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Super Mario Bros. in 5 Minutes

YouTube
YouTube

In late 2011, Andrew Gardikis set a record for a "speed run" on Super Mario Bros. -- this means he played through the entire game as quickly as possible (yes, he used the warp tubes). For that 2011 run, Gardikis calculated his time at 4:58.898, or just under five minutes (he's calculating down to the frame level).

Then on January 14, 2013, Gardikis published a new video, in which he broke his old record by 0.1 seconds. In the new video, he put the old run in a little window inside the new run, so you can see how similar his pattern is -- he plays with uncanny timing, jumping at almost exactly the same times (with a few goof-off jumps at nonessential points). Because both audio tracks are included, you can hear how similar the two runs are.

At times one run gets slightly ahead of the other, but they end up syncing up due to the 21 frame rule (oversimplified explanation: when the game goes to a black screen or other such transition, it effectively rounds to the nearest 21-frame boundary, thus effectively re-syncing the clock).

Now, I want you to think back to playing Super Mario Bros., and all the times you died on the dumb water levels. Think about all those times you fell in a pit, and what an achievement it was to finally arrive at the final level after hours of play. Now watch Gardikis demolish the game in five minutes.

Gardikis holds other speed records (many of them tool-assisted). On SMB he can apparently do the whole game without warp tubes in 19:40 (!), and he gets major bonus points for sitting through more than 22 minutes of "Yo! Noid," mentioned in my opus 6 Obscure Facts About the Noid.

See also: Will the Real "Super Mario Bros. 2" Please Stand Up? and These Tetris Videos Will Stress You Out.

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WWF
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Animals
Watch an Antarctic Minke Whale Feed in a First-of-Its-Kind Video
WWF
WWF

New research from the World Wildlife Fund is giving us a rare glimpse into the world of the mysterious minke whale. The WWF worked with Australian Antarctic researchers to tag minke whales with cameras for the first time, watching where and how the animals feed.

The camera attaches to the whale's body with suction cups. In the case of the video below, the camera accidentally slid down the side of the minke whale's body, providing an unexpected look at the way its throat moves as it feeds.

Minke whales are one of the smallest baleen whales, but they're still pretty substantial animals, growing 30 to 35 feet long and weighing up to 20,000 pounds. Unlike other baleen whales, though, they're small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like within sea ice, a helpful adaptation for living in Antarctic waters. They feed by lunging through the sea, gulping huge amounts of water along with krill and small fish, and then filtering the mix through their baleen.

The WWF video shows just how quickly the minke can process this treat-laden water. The whale could lunge, process, and lunge again every 10 seconds. "He was like a Pac-Man continuously feeding," Ari Friedlaender, the lead scientist on the project, described in a press statement.

The video research, conducted under the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership, is part of WWF's efforts to protect critical feeding areas for whales in the region.

If that's not enough whale for you, you can also watch the full 13-minute research video below:

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Darel Carey
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Mind-Bending Tape Art
Darel Carey
Darel Carey
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These surreal installations are made entirely of tape. They're the creation of artist Darel Carey, who has made it his mission to "dimensionalize" flat surfaces into 3D topographies. See more of his trippy tape art on Instagram

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