Jessica Oreck, documentary filmmaker and animal keeper at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, directed the animations of the etymologies of 26  words, one video for each of the letters of the alphabet. Each video took between 80 to 120 hours to complete. The series is called Mysteries of the Vernacular. “Clue” is featured at the top of this post.

Oreck loved biology in school but became enamored with filming it after viewing Attenborough’s Private Life of Plants. She is the founder of Myriapod Productions whose mission is to make inspired and inspirational films about nature and create a sense of wonder about the world around us. Her full-length documentaries Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (about the Japanese fascination with insects) and Aatsinki (about Laplanders) have met with very positive critical acclaim.

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