaning but currently we as humans don't seem to have that many issues with knowing what letters and symbols meant in the past.
    EDIT: Also should be mentioned that the skull and cross bone are still used as a hazard symbol to this day to indicate poisonous material.

  • Googol 257
    Googol 257 ヶ月 前

    If you see a Jolly Roger symbol and go *this must be treasure* and proceed to die from intense exposure to radioactive material that just natural selection doing its job.

  • wylkid
    wylkid ヶ月 前

    _”He was asked to work on the _*_whip”_*

  • DoronTuber
    DoronTuber ヶ月 前

    what about a sign written "no enter danger"

  • DeathBorn
    DeathBorn ヶ月 前

    If I see a skull, i know it represents death

  • Grant Solomon
    Grant Solomon ヶ月 前

    Yet universally “The Cross” of Christianity has and is standing as a test to time. Symbolizing death and sacrifice.
    My Savior Jesus dying for me

  • Lance Burley
    Lance Burley ヶ月 前

    Can anything last forever ? No.....not even vox

  • AlchemistOfNirnroot
    AlchemistOfNirnroot ヶ月 前

    How about using frequencies outside of our hearing spectrum near symbols; if the symbolism is lost then certainly the discomfort won't. Sounds unethical though :D

  • Sanjay Matsuda
    Sanjay Matsuda ヶ月 前

    It's incredibly easy. These people are making a mountain out of a molehill. All you have to do is make broken skulls and bones from inexpensive materials, plate them in gold, and then coat them with gypsum. Stick them behind a barrier or on top of a pole, and voilá: a spooky sign with obvious visual language that lasts for billions of years as long as it's left undisturbed.

  • Will The Turtle
    Will The Turtle ヶ月 前

    nowadays the radiation and biohazard symbol is used for edgy 9 year olds adjusting their school email pfp

  • pauldzim
    pauldzim ヶ月 前

    Oooh, glowing cats! Must be something fun there!

  • lilpucca
    lilpucca ヶ月 前

    Imagine if emojis were used instead of these symbols oof

  • Big Daddy
    Big Daddy ヶ月 前

    Hey i'm Persian
    no one cared

  • דפנה מלניק
    דפנה מלניק ヶ月 前

    Someone should write a futuristic novel about the mystery of the glowing cats and the weird cultural traditions

  • 0lone0wolf0
    0lone0wolf0 ヶ月 前

    I can read arabic and those letters dont make any sense at all 0:35

  • Aidid Rashed Efat
    Aidid Rashed Efat ヶ月 前

    My childhood questions have been answered here. 😀

  • Dog Stabber
    Dog Stabber ヶ月 前

    They should've kept the project secret so that it gets forgotten


    This guys voice is so annoying

  • BB11249
    BB11249 ヶ月 前

    Wow is this what the beings that built the pyramids were thinking...?

  • Solder Joe
    Solder Joe ヶ月 前

    A coffin seams to have lasted the millennia. No matter where. Everyone understands a box containing a human buried underground.

  • Siranat usawasutsakorn

    The ironic is that people's instinct fear something unnatural but our conscious minds are drawn toward them. Maybe we would have to let some die so that others feel that something dangerous is really happening.

  • monkeygoesbananas
    monkeygoesbananas ヶ月 前

    If you build a fascinating/terrifying structure it'll just become whatever the equivalent of a tourist attraction is 10,000 years in the future. Also, what if people are so terrified of glowing cats that they kill them? They might not realize that the glowing is in response to the danger and might instead believe that the cats are causing the danger.

  • Ethan Beiswanger
    Ethan Beiswanger ヶ月 前

    Nazis made a pretty memorable sign

  • DankPenguin 420
    DankPenguin 420 ヶ月 前

    I bet that in the future cheese will be a danger symbol