The Battle of Gettysburg can feel like ancient history. That is, until you consider the dinosaur footprints that are still visible on some of the rocks around the battlefield. I’m going to type it over again because it’s just so cool:  dinosaur footprints at Gettysburg. Really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

When you live in a city with as many smart people as this one, you’re bound to get some fun meetings of the minds.  Like, say, a geologist nicknamed “Magma P.I.” and a licensed battlefield guide discussing the prehistory of the Gettysburg area and its effect on the battle.  Turns out those dinosaurs may have had more to do with that crucial Civil War event than you might’ve thought. 

If you get as much of a kick out of this stuff as I do, you can thank Johns Hopkins for adding to your YouTube favorites list.  This summer, the university is bringing together smarties from all sorts of disciplines to illuminate surprising new facets of the Civil War in fun, brief videos, just in time for the conflict’s 150 year anniversary. 

If prehistoric geology isn’t your thing, you can also watch a physicist explore the battle’s mysterious “acoustic shadow” phenomenon, in which people 150 miles away heard cannons that families a few miles down the road couldn’t hear at all.  And more videos are sure to come.

Recommended for scientists, non-scientists, Civil War buffs, and people who like to waste time on YouTube but feel like they’re getting smarter while doing so.