From Bee Larvae to Toilet Rats, Our Favorite Videos of 2015

We were surprised, shocked, and awed by these videos, from National Geographic explorers and beyond.

In addition to a number of surprising viral videos, this year saw some big discoveries and exciting coverage by National Geographic explorers and storytellers, from a mesmerizing time-lapse of bees to a disturbing encounter involving a toilet.

Some of our favorite videos of the year include:

1. Bees in Time-Lapse

National Geographic photographer Anand Varma made this time-lapse video of bee larvae hatching and growing up before our eyes. In order to capture this unique look at nature, Varma spent six months with a beehive that he set up in his workshop.

The project gave him a new respect for beekeepers as well as the industrious insects. The video went viral around the world.

2. A “Desert Goddess” Remembers a Doomed Canyon

(May not be suitable for all ages.)

This year, National Geographic shared the best videography from around the world through our popular “Short Film Showcase” series. One of the most unique videos was an excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation.

In the piece, folk singer and activist Katie Lee reflects on the loss of the beautiful—and culturally significant—Arizona canyons flooded by Glen Canyon Dam in the 1960s. Before the water rose, Lee and friends had rafted the wild river. In counterculture fashion, Lee explored part of the area nude.

It was “the most natural thing in the world,” Lee, who is now in her 90s, remembers.

3. How a Rat Can Climb Up Your Toilet

In this video that is part horrifying, part fascinating, a National Geographic TV crew shows how rats can literally wriggle their way up a standard toilet. That explains how those buggers got in!

4. One Tree, 40 Fruit

An artist and professor at Syracuse University has created a veritable tree of heaven. By using highly precise grafting, he has created a tree that bears 40 different types of fruit.

The tree is beautiful, and may have implications for the evolution of agriculture.

5. Sharks. In a Volcano.

In this National Geographic exclusive, oceanographers studying hydrothermal vents in the remote Solomon Islands found a hotbed of shark activity inside a subterranean volcano. (Learn more about the discovery.)

Sharknado, eat your heart out.

Follow Brian Clark Howard on Twitter and Google+.

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