- Check out David Baron’s amazing TED talk here
- MUSIC: “Supernatural”, “Virtutes Instrumenti”, & “Virtutes Vocis” by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
ADAM: Hello, Earthlings! You’re watching Adam the Alien. It’s August 21st, 2017 as I’m recording this, and I am looking right at a solar eclipse happening right now! And I am nerding out like I can’t even describe! Ha HAAA!
I have always seen pictures, and I’ve seen videos and time lapses, but I don’t think anything can really compare to–
JONATHAN: To being there.
ADAM: …laying my eyes on this. It’s not even total yet! And…ahhhh! I have been waiting my whole life for this experience and is not disappointing and it’s not even at the height yet. I’m…pbbbhh! I feel like I’m word salading. I can’t express how incredible this is.
JONATHAN: There’s gonna be another solar eclipse starting from the middle of Texas and going up through Maine.
ADAM: All right.
JONATHAN: …in, uh, in April 2024. Make your reservations now.
ADAM: So what we’re saying is, yeah, in seven years I’m gonna be out East doing this again.
JONATHAN: Yeah! We need to find someplace that’s not gonna be raining…in April. Is what we’re saying.
ADAM: There’ve been helicopters and planes flying all over. I wonder what it’s like to be in the air while this is going on.
ADAM: The moon is becoming a crescent.
ADAM (V.O.): Yeah, you just heard right. I called the sun the moon. But I mean, look at this. Can you blame me? It looks a lot more like the moon than the sun.
ADAM: It looks like a cookie with a bite out of it. Never has it looked so much like it looked on things like Sesame Street. This is, like, the classic, stylized, cartoonish moon…except it’s the sun!
DAD: Yeah. That’s right! And it’s gonna be much more of a crescent pretty soon.
[AWESTRUCK, GIDDY LAUGHTER]
SARAH: It’s getting really dark, and kinda cold.
JONATHAN: Normally I’d have my sunglasses on ’cause it’s too bright! Even when you’re not looking anywhere near the sun. And now it’s like…it reminds me of when there’s smoke in the air. Except there’s no smoke in the air.
ADAM: It’s 9:51, and uh…I don’t know how well my camera’s gonna show this, but it’s definitely gotten darker. And the lighting’s kinda getting eerie, isn’t it? It’s…it’s not normal-seeming lighting. It’s not like how it usually gets dark. It’s so weird! This is very eerie.
ADAM: Yeah, it is getting cold! Ohhh, this is amazing!
JONATHAN: (scoffing) Cold! It’s probably still like 70-something.
ADAM: I know! But when it starts in the 90s…
ADAM: The temperature is changing. It’s getting cooler, the sky is darker. I don’t think the camera’s gonna be able to capture any of that, but it’s so eerie!
JONATHAN: Darn you, autoexposure!
ADAM: Ohh, look at the sky over there! It’s just…the shade of everything. Just that weird dimness. [EXCITEDLY GIDDY LAUGH] I’m getting so excited! This is amazing! This! Is! Amazing!
ADAM: You excited, Joel?
JOEL: I’m very excited!
ADAM: It’s 10:05. It’s almost total. It’s getting so much darker, and the breeze is getting chillier and chillier. The…the colors of everything around me are getting eerier and eerier, and there’s no way the camera’s catching it.
JONATHAN: No! It’s probably all bright and shiny and wonderful in the camera!
ADAM: It’s not even total, yet, and I just can’t stop thinking about the fact that this is definitely not something that can be properly experienced through a camera.
[SILLY SHOUTS OF “BANANA” IN BACKGROUND]
ADAM: You’ve gotta see a full total eclipse in your
JONATHAN: Like, seriously….that is…oh my God. I’m where Adam was…ten minutes ago.
JOEL: You’re where Adam was a DAY ago?
ADAM: Just enjoy what you’re seeing!
JOEL: He’s all chill, now.
JONATHAN: No! No, dude, I’m crying!
ADAM: Oh, this is so cool!
JOEL: You’re so excited. Oh, there we go!
[ADAM LAUGHS EXCITEDLY]
ADAM: I’m so excited! Look at that! Ahhhh!
ADAM: Ohhhh! The light has gotten even eerier.
JOEL: Oh here it comes!
ADAM: Here it comes!
[EXCITED SCREAMING IN BACKGROUND]
ADAM: Ohhhh shoot, here it comes!
[EXCITED SCREAMING AND CHATTER IN BACKGROUND]
-…how cold it’s getting!-
[EXCITED, HIGH PITCHED NOISE]
♫ [DRAMATIC MUSIC SWELLS] ♫
[INCREASINGLY EXCITED BACKGROUND VOICES]
ADAM (V.O.): No words can accurately describe what I experienced during that brief period of totality. It was…unreal. I felt like I was in a dream. It truly seemed like I’d stepped into another world, a world that could only exist in fantasy. Nothing could prepare me for it. No photograph, no time lapse, no impossibly expensive special effects in any movie or show.
In a time when we, as a people, are increasingly difficult to impress, this completely blew me away.
[THE CROWD CHEERS EXUBERANTLY]
The eclipse totality was just a little more than one minute of my life, but it changed me. How much, I don’t yet know. But it was unlike any other experience I’ve ever had.
The sight of the sun blocked by the moon, the mountain still glowing on the horizon, the sight of my friends and family in lighting I never would have believed to be natural, the confused wildlife quickly trying to go to sleep or wake up, thinking the night had come……it was all beyond breathtaking.
[EXCITED BACKGROUND NOISES]
Around me, the reactions were strong, ranging from awestruck silence to loud euphoria, from a giddy panic to an inexplicable flood of tears.
Throughout history, eclipses have been seen as world-changing, whether as portents of doom or merely a sign of change. It’s easy to see why people would put such significance in the event. The eclipse brought forth a strange, beautiful, almost frighteing mix of emotions I can’t even begin to describe.
Until that moment, I don’t think I’ve ever grasped the full meaning of the word “awe”. But that’s what I was: I was in awe.
♫ [PEACEFUL, MYSTICAL MUSIC] ♫
JONATHAN: Holy shit, that was cool!
ADAM: So in the lead-up to the eclipse, I saw this TED talk in which a formerly skeptical science reporter who became an eclipse evangelist and an eclipse chaser talked about the idea that you owe it to yourself, at least once before you die, to see a total solar eclipse.
I agree! That was just the briefest of experiences, but it was so incredible, and so unlike anything else. I don’t even know how to fully describe it. It was just amazing, and now I want it again. I’m now an eclipse addict!
Look at this, the light still feels weird. The warmth is still trying to come back. This is…wwwrrrroooHAhaha!
ALICIA: I’m still crying!
ADAM: I don’t know how to describe this! I need–I need it again! Seven years! I’m going East! [GIDDY LAUGHTER]
ADAM: Hours have passed, now, and I am still processing the eclipse and it’s effect. And…all I can think is that everyone seems to agree that it felt dreamlike, and very surreal. There’s nothing…nothing quite like it! There really is…it really is a unique experience.
And…I’m…I’m addicted now. I need my next fix! Hopefully…hopefully sooner than seven years from now, if I can get to another continent. [LAUGHS]
Until next time, I’m Adam the Alien. Fare thee well.