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
    Check out our full video catalog: goo.gl/IZONyE
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コメント数 • 5 846

  • Vox
    Vox  年 前 +1509

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

    • Dario Vurchio
      Dario Vurchio ヶ月 前

      This is one of the best videos available on JPclips. Thank you Vox

    • ¿Hola? ¡Edbey!
      ¿Hola? ¡Edbey! ヶ月 前

      There is a historical difference between the Poison simble and the Nuclear and Biohazard simble. The skull and bones 'has' a pirate theme which some can relate or even want to be as a child. You know, the whole going adventure and collecting ''booty''. Whilst the bio hazard and radiation signs has no current adcenture past history since as you said it is new and unrelatable to any known history we had. We cannot romanticize anything that has no thrill or drama or even funny moments.

    • Kyle Wilhelmsen
      Kyle Wilhelmsen 2 ヶ月 前

      I love white people

  • Storm44Gaming
    Storm44Gaming 9 時間 前 +1

    Which is better
    1 - ᎢᎻᏆᏚ
    2- ᴛʜɪs
    3- тнιѕ

  • Name
    Name 15 時間 前

    Language will change too but like worth a shot?

  • Zane Robbins
    Zane Robbins 22 時間 前

    Am I the only one who feels like the biohazard and nuclear symbols are creepy even without their meanings

  • Baps H
    Baps H 日 前

    Hey hello, warning in Dutch is WAARSCHUWING .. please check spelling before putting it in a video.. it’s always Dutch that gets messed up

  • PabloGM 15
    PabloGM 15 2 日 前 +3

    Best danger symbol -> ☹️


  • bill bill
    bill bill 2 日 前 +1

    These guys seem to think civilization is devolving back to the way it was in ancient times. We have the internet, we don't need to brainwash people to spend their entire lives fearing a hazard they'd never come into contact with.

    • Not the real Mac Ter
      Not the real Mac Ter 18 時間 前 +1

      If you see a biohazard sign on a box it’s best not to open it

  • Bill Clinton
    Bill Clinton 2 日 前

    If I see a skull and crossbones on a sign, I definitely do not think I'm looking at the road to the pirate treasure. Just stick with that, jesus.

  • yungvendingmachine
    yungvendingmachine 2 日 前 +1

    The biohazard symbol is so badass tho

  • Julian Zuniga
    Julian Zuniga 3 日 前

    And now instagramers are taking photo shoots at Chernobyl

  • Jacob Devine
    Jacob Devine 3 日 前

    Spike fields are a good idea. There’s no way to 100% defend a site over time; danger attracts explorers. But if explorers go in and don’t come back, or come back sick, that is sufficient warning.

  • Branden Kramer
    Branden Kramer 3 日 前


  • Austrian Bish
    Austrian Bish 4 日 前

    I can still take the skull and bones serious.

  • Slagter Movies
    Slagter Movies 5 日 前

    I think the logo of T Series woud do it pretty good

  • Noah Czomski
    Noah Czomski 5 日 前 +2

    mmm....Do dead, not open inside.

  • Rob
    Rob 6 日 前

    It's going to change your shirt.
    It's going to make you want to take a nap under a tree.

  • joe28704
    joe28704 8 日 前

    Finger symbol,
    Ten thousand years from now, you give someone the finger; your'e getting a black eye.
    Finger symbol.

  • Nickster Studios
    Nickster Studios 11 日 前

    im thinking some sort of symbol with a hand, because hands always have and always will mean 'touching', and something else that appears dangorous. cross the hand and the dangorous thing over each other and you've got your symbol.

  • Sir Carrot The First


  • chunky sarvida
    chunky sarvida 11 日 前

    At least we get glowing cats

  • Scientist 007
    Scientist 007 13 日 前

    ر ا د ش ه؟؟؟

  • Andrew Maksimovich
    Andrew Maksimovich 13 日 前

    What if you don't use any symbols to indicate it so no one will find it.

  • Nitish D. Suresh
    Nitish D. Suresh 13 日 前

    Why don't you just imprint "DANGER" all over the place?

    • Nitish D. Suresh
      Nitish D. Suresh 日 前 +1

      @Shirokröte Well, that is a big "if" for humans. We could create lots of back-ups! And the reason Old English isn't spoken is because of the invading Normans from a region of Northern France called Normandy invaded England (which was at the time the only English speaking place on Earth). But nowadays, English is known as an International Language so, lots of people would know it!

    • Shirokröte
      Shirokröte 日 前

      @Nitish D. Suresh who's to say that the internet is still gonna be there in a thousand years? What if there is a catastrophic event that fries all of our electricity or something m

    • Nitish D. Suresh
      Nitish D. Suresh 日 前 +1

      @Shirokröte Exactly, the internet still has it!

    • Shirokröte
      Shirokröte 日 前

      @Nitish D. Suresh I had to look it up and I certainly wouldn't recognize it now.

    • Nitish D. Suresh
      Nitish D. Suresh 日 前 +1

      @Shirokröte Understandable but, do you know what Frecne means? If No, then why do you think that I would? If yes, then, you do know things from 1000 years ago!

  • İkrime Yıldırım
    İkrime Yıldırım 15 日 前

    Skull is the perfect, the other doesn't look like a dangerous warning. It looks like the sign of a recycled paper or plastic.

  • boggers
    boggers 16 日 前

    Terry Pratchett accidentally came up with the solution for this in Good Omens... "Plutonium may give you grief for thousands of years, but arsenic is forever." Just surround it with layers of worthless, foul and toxic materials that get progressively worse as you keep digging into it.

  • Jack Kreidler
    Jack Kreidler 16 日 前 +1

    The biohazard symbol is a fidget spinner.
    Change my mind.

  • Da snake 19
    Da snake 19 16 日 前

    this was unnecessarily deep

  • Komodo Productions
    Komodo Productions 17 日 前

    I heard jolly roger as jolly rancher

  • Alba
    Alba 17 日 前

    No one:
    Seriously, no one:
    Not a single soul:
    François Bastide and Paolo Fabbri: cats. Bioluminiscent cats. We'll make songs about them. Culture. Bioluminiscent cat culture.

  • Avocado
    Avocado 17 日 前 +2

    I dont think the humans will last that long..

  • Ruth Noronha Pushnam

    One day, no one will understand this comment section at all.

  • AG AG
    AG AG 19 日 前

    Thought this video was going to be stupid, but I found it very interesting.

  • Bob B
    Bob B 19 日 前

    go back to college dude

  • Professor Pesca
    Professor Pesca 19 日 前

    The ancient Egyptians had a pretty good system of warning signs on their tombs which we understood the meaning of: “Come in here and you will be horribly cursed by the Gods”. But we just ignored them.
    Even if your warnings are long-lived and future scavengers or archaeologists understand their meaning those explorers may still just decide they know better than you anyway.
    “Nuclear Eternity” is an atmospheric and informative documentary about this problem as it relates to the Finnish nuclear waste depository.

  • jessie tessie
    jessie tessie 19 日 前

    why don't they update the sign on interval?

  • ChaotiX
    ChaotiX 19 日 前

    Vox's pfp is a danger symbol

  • The bunny Who has abs
    The bunny Who has abs 20 日 前 +1

    Just write " you're doing to die"

    • Sander Evers
      Sander Evers 18 日 前 +1

      Languages changes even faster than symbols. For instance try reading ancient Greek.

  • Mark Arca
    Mark Arca 20 日 前 +3

    The snake entwined in a staff is more related to the medical profession than a warning symbol.

  • william Charles
    william Charles 20 日 前

    My boy Mars got that voice of honey 🍯 😍👌

  • Lilou ou
    Lilou ou 20 日 前

    a kid in year 3000 finding a barrel with a radiocative symbol on it : "oh a candy barrel!"

  • Ivinn
    Ivinn 20 日 前 +8

    Easy. Just put dead bodies around perimeter. Done.

    • Ivinn
      Ivinn 15 日 前

      @Valiswen Parker Seems like a horror film.

    • Valiswen Parker
      Valiswen Parker 15 日 前

      It would work, I think. Oh crap, all these people died from something here! Better avoid...Until you get that one person who asks questions. Like...What "something" killed them?

  • PMP1337
    PMP1337 20 日 前

    Most, if not all, of this debate is because of the radioactive storage places. Because radioactive material takes very long time to decay.
    But the most probable thing to happen is that in the future we discover ways to repurpose the nuclear waste and those facilities will be open for the material to be used.
    What is really dangerous is burring them and landscaping over like they are doing in France and in Finland.

  • dreadlordhg
    dreadlordhg 21 日 前 +4

    wait, these things are supposed to kill you??? i’ve been eating uranium for years and bin fine lmao

  • fightmefairy
    fightmefairy 21 日 前

    Whenever I see the real Jolly Roger symbol I know exactly what it means. When I see it on a children’s hats for playing pretend I know that the child’s hat isn’t dangerous

  • K
    K 21 日 前

    New conspiracy theory: They engineered the bioluminescent cats, but when they realized that the cats constantly glowed no matter where they placed them, they were destroyed.

  • I reckon I can build that

    So let me get this straight, they've got a substance that will still be deadly in 10,000 yrs, and instead of thinking it's a really bad idea to produce it, they're considering starting a new religion with glowing cats??

  • Daffaa Dany
    Daffaa Dany 21 日 前 +1


  • Viipyilevä Miete
    Viipyilevä Miete 21 日 前

    Tbh i think that a skull is the symbol, which retains its meaning the best. For a symbol to last long periods of time people need to be able to recognize it and attribute it with something. Biohazard or nuclearhazard symbols do not last because they can't be recognized without ever seeing them and learning their meaning before. On the other hand skull is instantly recognizeable to every human who has seen a skull - of which there are an abundance of. Also I would think it is higely likely that people will attribute skulls with death as skulls can only be naturally seen after an animal with a skeleton dies. Thus image of a skull = something has died here = danger

  • Rosé
    Rosé 21 日 前

    when the teacher asks you to turn the project 0:40

  • Anna Štefanová
    Anna Štefanová 22 日 前 +2

    I have watched this at least 5 times now...I love this ..I cant ever get bored of you Vox! Thank you for informing me agout everything interesting!

  • Number Eight or Nine?

    couldnt we just hang skeletons, bodies, etc?

  • Yuubi Timbergrim
    Yuubi Timbergrim 22 日 前

    When i see a skull & cross on a product it is poison and dangerous
    But when i see it on clothes & stuff, its neato!

  • Martín Blanco
    Martín Blanco 22 日 前

    If you don’t want the nuclear waste hurt people, you shouldn’t create nuclear waste. Or you should send it to the outer space. Signs can’t turn the danger safe

  • Noah & Atlas
    Noah & Atlas 22 日 前

    Vox be asking the questions I didn’t even know I was asking

  • Jake Edwards
    Jake Edwards 22 日 前

    The Children of Atom definitely didn't get the memo

  • Cake Walk 315
    Cake Walk 315 22 日 前 +13

    I wish someone would make my roger jolly.

  • Kasper
    Kasper 22 日 前 +4

    In 10.000 years, this nuclear waste will be a conspiracy theory.

  • Nik thechampion
    Nik thechampion 22 日 前

    Ok stuff like this is interesting and well made, unlike your political propaganda

  • iop erty
    iop erty 22 日 前

    Good voiced and good match of them

  • iop erty
    iop erty 22 日 前

    Well that was surprisingly creepy

  • Oktay Kaan
    Oktay Kaan 22 日 前

    Maybe if we sometime become immortals and never see our actual skulls then we might not fear the jolly roger

  • Jim Bob
    Jim Bob 22 日 前

    I disagree

  • Zrebbesh
    Zrebbesh 23 日 前

    Curiosity will be attracted by whatever warning you put in place. Even if they know exactly what it means. And deliberate exposure by the curious is by far more likely than accidental discovery by someone who doesn't understand the danger. If someone is going to investigate the source of radioactivity, then they know what the hell is up. Otherwise they shouldn't be able to discover anything unusual about the site. So HIDE IT.

  • Clairie W
    Clairie W 23 日 前

    That’s why you kept historical datas? To learn things in the past?
    When the symbol is no longer recognised we would probably not be here anymore anyway.
    Let them explode...

  • i dont even speak spanish loo

    How about just putting dead people all around, problem solved

  • maxtrix1
    maxtrix1 23 日 前

    I felt discomfort after seeing this

  • IG: Akira.MadeThat
    IG: Akira.MadeThat 24 日 前

    After the war the survivors will worship the symbol... hey wait

  • Strong Independent Black Woman Who Dont Need No Man

    The ISIS flag would work!

  • Jens Erwig
    Jens Erwig 24 日 前

    Just add the symbol to google maps. done.

  • LakeEffectNoey
    LakeEffectNoey 24 日 前

    People used to be scared of pirates and now we have adorable pirates like Emerson Barrett

  • ruben angulo
    ruben angulo 24 日 前

    Did anyone else eyes hurt around 2:36

  • Doruk Bayraktar
    Doruk Bayraktar 24 日 前

    Can we all agree that scientists are too paranoid and are working on the wrong things...

  • Sephok
    Sephok 25 日 前

    Um, if I see Skull and Crossbones on anything that isn't clothes, rum or paint on building walls, I'm still careful (not to say that I drink rum (alcohol isn't really my thing)). Skull and Crossbones are still a very understandable warning sign.

  • Veronika C
    Veronika C 25 日 前

    well the glowing cats idea is a bit out there

  • WaZabi
    WaZabi 26 日 前

    You could have referenced the documentary called into eternity!

  • Cody Bell
    Cody Bell 26 日 前

    When I See Jolly Roger I think of NWO 🏴‍☠️

  • XXSaltXx04 _
    XXSaltXx04 _ 26 日 前

    This video haunts me for some reason, I just get pure chills watching it and feel like I’m gonna die.

  • Shaun Brown
    Shaun Brown 26 日 前

    The skull and cross bones symbol is still used in the U.K. on bleach or anything that kills you but like you say it’s culture as in my culture you’d stay away from it (unless you’re like a child doing something just because you’re told not to).

  • flame object shows /and more

    in a alternative universe where Mr. peanut is a danger symbol
    *nuts explodes everywhere*

  • Pouya Mori
    Pouya Mori 26 日 前

    I don't understand why they're so concerned with the well being of people 10000 years in the future. Just let a few of them die and they'll come up with all sorts of symbols themselves

  • Mahesh Sharma
    Mahesh Sharma 27 日 前

    so, what happen at the end of this visual? where is the ans????

  • Jade Saldaña
    Jade Saldaña 27 日 前

    I just got a biohazard tattoo (with a personal meaning to it) and this video is killing my vibe.

  • gary22898
    gary22898 27 日 前

    Actually the biohazard symbol has been around for millennia appearance on the face of the lumen

  • pentekimi
    pentekimi 27 日 前

    the second half of the video only makes sense if you presume that the current civilization (education, law enforcement, army, English language, well established, fixed common sense, gradual change or improvement) won't last for the next 10k years in any form (there will be nobody to guard the perimeters, there will be nobody to read and understand English (let alone anyone to translate from ancient (present) English to more modern (future) languages, to install new signs), and the common knowledge of you don't want to wander anywhere nearby these symbols)

  • Hailey Te
    Hailey Te 27 日 前 +1

    doe the voice seem different at time?

    • alexandra d
      alexandra d 22 日 前

      Because they’re different voices genius

  • Luke Amparo
    Luke Amparo 28 日 前

    I'm pretty sure there is a superhero called Nuclear Man or something. They're changing the symbols already.

  • bobsickle
    bobsickle 28 日 前

    Yeah, the meaning of that cause and effect sequence would massively change if the last panel was eroded away.
    "Come to box with this symbol, free shirts"

  • Grace Fink
    Grace Fink 28 日 前

    I don't understand why they haven't thought of something that is really simple: Sound. Sirens. Loud noises that one will be spooked by and will only turn off if the organism goes away from the certain place.

  • Seagulllz
    Seagulllz 28 日 前 +1

    ~the sex sign will change then~

  • Thleamus Lofi
    Thleamus Lofi 28 日 前


  • Omnywrench
    Omnywrench 29 日 前 +1

    [Sees radiation symbol] Oooh, this must be where our ancestors buried all their delicious pie

  • Seung Hyun Kim
    Seung Hyun Kim 29 日 前

    Maybe noise. A device that gives noise that people scare most.

  • It's a Me Vault Boi
    It's a Me Vault Boi 29 日 前

    Notices radiation sign outside decayed nuclear reactor: "hmm I wonder how much hard rock candy I can get here *Trick or Treat* "

  • UnrulyST
    UnrulyST 29 日 前


  • aksh Shukla
    aksh Shukla 29 日 前

    It's a biohazerd symbol

  • Dino Nucci
    Dino Nucci ヶ月 前

    Yeah, creating a nuclear secret society is way easier than posting 3 slides a d c

  • Emma Hague
    Emma Hague ヶ月 前

    what if Stonehenge was meant to be a warning...

  • Sinathi Kunene
    Sinathi Kunene ヶ月 前

    2027: puts sad emoji

  • Tumo Mere
    Tumo Mere ヶ月 前

    jolly roger? yeah thats still poison mate.

  • BennyB5555
    BennyB5555 ヶ月 前

    When I was in primary school I recall the Mr. Yuck stickers. I thought if you smelled them they actually were poison and you could die.