Skip to navigationSkip to content

Scientists say the ways humans describe nature transcends culture and geography

Michael Tabb
By Michael Tabb

Video journalist

Even very different languages seem to organize the world in surprisingly similar ways.

Researchers with the non-profit Santa Fe Institute studied 81 different languages and found that they tend to draw similar connections between objects in nature, despite differences in culture and geography. People connect sea and salt, for example, whether they live on the coast or far inland. As you’ll see in the video above, the research could shed new light on the evolution of language, and the people who speak it.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.