Paul Rosolie: Amazon Jungle, Uncontacted Tribes, Anacondas, and Ayahuasca | Lex Fridman Podcast #369

It was just like one of those moments Where we saw it at the same time and We're standing by the tail And the snake was so big that I mean This must have been a 25 foot anaconda Dead asleep with a with a probably a 16 Foot anaconda like sprawled across her And they're laying in the Starlight and We're floating on top of a lake standing There in the middle of the Amazon and JJ Just I just I could feel the blood drain Out of his face And as a however old I was you know Maybe 20 years old I just said if I if We could somehow Show people this Will be on the front cover in National Geographic and we can protect all the Jungle that we want And so I tried to catch it Yeah so I jumped on the snake and the Only measurement I have of this animal Is that when I wrapped my arms around it I couldn't touch my fingers yeah and so I was you know my my feet were dragging Into her credit this Anaconda did not Turn around and eat me because her head Was you know this bad and and she went And she reached the edge of the the Grass Island and she starts plunging Into the dark and so I'm watching the Stars vibrate as this anaconda's going And I had to make the choice Of either going head first down into the

Black which no thank you or stopping and Just keeping my hand on this thing as it Raced by me and I just felt the scales And the muscle and the power go by and Then eventually taper down to the tail Until it's Slipped Away into the Darkness and I was laying there just Panting The following is conversation with Paul Rosly a conservationist Explorer author Filmmaker and real life Tarzan since for Much of the past 17 years Paul has lived Deep in the Amazon rainforest protecting Endangered species and trees from Poachers loggers and foreign Nations Funding them he is the founder of jungle Keepers which today protects over 50 000 Acres of threatened habitat and Paul is One of the most incredible human beings I've ever met I hope to travel with him In the Amazon jungle one day because in His eyes I saw a truth that can only be Discovered directly by spending time Among the immensity and power of nature At its purest This is the Lex Friedman podcast to Support it please check out our sponsors In the description and now dear friends Here's Paul rosly In 2006 at 18 years old you fled New York and traveled to the Amazon This started a journey that I think Lasts this day uh tell me about this First Leap what in your heart pulled you

Towards the Amazon jungle From the time I was you know three years Old I'd say you know I was dinosaurs Wildlife documentaries fever when you Name it and like when my parents said You know nature versus nurture they they Nurtured my nature I was always just Drawn to Streams forests I wanted to go explore Where the little little creek LED I Wanted to see the turtles and the snakes And so I was a kid that hated school did Not get along with school I was dyslexic And didn't know it undiagnosed I didn't Read until I was like 10 years old like Way behind and so for me the forest was Safety like I remember one time in first Grade they had you doing those you know Those multiplication sheets that was Pure hell for me and so I actually got So upset that I couldn't do it that I Ran out the classroom ran out the door And went to the nearest woods and I Stayed there because that was safe and So for me like once I got to the point Where I was like high school isn't Working out I had incredibly supported Parents that were like look just get out Take your GED get out of high school After 10th grade you got to go to College but like start doing something You love and so I saved up and bought a Ticket to the Amazon and met some Indigenous guys and the second I walked

In that Forest it was like it's like the First scene in Jurassic Park when they See the dinosaurs and they go oh this is It yeah I walked in there and just I Looked at those giant trees I saw leaf Cutter ants in real life and I just went Oh it was like the movie just started You know that was when that was when Like I came online Can you put in towards what is it about That place that felt like home what was It that Drew you what aspect of nature The streams the water the the forest the Jungle the animals what what Drew you Uh it's just it's always been in my Blood I mean for any Forest I mean Whether it's you know Upstate New York Or or India or Borneo but the Amazon It's it's it's all of that turned up to This level where everything is Superlatively diverse you know you have More plants and animals than anywhere Else on Earth not just now but in the Entire fossil record it's the Andes Amazon interface there's just that's Terrestrally that's that's where it is That's the greatest library of life that Has ever existed and so you're just You're so stimulated you're so Overwhelmed with color and diversity and Beauty and this overwhelming sense of Natural Majesty of these you know Thousand-year-old trees and half the Life is up in the canopy of those trees

We don't even have access to it there's Stuff without names walking around on Those branches and it's like it just Takes you somewhere and so going there It was like it you know the guys I met Just opened the door and they were like You know how far do you want to go down The rabbit hole how how much of this do You want to see you mentioned Steve Irvin uh you list a bunch of Heroes yeah Have he's one of them and he said that When you're unsure about a decision you Ask yourself uh wwsd what would Steve do Why is that such a good heuristic for Life what would Steve do he's a human Being that like everything we saw from Steve Irwin was positive everything was With a smile on his face if he was Getting bitten by a reticulated python He was smiling if he was you know Getting destroyed in the news for Feeding a crocodile with his son too Close he was trying to explain to people Why it's okay and why we have to love These animals and everything was about Love everything was about you know Wildlife and protecting and to me a Person like that that where you only see Positive things that's that's a role Model and it's just like an endless Curiosity and hunger to explore this This world of nature yeah and an Insatiable Madness for for wildlife I Mean the guy was just so much fun I

Gotta if it's okay uh read to you a few Of your own words you opened oh boy the Book Mother of God with the passage that I think beautifully Paints the scene Before he died Santiago Duran told me a Secret it was late at night in a palm Thatched Hut on a bank of the temple Potter river deep in the southwestern Corner of the Amazon basin besides the Mud oven two wild boar heads sizzling Sizzled in a cradle of Embers they're Protruding tusks curling and static Agony as they cooked The smell of burning Sacropia wood and cinched flesh filled Air Woven basket containing monkey skulls Hung from the rafters Where Stars speak Through the gaps in the thatching a pair Of chickens huddled in the corner Conversing Softly We sat facing each other on sturdy Benches across a table hewn from a Single cross section of some massive Tree now nearly consumed by termites the Song of a million insects and frogs Filled the night Santiago's cigarette trembled in the H Fingers as he leaned close over the Candlelight to describe a place hidden In the jungle that line The songs of a million insects and frogs Filled the night for some reason hit me Um what's it like sitting there

Conversing among so many living Creatures all around you every night in The jungle you live in constant Awareness of that out there in the Darkness Are literally millions of heartbeats Around you and so like We exist in this in this you know Domesticated paved world most of the Time but when you go out there past the Roads and the and the telephone poles And the hospitals and you make it out Into Earth just wild Earth and there's No there's no there's not like this is a National park there's no rescue Helicopter waiting to come get you you Are out there And you're surrounded at Night by I mean There are snakes and jaguars and frogs And insects and all this stuff just Crawling through the swamps and through The trees and through the branches and We put on headlamps and go out into the Night and just absolutely fall to our Knees with Wonder of the things that we See it's it's absolutely incredible and Most of it doesn't make sounds like the Insects do the insects do the frogs do You have some of the night birds making Sounds but a lot of it everything has Evolved to be silent invisible I mean everything there is in the on on The list like like I there's another Line in Mother of God where I said like

You know like life is just like a Temporary moment of stasis and like the Churning recycling Death March that is The Amazon like it's um it's been called The greatest natural Battlefield on Earth I mean if any in any square acre There's more stuff eating other things Than anywhere else and and you go Through a swamp in the Amazon And there's like this tarantulas Floating on the water there's frogs in The trees there's there's Tadpoles hanging from leaves waiting to Drop into the water this fish waiting to Eat them this Birds and the trees you Literally are surrounded by so many Things that your brain can't process it It's it's just overwhelming Life Churning Death March Some of the creatures are waiting and Some of them are being a bit more Proactive about it What do you make of that Churning Death March that the amount of Murder that's happening all around you At all scales what is that you know we Uh we dramatize Wars and the millions of People that were lost in World War II uh Some of them tortured some of them dying Uh with a gun in hand some of them Civilians but it's just millions of People hmm what about the billions and Billions and billions of organisms that

Are just being murdered all around you Is that Um do you does that change your view of Nature of life here it I've always kind Of wondered like that like when you see Like a you know wildebeest taken down by Lions and and eaten from behind while It's alive and it makes you question God You know you go how could how could how Could they let this happen Um in the Amazon I find personally that these natural Processes make up Almost a religion That it reminds you how temporary we are That you know the the bot flies that are Trying to get into your skin and the Mosquitoes that are trying to suck your Blood and the you know when that when You sweat you see you see the you Literally can like hold out your arm and Watch the condensation come off of your Skin and rise up into the canopy and Join the clouds and Rain back down in The afternoon and and then you drink the River and start it all over again and It's like it's flowing through you so Uh the Amazon reminds me that that There's a lot that we don't understand And so when it comes to that Overwhelming and Collective murder as Werner Herzog put it Um it's just part of the show it's part Of the freak Show of the Amazonian night

I see you I you in certain moments able To feel one with a mosquito that's Trying to kill you slowly and one with The mosquito is a stretch is it always The enemy what I mean is like you're Part of the machine there right yeah and It's like Fair Play It's like fair play So like we have bullet ants and like you Know you get you get nailed by a bullet Ant you just go yeah well well done well Today's today's over I'm going back to Bed and I'm taking a pile of Tylenol and You know do you think in that sense When you're out there are you a part of Nature or you're separate from Nature's Man a part of nature or separate I think That's what's so refreshing about it is That out there you truly are And so whether we're bringing Researchers or film Crews or or whether We're just out there ourselves on an Expedition Um you truly are a part of Nature and so One of the things that that my team and I started doing when I became friends With these guys you know this is a Family of indigenous people from the Community of infierno and they took me In and As we got close they started saying you Know you can come with us on our like Annual hunting trip and I went okay and It's four guys in a boat and you don't Want to get your clothes wet so we're

All in like our boxers in a canoe with a Motor going out past the places that Have names and you're out in the middle Of the Jungle and the thing is like when You're when your motor breaks you are so Quickly reminded of The inerrant truths like the things that Nobody can argue with and we live in Such a human world where everything is Debatable religion and politics and Perspectives on everything and then you Get down to this point where it's like If we don't Figure something out the river is going To rise and take the boat that's the Truth and ain't nobody gonna like argue With that and it's like to me there's a Beauty in that truth because then all of Us are united there and that and that Truth against like the natural facts Around us And so to me I that's that's a state Where I I feel very very at home and the Amazon is more efficient than most Places on Earth that swallowing you up Oh God yeah okay So just a linger on that because you You've spoken about Francisco de aralana Uh who's this Explorer in the in uh 1541 Or 42 that still the length of the Amazon probably one of the first and That's just a few things I should probably read I should probably Find a good book on him because the guy

Seems like a gangster yes um some great Books on him so he sailed uh he led the Expedition that sailed all the way for One end to the other There's like a rebuilding of a ship Which is insanity yeah yeah so because It speaks to the thing it's like Nobody's gonna come and rescue you no You have to if your boat dies you gotta Have to rebuild it yeah so they came Down the Andes entered in the headwaters Of the Amazon constructed some sort of Raft boat craft something and made it Down the entire Amazon basin of course His stories are the ones that led to the Amazon being called the Amazon because He reported tribes of women he reported These large cities places where the Tribes lived on farms of river turtles That they corralled and they lived off Of that protein and then when they came Out to the mouth of the Amazon if I Remember it correctly that just through Navigation and the Stars they were able To calculate where the way was back to Spain and make a boat seaworthy enough To bring them home Hmm Incredible absolutely do people like That inspire you your own Journey like What gives you kind of strength that um In these harshes of times in harshes of Conditions you can persevere yeah I mean You look at the stories of people that

Are so you know these stories of people That have overcome incredible suffering Like that or like you know what Shackleton did or something like that And so like when you're you know I've Been you know your tent gets washed away You go to sleep and the river Rises 20 Feet and washes away your tent and you Crawl out and all you have is Machete And a headlamp literally no bag no food No nothing and you go wow the next six Days before I reach back to a town is Gonna be just pure hell I'm gonna be Sleeping on the ground covered in ants Destroyed by mosquitoes and then it Becomes you know am I in any capacity Any percentage as tough and resilient as The people that I've read about that Have made it through things far worse Than this and and then that's the game You play what goes through your head all You got is the headlamp and the machete So are you uh thinking at all Like I I've gotten a chance to interact Quite a lot with Elon Musk and he Constantly puts out fires having to run Several companies there's never a kind Of uh Whiny deliberation about issues you just Always One one step forward how to solve right This is the situation how do you solve It or do you also have a kind of Self-motivating

Almost egotistical like I'm a bad [ __ ] I can handle anything Almost like trying to fake it till you Make it kind of thing There was a little bit of your machete You know I got a sword Um There there may have been a little bit Of that when I was like you know like 14 15 years old I'd like you know have like A hunting knife in my dog and I'd go out Into the woods or like the Catskills and Survive for a weekend which my rule was One match You know you get one match and you got To make shelter and then you know I'd Bring like a steak and like make a fire And stuff and at that point there maybe Was some ego but in the Amazon you get Stripped down so completely that you It's like that thing like you know watch The atheism leave everyone's body when They think they're about to die it's Like when you Find yourself staring up at the Amazon At night and you go there is no hope of Getting out of here I mean I was once Lost in a swamp where it took me days to Get out of there and there was there was Moments where I just said this is you Know this is clearly it there's no There's no ego there there's just hope You you start you start realizing what You believe in and

Praying that you'll be okay and and then Trying to trying to summon whatever you Know about how to survive and And that's it and so it's it's actually Again it's kind of it's kind of a Blissful state if you can walk that line Between like Adventure and tragedy and Sort of keep yourself right at that very Very fine line without going over ever Fear of death fear ever fear Um Tara no I don't want to die I wanna I Wanna you know I love the people in my Life and there's a lot of things I want To do but every time I've been every Time I've been certain that I'm gonna Die it's been I've been very very calm Very calm and just sort of like okay Well if this is how the movie goes and This is how it goes almost accepting Yeah Which is which is reassuring you Mentioned Herzog Just to uh Venture down this road of Death and fear and so on there's been a Few Mad Men like you in this world Uh he's documented a couple of them uh What lessons do you draw from Grizzly Man or into the wild those kinds of Stories I were you ever afraid that you Would be one of those stories oh yeah I Actually think that that's in Mother of God where I said I almost until into the Wild did myself like I I went out there And really I got so lost and so

Destroyed that I said this this is this Is going to be the next one you know This is gonna be the next story of some Idiot kid from New York who went to the Amazon thinking he was Percy Fawcett and Then vanished because if you if you do Vanish out there your body's going to be Consumed in a matter of days like like Two you know if we see if we see an Animal dead on a trail it's you got dung Beetles and and fly larva and vultures And there's a whole pecking order you Know you get the black vultures the Yellow vultures the king vulture they All come in that thing is picked clean In a couple of days what would be the Creature that eats most of you in that Situation probably the vultures probably The vultures and the and the maggots It's it's really quick it's really Really quick like like like you even as Far as like you can't leave food out you Know like if you have like a piece of Chicken you say oh I'll eat it in the Morning you leave it out you can't do That it's not it's not good by morning Grizzly Man for example like what Because that's a beautiful story it's Both comical and genius and especially The way Herzog tells it well first of do You like the way he told the story do You like hers I do I love Herzog and I Love his his documentary the burden of Dreams which is which is in the Amazon

Not very far from where I work and the The sheer Madness that you see this man Undergoing of just trying to recreate Hauling a boat over a mountain Um is is is wild and and the you know The the extras that he hired to be to Play the natives are are the I think They're matcha ganga tribesmen and They're just they just look like all the Guys that I hang out with and it's like You know they're doing all this stuff in The jungle that months and months and Months and you can just see him Deteriorating with Madness because the Jungle you know your boat you know how Many times I've tied up a boat to the Side of the river this just happened Like a year and a half ago I tied up Through a lot through covet I pretty Much just lived in the jungle for a While and there was nobody there and There was no support and I tied up my Boat and the rain is just hammering like Like like the universe is trying to rip The Earth in half the rain is just going And the river's rising and I tied up the Boat But then you go to sleep and you got to Wake up every two hours to go check the Boat and the boat is thrashing back and Forth and I so all night every two hours I'd wake up barefoot in driving rain Like you know golf ball raindrops and Just go down check the boat and then by

Morning I was like I fell asleep woke up Checked the boat and then I was like I'm Just gonna go make coffee I was so done I was so like at the end of my rope Every time bailing the boat out and Stuff And then we got 15 minutes of heavy rain That filled the boat sanket So now I'm stuck up River with no boat And it's like that type of thing where It's like no matter how hard you try the Jungle's just like listen You ain't you're nothing you are nothing And so it's that constant reminder and So Herzog really threw himself into that In that film and uh it's it's brilliant To watch what do you think he meant by The line that you include in your book It's a land that God if he exists has Created in anger Said in German accent yeah overwhelming And Collective murder Um So that's that's So you didn't really appreciate the Beauty of the of the murder I think he Appreciated it but to him it was very Dark you know I think he saw the Darkness in it and that's there it sure Is as soon as you do Ayahuasca you that Door opens and you see the darkness Because it brings you right into the Jungle like the the heart of it but I Think that for him it it is I think that

Darkness is something that he Embraces And that he loves there's another film Of his and I don't know if this is Accurate but my memory has it that There's a penguin and I think it's in Antarctica and the Penguins going in the Wrong direction away from the ocean yeah And I feel like he goes on this Monologue about how like he's just had Enough yeah he's you know this one Penguin is just marching towards you Know yeah well he his because I remember That clip from that uh documentary And what Werner says is that the penguin Is deranged yes he's lost his mind and I Took offense to that yeah because maybe That's a brave Explorer like how do you Know there's not some a lot more going On like It could be a love story those penguins Get super attached maybe his mate was Over there and he had to go find her Like or it's a lost mate and he last Time he saw her was going in that Direction exactly so this is like the Great Explorer they we we assume animals Are like the average of the bell curve Like every animal we interact with is Just the average but they're special Ones just like they're special humans Yeah that could be a special penguin ah It could have been and I had the same Thought where I was like I was like he's I I found it beautiful how he

Interpreted it what I took away from That was I found that born of herzog's Monologue there was was brilliantly dark And also comedic But but maybe irrelevant biologically Speaking towards penguins like you know Um which which happens a lot with Animals I find like there's so many Times where I'll find people be like do You think that animals can show Compassion and you hear like a bunch of People that have never left the pavement Talking about like wow this this one Animal helped another and it's like it's Like go ask Jane Goodall if animals can Show compassion go go talk to anybody That works on a daily basis with animals And they'll and so like to me there's a There's always a little bit of Frustration in hearing people sort of Like pleasantly surprised that animals Aren't just you know you know these Automatons of you know just just what's The word like um like programmed you Know nothingness first of all what have You learned about life from Jane Goodall Because she spoke highly of your book And eulitis is one of the mentors but What what kind of wisdom about animals Do you draw from her The wisdom from Jane is so diverse it's I mean she first of all she's someone That you know the work that she did at The time she did it was so incredible

Because I mean she she was out there at A very young age doing that field work She was naming her subjects which Everyone said you shouldn't do she broke Every rule she broke every rule she was Assigning and everyone said you know You're anthropomorphizing these animals By saying that they're doing this and That and she she was like no they're They're interacting they're showing love They're showing compassion they're Showing hate they're showing fear and And she broke straight through all of Those things Um and and it paid off in dividends for Her do you see the animals as having all Those human-like emotions of Anger of Compassion of longing of loneliness from What you've seen with especially with Mammals yeah but with different species Out there do they have all that it Depends on the animal you know if you're Talking you know on the scale of a Cockroach to an elephant you know it's Like a lot of these things and I wonder About this stuff all the time you know I'll I'll have a praying mantis on my Hand and just go what is going through Your mind you know yeah or you'll see it You'll see a spider make a complex Decision and go I'm going to make my web There you know and you go how how are You how are you doing this how are you Because he he made a calculation there

You know it's smart I was in the jungle Not that long ago and I'm I was walking And all of a sudden this Dove comes Flying through the jungle right up to my Face lands on a branch like right here Right next to me I look at the dove dub Looks at me and she's like hey and she's Clearly like panting and I'm like I'm Like why why are you why are you so Close this is weird she's like I know And then and then an ornate hawk eagle Flies up 10 feet away looks at both of Us and just like scowls and like sticks Up its head feathers and then just like Flies off and the dove is like sweet Thanks and then fluff flew in the other Direction and I was like dude you just Used me to save your life yeah the dove Knew see well this is what Because there's diff you know there's Mike Tyson and there's Albert Einstein Yeah and I sometimes I wonder when I Look at different creatures even insects Like is this Mike Tyson or is this Einstein yeah like because one or other Kinds of person like is this a New Yorker or is this a midwesterner or is This like uh San Francisco Barista of The insects like there's all kinds of Personalities you never know so you Can't like project Like if you run into a bear and it's Very angry it could be just the [ __ ] New Yorker yeah sure sure as opposed to

What he's saying about New Yorkers man Exactly coin well made uh So speaking About communicating with the dove um you Uh first met the crew in the Amazon you Talk about JJ as somebody who can Communicate with animals what do you Think uh JJ is able to see and hear and Feel that others don't that he's able to Communicate with animals when I say this Is the most skilled jungle man I've ever Seen and I know so many guys in the Region Um he has libraries of information in His Cranium that we cannot fath it's Just it's just stunning like you know I Have seen him use medicinal plants to Cure things that Western doctors Couldn't cure I've seen him navigate in Such a way that he's not using the Stars He's not using any any discernible you Know it's like when elephants sometimes Like you'll watch a herd of elephants And they'll be like yo let's go we're Going this way and you'll see them sort Of communicate but there's no audible Sound they'll just decide that they're Going that way they all do it JJ has This way in the jungle of you know he'll Stop and he'll go wait and you go what Is it and he goes Does it hurt a peccary coming and I'm Like where Based on what yeah you know and he's Like just wait you'll see and he'll sit

There Um yeah it's just experience it's Incredible experience it's it's growing Up Barefoot in the Amazon and the gift Is that he can speak fluent English and So when I bring tourists and scientists Or news reporters down there he can Communicate with them he's actually good On camera because he doesn't care about Cameras Um and like you know for instance we Were we were we were walking up a stream A few months ago and I went hey look Jaguar tracks and he went oh and I was Like what Jaguar tracks and he's like no Look look harder and I was like The the toes are deeper than the back And he was like Aha and where are they And I was like by the water and I was Like the Jaguar's drinking it was Leaning to drink and he was like that's Right he's like now look behind you I Look behind me and there's scat there's A big log of Jaguar [ __ ] sitting there It's got butterflies all over it fresh Pretty fresh and then there's another One that's less fresh and so he's he's Teaching me as he does he's going look At this look at this is that one as Fresh as this one no and then he goes Now look up look up There's three vultures above us The kill is near us the Jaguar has been Coming multiple times to the river to

Drink as it's feasting on whatever it Killed and he's going it's within 30 Feet of us right now and it's like I'm like oh look impressions in the sand He's like I just drew 19 conclusions From that it's like watching Sherlock Holmes at work it's just constructing The crime scene incredible Does that apply also to be able to Communicate with the actual animals like Read into their body movements directly Uh into their whatever that Dove was Saying to you you'd be able to Understand or is that all just kind of Taking in the complex structure of the Crime scene of the interactions of the Different animals of the environment and So on like what is that that you're able To communicate with another creature That he was able to communicate with Another creature he knows the intention Of pose he knows the habits he knows the Perspective when when when he talks About animals he'll talk about each Species as if it's a person so he'll say Oh oh the the Jaguar she never likes to Let you see her and so he'll come back From the jungle and he'll go oh I was Watching monkeys in this this Jaguar was Also watching the monkeys but I was Being so quiet she didn't see me and Then when she see me she feels so Embarrassed and she'd go and he'll tell You this story like as if he had this

Interaction with like his neighbor And you know and he'll be like oh the Pukakunga it never does that you won't See it do that and so one time one time He caught a fish and I I was such a big Fish it was this big beautiful Pseudoplatistoma this tiger catfish this Amazing old fish and they're all excited To eat it and I felt so bad watching This thing gasp on the sand and I went You know what we don't need this this is For fun Threw it back oh no and then I took my Hand and I went And I made like drag marks like so I Could say oh it it snuck back in the Water and so he walks up he looks at it And he was like I hate you and I went What no I said I must have it must have Just It's not what happens he goes It goes Like this when it go he knew the track Of a fish and I was like oh yeah I was Like all right JJ I'm sorry I'll catch You another fish Uh so stepping back to that way you open Mother of God Yeah uh who was Santiago Duran what Secret did he tell you JJ's father was Uh at some point he was a policeman at Some point when he was a teenager he was Working on the boats that before this Little gold mining city of Puerto Maldonado uh grew the only way to get

Supplies in was to take canoes up the Temple Potter River up to the next state Which is puno and and where the mules Would come down from the mountains with Supplies and then he'd pilot the boats Down but they didn't have Motors at that Time so he would be pulling the boat so He was he became this physically Terrifying man and I met him when he was In his 80s and he was still living out In The Jungle by himself and I mean he's Seen an Anaconda eat a taper which is The you know a cow-sized mammal on the Amazon he'd seen uncontacted tribes face To face he once killed an 11 foot Electric eel Opened the back of the thing's neck Removed the nerve that he says was the Source of the electric then he cut his Forearm placed that nerve into his Forearm wrapped it with a dead Toad and Claimed that it would give him strength Through the rest of his life and Continued to be a jungle badass until The day he quietly leaned back at a Barbecue and ceased to be alive The man was incredible but the secret That he told us was that if you want to Find Big anacondas you know if you want to See the yakomama he was like you have to Go to the boyo the place of Boaz the the Place that we came to call the floating Forest and so he sent us there and it

Became like this This pilgrimage and you know in the Amazon the a lot of the creation myths Are based around the Anaconda coming Down from the heavens and carving the Rivers across the jungle and if you look At the Rivers it looks like that it Looks like the path of an anaconda Crawling through the jungle it's even The right color And so from the reference to the tribes Of women the Amazons to the Anaconda Mother everything in the Amazon is very Feminine based even the even the trees The largest trees in the jungle the Mother of the forest the Madre De La Selva is the K-pop tree and it's just This monster tree these beautiful Ancient trees and that was the beginning Of the transition that we made from me Being like I hate school I want to go on Adventures you know Jane Goodall got to Do all this amazing stuff I'm just a kid Stuck here To to eventually becoming something that Had to do with where my identity became The jungle where my life became the Jungle the the secret that he told us Opened that door because when we started Working with these giant snakes that Started getting attention It started getting people to go what are You doing Um and it started it started allowing me

To have experiences that that solidified And nailed down the fact that this Wasn't just like a weekend retreat this Was this was something that that I was Born to do and gave you more and more Motivation to go in into these Uncharted Territory Which uh just a step back what nations Are we talking about here is there some Some geography what are we talking about Where is this so I'm in Peru yeah we're In Peru and so which is a South American Nation Peru's a South American Nation Brazil has 60 of the Amazon which is Unfortunate because anything that Happens politically in Brazil has a Massive impact impact on the Amazon Peru Has the Western Amazon and Ecuador has a Little bit of the western Amazon and The Western Amazon is where the Andes Mountains The cloud forests which is a mega Biodiverse biome falls into the Western Amazon lowlands and so you have these The meeting of these two incredible Biomes and that's what makes this like Superlative incredible you know glowing Moment of life on Earth so yeah we're in Peru in the Madre de dios which is the Mother of God which I always thought was Such a beautiful You know the jungle is the source of all Life

And uh so we were with the essay ha People and they belong to a community That's called infierno which is given by The missionaries who when they tried to Go bring these people Jesus got so many Arrows shot at them they just called it Hell Um and so so Santiago Duran helped unite These tribes that were that were sort of Scattered through the jungle and get Them status government recognized status As indigenous people so he was sort of a Hero he was sort of a legend for a lot Of the stuff he'd done out Barefoot with Just like a rifle and a machete in the Jungle he he had died he had 19 children And the last one the the I think the 20th child that he adopted was a refugee From The Shining path that floated down The river and he just took him in and You know this is this is just a guy that Was a you know everything he did like When he died the whole the whole the Whole region showed up it was it was he Was somebody so just the fact that I Know him gives me Street Credit like the Fact that I knew him I can go like oh I Knew Santiago and people like no I'm like yeah yeah so you have to get Integrated to the culture to the place That I mean in every single way which is Which is tough for you for the being From from New York yeah Yeah it could have been tough but it was

I took to it you know the jungle they They were very uh you know JJ's teaching Me about medicines and we were doing Bird surveys and you know taking data on Macaw populations and JJ was just like You really want to like he goes you got To sleep and I was like I only have a Few weeks here I don't know if I'm ever Going to come back I'm never going to Sleep so we'd be out every night looking For all the wildlife we could I wanted To take photos I wanted to see things And and then you know the exchange came With that he was like you know I'm Terrified of snakes and I said well I've Always worked with snakes I said I'll Teach you how to handle snakes and then We just had this like little exchange And when I left after my first time back In 2006 You know I said I said how can I help And and they were like look you know We're out here trying to protect this This little island of forest that is Going to be bulldozed and and the more People that you can bring the more Knowledge and the more awareness that You can bring to this it'll help and so Really at that age at 18 years old I Sort of Started dabbling with the idea of that I Could be part of helping these people to Protect this place that I loved and of Course at that time that idea seemed

Like too large of a dream or too large Of a of a challenge so that I could Actually impact it So what was the Journey of looking for These giant snakes Of uh looking for anacondas What are anacondas Anaconda is The largest snake on earth so you have Reticulated pythons in Southeast Asia They're actually longer But anacondas are these massive boas They give live birth and unlike a lot of Other species so an anaconda starts off You know a little two foot anaconda just A little thicker than your finger a Little baby and their food for Cane toads herons crocodiles you name it They're they're pretty harmless Defenseless But as they grow they're eating the fish They're eating the Crocs and then they Grow a little more and they're eating Things like capybara and they're eating Larger prey and then at the end of their Life a female Anaconda you're talking About a 25 30 foot 300 400 pound snake With a head bigger than a football and These things that means that they impact The entire ecosystem which is very Unique moves up the food chain to become Basically the best Predator yeah yeah The the apex predator of the rivers and So that's so interesting is just eating Your way up to food eating your way up

The food chain if you can survive and Like that you know they're constantly at War with everything else but You know so I showed up in the Amazon I Was like so where the anaconda's at and They were like oh no no it's not like That they're like it's you you have to Find these things they're they're Subterranean they're living in the Special swamps they're people kill them And so we went to the floating Forest After we'd come back from An expedition we'd call like a 12-foot Anaconda and it's now it's become like This like classic photo of me and JJ With this Anaconda over our shoulders And we were like we you know we 12 days Out in the jungle on a hunting trip and We we came back and we showed his dad And uh Santiago looked at us and he was Like that's the smallest anaconda I've Ever seen he's like you guys are Pathetic oh man 12 foot and he was like Look you go to the go he's like go he's Like I'm giving you permission go to the Boy you'll go to the floating forest and So we went to this place and we reached There at night and it was me JJ and one Of his brothers and his brother took one Look at it and was like I'm out and he Started walking back and me and JJ get To the edge of this thing and and this Is our friendship it's both this two Idiots pushing each other farther and

Farther and like I like put a foot on The on the ground and it All Shook and The stars are reflecting on the ground And what we realize is that it's a lake With floating grass on top of it yeah And there's islands of grass floating on This Lake very life of pie and the tops Of trees are coming out of the surface Of the water and so we start walking Across this and JJ's going These are big anacondas and I'm going JJ That's a two foot wide smooth path Snaking through the grass there's no Anaconda that big yeah he was going shhh They're listening I said they don't have Ears he goes they're listening and it's Like we're walking and we're walking and Then it's like maybe it's like 1am or Something And it was just like one of those Moments where we saw it at the same time And we're standing by the tail And the snake was so big that I mean This must have been a 25 foot anaconda Dead asleep with a with a probably a 16 Foot anaconda like sprawled across her And they're laying in the Starlight and We're floating on top of a lake standing There in the middle of the Amazon and JJ Just I just I could feel the blood drain Out of his face And as I go however old I was you know Maybe 20 years old I just said if I if We could somehow

Show people this we'll be on the front Cover of National Geographic and we can Protect all the jungle that we want and So I tried to catch it Yeah so I jumped on the snake and the Only measurement I have of this animal Is that when I wrapped my arms around it I couldn't touch my fingers yeah yeah And so I was you know my my feet were Dragging into her credit this Anaconda Did not turn around and eat me because Her head was you know this bad and and She went and she reached the edge of the The Grass Island and she starts plunging Into the dark and so I'm watching the Stars vibrate as this anaconda's going And I had to make the choice Of either going head first down into the Black which no thank you or stopping and Just keeping my hand on this thing as it Raced by me and I just felt the scales And the muscle and the power go by and Then eventually taper down to the tail Until it slipped away into the darkness And I was laying there just panting Then I turned around and went JJ what The [ __ ] like where were you man and he Was just like completely white circuits Blown and I had to go then like kind of Like take care of him I was like are you Okay and he was like no He you know he just couldn't and so we Came back with that and then

After that we were like okay clearly Clearly the parameters of reality that We thought were possible are are are Just a tiny fraction of what's out there Like we we now that that sort of Recalibrated us we were like okay we're Rubbing up against things that are Bigger than we thought were ever Possible and so we were like okay now we Need to we need to concentrate on this So how dangerous is that creature to you To to humans to humans not at all I mean Mike Um what are are Cooks uh father-in-law Was was eaten by an anaconda but like You know then again like the way you say That tell that story sometimes it Happens it happens I mean come on every Now and then somebody gets stung by a Bee and dies like you know it's it once In a while it happens but you gotta have A really big anaconda really hungry and Like anybody that works in the wild I Mean just you know if you you walk up to A Crockett even a giant Nile crocodile You walk up to the most of the time They're gonna run into the water they Don't want confrontation they hunt in Their way on their terms sneaky you're Not going to see them and so with an Anaconda it's like yeah if you're I mean The guy who got eaten like if you're Drunk and you go to the edge of the Water and you go for a midnight swim by

Yourself in an Amazonian Lake I mean Whose fault is that but if you jump on An account and try to uh yeah try to Hold on then you're safe Um apparently I mean I think I've I Think at this point we've you know the Research we've done I think I've handled Or caught you know over 80 anacondas in The field and Um not one of them has bitten me they Always choose flight over fight they're Like just leave me alone let me go I'm Just gonna crawl under this thing Um they're not an aggressive animal I Mean no snake no I actually like I kind Of like the only time I get particular Was like you know the words is like People go that's an aggressive black Mambas are aggressive no snake is Aggressive a rattlesnake is going to Rattle to say hey back up Cobra is going To stand up and show you its hood and People go oh look he's being aggressive He's not being aggressive he's going Don't step on me don't make me do this They're actually being very peaceful That's the way I look at it because if There's a cobra in the corner of this Room right now he would crawl under the Curtain and we'd never see him again Yeah it's like uh Genghis Khan before Conquering The Villages he always Offered for them to join the Army Doesn't need to be like this yeah join

Us nobody gets destroyed if you want to Be proud and Fight for Your Country then Uh then we're gonna watch him exactly Okay so how do you how do you catch uh Actually let's step back because there Is In part you are a bit of a snake Whisperer so what what is it that That others don't understand that you do About snakes What's maybe a misconception Or what what is uh what have you learned From the language you speak that snakes Understand I don't know it's just it's An animal that has has many times in my Life I've been responsible for helping Um the you know I started catching Snakes when I was very young I'd watch Steven wouldn't go out and catch a Garter snake or a black rat snake in New York and Um And then I had a rule I said I have to Catch a hundred non-venomous snakes Before I'm allowed to handle a venomous Snake if I ever need to handle a Venomous snake and then you know I was On a trail one time I think in Harriman State Park and some guy you know like Some big hero he tells us you know he's Like back up I'm gonna get this and he Like picks up a stick and he like goes To like assault this poor Copperhead That's sitting on the trail

And so like at like 16 years old I had To go and like shoulder this guy out of The way and I like got the thing by the Tail and used a stick to very gently Just put it off the trail Copperhead was not going to do anything To him but he wanted to you know beat His chest and show his wife that he was Tough But then in India you know I've lived in India for five years at this point in And out you know periodically and and Snakes are always getting into people's Kitchens Um one time we had a king cobra get into Someone's kitchen an 11 foot snake like A monster like a god of a snake this Thing stood up you know stand up and be Able to look at you over the table And this terrifying monster thing Um it's a giant gorilla dog thing like We caught it with one of the local snake Catchers and we brought it out and he Goes You know I wonder why I was in the Kitchen yeah looking for food and they Go no they eat snakes king cobra opio Figures Hannah they eat snakes And he goes She's thirsty so we got a bottle of Water and we got footage of this and we She's standing up she's going don't make Me kill you don't make me kill you You're scaring me right now I don't want

To kill you we took the bottle of the Water and we poured it on our nose and She started she started drinking you can See you could see her just drinking and The snake just took this long drinks Drank a whole water bottle and then said Thank you so much and crawled off And it's like to me the fact that people Are scared of snakes they have symbolic Hatred of snakes you know you you know If someone's evil and sneaky we call Them a snake and like to me it's like When I take volunteers or researchers or Students out into the jungle and we find An emerald tree boa or an Amazon Tree Boa or or a vine snake and it's like This is it's one of the few animals like You can't really catch a bird and show It to people you're gonna scare the Birds feathers are going to come out you Might give it a heart attack snakes you Can lift up a snake you know if there's A snake in the room right now I could Lift it up and say Lex here this is how You hold it and we could interact calmly With this thing and then put it back on Its branch and then it'll go and I've Seen what that does to people I've seen How the Wonder in their eyes and so to Me snakes have always been this Incredible link to teach people about Wildlife about nature because they have Naturally a lot of fear towards this Creature and to realize that the fear is

Not justified it's not grounded or is Not as deeply grounded in reality of Course there's always was New Yorker Snakes right there's always going to be An [ __ ] snake here and there coming For me man Uh well okay so back to the Anaconda how Do you catch an anaconda like what uh How do you hand because it's such a 25 Foot or even 12 foot yeah these giant Snakes how do you how do you deal with This creature how do you interact with Them we had to learn how to do that Because one of the first ones we caught That I would say maybe like a 16-footer Which is no joke of a snake you know Girth of a basketball let's say Um you know we're on the canoe and this Is this is the early days like you know Now we're at a whole different level but This is back when we were Barefoot and Shirtless and just guys in the Amazon And JJ's like you know you know I just Listened to him he'd be like get off the Boat you come from the top we're gonna Come from the bottom so okay I just did as I was told I came in the snake is all curled up Dead asleep she's got some butterflies On her eyes trying to get salt and stuff And all of a sudden I see the tongue so I'm like she's awake and I'm like guys Guys and like they're they're paying Attention to not crashing the boat to

Getting over there and we're all trying To run snake starts going into the water So I run ahead grab this snake get her By the head so you got her by the head You think okay you can't she can't get Me I got it right behind the head and It's about this thick the neck what's That feel like excited to interrupt like Grabbing this thing with this giant head It's exciting it's amazing it's it's Scary how hard is it to hold it's not That hard to hold the scary part is the Moment of it's like if you ever done Like a cliff dive or something it's that Moment where you go do it do it the time Like do it and your body's going do not Do that yeah and then you're like I Gotta just do it and you do it yeah Because you can't just gently like flirt With it you have to cry no and it's like It's like crossing the street when There's a bus coming it's like you Hesitate it's more dangerous You know so like you just you go for it And I got her and I was like I got her And then a coil goes over my wrists and All of a sudden my wrists slap together And you feel this squeeze that can crush The bones out of an animal bigger than Me and the next coil comes very quickly Over my neck and now I'm on my knees With my arms tied if I wanted to let go Of the snake I couldn't and my shoulders Are coming together my collarbone is

About to break and I tried to yell for JJ and all that came out was there's Nothing and so that's what they do to Their prey you know so I attacked as far As the snake knows I attacked she Doesn't know that I just want to measure Her you you started as the big spoon but Then the snake became the big it very Much became the big spoon and uh I was I Would say I was 15 seconds away from Having my entire rib cage collapsed and Then JJ showed up and grabbed the tail And just started unwrapping this thing And then we got but now we have a system Now we know like you know I'm always I've done I've gotten more head catches Than anybody so I'm usually Point guy And you know you get you're the you're The the first the the point guy okay the The taking the big risky yes First Step Yes although it could be argued that There's a similarly large risk for the Tail guy because the anaconda's defense Is to take a giant projectile [ __ ] and So the person that gets the tail is Gonna smell like Anaconda for like at Least a week yes it's the least buzzing Particular you're taking the the most Dangerous one there Um they have the least Pleasant job this Is fascinating but what's really Fascinating though is that because of The apex predator they're they're eating The fish they're eating the birds

They're eating everything and everything In this riparian ecosystem is absorbing The Mercury that's coming off the gold Mining in the region and so anacondas Can be Indicative for us of how is Mercury Moving through this ecosystem and this Is a region where we've lost hundreds of Thousands of acres to artisanal gold Mining where they use mercury to bind The gold they cut the forest burn the Forest And then they run water through the sand And the sand particles have bits of gold In it not chunks but just little almost Microscopic flecks of gold and then they Use the Mercury to bind that and then They burn off the Mercury and that Vapor Goes up into the clouds just like Everything else it's all connected down There and then rains down into the Rivers and so the people in the region Are having birth defects from the amount Of Mercury That's in the water and so we were Starting at at one point when we were Doing most of our Anaconda research we Were learning things like these animals Actually aren't just Ambush Predators Which is what most of the literature Will tell you is that anacondas are Ambush predators no they actually go Hunting they'll go find clay licks and Salt deposits and they'll wait there

They'll actually pursue animals and we Were trying to take tissue samples to Find out if anacondas could be used to Study how Mercury is moving through the Ecosystem and so that was really it Became can we use these animals not only As ambassadors for wildlife because Everybody wants to see the anacondas but Also You know what can we learn from studying This very very little understood apex Predator and one of the things you can Learn is how Mercury moves through Through the ecosystem which can damage The ecosystem with all kinds of Different ways yeah it's it's brutal man The the gold mining that's happening Down there is is it's funny because We've been hearing a lot recently about Like the Cobalt mines in Africa and it's Like where we are in the Amazon Um we were down there with ABC News I Want to say like a year and a half ago Um with my friend Matt Gutman who's the Chief correspondent for ABC and we he Wanted to see the Amazon fires he wanted To see some Wildlife he wanted to see The areas that we're protecting and then He goes I want to see The gold mining areas and and I'd never Gotten in so deep but we we met these Russian guy you can't go with the Proving they will kill you like our Lawyer's father was was assassinated for

Standing up to the gold miners There was two Russian guys though who Had a legal mining concession somehow Way out past the machine gun guarded Limit of the pumpus which is where they Do all this gold mining and we got in There and Took footage of the desert that is Forming in what used to be the Headwaters of the Amazon rainforest and It's like there's a massive global scale Ecological crime happening down there That you can see from space from this Unregulated gold mining and the cops Can't go there because they will be Murdered it's completely Lawless what's The machine gun limit exactly it's the Border of this area that they call the Pompous which is where the rain forest Has been cut and completely destroyed And it looks like Mars it's just sand And inside of this area are gold miners And we you know we tried to get in there To film years ago and there's just a lot Of guys with machine guns who don't let That happen and what the Russian guys You guys had access somehow they'd come Down with a bit of money and they had a New system yeah and actually what was Interesting is while I was in there They're very friendly and a really Really too friendly uh gold miners and They uh one of them while I was there he Uh you know he kind of tapped me on the

Shoulder he was like you know look at Those guys he was like those guys over There he goes I just heard them say your Name And he goes That's not a good thing he Goes they know exactly who you are he Goes I wouldn't keep posting to Instagram about gold mining in the Amazon and I was like okay thanks for The warning and then you know uh in June Somebody pulled up beside me on a Motorcycle and I got a more Stern Warning but they pay attention to the Flow of information because they don't Want the world to yeah to find out oh The last thing they want is to be shut Down but the gold miners are notorious For You know just uh whacking people and Throwing them in a in a pile of you know Gold mining leftovers it's really like Like the Peruvian government has to get The military to go after them like the Work we've done with gold miners Converting them into conservationists Has all been like I mean I've seen the Peruvian Navy come down and literally Blow up gold mining barges and you know It's it's it's a war it's a war being Fought in the Amazon So it's a it's possible to convert them Into conservationists what's that Process like we or is that like uh you Say that in jest no I say that in an

Absolute sincerity we we went up River Uh up the malinowski river several years Ago and I think it was 2018 and everyone Everyone was like you are going to die Like you will be shot and killed and uh The reason we were able to do it with Relative safety was that the Gold Miner That we were going with Was the brother-in-law of one of my Closest friends down there our Expedition chef and one of the directors Of jungle Keepers and they said look you Can go just keep a low profile and so I Went up with a photographer and we spent A week there and Dead animals everywhere deforestation Everywhere I mean the things we saw were So horrible and we're living with these Gold miners that are you know they're They're getting their gold they're Burning off the Mercury I watched the Guy smoking a cigarette burning the Mercury off of his gold with the with The vapor going straight into his face With his child right there I mean Unbelievable negligence of just sanity Just and then and then towards the end Of the week the Peruvian Navy comes down The river and everyone starts scrambling And I was like I'm just gonna sit here With my hands up because you know And they didn't even stop they they Found the gold mining barge you know They have a floating thing in the river

That just plums the bottom of the river Just sucks all the all the sediment up And they stopped and they strapped a Bunch of explosives to this motor and Good Lord the the sound of this Explosion and there was just hot metal Raining down all over the place and then They just went a bunch of guys in Fatigues and they just kind of like Looked at us like peace and I sat there With this Gold Miner and I went now what And he went well now I gotta go get a New motor and I went why don't you just Do something else and he goes what else Is there and I went look what we do and I sat there with my phone and I was like See this these are pretty tourists and We feed them food and we show them Tarantulas and macaws and they and he Looked at this and he went wow He goes you He goes that looks like so much fun and When it is so much fun so we show people We bring students to the Jungle He goes to you're saying if I build you A lodge you'll bring people I said yeah And I came back a year later and he sat There with a with a chainsaw a hand saw And some nails and he cut down like 17 Palm trees and he built an ecotourism Lodge So you give them another channel of Survival of making money and that's what We've been doing through jungle Keepers

For loggers and for all kinds of Extractors is just saying look what do You make you make 15 a day destroying The ancient trees of the Jungle what if We paid you 35 a day to have a uniform And a job and health insurance and Security and you just protect it and use All of the Jungle knowledge you've Gained as a logger to protect this place Who are the loggers trying to to uh Destroy the Amazon Can you say a little bit more about it Is that as a threat to the the Amazon Rainforest a lot of them are really Close friends of mine they're they're They're people that need to make a Living and they're jungle people who you Know the rainforest is a very Challenging especially the Amazon is a Very challenging environment so you have These people who they have a chainsaw They have a job opportunity they go out And they cut the trees and a lot of These guys grew up fishing they grew up In the jungle they know how to do it and So for them it's a way to like they also Love it so this is the thing these are Outdoorsmen these are guys that love the Jungle and so they you know in the 90s We had the mahogany boom where they went Out after the mahogany and you almost Can't find a mahogany tree in the jungle Anymore And and if you want to talk about like

Carbon sequestration in the rainforest The the ancient Hardwoods hold like 60 Percent of the carbon of the whole Rainforest they have an outsized Disproportionate Mass from from that Ancient density of the wood And so these these these loggers go out And they cut the wood that's most Valuable and then they bring it back to Town and they sell it and then people Like us buy it and put it on our kitchen Floors yeah And you know and so The thing is is I should you know when I Got to the Amazon it was you know Loggers are the bad guys And if you talk to you know a lot of Like the phds that I worked with down There where you know always very at odds With the miners at odds with the with The loggers and then I'd be with JJ and JJ would sit down and he'd be like hey Let's pour a drink oh they have masato Let's all sit down like we'd all be Chilling and throwing them back with a Bunch of lagers And and then those the opportunity Through through not vilifying these People came to be like oh these are These are these guys are great you know And then of course out in the wild every Now and then something will happen You'll see somebody's boat flipped over And you go you go help them out and then

That that creates a certain type of Kinship so they're ultimately people who Love Who love the same thing you love often Yeah even if they don't love it they're People that aren't necessarily looking To destroy it I've met loggers who have Looked at at trees they're about to cut And gone ah this is a shame start it up You know they're just like this is where The paycheck comes from let's come back Briefly to anacondas Can you tell me uh this whole situation With discoveries eaten alive there's Some drama and controversy around that Can you explain that whole Saga with Discovery with Um with your whole effort maybe outside Of even the drama the the initial thing Which I now feel you're sufficiently Insane to actually do of being eaten by Anaconda is that actually possible to Survive something like that I mean if Anaconda swallows you while you're Wearing the suit that they made maybe But that was in hindsight whether that Was the result of look I go to the Jungle And you start seeing these beautiful Places these incredible species you Start developing a relationship with These animals And then you watch it get destroyed Every year we watch it burn every year

Places that are are crucial to my soul I Have seen leveled and turned to Ash And at some point we started going Someone has to do something about this And you look to your right and you look To your left and there is no one because It's the middle of the Amazon and the Rainforests have been being destroyed Since the 70s it's a cliche And so we started trying to do something About it and so I started putting a Little bit more emphasis on On publicity a little bit more emphasis On getting the message out there and so I started trying to see how what was Going to work you know you start firing Shots in the dark and seeing and you Know JJ's going you have to help us do Something in a moon Okay you know and so from 18 years old Now now I'm 23 years old and all of a Sudden this place isn't isn't foreign to Me anymore it's it's home And and so when you're trying to think Of all the different ways you can bring Attention to this place that you care About that's being destroyed yeah you're Standing next to a boulder of progress Of of Destruction and it's about to roll Onto the forest and just destroy it and Snuff out all that life and no one's There to do anything about it and so you Go Is there any way that I could put myself

In front of this Boulder and hold it Back And you're talking about you know the Globe the global economic reality it's Just it's just such a massive it's Systemic so what's the most dramatic Possible thing I could do exactly so When you find yourself flown to La as a 23 year old dude and uh you're sitting There with some guy you know who's like Spinning a pen and got his feet up on The desk and going you know what can you Show us down there and you go I could Show you the biggest anacondas in the World and we could talk about Mercury And bioaccumulation and we could show People how these animals are Misunderstood and we go on a big Expedition and we could be the coolest Show ever and he goes yeah Not good enough okay and so those that That that that cycled through a bunch of Times and someone at some point in one Of those meetings said you know what if We show people that anacondas really Can't eat humans and I went how is that A good show you want me to feed someone To an anaconda and I said I said I mean And I kind of joked like what if you Know I said the only way that's feasible Is if you like make a suit with a Breathing apparatus and let the snake Eat you and then come back out safely And make sure you don't hurt the snake

And they're like kid you're on and I was Like oh [ __ ] so I should mention it's a Small tangent I think I mentioned to you Offline uh due to travel troubles so I Traveled to the totally wrong part of The United States Um on my way to Boston uh and on my way To Boston I did a conversation with uh Mr Beast Jimmy and I've gotten a chance To hang out with him for the day and one Of the things we did is have A lengthy brainstorm session with this Team or I was I was observing it sure Sure Um but it was interesting because he's Probably way better at that conversation That you had with the with a guy in La Yeah and the guy in La obviously because He's made He's revolutionizing entertainment and He's also doing philanthropy yeah yeah Which he's trying to figure out how to Help the world with that kind of stuff So I would love to actually I'll send Him a message to see what what his Thoughts just brainstorm he's so strong At this yeah literally taking the Situation you're facing yeah here's the Place that I really care about is being Burned down It's being destroyed uh What's the sexy video Yeah well how do You get how do you get people to watch Something that's you know we all change

The channel when they show us the kids In Africa with the swollen stomachs Nobody wants to see it and it's like With the rainforest that like we know we Know we know and I'm going I could give data all day long I could Show photos of burning forest and so I Was looking for what would do it so the Eating alive thing without spending too Much time on a massive misstep was I Agreed to do it they paid me at the time More money than I had made before which I very much needed because nobody pays You to be a conservationist Um so I was a very poor 23 year old that Was like yes I would love that please And I thought you know what this is the Start of a TV career yeah Um We got we got shafted so bad I mean they Used somehow they changed our voices They changed the things we said they Changed the message of the film there's One point where we had caught a 19-foot Snake and I was holding her head and I Said this is such a beautiful animal the Queen of the Amazon this is such a great Moment for me I kissed her on the head I Said she's made so many babies look at The scars I was talking about just the Poetry of this incredible dragon and Then the producer goes yeah yeah that's Great listen if that was to bite you What would happen and I was like oh well

If it bit you you know you'd bleed out Because it would lacerate down to the That's what they put in the film and so Day of they should they didn't show me The film until the night before I went On Matt Lauer's show and I said I am not Endorsing this film And they had called it Expedition on the Call sheet they'd call it Expedition EA Expedition Amazon All of a sudden they changed it to eaten Alive and I went wait guys wait wait Wait I said you're gonna make people Think that it actually happened not that We're attempting it And they and I say I'm not and then they Called me and they said you better You're going on live TV tomorrow they Said you let us know what level of Control we need to show for you right it Was very threatening phone call and uh So I had to go out and smile for the Cameras And endorse something that was a train Wreck and the the scientific Community Was like you're an idiot we don't want To ever see you again I lost a lot of Opportunities Peta came which you know Peta whatever but Peta came out people Were like you you were trying to hurt a Snake which I would never do and then The American public was like you know You said you were going to get eaten by A snake and you didn't and so everyone

Was pissed I basically had to Exile Myself to India for like six months and Just I mean I had death threats coming Through all my messages were furious With me what gave you strength to that How difficult was that psychologically Just everything you care about being Completely kind of flipped upside down I've spent so much time on the ground With the local people learning from the Wildlife it's such a devout and Important thing to me and it got turned Into a a sideshow it got turned into a Joke and then not just a joke it got Turned into that I'm somehow bad to Animals you know I'm I'm Um irresponsible scientifically Jimmy Kimmel told me to have sex with a Hippo as my next stunt like it was like It got really ugly and it misfired so Bad and when you hear these like Motivational speakers talk about you Know you just got to keep trying and Sometimes you're gonna fail hard it was Like that one I got hit in the head with A baseball bat that one was tough And uh at the time I was like I'm fine And I was like I'm gonna go away for a While you know and then and I learned a Lot though like at this point I'm still Glad I did it because man did I learn a Lot about what what a room full of People that you don't know who could Look you in the eye and shake your hand

And say trust us Oh boy do you have on a human level of Resentment Towards Discovery towards the people Involved be able to forgive them I don't Care it literally that's what they do You know they literally put out a Documentary saying that mermaids were Real You know it's like wait a minute wait a Minute they're not Listen Uh I said I'm not even touching that one It is true the document there is a there Is a documentary where they duped a Bunch of scientists who are like Oceanographers and they like showed them Ancient footage of you know Mariners Saying that seals were mermaids who Cares it's it's it's it's it's I was Young I got brought to Hollywood and I got Spit out the other side and that's on me That's not their fault you know you There's that you know you don't the There's that parable about the Frog who Gives the Scorpion a ride across the Water and then at the end he says I'll Give you a ride just don't sting me and Then get to the other side and scorpion Stings them and the Frog goes why did You do that and the Scorpion goes I'm a Scorpion yeah that's it's not their Fault it's in my nature but uh now that

You've become much more well known and Much more successful what you do you Have a platform can you return to those People and use it the machine to get More and more attention is that Something you work on or do you prefer To work completely outside I think that most of the success that We've had now In protecting the rainforest and and and It's the levels that we've reached are So far I think back to those Barefoot Days of catching snakes with JJ in the Boat and now the massive Ecological Reserve we have and the team of Rangers And the converted loggers and all of That is because of The ability to communicate and to show People but that's all been through Social media And so I'm open to the fact you know if If somebody came and gave a sort of like Bourdainian pass where they said look You can be yourself you can swear you Can fart you can smoke you can do Whatever you want to do go out there and Show us the real thing I would love to But now I know how those contracts need To be I need to have a right to refusal And they can't change them and so I'd Almost rather just do it like the way I Think like Mr Beast does stuff where It's like you just you get a crew guys And some seed money and go film the

Episodes and put it out exactly I mean a Committee never helped real art be Better it has to come from the the the Source of inspiration so you get you I Think you know you get JJ and a crew of People or the guys in Africa that I'm Working with right now do an elephant Conservation and like But you gotta show real I mean look That's why that's why I mean look that's Why Joe Rogan isn't is is important Right now that's why you're important Right now is because it's not being Filtered through This ridiculous system of of polishing It and dumbing it down and yeah that's Why Joe has been an inspiration you Don't need a a crew of a bunch of people You don't need a crew period and all you Need is Oh one or two other people and that's it In my case you don't need anybody I've Been doing this uh I by requirement I Just need to be by myself there's a few Other folks now that help with the Editing and so on but it's just they Make life more awesome as opposed to a Boss that's that tells like a creative Director yeah somebody told me actually I was visiting La I think it was in LA they were saying That Um now for all intimate scenes and Hollywood movies there's an intimacy

Director so when there's a uh two people Having sex there's a third person that Ensures that uh on film so it's not real But there's still intimacy uh that There's a third person that ensures that Like everyone is comfortable and the Actors say that this like always ruins The the chemistry of the scene yeah and So It's a very Hollywood thing I understand There's creepy people I still understand Um thanks for every wines uh it's Usually I think comes from the director Pushing things too hard if you just Leave it to the actors they know their Boundaries they can control their own Boundaries uh so the intimacy director Is more for the like the director Pushing thing you know there's I understand I understand the logic like Let's make sure that we don't have Anything happen here that shouldn't be Happening I get it but I yeah But but no I think the authenticity is Is is the greatest currency and I think That in order for me to tell the stories That I can tell like you know what Changed the game for me was I want to Tell you this story sure so in 2019 Um That the Amazon fire started popping off And we had just gone to to film uh like A month earlier we'd filmed like a small Documentary and uh they'd been following

Me as if I was on a as if I was on a Solo which you know we did the best we Could I let I lived on my own but we as We were driving we passed a spot where The Flames were 70 feet tall the forest Was being destroyed and I went out there With my phone which overheated in like Two minutes and said you can't use it But for a second I was out there in the Flames picking up animals and throwing Them off to try and just get them cooled Off I was trying to get snakes out of There everything was the birds are Flying and I [ __ ] lost it I I was Red-eyed I was crying and I was going This is happening every [ __ ] day I Was screaming and it's the first time Foreign I've seen the burning so many times and I just lost it that day and I don't know What made me pull out my phone because Usually in those intense moments I I say Forget the documentation this is real Life we got stuff to do and I'm doing I'm not documenting and then a month Later I'm home and I'm in New York and All of a sudden I see these articles Like you know the Amazon's burning worse This year than it was last year and blah Blah blah and I was like this you know [ __ ] and I threw it up on Instagram Like eight o'clock at night And I'd never like I'd never cursed on Instagram I don't know you know why I

Just never did and I my phone was on 100 And I put on top of the refrigerator and I went to bed I woke up in the morning And my phone was on the floor on two Percent and it was ringing off the hook And it was like the news and they're Like are you the guy that posted that Viral video about the Amazon and I was Like what yeah and that was the start That's where it broke and that's where We went from Barefoot in the Amazon to You know all of a sudden you know I was Talking head for three weeks and going Around on all these news stations and All of a sudden I was like the Spokesperson for the Amazon and JJ's Calling me and he was like go go go go Go go like get us get us that support And it was just Um You know so so communicating with people And bringing them into that reality and Whether it's you know Rhino poaching and Elephant poaching or the Amazon being Destroyed it's like to me it's like Being able to to to take people into That is is something that I would love To do yeah and you do it directly with Authenticity on your Instagram people Should definitely follow your Instagram I think I think Rogan follows your Instagram too well the end of that story Actually kind of involves him because Yeah because because I went to all these

News outlets and I was living in green Rooms and traveling around and I was all Strung out and I hadn't seen anybody I Actually know in a few weeks which was Starting to get to me and I finally got Home and I went to like a family party And everyone's like dude you've been It's been crazy and I was like yup and Then I left and my cousin Michael calls Me and he's screaming and I'm going what What what what and he goes Joe Rogan Just shared it Joe Rogan you shared it Oh nice and everyone was losing their [ __ ] and it was so amazing and it was Like Yeah that's when it really took off and What happened as a result of all of this Is that a Canadian entrepreneur who Started light speed Um reached out and uh several months Later after covid after that boom You know I've been in the game for maybe 13 years or something had no money no Savings no job no nothing and after that Great publicity thing Nothing happened The waves came and everything got real Exciting everybody reached out and they Said we care so much Nothing happened though you know we can Run into battle but if we don't have our Arrows in the quiver What can we do And I actually I made a phone call to my

Friend mohsen right at the start of Covid and I was going through divorce And I was broke And I said I'm gonna get a job I said I give up So this is stupid I said the ecotourism Business is done jungle Keepers has Dried up We're done and then this guy daxed a Silva called me on the phone and said Listen I'm in what what do we got to do And so if if the analogy was me and JJ And a few other people trying to hold This Boulder back from just destroying The rainforest all of a sudden Dax comes In like a Titan and just puts his arm Out and just goes I'm gonna help And he gave us the funding to start Actually developing a ranger program to Start actually bringing loggers to be Protectors of the forest to be Supporting smaller conservation things And now we're protecting 50 000 Acres of Rainforest we're protecting entire Streams and ecosystems that I love and We're soon going to double that and it's Like this this whole thing so Um yeah the the the the the Communication of these things is crucial And I actually think it's incredible That that social media has played such a Big role in it well I mean uh just just Because I I know Joe well and I love him

So much I I definitely think Um you should do his podcast but also Just be friends with him I think you Guys Um he's one you know not the meme but He's one with nature and not much more With the I'm one while I do appreciate And love nature I also love Um technology I know yeah and robots and So on so we're in that Meme type of way We're very very different but well Either way at some point make sure you Tell the guy thank you because it Definitely really helped push us over That that limit where you know if enough People see it you get someone like Dax Who who who says I can help and I have The resources to help And that and that changed our whole Lives She's Everything Back to the Jungle Uh you had a bunch of interactions with Jaguars how are you still alive like What man dude Jax Jags aren't the Jags I'll tell you this Jags are not the Danger the falling trees are the danger Uh I'll tell you some elephant stories And then you'll then you'll then you'll Wonder why I'm still alive but Um Jags I've I've just one you know so JJ started and Santiago his dad started Challenging me to do solos Go out alone into the wild style You know I'd have a hammock a headlamp

Three days worth of food some fish hooks A machete that's it and so like one of The stories that that happened early on Was I was out there and it was raining And I was lost and This is how we test your jungle Knowledge can you survive out there do You know how to find food Have you Listened to the things that we taught You and there was one night that I was In a hammock And a Jaguar came up and I was asleep When it happened and she came up right Next to my head and she was and I could Hear her smelling me And then my first instinct was to to to Turn on my headlamp and just the sound Of my arm moving against the the Material And she just Like she just right here I could feel Her breath and I just laid there In the dark and that's one of those Moments where you go you really learn a Lot about yourself Because I wasn't scared I I felt like I Understood the intentions of the cat if She was hunting I'd already be dead she Was curious and I was lost and I didn't Know if I was ever going to get out of That jungle but what she did was Energize me because it was an experience Like the giant anaconda where I said This is so wild

That it's that it's so almost Cinematically outside the realm of what I thought my life could be like That it made me like wait Because the previous day I was lost Tired confused kind of devastated tail Between my legs after that I was like man you've been waiting for This your whole life Go get it and I like woke up and I was Like I am gonna navigate even though I've been in this swamp for three days I'm gonna find my way out of this swamp And like she just like breathed fire Into me where it was like It was like if that's possible if I Could be six inches away from a Jaguar's Face Then I got I got that energy from her so That you're able to start to really hear And feel the The jungle around you yeah that was uh That was a sign do you know what you're Doing it really felt like a sign it Really did how do you survive in a Solo Solo hike Through the Jungle what what Are the different components what are The different dangers so you said you Had a hammock you had some food what Kind of food by the way are we talking About uh nuts stuff that won't go bad Because you can't so you can't really Start a fire in the Amazon like I'm a Good fight I mean I camp all over the

Place I'm a Wilderness guide starting a Fire in the Amazon is futile in fact a Lot of survival manuals will tell you Don't do it because if you're really Lost it'll break your spirit you're not Going to be able to do it that's dark Yeah they're like don't even try it Um but you can still get like Hypothermia from if you get wet and you Lay out in the jungle you could you know You could still exposure can still get You so you want fire Um I even in the beginning I used to Bring like Ramen noodles which is which Is the nutritional is irrelevant and so I started bringing like nuts and then Supplementing that with fish which Forced me to become a very good Fisherman and Um now of course JJ knows that he can Like they can cut certain roots and they Bash it up and they put it in the Stream And the fish just float to the top and They take with so like he's got like He's got all the cheat codes yeah Whereas like I'm sitting there with a Hook and he's like he'll go now find Bait and I go bait And the most competitive ecosystem on Earth good luck finding a worm you can't Do it what does JJ do he takes the Machete looks at his foot cuts a slug of Callous off of his heel because he's got This thick rhino skin puts that on the

Hook Catches a six-inch fish chops it in half Puts it on a bigger and in 15 minutes He's got a four foot giant catfish that Could feed a family of 16 and he's happy I'm sitting there and I'm like I'm gonna Try to like stick a beetle on a on a Fishing hook and like you know do you Have just a line and a hook or is there A rod too just a line and a hook and Then you you just chop a you just chop a Rod and tie it to the you know you just Chop a little sapling so are you still Able to start a fire or no I like for The food that I bring to not be fire Dependent sure and so if I have some Nuts I can I can shove in a few enough Calories to get me through the night or Like and leave a fishing line out and There'll be something there in the Morning Um But yes I can start a fire but a lot of Times what I'll do is I'll bring a flask And not with like alcohol but with Diesel and so you have a tuna can and You put the diesel this is what the Local guys do everything I do you know I'm sure there's going to be someone Listening to this like how could you do That and it's like yeah this is what we Do down there sorry uh it's a it's a Tuna can you pour a little bit of diesel In it it burns slow you light it and you

Put your sticks you make your pyramid Over that and eventually that will burn Through the moisture and finally you'll Get a very reluctant little fire enough To burn you know to make yourself like a Cup of tea or to pour that into the Noodles something Something or you just eat a fish raw how Important is it to stay dry is it Basically impossible it's impossible to Stay dry you're wet all the time you're Wet all the time what does that mean That means infections are more efficient Yeah Um so yeah I don't know if you saw the Picture in my book where I have the Yellow spots yeah so yeah there's a Picture With your like entire face consumed with Yellow spots is basically I guess that's MRSA yep Oh boy yeah uh so how did that happen What uh what was the infection like and Um yeah and how crazy are you for Letting that infection stay in you for For a long period of time without Treating it or you had no choice no I I Did have a choice I was 19 years old and I was taking care of a giant anteater That was orphaned and this is like my Dream animal yeah and she was mine and My job was to teach her the jungle and So when I started like noticing that I Had an infection and that I was I had I

Think I had Dengue at the time too I Went back to town Probably picked up MRSA in the hospital Where I got tested Came back into the jungle and then got Progressively sicker and sicker and Weaker and weaker as I was two weeks Three weeks in the jungle and it got to The point where my vision went black and White and I passed out one day and and I Don't know why but at the time I had Shaved that day And when I woke up the next morning I Couldn't open my eyes because the the Pus had come out of my eyes and out of My the pores in my face all those little Micro cuts and the pillow was stuck to My face and I was stuck upriver with no help at 19 Years old and also when you when you see That picture you can imagine that I Assumed that my life was over because I Didn't know what it was and I also Didn't assume that or at the very least I figured I'd be disfigured the rest of My life I didn't think there was any Getting better from that And so I remember sitting by the side of The river praying that a boat would come By but it was the rainy season there Aren't going to be any boats because the River is psychotic Um and so It was a long time before I got back to

Town and I didn't want to leave the Anteater but it became like I was like I Realized I was dying And then I finally got a boat With some loggers a death boat just Loaded with these guys were had had gone Into the jungle and shot everything they Could and taken all the babies and they Were gonna go sell them and so it was Like baby monkeys and toucans and birds And cages and pieces of crocodiles and Anaconda skins and jaguar skins rolled Up and it was just like I was just Laying there with all these dead animals In the boat with all the Flies on my Face and Got back to the hotel called my mother Said please book me a flight out like Today like today and then I sat on the Plane and somebody somebody sat next to Me on the plane and I had a hood on and I do I do remember that in my in the Haze at this point I was having trouble Staying conscious but I do remember that She like looked over like trying to see What was sitting next to her and then She got up and never came back And when I got to to immigration in New York you know the cop where he like Takes my passport and he goes yeah he Goes so what were you doing in Peru he's Looking down and he goes yeah and he Like holds up the passport looks at the Password looks at my face he goes Bo

Buddy what the [ __ ] and I said no that's What I was like I'm trying to get home To go to the hospital he goes He stamps It he goes go go go go go God bless God Bless he's like oh [ __ ] yeah and then They put me in the room in the hospital With like the hazmat suits and they Didn't know what it was and I spent like Five days on IV antibiotics with like Four different things running through my Veins and the the doctors were like Don't Let It Go that close they're like You went real close on that one yeah That's what that picture I mean people Should uh check out the book just to see The picture because I imagine you just Laying there unable to see have a fever Probably so you're like half Hallucinating yep And uh there's no there's no boat There's no no way out there's no help Coming Um plus there is this creature who You've become a parent of yeah that you Love yeah Boy that's a dark place to be as a 19 Year old I mean most people have never Will never be in a place like that like Where did you find strength in that in Those in that place I don't know I just Remember writing like a goodbye letter To my parents because I said if I die Out here it was really dark like it was It was it was terrifying it really felt

Like it was the end And I was writing you know if you find Me out here I'm sorry and all that all That type of stuff and it was you know Um I don't know about strength there was No strength it was just like move Forward and at some point it was like if You'll take me down river take me down River you know and You just got lucky with the loggers with The death boat yeah that they found you Uh well how did the infection start by The way I don't know I really don't know I mean we always have some sort of Little [ __ ] but the thing is now JJ Taught me that there's like three Different trees that can cure infections I didn't know this at the time I didn't Know the cheat codes now there's there's If you have a small infection you can Use Sangre de Drago and it'll it'll cure It right away like let's say you have a Bot fly and it gets a little [ __ ] There's a fly living in your skin you Put that on there not only will it kill The fly but it'll heal the infection now If you have a worse infection you can go To oh hey which is Ficus insipida and You can use that and that will Completely heal that will murder it's Like crocodile blood it will murder Infections so like forget Neosporin That's a joke these are heavy chemical Compounds running through these trees

And they know all about them and so Whatever it is so now at this point That's no longer an issue like because We know how to handle it which at that Time if JJ had been there I would have Been fine well learn the hard way so These are open wounds and then there's Creatures that start living in them is Basically what is it well that's Separate that's bot flies yeah there's There's a there's a creature that Unfortunately very very very Unfortunately Um likes to make its home inside the Flesh of mammals yeah and so the Flies Attach their eggs to mosquitoes the Mosquitoes go and seek out warm-blooded Animals the eggs microscopic eggs fall Into your skin and then begin to grow And sooner or later you feel a twitch And it's a worm living inside of you That's like vertical down in you and It's it's eating you yeah and at first It's not a problem but when they get to About as thick as that pen It starts to hurt because you got a hole In you and they have a little breathing Tube that comes up and they breathe and They go back in and then they eat and They come back up to breathe and you Have a you have a friend living in you Yeah Um and if you've had one of those I've Had lots of those it's tough to take

Them out They have hooks How do you do you have to Love the junkies so how do you take it Out to come yeah 100 uh you gotta you Gotta put an irritant so like a lot of Times what we'll do down there is some Someone will Take a massive drag of a cigarette and Then you know spit the they'll they'll Powers like exhale and get some of the Some of the tar which also shows you how Much tar you get out of a cigarette and Then with a knife and you put that right Over the hole and then uh you slap some Vaseline or something on top of it so They can't breathe and eventually over The course of a few hours they'll come Up enough looking for air and then you Got to grab them with a tweezer and try Not to rip them because then you're Gonna get an infection and you gotta Squeeze from the it's a whole ceremony When people have bought flies we're all Like oh it's bot fly time let's go and Then like JJ will squeeze he's got like Pliers for thumbs yeah he can like take A piece of your neck and you think he's Going to break your skin he'll just Squeeze until this thing comes out And you don't uh yeah I guess there's an Open wound right there and yeah you Don't want to bathe for a day or two After until that closes because

Otherwise you're gonna have like water Sloshing around in like a little pocket Of yours is kind of gross and that water Might have other organisms in it water In your skin tends to yeah I mean the Jungle water's clean we drink it like I Drink the water fresh out of the stream Oh that's interesting well it's just a Giant filtration system all those roots The whole jungle is constantly purifying Everything people might be thinking About that with the jungle there's Insects probably all over you all the Time It's not as bad as you think like I've Been to to to to Finland Lapland in the Summer and the mosquitoes are horrendous Like devastating the Amazon in in our Area if you're sitting in a hammock Reading a book Out you know our research Stations don't Have walls or anything Um you're good for about one one Mosquito every half hour which really is Not a lot I mean it's worse in New Jersey like It's really not that bad tell me a Little more about the the little baby Anteater Lulu they use who you've Rescued and had to sadly leave behind Yeah I just was always fascinated with Giant anteaters or this you know German Shepherd sized Thing with Wolverine claws and these

Giant Popeye forearms and they excavate Ant and Termite mounds and they have This long tongue And their babies right on their back for The first six months of their lives and So they actually have this incredibly Intimate relationship with their young And it just so happens that this animal That I was wildly fascinated with There was an orphan on the river and JJ Was like you love these things and I was Like yeah and so he went and he was like Hey my friend you should he got he got Me the the baby and we were like we're Gonna rewild her and so I spent like Weeks and weeks and weeks just like with This thing on my back crawling through The jungle teaching her to find Ants Giving her milk falling asleep with her On my chest and their their tongue is Like 11 inches long at that age and so She when she wanted me to wake up she'd Fire it up my nose and come out my mouth And she'd and then if I tried to get her Off me quick she'd stick the claws in And you know all my clothes I have like I have old like you know now they're Like you know like Museum pieces with Rips in them from from Lulu's claws was Able to also communicate emotion and Feeling and all that she needed it she Needed it so if this animal didn't have The physical touch if we didn't if I Didn't hold her all day long she throw

Tantrums she'd go shred something she'd Go pull down the curtain she'd go ruin The woods just should start literally Having a traumatic response to not Having intimacy Which was shocking because again on the Scale of a cockroach to an elephant you Go I didn't know that giant and theaters Had such intense emotions like But she did and we we you know and also Taking care of her forced me to To explore the jungle from the Perspective of an animal So I got to like be an animal And so there's only a few times in your Life in my life where I've gotten to do That you know one was with her another Time was living with a herd of elephants Where I had to walk with them through The forest and like see how they Interacted Completely natural and it's it's it's Different it's very different and you Realize like just like a person's public Persona when they're out on the street In Manhattan is going to be very Different than when you're on the couch With them on a Tuesday night And and and with wild animals it's very Much like that you know like if we see You see a bobcat on a trail and it's Going to look at you and glare at you And then go off and it's like yeah but

What's it like when it's in the den That's playing with its Cubs yeah so That when it's looking at you that's Like the Instagram post it's making and The actual doctors yeah yeah so you've Um besides Amazon you spent a lot of Time in India uh can you uh tell me what You learned Hanging out with a herd of elephants Yeah what should uh what do people not Understand about elephants that's that's Beautiful to you that's interesting to You first of all I think that elephants Should have government representation as Like a subset of society like actually They they have intelligence they are so Intelligent and and when you look at an Elephant so there's this question that Keeps coming up of you know are we are We smart enough to know how smart Animals are can can we can we interpret The intelligence that we're seeing And I've I've I've I lived with a Semi-wild herd of elephants in India for A while and Some of the things that I saw like Changed how I view reality to be honest With you because You know you watch a matriarch of an Elephant herd walk up to someone that None of us knew was pregnant And her trunk goes to her stomach And then she calls all the other ones Over and they're interested in this

Little human that that they know that There's something in there and they're And they're all conversing about it and You go whoa Or that every morning we'd wake up and The elephants didn't want the stream Water they didn't want the lake water They want puddles they wanted the water From our well we had like a stone well You know like a traditional and every Morning we'd like run out of bed because All the elephants were going to come and They were going to rip the bucket off And destroy everything but they wanted That nice cold clean water And so it was like caring for elephants That were wild they were sometimes Getting shot at by Farmers because if They went to try and Rob some bananas so These are sort of like delinquent Elephants that were half wild in the Forest Department was thinking about you Know getting rid of them which whatever That meant And uh I made really good friends with this one Elephant and his name was Dharma And uh Dharma had the had the the stuff Doesn't this is It's hard to write the Book I'm writing right now because none Of it sounds real he grew up around People because he was a tuskless male so He couldn't hang out with the females Because he was a grown-up male and he

Couldn't hang out with the males the Bulls because he couldn't defend himself When they roughhoused and everything so Dharma would be like wandering around The forest not knowing who to hang out With And so like there was one night there Was a tiger calling and we just heard You could hear it echoing over the hills And what does Dharma do 2 A.M we hear Dharma show up and he's the same thing He starts throwing a tantrum he starts Pulling [ __ ] over he says takes a chair Throws it We had bananas in the truck Dharma walks Up to the truck it's like a Jeep he Walks up to the Jeep smells it he looks At me and he's like you're gonna get out Of bed I'm like no I'm not gonna get out Of bed I was like Dharma you're a grown Ass elephant the tiger does his thing Again and he's like I need bananas to Feel better yeah pushes the truck up on Two two wheels oh wow looks at me Is this how you want it to be so I'm up I'm up and I go and I'm like please Please please please please please don't Move I'm rubbing his face and he's like He puts it down he's like all right well Then then hit me I didn't do it so he lifts it up again And so in the end there was no way for Me to outsmart the elephant he wins yeah There's nothing I could do and so a lot

Of my job was taking him out into the Forest and and you know spending a Little bit of time with him I have this Beautiful One time I set up the tripod and I went And I was just I was just journaling and He would come and he would just like Play with my hair and he'd be like hey What's up you know he just he wanted Someone to to interact with on an Emotional level And you know when you think about Elephants in terms of the fact that you Know people go oh you know they they use Medication to induce labor it's like Yeah that's not that surprising they They they hold the bones of the dead It's like yeah they have the best smell Of pretty much any animal that's also Not surprising they probably know Exactly who that was that bone But they can navigate to water holes and Communicate in ways that we cannot Really figure out and so when you hear About people measuring out elephant Intelligence You'll hear about scientists being like Oh well we gave it a you know a bucket With a hole in it and then it had like a Key and there was a rope and you're like Bro this is all Human stuff yeah can you go walking with Them for three weeks in the wild and Watch how they deal with the problems

That they encounter in the forest And so elephants have become especially Recently with the work that's been gone That I've been doing in Africa with Betpaw Um I've just become so fascinated with Elephants and uh You know Elephants the elephant the African Elephant population right now is down at Two percent of what it was a few hundred Years ago were really we're really Putting them on the brink of you know There's there's some elephants that are Being born tuskless Because we've Poaching has taken down The great tuskers to the point where now It's it's actually beneficial for some Elephants to not have tusks because Anyone have humans but that's that's Like we've created deformed elephants And so like now I'm Gotten very concerned with Issues of elephants and tusks are Fundamental to the interaction between Elephants absolutely I mean with males Compete with each other but also Elephants use their tusks you know like They'll they'll break a branch and They'll be like this is a good Branch I'm going to eat the hell out of this And they'll like hang it on their Tusk And they'll like grab a bunch of other

Stuff they'll like hold it Um you know ripping a tree up out of the Ground I just watched it two weeks ago As as watching an elephant he got down On his knees and stuck his his Tusk into The ground and like leveraged up he like Archimedes to this root out of the Ground and then was like that's a sweet Root and when he left I went and I Tasted the root and it was like sweet Ginger and I was like I have no idea What this is but he knew it was good did They use Tusk for sexual selection like To impress the ladies or no it's Certainly involved in how who who has Mating rights oh who wins who wins I Mean if you got the big tusks and there Are elephants out there like the mammoth Big tuskers that have tusks down to the Ground like huge and when you see them It's like seeing something unique on Earth Earth unique in history because We're at a point where we might lose Those there are only a few of them left And then they're so prized by hunters Yeah it's interesting because I I forget What the actual conclusion on that is Because there's some studies of the use Of the value of Beauty in evolution like Birds yeah and peacocks and so on that There's no actual Value to it but it Plays a role in in sexual selection Meaning value like

It's much easier to understand Competition like a Tusk helps you defeat Sure the competitive tool but I bet you There's a component to the Tusk where The ladies go goddamn that's a nice Like there's a visual beautiful Component maybe not I don't know but What if what if beauty though as we're Defining it though is is is symmetry and The the absence of yellow spots on your Face and and Healthy looking hair and so like I think To us beauty is Sexually appealing traits that look good To mate with and so so that that 19 year Old with Marissa everybody in the world Would swipe left on that yeah At least it's like really desirable Object in the universe okay uh what do You mean speaking of elephant Intelligence and something I I think and Work quite a bit on as with artificial Intelligence is what the philosophical Question that comes up is what is Intelligence what is intelligent Um humans Homo sapiens are often Thought to be highly intelligent that's The reason they stand out In your understanding Of different species like the elephant What stands out to about humans or are They just another animal Or different kinds of intelligence Well we're certainly unique because we

Have altered the entire planet yeah you Know the term the anthropocene I mean It's like we've literally created a Geological layer of us Whereas other animals don't and Going back to elephants it's like they Also engineer their environment if You're in a forest like if you drop me In a forest on Earth I can tell you in Two seconds if there's elephants there Because this Twisted branches and Excavated Earth and they they're Constantly gardening Um But I mean look look at us I mean There's we're clearly unique in nature Which which makes me not understand the The the anti-human sentiment that that So much of environmentalism has about Like you know like we're we're bad we're Damned we ruin everything and it's like I've seen the worst I've seen the Burning Amazon and I'm still like I love being able to share ideas with You and travel to places and FaceTime my Family when I'm not around them and it's Like I I celebrate a lot of what makes Us human And I I it's almost like reality is this Crazy video game and it's like if we Could just figure out the right Keys we Can pretty much do anything we can think Of and it's like I mean poetry art I mean you know I'm

The biggest animal lover in the world But we are we are We are different We really are yeah the ability to uh Puzzle solve create tools I think it's the coolest invention Humans have come up with is it fire What's the most impactful Uh I feel like fire is fire I feel like Fire is kind of a gimme I feel like the They didn't really invent it they Probably like the wheel Flying I mean flying I mean think of think if You could go back in time to someone That never flew yeah you know assault in A an Egyptian king George Washington you know and be like You can Fly I mean this just just on my way here Yeah and I fly way too much but I was Looking out the window at the clouds and Going this is Unbelievably spectacular it's just Stunning you know as a kid you you look At a cloudy day And you go this is the world is like This today And then you get in a plane and you fly Above the clouds and it's sunny up there And you go Oh It just it changes your perspective it's

Like when people go to the moon and they Come back and they tell you the pale Blue dot you know just I I say I say flying I think the ability To fly I mean the fact that I could I Could get on a plane and be in India in You know 20 22 hours is is shocking in Terms of its usefulness I would argue That's not in the top five but in terms Of its ability to inspire yeah there's Uh somebody I forgot who uh told me this Idea that There's something about the atmosphere Earth's atmosphere that allows you to Look up and see the stars like if we Didn't have that human civilization Would not have happened meaning like Being able to look up and see something Out there Would fill our like this something that Allows you to look up versus just look Down to like first looking at your local Environment yeah be able to like wander And see holy [ __ ] there's a big world Out there I don't know Anything if if you're able to look up And see that yeah that that kind of Humility combined with the ability to Dream about exploring yeah maybe it just Inspires the exploration it's kind of an Interesting thought given how inspiring For example the uh The extra upgraded super cool version of Flying which is flying to other planets

I mean there's going to be hopefully It's possible The century A child born no not the century maybe The century a child born on another Planet that looks up that looks back at Earth And it has to be educated by his her Parents that like there's another place There's another place where life is way Easier oh God it's so easy there's water Everywhere exactly people complain about Earth man the Earth is really really Really really really good it's really Really good here water everywhere Anything man I wouldn't even leave given Like right now like if somebody said Like oh you could like you could go to The Moon I'd be like no I'm good if I Died in space I'd be so pissed I love it Here yeah but you're still there's a Longing to explore for you there's a Longing to explore but I I really think I'm I'm such a Like my longing to explore is like Rivers streams oceans jungles like to me Like yeah I would I would watch the hell Out of the the live stream of of Elon Touching down on Mars like I'd be like This is incredible it's amazing that I Get to be around to see this I'm staying where I'll be right here Yeah but it's good that the human Spirit Pushes us oh it's amazing what's

Possible and it does that for you what Um just a out there questions what's What's the most dangerous animal In the Amazon would you say Mammal let's go with mammal dangerous Mammal like dangerous in terms of you Walking around doing the solo hike I'm Gonna disappoint everybody with this but It's it's humans it's nothing there's no If I'm out in the Amazon there's nothing That's going to attack me you know and In India you might have you might have An old leopard or a tiger that's missing A tooth that decides your prey or you Might have an angry elephant that's in Must that just decides to just decides To flatten you in the Amazon you're not This real jaguars won't even let you see Them yeah and there's really nothing Else one of my friends uh brilliant Scientist friend of mine Pat got Attacked by a rabid ocelot once but That's like a diesel house cat just Having a fit you know that's it wasn't The worst thing in the world It's just the [ __ ] yeah Kingdom okay What uh in terms of humans you said Um that the tribes some of them Uncontacted yeah can be exceptionally Dangerous what's your experience with Them what should people learn because It's such a fascinating part Of life here on Earth that there's Tribes that don't have much or any

Contact with the quote-unquote Civilized World Most of the people that I meet don't Actually really understand how How isolated these people are or how Weird it is that we're sitting here and That we have iPhones and airplanes and All this stuff and these people are Living naked in the forest at this Moment And so The the the thing though you know I also Was recently somebody somebody said oh There's like Paleolithic tribes and it's Like no no just by default they're Modern tribes living now They just happen to be living out in the Jungle and there's a huge debate about You know do we try and contact them and Bring them in And there's two camps of people on this Who they said it was it was it was the Trauma of the rubber boom that sent them Out that far into the forest and made Them terrified of the outside world And so that's also what made them so Hyper violent I mean they're they're I There's one of the guys we work with on Our team Victor was In I think it was 2004. he's coming down River and he had a load of mahogany wood And he's piloting this boat And He sent two people a husband and wife

Ahead to go start cooking breakfast on The beach so they could put the little Kitchenette thing down and pick put the Propane he sent them ahead as the he's Going nice and slow at the barge coming Down the river they go ahead reach the Beach they get out he starts cutting Some cane to start put making a fire Tribe comes out no warning they just Start screaming they start shooting Arrows the man instantly gets an arrow Through the leg and it pins his leg so He can't run he tells his wife go save Yourself and she does she jumps in the Water this arrow is falling around her Too and as she's floating down the river She looks back and the last thing she Sees is these guys getting to her Husband and beginning to rip him apart As Victor comes down the river this is a Guy we work with every day he comes down The river and sees his friend Disemboweled opened up dissected his Parts are all over the beach the beach Is red and they only found out what Happened because they found her later on Holding on to a stick in the river and They're like what happened and she was Like they just attacked they don't want People on their land on the on the on The the sort of the underground WhatsApp Chain of the Amazon they a few in August Like this was not an internationally Known

Um some loggers went up and tried to Steal a few trees from where the tribes Were and then everybody sent the Pictures of what the loggers looked like After a few days because the tribes Porcupine them with arrows they were Laying there on the ground with just Arrows sticking out of their bodies and Then eventually the authorities came out And looked and there was just these White But I'll show you the pictures later There's just these white puffy bodies With like the skulls sticking out and it Was like you don't mess with these Tribes I wonder what are the what's the Mythology around that they construct Around who these Outsiders are They gods are they demons are they Humans what who are they who are we to Them Well you you got to go back to the Rubber Boom the the rubber Barons went Down there and at the start of the Industrial Revolution the only way to Get rubber Was to mine it from the trees that were Out in the forest and so the only way to Do that because you can't make a rubber Plantation in the jungle the the rubber When it's in Plantation form when it's a Monoculture it gets this Leaf blight and It all dies Henry Ford tried it didn't Work and so what they did was they sent

These people down who just whipped Burned enslaved raped and pillaged the People it's one of the worst periods in Human suffering that I've ever read About Um one missionary said they were killing The locals the way you or I would kill a Mosquito they just went nuts and so they Sent them out and they would come back With rubber and this would go to fuel The Industrial Revolution for hoses and Gaskets and tires and all this stuff That suddenly we needed Um and it was during that time that These these these you know gangs of Foreigners would go into the jungle to Enslave the natives That these uncontacted tribes went back Into the jungle and said not us And they have six foot bows and seven Foot Arrows with bamboo tips they make The bamboo tips into razor blades And so when those things fly actually One of my Rangers one of the Jungle Keepers team Um was present when the tribes had come Out onto the river and he tried to Help them because they're nomadic and They live out there and so there's an Element of like Brother like you know they're trying to Be like you don't need to be like this Like we're friendly so they sent a canoe Across the river with bananas and so

He's up to his waist in the river and The tribes are right across the river And and This shot and he sees the Arrow coming Right at his head and as he moved to the Side it hit him at the temple and sliced Him back towards the ear opening him to The skull He's fine But let me tell you something when he Goes and gets a crew cut it's the most Badass the scar you've ever seen man and So he he always keeps it real short on That side but but even if you try to Help them that they're not necessarily Friends and tough I said tough lesson Yeah I suppose they have a point they have a Point and and protecting them is is a Default of you know now that we're Protecting all this ecosystems and all These other indigenous communities it's Like we all sort of live with this Knowledge that they're the Hermanos the Brothers are out there and that's the Way they want to keep it and so we just Have to be respectful of like you don't Camp on certain beaches at certain times Of the year because we know that they Might be there you really have to be Careful about that have you yourself Interacted with any my interaction with Them came on a solo where I pushed it a Little bit too far

And I I was planning to do a three week This was like the big one and I I got Dropped off by poachers up a river and I I went past the point where they were Like names there I said what what what Tributary are we on and they were like Tributary and I was like okay And I said leave me here and I remember The guy being like are you committing Suicide and he didn't understand that I Was like no I have a backpack and I have Like food and like I'm gonna like take Videos and I have a tripod and I was Like we're cool here and they looked at Me like they were like goodbye and I was Like all right and I went up this River And And again like you just you learn these Things like you know it was only when I'd been alone for a week that you Realize you're you know is that saying That like oh you're you're born alone And you die alone it's like no you're Not you're born into a room full of People usually at the very least your Mother's there for everybody and uh and So you've been around people probably if You're a normal person every single day Of your life you've seen dozens if not Hundreds of people And all of a sudden you realize what a Social creature we are Because on day six it gets weird for me It got weird I know there's people that

Can do it longer so what is it what does That mean like longing for contact like Are you lonely longing for contact the Distortion of reality in the sense that Like You know you wake up and there's no one There and you start to You know you're going up a river so I Would keep I kept looking back down River and Almost thinking of my life as something It was almost like I had already died And I had gone to somewhere else and I Was looking back on that life as like Something that I had experienced And Then There came this Panic of what if It's gone or like what if World War III Broke out and I just don't know about it My family in New York is vaporizing Something just you just you you're You're so actually your ability to Comprehend and interpret reality kind of Requires other people it's not just that You're lonely you need that contact to Actually just perceive the world make Sense of it all of that so you start Basically hallucinating in a certain Kind of way I started feeling very Uncomfortable Um and it doesn't help also that like Santiago told me these stories where He's like if you hear capuchins sounding Not quite monkeys if you hear capuchin Monkey sounding not quite like capuchins

He goes it's the tribe and they're Coming to get you And then so um the guy who was shot Ignacio they showed me videos where we Saw them on the beach and they're Communicating in Monkey calls they're Using it as code so that we don't Understand them even though we don't Speak their language but they're they're Using animal calls and so every night You go to sleep and then you go did that Tinnitus sound off and you're like [ __ ] You know and it's really hard to fall Asleep and then like one night I I Messed up and I left a fish I like Cleaned this fish I ate like this huge Fish I just ate it to my face you're Putting out like Marathon levels of of Energy every day like you know Goggins Would love solos this is awesome yeah You eat the fish Raw uh this one I Actually cooked it but you know the Skeleton was laying there right right Outside my tent stupid yeah and in the Middle of the night I wake up and I just Could tell there was something there you Know and then like you almost don't want To look it's like when you're a kid at The basement door and you're like is There a ghost it's like I like unzip the Tent and I like open it up and there's Like 27 black cayman outside of my tent All looking at me like this and like Some of their heads are this big and

They're like there's fish there can we Have it and I'm like holy [ __ ] and like You know I was like do I I kind of like Had to like scooch the tent back and Like move back and let them have their Fish and there's a host of crocodiles Outside of my tent yeah Um but no so then there's three how many Like 27 maybe there's a lot big ones Small ones medium sized one every type Thing we're all there and their eyes Glow in the night you know you shine a Light at animals and they have a taping Them lucidum and so their their eye Shine comes back at you if you shine a Headlamp at a at a jaguar or a frog or Almost every animal has a tape in them Croc there's a whole lot of them yeah I Thought can we go back to the part of The conversation where you said the Jungle is not dangerous the humans are The most dangerous did they eat me no Why didn't they eat you they wanted the Fish is there some way of you Interacting with them that shows that You're not social harm I don't believe so I'm sure there's Someone out there that thinks they can Talk to Crocs but because there's a There's a story of you grabbing a Croc By the tail yes what did you learn from That learn to not always listen to JJ so JJ was testing you to uh yeah to see how Stupid it was how do you hold the

Crocodile exactly you have to get him by The head like an anaconda like this and So so you're one of the world experts to Grabbing creatures by the head I Wouldn't say World expert but I've done A lot of it um I also have you see how There's like kind of a ball there that's Where a crocodile tooth went in that Side and like came out that side of my Mouth that was a really good Chomp and The watch I was wearing at the time Saved me because that like that Um real fast just Chomp just whack like Somebody took a sledgehammer you put Your hand on the table and I just went Really hurt Um shouldn't have been doing that what How did that come up because I caught a Croc that was too big so usually when we Catch little Caiman in the streams and We measure them to monitor the Populations Um you get it by the neck and then I Tuck the tail under my arm and I hold it And you're talking about a little you Know four foot Croc nothing and I I this One I dove into a into a swamp and I Caught like a six foot Spectacle came in and her head was big And I had her by the neck and I realized I couldn't get her tail under my arm Because her tail was all the way back There and she started thrashing And it was like probably Croc number 375

That I'd caught and I just got a little Cocky and I said ah she's you know I Just I just like grabbed her by a leg I Was like I got this and she just came Back and tagged me and I went okay gonna Go back to being safe just to linger on It what uh Is it one of the one of the bigger Predators in the Amazon what and it's is It going to uh are they going extinct Black caimans black caiman were I Believe they were critically endangered For a while because for a while the Fashion industry loved their skin it's Soft and it's black Um they're bouncing back a little bit Now you know like most animals if you Leave them alone they'll be fine I mean Crocs have been through you know how Many millions and millions of years on Earth before us I mean that's even the Joke with with the joke but that's the Grim reality of tiger conservation it's There was a hundred thousand Tigers in 1900. Now this 4 000 Tigers left on Earth It's not rocket science all you have to Do is not bulldoze their forest and Allow there to be some deer and tigers Will be fine that's it it's so simple And that's like sometimes where I feel Like I have the dumbest job in the world I'm like guys please stop killing the Things that Keep Us Alive

The Amazon regulates our Global Climate Produces medicine is home to indigenous People it's beautiful Rainforests only cover three percent of The planet's land mass like it's not That much to ask If you uh leave their home on touch They'll figure out how to have sex and Multiply except for pandas apparently Because pandas you have to convince yeah Uh humpbacks humpbacks they went down to They went from 130 000 down to I think About 8 000. At whaling times and then when we band Whaling since that time where I think We're back up to over a hundred thousand Humpback whales they've bounced back It's a success story we're not going to Lose them Okay so you're in this on the solo With uh Crocs looking at you see this is Why you're good at this you know I I Would have lost we would have been no That's pretty yeah with the fish that Was your mistake that was my mistake I Don't understand how you're still alive I mean I it's really inspiring when you Come we're gonna I'm gonna show you If there's any place I mean Um Sort of a grim joke but if there's any Way to die uh that's a good one if I'm Being honest it's a cool one it's a Pretty cool one it'll become part of the

Part yeah yeah I mean there's it's I'm Not even like joking there's a there's a Oneness to the whole thing Ever all the stories just reading your Work looking at your work I It seems like you are part of this Machine that is nature the this this Incredible Machine like we all die And we're all part of this big thing That humans do have the capability to Also construct narratives and stories And myths and tell them to each other And share them with each other and have More sophisticated ways therefore to Communicate love to each other but Animals do as well they communicate love Maybe more simply Maybe more honestly Anyway so you you were the Crocs and the Fish Yeah so I messed up I left the fish out Croc showed up outside my tent but in The end it was fine I I backed off they Had their way with the fish and then They all started biting each other it Was fun to watch is it a general story To interrupt is that a general rule you Want to not leave Yeah just like if you're camping in the Northeast you don't leave like you do a Bear bag or a bear canister you don't You don't want to invite the wild Animals I really did mess up I kind of

Was just like you know whatever I do This every now and then I get a little Too Cavalier Um and that the ocean is almost almost Taken me down for that a few times Um but yeah so the Crocs and then you Keep going for a few days and my plan Was to get to a point Where I reached the end of the tributary And this had a very Um You know again for me this is like a Pilgrimage This is like this is like me going into The heart of the the very center and Soul and essence of everything that I am Fascinated with like as close to God as You can get because you're leaving every Type of security every human Relationship you're also pushing all Your chips in And so it's it's I you know the every step I took further Up River it got weirder and weirder and More intense and every day and every Moment it changed and I would I brought Pictures at the time there's no way to Keep a phone charged I didn't have like A power bank or anything Um you know I brought pictures from home I brought a I brought a National Geographic magazine Um something just to you know and um There came a day right when I was

Getting to the end like to the point Where the river was so shallow that it Was just a trickle and I was walking on The rocks and the Andes mountains were In front of me and I was like reaching The the place and the music was swelling And then All of a sudden I saw smoke around the Next Bend And I I like my spine is reacting right Now as I talk about it because I I knew I knew what I was going to see because I Knew that it was impossible for loggers To be out there there's no motor that Could take you the boat would have run Aground miles ago and so I I went And this is the other this is the other Idiot thing it's like just turn around Yeah just do it I'm that kid though when You see like a wet paint sign like I Walk by and I touch the wall yep and uh So I I I went around the bend And and I see I see a few naked people On the beach And they see me And we're like a good distance apart It's there on the other side of the River But you know arrow in hand bow in hand The the intention of pose they're Looking at me they're clearly conversing And that moment lasted for a a long Moment where I said This is the part of the story where they

Are going to Rip me apart dissect me to see what I Eat I mean every other story in the Region that we've heard That's the ending of it if you're alone With these people it's not going to go Well and I have nothing to defend myself With Um and I just I turned and I ran for Like three hours and I got in the river And I swam for a while and all my food Got wet Um I mean everything I just you know all Right just ran for dear life and and my My get out plan the thing after I Crossed the mountains and came down into The next tributary was I had a pack raft That's a tiny little inflatable raft Good enough to handle Rapids and I Inflated the pack raft once the once the River was like six inches deep I Inflated the pack raft and I went and I Went for the rest of that day into the Night I went into the point that my Headlamp died and I was just floating Floating in a raft down the Amazon and Hitting into things and I was like okay I'm gonna I'm gonna pop this raft so it Got out of the raft to set up my tent And I was like I need some sleep I was Freaking out I hadn't had food and now You know hours and hours and hours As soon as I fell asleep My [ __ ] brain comes up with the dream

Of that I hear voices they're right Outside the tent I just you know Sleeping was worse than being awake so I Woke up got back in the tent and then at One point it was really cool because one Of those one of the same black caiman That had come for the the fish as I'm Going down river he came right up next To me and the two of us were going and He was just like motoring down river This giant like 16 foot crocodile he Just like came up to me and like looked At me as I was going and it was funny Because I wasn't scared of him I was Scared of them And yeah it took me like a week to get Back to town and and again the things You learn in these moments the the you Know the appreciation for your parents The the the the the what a hug feels Like You know when you when you are are faced With Pretty much certainty that you're not Gonna get those things again Whether it's from MRSA or uncontacted Tribes or you know Um I find that that it brings it brings It brings you this new joy for life Where you just being that close to death Yeah you go yeah you go my God this is All a miracle It's sad because they're human just like You

Actually how different are they like if You were forced To interact for a week together where They can't they're not allowed to kill You Like not allowed to kill me would they Are they how fundamentally different are They do you think I don't think I think They're different I think they're like Any other Amazonian natives um they're They're tall they seem to have tall Genetics Um and there's places you know again There's there's what is known and then There's what we know down there like There's there's one Community where I Don't know whether it was like a bad Rainstorm or something but some kid from The uncontacted tribes did end up in a Village and so we he learned Spanish or he learned whatever dialect They speak in that Village and so he's Told us a little bit about what life was Like with them but like they're just People They're just people they have their own Culture they know about medicines that We don't know about they definitely have Hunting practices that that we don't Understand they can hit a spider monkey Out of a 160 foot tree with a bamboo Arrow we can't do that I mean they are incredible hunters and Also like living naked in the jungle

With the bot flies and the mosquitoes I don't know how they do it like Sometimes at night and again we don't Have night vision whereas almost every Other animal does And sometimes we'll be sitting you know On our you know at the research station At night and we'll be just drinking and Like looking out and at the you know We'll scare each other we'll go you know We realize if they were out there right Now they could be looking at us and it's Like the truth is is that when it's dark Out there They can't see It's not easy to start a fire with Matches and a lighter and gasoline they Do it with friction They have some some beads on Survival That we could really learn from Um Not to mention that then you have people That believe that they are actually the Guardians of the extinct giant ground Sloth and what they're doing is you know Living out there because they're Protecting a secret population of Previously extinct megafauna but there's All kinds I mean this it's like you you Go into the crypto world so quick I've Heard so many people be like But then again you have to be humble at How little we know about About that world about the world of life

Like you said there's so much of life in The Amazon that we don't uh creatures With no names Tons of them we could go out on a night Walk right now and I could show you Something that you know you I've done it You you pick up a bug and you go That doesn't look right That's not right he's got three heads Yeah you know and then you send it to to The the greatest expert on that genus of Insects and and they go look I got no idea and you're talking to a World expert and it's like that's it and Then 50 of the life is up in the canopy And so like we started climbing the Trees like rock climbing like what Alex Honnold does like well like I'll climb Up 50 feet and then I'll put a safety Like I'm basically Trad climbing and Then I'll climb up another 50 feet and I'll have JJ belaying me from below and Then I'll be like oh look a snake I'm Like JJ Pay attention to get up there and the The branches are as thick as this table So you can like walk around freely oh It's like total like Avatar when they're In the floating islands like you can you Can go run around if that's what you Want to do Bromeliads orchids cactuses because up There it's against the Sun so it's a Different environment oh wow yeah

Interesting Um and then you start seeing lizards and Snakes and birds and things that aren't Down on the ground And so how many scientists have actually Gotten to really spend time up there and Really inventory the life that's why When you hear about you like it it's Like a taxonomical discussion of how Many species there are on earth they're Like between you know 10 and 30 million And it's like well that's a big Ha it's a big swing What about stuff on the ground so you Mentioned some insects what about bullet Ants So supposed to be the most painful bite In the world you've been bitten by one Seven or eight times yeah what does it Feel like okay so the first time that we Ever did bullet ants um JJ said you know okay this is what we're Gonna do he goes you know it's bullet Ant roulette we're gonna get a bullet Ant and we get like Chopsticks you like Pick up this bullet ant and they're big They're big and they're tough like He goes we're gonna put our forearms Together and we're gonna drop the bullet Ant and clamp our forearms together and Just rub and whoever whoever it takes it Takes yeah of course JJ did not get Stung and I did and it hurts every bit As much as they say it hurts it really

Let me have it and then and then I was Like hitting my arm against the table to Try and like kill it or get it off but It was holding on and just like really Injecting the Venom And uh yeah really letting you have it And then it it travels up and it goes Into your like lymph nodes and and into Your here and you get a headache and and I think the the the brilliant thing About the The the Venom of a bullet ant is that it Makes you feel like like this this Feeling of alarm it makes you feel like Something's wrong you don't just go ow This hurts like it's like a bee sting or You oh this really hurts on my hand it's Like no no no your whole nervous system Is freaking out and you start sweating And then you get cold and then you're Tired then you get a little blurry Vision and it's like that's actually That bad I mean now after six or seven I Get bitten and I'm like kind of okay It's a full body full mind experience But then there's places in the Amazon Where they you know stick their hand in A glove with like 70 of them right and I Think Stevo did that which I I would I Just don't understand how you could do That without going into complete Anaphylactic shock and dying because one Really sucks Uh well it's just like just like we said

With animals and with humans there's Different kinds there's different kinds Definitely uh especially unique the First of a species Um Hoof On the point of on uncontacted tribes It's interesting to think about What kind of civilizations have there Been yeah this is something that you've Talked about a little bit uh Graham Hancock has written about Ancient civilizations instead of Challenging the conventionals of the Mainstream thinking about the the Civilizations that have been there in The Amazon can you Steel Man and Criticize the idea so the pro and the Con are the idea that there have been Ancient Advanced ancient civilizations In the Amazon like how much do we know What are all the possibilities of what's In the Amazon in this past so like when Orianna went down the Amazon the reports Were that there was great civilizations In the Amazon and then you know a few Hundred years later when people got to Actually check up on this stuff it was All gone and so was that because of Disease that we wiped out all these Civilizations and these communities of People potentially probably Was he just wrong probably not this is a Guy that navigated by the stars back to

Spain after building his own boat like Yeah or did he you know or was he trying To just I don't know I don't know but They're clearly Is a long history of complex Civilizations in the Amazon 100 there's No one that can deny that The thing that I reacted to was that I've heard videos I've seen moments in Podcasts where the narrative becomes not There's more ancient civilization Information in the Amazon than we Previously thought true statement we're Discovering with lidar and this is what Graham Hancock is talking about that We're discovering constantly that There's there was more civilizations Than we thought in various places The place where I take Offense is where They start to say that the Amazon There's actually articles that that are Titled this that the Amazon is a Man-made Garden Which is not true so the actual which I Think is a really different idea that The uh the entire ecosystem everything We've been talking about all the species Uh all the forestry and the different Just life life one of the most diverse Ecosystems on Earth is initially created By humans Ridiculous well it's not first of all It's unlikely but it's not ridiculous so

We can't well there's no ridiculous in Um In science No but the complexity of life is very Difficult to engineer as as you the more You study about biological systems and So on it's very difficult to create the Kind of things that nature is able to do That said I don't know if you've heard But the entire Earth the world has gone Through pandemic recently And if and everybody said of course it's Natural Origins viruses mutate all the Time And nevertheless it seems more and more Likely than this particular case it was Of an artificial origin leaked from a Lab so humans are able to create stuff At least modern technological uh genetic Engineering made golden retrievers Come on You can't be that nice and that good Looking I used to be a wolf yeah but so that Bothers you because it it allows you to Think that Um we don't need to preserve the Amazon We can always engineer it yeah exactly Then just this is just to me that's a Slippery slope like I totally I'm it's Just it's so quick from I'm a fan of Expeditions to find ecological ruins and And to learn more about the ancient Civilizations to which I don't think is

What he's putting out is that then sort Of like news articles which I think They're trying to bait you where they're Going was the Amazon man-made and it's Like You know because then you get you're Going to get a Brazilian president to go See see what they said it's man-made so We might as well continue to engineer it And manage it and it's like there's such Complex systems and interactions and Such a such a giant Web of Life there That At least in my opinion Is clearly one of the most authentically Natural things and again are there Things that we've engineered did the Uncontacted tribes sometimes they they Have banana plants that they've stolen And we could see it from the air that They've they have banana plants we made Banana plants that's engineered by us we Know for a fact Um so agricultural engineering Agricultural engineering and stuff like That but suggesting that the Amazon Basin you know it's just it's just a Weird way to think about it I've just Heard people Dismiss the conservative the protection Of the Amazon based on the fact they're Like oh well if people made it and it's Such a giant leap from from from the From zero to a hundred

Um you know is there slash and burn that The ancient civilizations did of course Are there areas that were affected by People of course I just get worried when We start talking about it was a man-made Thing here you loud and clear on that And I personally think that's completely Separate from wondering about what the Ancient civilization have been able to Accomplish oh sure it's almost really Sad because if all the humans on Earth Die no how long does it take before all Signs of humans ever exist and disappear Oh for the most part Um from an alien perspective What timeline are we talking about I Mean like I mean there's there's a Hundred thousand years like it could be Less it could be less it could be like a Few thousand because a hundred thousand Is complete destruction 100 000 is like Nothing but but then it could be in just A few hundred years yes it starts Becoming you're gonna the government of The alien civilization is gonna have to Pay quite a bit of money to do the Research right because they're going to Find other life first trying to find the Dolphins in the fish and so on they're Gonna find the trees maybe the trees are The interesting thing sure the buildings Are not that interesting humans but There must be examples of cities that Have been left

On unattended for a few decades and like How quickly the The plants push up through the street And everything starts to get broken down If you really look you'll be like oh That's some interesting geometry here For the buildings and so on but most Most of the most computer stuff yeah all All the stuff of the past 100 years the Airplanes all that all the Technologies All the paperwork that all the hard Drives that store all the information I Want to I want to actually know how long It takes like a 747 to like biodegrade Like how like if you just leave it there Sitting on the runway Society stops yeah How long does it take for that thing to Disappear like that's completely versus Uh to a point where it's on a definable It might be different but sure I mean The point I'm trying to say here is as You've brilliantly put the the Amazon Churns yeah oh yeah and the fact that I Wonder throughout its history What are the peaks of the awesomeness Well how many banana how many Agricultural Einsteins of bananas yeah Were there they're creating different Kinds of ideas different kinds of Geometries different kinds of tools but Yeah look what the Incas did I mean the Incas you know Machu Picchu I mean when They found when Hiram Bigham found Machu Picchu was covered in Jungle you could

Hardly see it and I mean the the stone Work they did much like what the Egyptians did with the pyramids a lot of It we don't really understand how they Did it if you come to the Jungle you got To go to Machu Picchu because it's not Far from there and I usually like I'm I'm the person like I I won't I don't Usually go see like the you know like I've never been to see the Taj Mahal After living in India for five years Like I'm just not but when you look up And you see Machu Picchu you go Either they were communicating with the Gods there or these people were so smart That they knew that anybody they brought They were going to impress They They've built something there that when You look up at that mountain you go whoa With those giant Stones the beauty of it You know it's just it's just stunning to Imagine that there was this culture of People that that could achieve this and So through the Amazon I mean that's sort Of up in the Andes but There's all kinds of stuff in the Amazon There are places where they say there's Can um pyramids beneath the canopy That we just don't know about Um I mean there's it's endless if you Had uh billions of dollars trillions of Dollars well what would be the efforts In the Amazon

For the for both conservation and for Exploration all right well first let's Get tied together yeah exactly first Arrest the the deforestation so we don't Have an ecological crisis on our hands We don't want to keep losing species Losing indigenous cultures losing the Climate stabilizing services that the Amazon provides as a whole stop that That's my first mission next then we can Play And then it's like let's go find I mean You I've flown over the Amazon and Assessment it's like you see things Where you go we have to go see what that Is you know weird lakes or shapes in the Jungle that don't make sense that are That are that are strange and like so Even at that level you can see weirdness You can see different oh yeah like signs Of possible awesomeness oh the jungle is So weird and here's the other thing is That most So like the region I've been working in You see Where the researchers go the certain Biological stations the certain places Where like oh like this university has a Relationship with this this for Universal is this so everybody goes to The same few study sites and then they Walk on the same trails and they have The same guides when you fly in a Cessna And you fly

Few hours away from all that and you see A tiny little tributary and then you fly For 40 minutes over unbroken green just Wild before you reach another tributary Even if somebody could survive going up That tributary had the expeditionary Expertise and the ability to survive Getting shot at by arrows if they could Get up that tributary Now Cut perpendicular into the jungle which I don't do on the solos you can't you Can never don't ever leave the river But you tell me that in that span of 70 Miles between tiny tributaries at the Edge of the world no one's been there None of us have been there you know Maybe somebody 10 000 years ago was There but we don't know what populations Of things are there we don't know what Ruins are there And so there's so much undiscovered Stuff in the Amazon that is Just waiting just waiting What what is the process of exploring That so how does money get converted Towards exploration Is there Is there safe ways of doing that there's Places where you know we found out about Things that have to be explored but Where you come up with well how do we do This without getting shot and all and Not only without getting shot but also

Without endangering them too Because how stupid are we if we if we go In there to people that are living in The jungle not bothering us and we go Insert ourselves into there because We're curious about some rocks As that doesn't seem fair for the loss Of life and So like Um but yeah that's that's something that We're working on and like one thing of Course is like lidar and stuff but Eventually eventually at the end of Everything it comes down to boots on the Ground yeah as somebody who has to ask That very question about how to deal With uncontacted tribes they're they're Going to kill you But you also don't want to disturb their Environment if you were an intelligent Alien civilization oh boy And you came about Earth How how would you interact with it can You put yourself in the mind of an Aliens civilization because there seems To be some parallels here It is actually right it's like a Microcosm of we're very aggressive human Civilization is very aggressive so if we Were easily we get threatened easily Yeah For stupid reasons because we start like American Military probably thinks it's Like the Chinese or the Russians If we see any kind of flying objects it

Gets very on edge I don't know I mean Because you know part of it is like you Just want to ask like that's the thing I Just want to ask questions yeah but you Know but you don't know the same Language yeah you're going to get first Of all you send a photo bananas you send A butter bananas you get shot Um I mean picture if aliens landed in New York how long would it take for one Of them to get shot three minutes if You're a matter of minutes yeah that's Because it's New York and everywhere Else look where we are right now that's True it'd be even worse here yeah uh Makes me really makes me wonder what is The right way to interact with Uh intelligent life that's not like our Own I hope I I dream of In Our Lifetime We would interact with Possibly Life on Mars or on one of the Moons of Jupiter or Saturn and like how Do you interact with that thing Well this is very technical biological And chemical processes but also if There's any kind of intelligence how do You try to communicate with that Intelligence yeah so we're not talking About like a cockroach we're talking About like some something that's clearly Like doing things making things well Cockroach possibly how do you know the Difference between a Cocker like how do You know we were just talking just like

Australians yeah we don't know we don't Know we have just like a race of like Philosopher cockroaches right chilling On the Rocks well here on Earth we kind Of there seems to be a strong Correlation between size and Intelligence like yes it seems like the Bigger things have bigger nervous Systems and brains and so they're Usually smarter but that doesn't I think It's brain it's the ratio brain to body Sure because you have like crows yeah That are up among the most intelligent It's like the size of the brain to the Size of the body but there also could be Kinds of intelligence completely no idea We're not appreciating maybe cockroaches It's survived the longest they're Talking [ __ ] about us right now it's Dumb humans like dude These rocks are so great a couple of Hundred years exactly Um did you ever ever hear that Kurt Vonnegut where the two space Travelers Get lost this this this really impacted Me as a kid because my dad was an English teacher so he's always quoting Dostoyevsky and uh and Kurt Vonnegut and There's this there's two space Travelers Get like crash landed in a cave And on the walls of the cave are the Harmoniums and these kite-shaped animals And they feed off the vibrations of the Cave and that's all they do they don't

Hurt each other they just do that and so For like two years these Travelers are Stuck and they're trying to fix their Ship and one of them starts playing Music for the harmoniums and the Harmoniums love him for the music and They all come around him and and he Plays this music for him and finally They they fix the ship And then the one guy is like all right Let's let's get out of here and the Other guy's like you know what I'm Staying He goes I I found a place where I can do Good I'm not hurting anybody and they Love me yeah I'm staying right here Yeah this whole ambition thing we've got Going on always trying to build the Bigger boat bigger thing that might not Be the the ultimate um Conclusion of a of a happy existence as A civilization that's probably that's One of the possibilities why we haven't Met the aliens yet at scale it's because They're once you get good enough at Technology you realize that happiness Lies in a peaceful coexistence as Possible So where do you stand on like aliens now Like there's a lot coming out about the The pilots and the The things people have been seeing and Again like I kind of come in and out of This stuff like I'll be in the jungle

For three months I miss I miss a lot so Like update me like or or are we are we Being contacted right now like of course Nobody knows but I tend to believe my Intuition says there's aliens everywhere That Um there are even our galaxy Sure that's a biggerly but I believe our Galaxy has Probably billions Hundreds of millions of planets with Life on it like bacteria type of life Sure and I believe there is I don't know thousands of alien civil Intelligent aliens civilizations that Exist or have existed the problem is There's a lot of time and it's very Difficult to contact each other So to achieve A kind of civilization that's able to Actually send out enough signal or Um radiate enough energy where we would Notice I think that's really tough That said statistically speaking it Seems like that should have been Possible inside our galaxy or maybe Nearby and so I suspect that Um Once an alien civilization is just many Orders of magnitude smarter than us Humans the way you would contact us Is going to be very difficult for us Humans to understand we're very

Egocentric we want the message to be Sent as like a In English Versus you know I think Consciousness Itself yeah emotion Um Thoughts Could be like fingertips Um could be words in the story that the Aliens are telling us Or Things that are just like a low Dimensional projection of a much higher Dimensional message that's being said by Aliens and it may be our striving to Create technology is to create the kind Of sensor that's actually able to hear Some of the message maybe that's what AI Is trying to do so I I think that Bridging that barrier of communication Between us and cockroaches I think that's the biggest challenge Interesting like the messages are all Around us they're here I I suspect that the the alien messages Are here the aliens are here we're just Too dumb to see it So First of all the imagining planets where There are Like just picturing like a site like a Not a silent Planet but just like a Planet of Alternate life forms you know maybe it's

Not something that's that we can Communicate and have a conversation with But just like a planet of like Butterflies and centipedes and and weird You know unfortunately bacteria for Billions of years it was uh bacteria as A single cell prokaryotes and eukaryotes But they're not they're boring but yeah But animal animals of some sort in an Environment of some sort imagine that Would just be such an interesting Beautiful amazing thing and I'm sure They're out on that I'm yeah the kind of Viruses they got going on It's uh but they could also not be Biologically based they could be Different chemistry so you have to be Humble to that too sure But then you know depends on the day Like I think you caught me on that day Today an optimistic one sometimes I I Think that we're all we This is all there is because you start You ask that question the family Paradox Like why aren't they here You can't imagine an advanced sales Civilization that would not be explorers Because we're explorers why is that Depressing to you that the idea that That let's just say you found out right Now that there isn't anything else let's Just say that for for example sake that The Earth is the earth and the universe Is the universe and it's sort of like

The backdrop of a video game And it's just what's out there Would that be tremendously depressing to You I think it's exciting for an Engineer it's probably exciting for an Explorer but I would equate that to your Going out hiking for three days with one Match It kind of terrifies me that we only got One match really Yeah really yeah one all you got is one Match This no no hold on a second hold on a Second wait Paul wait wait a minute You're going out There's no more matches but this this is The only match extinguish the planet Like there's not as far as we know There's no there's no meteor coming I'm Saying like do you live in a so I'm Saying is that is is your worry then That we need to have a backup plan yeah Really well there has so like what if we Do what if we do mess it up so bad Well there's different ways to mess it Up there's there's ways to mess it up to Make life really difficult uh Some of the Mad Max type of thing but There's nuclear war yes with the further And further advancement of technology That can destroy destroy all of Earth it Just feels like that's going to be Exponentially growing yes it's going to Get worse and that I I it's uh

Listen I'm I'm very optimistic But it's a it's a heck of a Russian rut We're playing okay so but I'm still Curious about your your intention though Or like where you're where your your Passion for this comes from are you Is your or maybe it's both but is it is It is it the need to have a backup plan For humans which are which is which is Admirable for your intense love of Humanity and our Consciousness and love And art and everything or is it also Just that the the raw fascination of Imagining what's out there Um because I just the way you said that About like oh you caught me on a Positive day where I think it's There was some there was something in There that made me think that that you Need there to be uh yeah yeah there's Foreign I think I'm the kind of person that sees Beauty in everything but to me a Universe full of diverse life Is more beautiful than one word it's Just humans it's just the Earth life Interesting there's more Beauty I mean Uh I'm not egotistical about the Awesomeness of humans I like If humans are not the smartest In uh in our galaxy Are not even close to being the smartest And that to me is I don't know that that to me is exciting

About the possibility of what's or the Universe can create Yes I'm with you on that that it's Wildly exciting to to like if we found Even if it was just a distant Inkling that we found out that there is There is a planet that has life there's No there's no communication coming from But we know for a fact there's stuff Going on there we'll just change how we Think about our entire reality we know Now And it could be to me I guess the little Inkling of a thing that is depressing if All there is is Earth And humans destroy it Then we're the coolest thing that the Universe has ever created It's over I'm interested to have this Conversation I'm really I'm really I'm Saying like I would be interested to Bring you to the Jungle yeah Um and and this I like now I'm also Wondering I'm wondering like what what Your Wilderness experience is because I Feel like for me I'm so earth-centric to the to the point Where I'm like We differ in that for me this is like It's a curiosity I feel wonder and I Feel it's fun to talk about like what's At the edge of space like you know There's the conundrums of of space-time And but but I'm so to me I'm like what

If what if the aliens are watching us or What if the aliens aren't watching us But what if the challenge here is we've Been put on on Earth as as the most Intellectually complex of these Creatures and and and we're being Observed to see how we manage it and It's like yeah we haven't made a good Job of managing each other You know before Um orianna went down the the Amazon I Mean they showed up and just sacked the Incas I mean we do our history and we Don't have to tell you you've just got Back but it's um I just sometimes I wonder You know what what the is is there a Grand narrative with with what we're Doing to Wildlife because it's like we Have all these other species and we're We're struggling even here in this Conversation to sort of quantify like You know I I think that most people don't think Outside of the human framework You know what I mean like just driving Around for me living outside of the Jungle even just for a few weeks I get You don't you don't you don't even think About the fact that there's other Species around us we really don't day to Day you look at TV and you look at when You listen to the radio and it doesn't It's not very consequential to the

Average person living in a city that There are these You know Islands covered in walruses and That there's rainforests filled with Birds and and frogs and all these things Happening and that you know the salmon Are contributing to our fresh water and And that that life is literally given to Us and made possible by these ecological Systems to me That's where like the whole you know Essence of my existence comes from and So like Yeah thank you for that reminder because You're basically saying like the alien Civilizations you dream about are here On Earth Those those those worlds are here For me yeah yeah no I agree with you I Think I I agree with you and I think That's actually the way I uh think most Of the time the you know I I think I'm On mushrooms all the time Genetically somehow because when I go Out in nature it's just the the beauty Even of nothing you talk about the Amazon man just basics of nature yeah Fill you fill me with awe and the other Thing that fills me with all Is our own mind like the the biology of These things firing basically are not Our own mind but biology yeah of any Living organisms Because it's like an ecosystem they've

Came these cells came together they Somehow functional they delegate they Mostly operate in a local way but they Uh First of all it's just like you said With the anacondas you start out as a Tiny snake and you become giant when You're a tiny snake you're you're Praying for everything when you're giant Snake you're a predator or you're afraid To no one yeah and like just that whole Process same starting with a single Embryo single cell is a human and Through the embryogenic process Constructing this giant human that's Able to have Limbs move about the world think about Things write books and so on just so That that is incredibly beautiful and All of that is here on Earth yes Um and so actually I was being sort of Poetic about aliens and so on I think I Can spend 99.99 in terms of uh filling My mind with awe and Beauty just looking Down here on Earth for sure I agree with You yeah and I'm and they shouldn't Cancel out like I think it's beautiful That there's that there's people that Are fascinated and obsessed with looking Out into space and that will travel There Um I mean just to me the the idea of I Mean I have a little piece of meteorite At home that I hold and it does amazing

Things to my mind because I'm like Everything I've ever touched is from This Earth And I'm holding this thing that's been Places that we can't even think about And it blows my mind and I love it but But when it comes to like intelligence I think it's like I'm I'm so concerned with the fact that We're at this moment in history And it's interesting to me that you know We had the internet and now that with The emergence of AI and more and more I Feel like we are starting to resemble Like an ant colony where there's more And more connection and there's more and More interaction globally between Everybody in the next 10 years we're Gonna have to decide are we gonna let Our ocean ecosystems just collapse are We going to just take that three percent Of rainforest and just let them log the [ __ ] out of it until it's gone and it's Like we're gonna be in a very different Reality then then it's going to be very Dystopian future or Can we keep the good things about Earth Transcend that realize that we have These incredible alien species around us That are animals that we grew up with That we wouldn't be here without that we Owe something to And I feel like at that stage then The the the outward look becomes

Something else it's almost like we've We've proven that if aliens came up to Us that's when I'd feel good Aliens would come up to us and they said You know that Louis has the thing where He goes God comes back and he goes what Did you do he goes to polar bears are Brown he's like I left food for you it's Like if the aliens came and were like You know and they interviewed the Elephants and they said how are you Feeling and the elephants would be like Listen [ __ ] these little primates yeah You know what they've done to us and It's like I mean you know I've seen People break an elephant I've seen I've Seen I've seen it all with that stuff And it's like if if anybody was to ask Them They'd be screaming And and so like to me It's just you know I I have trouble Trouble looking out into space I have Trouble looking out into normal life as A human because I'm so concerned with Trying to make sure that they're okay Because not enough people are doing that Oh the interesting thing about all the Development with AI and just that we're Living more and more of our life online I think we're actually learning What's missing when it's online Like I think people realize that online

Interaction is shallow but we're just Learning that that that's a reality yeah That we need that human connection and I Think there's going to be the swing back To like sadly AI systems of the future Might be able to live fulfilling lives Online but us humans have have to have a Deep connection with Earth and like with With each other physical connection I Think there's going to be a phase Somewhere in the century where we go Back to deep physical connection and There will be a digital world sure that We visit that it would be separate and That's the you have A discussion with that with Twitter with Instagram with all these social networks That they they don't they seem to be Dividing us they seem to not be bringing Happiness and you have to try to figure Out like Okay so How do we use them In a way that does connect us does Educate us grow a knowledge base but Also keeps us uh keeps Our Lives Fulfilling in a deep human way that We're for good and for bad genetically Designed we could they can't overcome so We can't escape these meet Vehicles yeah But that's to me that's so reassuring Yeah it's like when like I have you know We all have those friends that are like You know we gotta live forever and it's Like I don't know man do you yeah I

Don't know is it that bad that this is How it works like that we don't Understand it Um yeah the that's it's often from the Tech sector the discussions about Immortality and so on yeah I think That's somehow trying to escape the the Beauty of this Earth for sure that that There's something you've right to look At like yeah and I I I perhaps like you I'm worried about The uh unintended negative consequences Of trying to escape the way things are On this Earth because this is an Incredible mechanism how many times in The past has new technology come out That people have hailed as you know Blasphemy or it's not going to work or It's it goes against nature and and now Well heart transplants are pretty cool You know and and you could say what you Want about like television and like oh It's you know it rots your brain it's Like yeah but also how many times have You sat in a room full of people being Entertained and all laughing and Interacting and eating popcorn because Of the television's there it's not it's Not one or the other and so I feel like With AI we'll we'll Learn we'll learn our way through it you Know there's a like with the legged uh Robots especially and humanoid also so Anything on legs four legs or two legs

I remember like the first time I Interact interacted with a legged robot I saw a magic there Like That this too can have Consciousness This too can have This life like Quality That a human being loves about other Human beings about other living Creatures now while I'm still I grew up In a place with no internet in a time With no internet so I still like Biological dogs better And I noticed the Magic in robotic dogs Yeah and it makes me wonder the way same Way we're just talking about aliens Looking up it makes you wonder about Other alien civilizations now the deep Love is for dogs for other humans yeah But there's still this The Wander ah I Struggle with that like you said the the Whatever's going on in here the idea and There's so much talk about the fact like At what point does an artificially Intelligent robot become something that Has and it's like I get I get very Uncomfortable with that it makes me Uh I don't know how to how to handle the Things because I don't know enough about It probably but it's like I don't know How to handle like I don't know how to Handle either nobody knows anything About it because the it's really

Everything is terrifying here because it Could be as simple as Consciousness is Easy to fake So what if we live in a world 10 to 20 Years from now where Your toaster there's a bunch of robots In your room That are faking consciousness And then you fall in love with them and You have a deep connection with them and Then you actually have a deeper Connection with your toaster than you do With any uh romantic human partner You've ever had and you start to I was I Was upset about the dogs You just took it way worse yeah yeah and Then you know and then they they start To uh I don't know if you've seen AI Porn but it gets pretty intense like Fully AI porn like they're they're fake People thank you Take people that can uh things I've Missed in the jungle things Boy do I have a lot to try or not I Can't wait for you not show you let me Uh ask you about a touchy topic Uh climate change oh boy What's the effect of climate change on The uh on the Amazon maybe species Diversity what what what is something That people should should think about Because there's different views on um I think most people believe that climate Change is human caused and it's

Happening but there is different Perspectives on the degree Of damage that it's going to do over the Next several decades and what our Response should be as a society and so It would be amazing to hear your Perspective on it in in small slices of Your experience are enlarged To me there's no denying the fact that We are experiencing changes I think Anybody that that doesn't agree with That hasn't been outside in the last 20 Years or has an interviewed Old Farmers will tell you that it Changed or you know it's it that I think A lot of us can agree with that where I Deviate is that I am not a climate Scientist I am I'm not qualified and so I just Like everybody else am listening And what happens to me is I see that the Someone like Santiago Duran JJ's father Will will tell me it's totally different Than it was when I was a kid the seasons Have changed and moved and like in New York when I was a kid like we used to Get like white Christmas like we used to Get snow we don't I was in shorts like I Came off the plane right before coming Here and I was in like shorts for a Second like I was like this is a Different reality but my ability could My or my my interpretation of climate Change you know I feel like is just as

Dumb as those people that go like you Know It's really cold I thought they said it Was getting warmer it's like it's it's a Very rudimentary thing and so as a as a Someone that's fighting for the Preservation of biodiversity I I I don't feel like I'm any more Qualified than the average person to I Can only provide anecdotal anecdotal Evidence of the stuff I've seen what I What I do do though and I always I Always make a strong delineation here is That I can speak to the fact that I've been Places where the ocean fisheries have Been depleted and the local fishermen Can tell you and the scientists can tell You there's no more fish here I've been to the places where the Rainforest line is being pushed back in Borneo and it's getting smaller and Smaller and smaller and I've been in the Amazon and I've walked through the Killing Fields and through the fires and I've burnt my lungs on it and And I'm a big believer personally And in instead of trying to take on all Of it I have tried very hard in my life to Pick one thing And to me that one thing is protecting As many wild heartbeats as I can because They're under constant fire and so

Climate change you know there's so much Arguing over it and and like you said The the degree to which we we affect it And and And and how do you you know what I mean Like I like to have provable data points Like you know I can show you tropical Deforestation I can show you the decline In Tigers over the last hundred years I can't prove I you know what I mean Like I can't answer that question I Don't think probably you can better than I can no I I think one of the criticism I'd love to get your opinion on is uh One of the criticisms that somebody like Jordan Peterson provides yeah is that The climate Is such a complex system there's so many Variables that Making conclusive statements about What's going to happen with the Quote-unquote climate in the next 10 20 50 years yeah is nearly impossible Task Therefore as he would say As people like Bjorn Lombard would say The kind of fear-mongering that is done Saying we should spend Humongous amounts of money to change the Trajectory of everything we're doing in Terms of energy Um In terms of infrastructure and so on in Terms of how we allocate money is not

Justified because predicting is very Difficult and instead it's better Exactly what you're saying which is Focusing on local problem local saying Uh we need to protect the Amazon What are the what are the things Attacking the Amazon this year in the Next five years how can we stop the Deforestation how can we stop different Things and then and then and humans are Exceptionally good and Um at coming up with solutions for that Especially when you put money behind it You put attention to it and that's the Way we solve all the different problems That are are going to that are projected For the climate change in its worst case Scenarios uh to be realized on this Earth so that that's kind of the the Case he would make and I should also Mention that one of the reasons I was fortunate enough to discover your Work is um first a friend mentioned that I should definitely talk to you and I Googled you and I saw that somebody Recommended that Jordan Peterson Absolutely must talk to you on this Podcast wow Um I think there's like a Reddit post Right thank you for Reddit poster that's That's great I was like oh interesting And then I looked and Jordan hasn't yet I thought My goal is for you to talk to to Rogan

And to Jordan Peterson for for different Reasons but for the same reason they get Connected to uh the human being that Deeply cares about this Earth and I Think that's probably the right lens Through which to look at the effects of Climate change In terms of focusing on the different Things that are threatening threatening The diversity of species In this most magical place on Earth Which is the Amazon but also as you'll Talk about with elephants and tigers in India And focusing on how to solve those Problems I don't know if there's any Comment you want to make on folks like Jordan Peterson who are sort of raising Questions about how much do we really Understand about the climate Yeah first of all I'm such a Jordan Peterson fan and I think the guy is Heroic for a number of reasons and I I Find his his use of language and his use Of Theology and and the message that he Puts out wonderful Um I cringe a little bit when he says I I feel like and I I might not even be Accurate on this but I cringe a little Bit when I feel like he just he Dismisses that there is an ecological Emergency happening right now now I'm Not saying I'm not talking about climate Change specifically but I've heard him

Say you know environmentalists upset me And he goes well what do you mean by the Environment everything and it sort of Seems to outrage him and it's and I I Kind of agree with him there because so Are you telling me that we need to Halt Our Global process and and and and and Progress and economies and everything I Don't know I don't know and so so to me Um I I don't that doesn't bother me Because he's exploring what the hell are These people talking about when you say You have I have I personally have Friends and students and people filling My inboxes I have young kids telling me That they're they've become vegan and They ride a bicycle and sometimes they Don't watch TV because it uses Electricity and I mean they're just Becoming so so terrified of that they're Killing the Earth and so it's this Doomsday anti-human sentimentist thing That we're that we're evil it's like It's almost like a new religion about You're evil and so to me I it almost makes me in a totally Different camp where like climate change And the right left politics and you know I I considered a family I considered Thanksgiving dinner and listen to listen To the the climate thing go back and Forth yeah and I'm like I'm not even I'm Not even here and that might actually Annoy some people

In the environmental field that might Feel betrayed by me saying that but I Don't care My job and it's not just the Amazon and And that's one note I wanted to make is That My career has has taken place largely in The Amazon and also in India and now a Lot in Africa but it's it's not even Just these exotic places either it's It's it's people realizing that you know The salmon runs in Canada and the the Butterfly gardens in our backyards that There's biodiversity everywhere and it's And I I strongly feel like you know the Idea of Jungle Keepers the idea of of of Stewards of Nature and so for me my my Job my one thing And I I try to tell this to these kids That message me and that my my inboxes Are full of this where they go you know The climate is burning and elephants are In Decline and tigers and and this and I'm like Oh my guys look first of all Calm down first of all like go outside Go get laid do something Have Fun Next pick something that you can affect And it doesn't have to be with the Environment do something good on Earth Go help somebody that needs food go help Your elderly neighbor whatever it is Practice practice with being effective At one thing at a time and so for me

Like I said from those early days of Sitting there with JJ on the side of a River and going someone has to protect This Um my concern is that we've lost 70 Percent of the wildlife on this planet In the last 50 years that's a huge Problem Wildlife maintain the ecosystems And so I have a very clear-cut very Definable very measurable and provable Thing that I'm fighting against and it's A very to me it's a very like small ask Don't cut down the three percent of the World that has 50 of the biodiversity in It maybe let's keep some wild tigers for Future generations and because tigers Have their own inherent right to exist Here that's my thing in terms of when we Get to you know I get attacked for you Know You should be a vegan Okay You show you you have me roll into a Village in the Amazon when they offer me Spider monkey and you tell me that I Should be a vegan and you you see how Much they respect you and you tell them That you're a vegan Like Um but no so for someone like Peterson I Think it's actually good that he's first Of all telling everyone to make their Damn beds and uh and and exploring it Through a different lens you know he's

He's coming at it from a totally Different thing and saying you know are We just being alarmist here are we what I mean again imagine if you know that Imagine if they're There isn't a problem and they're then They're making one out of it and all the Implications that that could have for Progress it's like so I think what he's Doing is is perfectly reasonable Um there is a podcast though where he's He's It was a great one though where he's He's discussing animal intelligence and And I could really see that that you Know the human psyche and Theology and And religion is so much his world that That the the really the the idea of Animals being intelligent was novel and It was and it was fascinating yeah That's why I would love the two years to Talk just I don't know and hopefully I'm Not out of line here but he is so Focused on the human mind That I think he forgets That there's other Life out there there's this whole Machine of intelligence of a kind of Intelligence out there This entire trillions of species tiny And big just calling just moving and Everywhere everywhere and we're actually Part of it so like to look at a human Psychologist distinct from that is

Missing at least some of the picture Some of the picture I do believe though I would agree with him on that humans Are unique human psychology is unique we Just are but but I also you know it's He's in such an interesting Place because usually you have You know environmentalists who are like You know nature nature nature and then You and that's very anti-human And then you have the other side and It's like he's he's he's on this path Where he's he's starting to explore what Those like diverse intelligences mean And that that to me is really amazing Because I love hearing what he'll do With that and I think also on top of That I think if you're aware of nature Deeply aware of nature it gives you Another perspective on their Evolutionary history of humans It's one thing to be an evolutionary Biologist and kind of study it from a Like philosophical perspective and it's The other to really I think experience It and deeply know it to see I don't Know The fact that we came from fish should Really be cognizant of that that's Something else that's like I don't know uh to realize that we're Part of a Computing machine that created Intelligence report well part of the

Thing that started bacteria and is now Creating AI And yeah and uh Uh I don't know Dunkin Donuts I don't Know what else is impressive the other Great human achievement he's the other Great view I was thinking well what's Interesting about Boston but I feel like We keep we keep scratching up against This thing in this conversation that That that it's so easy 50 I think Something like 50 or more percent of the Humans on this planet live in cities And I think it's so easy for people to Forget that we share this planet with so Many other things and and And I think that that sort of that we're We're in a little in a way we're almost Like ecological orphans and that we've Left the the things that actually make Us feel at home and that's a bit of a Stretch because I don't know if Everybody feels that way but for me I Mean professionally as an expedition Guide when I take people into nature I See what happens to them And they leave going I mean it doesn't Have to be the Amazon it could be you Know Upstate New York but it's like if You do it the right way if you if you Remove the fear of you know breaking an Ankle seeing a snake being bitten by a Mosquito all that stuff if you can get People to a peaceful moment

And you're fly fishing A lot of times they'll take that moment They'll talk about it the rest of their Life if they don't if they don't live in That you know then there's those of us Who spend our lives doing that but for a Reason Because it's the only place we feel sane And you were kind enough to suggest that We might travel together for a time at Some point if uh if we do that if we Journey together where would you Recommend we should go So what I would want to show you is Is sort of I'd want to take you to Church I'd want to take you to take you To take you to see the giant trees take You to meet the old the old gods really Um there's places when you walk in off The river That are so deep in the forest you know And again this is now we we do this we Have the boats we have the Rangers we we Protect this ecological Corridor now Um and so it would be taking you to meet Some of those loggers that that we Converted it'd be taking you we'd have To go to the floating Forest Um meet some of the trees that I love The most go piranha fishing and like Really just spend My ideal trip for you would be would be To spend Five days of you know airplane mode

Phone Completely living out comfortable I'm Not saying I don't want to you know I Don't want to torture you I'm saying go And live comfortably on an expedition in The Amazon and that means a few days at This research station maybe go up River Three days and Camp up here just on the Edge of where the uncontacteds are and Then come back and then see the jungle Keeper station but along the way seeing All the special sacred places it would Be almost like saying like let's go see You know all the treasures of Italy it's Like this is one of the most beautiful Things on earth and and I've had the Incredible almost unbelievable Fortune To be responsible for protecting it and And uh I don't You know I think it's I think it's a Privilege to be able to share that with People to be able to witness What this Earth has created just and It's it's you know it's been just a gift Just even to follow your Instagram The window you the window you create on The on this part of the world Is just really beautiful I I do want to Ask on that Foreign Maybe it's like uh behind the scenes a Little bit but how do you keep the Equipment dry like how do you Like how hard

Is bringing equipment to the cameras You're an incredible filmmaker and Photographer so how do you make it work I don't know it's not that hard we we Really it's not that bad what it is wet The new iPhones are waterproof and if They don't get I'm telling you dude it's Been such a weapon it's been awesome Um if you drop it in the river my one Thing is you gotta have a tether because I drop it all the time and so I'll be Hanging off a boat I'll be trying to Take a video and I'll be like here we Are in the Amazon you can see the login Funk yeah that's the biggest thing but The the we shoot on canons and uh I don't know it's worked out it's not That bad oh really so you can keep the Equipment dry I keep the equipment dry And I actually don't a lot of people put Their [ __ ] in silica at night and like Keep it dry and then they take it out And I find that when you do that the Temperature chain change creates Moisture inside the camera so what I do Is I never do that I just keep my Cameras in my backpack with a zipper so They're more or less exposed to the Elements yeah and so it sort of always Has a little bit of equilibrium And that's it I mean I shoot on some Pretty fancy equipment sometimes and and It's great but I mean the awesome thing Though now is that like with with with a

Cell phone I mean like I like I like put My phone down on the ground a few weeks Ago and like let this rhino like walk up To it and stuff and it's like you can Get video footage that you can literally Put on Netflix like it's just like it's It's getting really exciting and that's Where like Um right where I deviate from the the Nature people that are like we need to Go back and live in cabins I'm like dude This is awesome and I love taking Slow-mos like like no way it makes you Reappreciated but just by yourself just Reappreciate over and over and over and Then you can also share it with the World well that's the thing is sharing It with people there's nothing better Than like Teaching a kid to catch a fish you know And like and like in in a way Instagram Has allowed us to do that where it's Like I can have this crazy ass moment That that is so unique and then and then Put it up for people to see you know or I mean I remember one of the most recent Things that got people you never know What's going to get people excited Um I literally just like there was like You know 3 000 butterflies on the beach And they were like black red and blue Beautiful butterflies and I just like Panned the phone across it and then like Jumped in the river and swam away and

Like threw that up on Instagram and People went berserk they're like this is The most amazing thing like four Different accounts reached out to try And share it and I was like butterflies They're everywhere there's four thousand Species of butterfly in the Amazon like But but sharing that with people is is Beautiful how do you find the thing to Shoot how do you how do you come up with The butterflies how do you notice the Thing that's beautiful and say I'm gonna Wait a minute like pause this is Beautiful let me take a let me let me Take a picture of this because like Sometimes you might get used to yeah the Beauty right yeah Yeah or like sometimes simple crazy Things like like leaf cutter ants yeah They're just walking by they become it Becomes pedestrian it's like well I mean Just like when you're you know you're Living at the elephant camp and it's Like the elephant comes out and he Starts like trashing the water bucket We're all like would just stop yeah We're trying to watch peaky blinders Here so yeah just leave us alone it Becomes normal after a while yeah um Uh but no in the in the jungle I don't I Don't that's never a struggle for me Because as a photographer it's like Whenever my eye hits on something I went I've never seen that many of those

Butterflies all the same species Together and like this oh yeah I'm Trying to get this one thing that the Butterflies do is in the dry season the Salt deposits you'll get like Three or four maybe five thousand Butterflies All coming onto this one area of sand Because there'll be like some leaching There'll be some some salt deposit there Or something And they'll all be Wings flat against The ground with their with their Proboscises on the sand and if you go Walk near them they will Vortex up and You have a rainbow Vortex of butterflies And you can like go run through that And it's surreal and I want to what I Want to do is get the shot where I I Guess leave the phone recording in Slow-mo facing up And leave it there for an hour let the Butterflies come in and settle and then Disturb them so I get the bottom of the Vortex of the bug I'm like these are the Ways I think where I'm like how can I Show people the absolute mind-blowing You know with an eye Perfection it's Amazing I mean that's what I have you Know I'm sure that somebody else could Do it with you know a red and and nail It but it's like that's what I have in The jungle because I have to travel Light and I you know yeah I think that

That that really that works I have the Same thing when I was traveling in Ukraine You can go to Warzone it doesn't matter It doesn't like uh it has to do with the You're talking about like with the like Protecting your camera or not it feels Like the more you protect stuff the more It's gonna get it damaged yeah like so Like see like my cameras they're all Missing this is like this is amazing to Me so all my cameras are missing the They're all how you can see the metal Through the paint nice so all this and So like they're all because I'm Constantly like I'll like slide in and Like take a picture and like they're Banged up but these they're good they're Good machines I think they get tough Over time if you put them through it's Like the immune system like it's like Muscles it's like David Goggins cameras If you gotta you gotta make them suffer Every day Yeah uh what's your view on Hunting Um so you really hate poachers I really Hate poachers how do they operate who Are they what are they up to what do They do Poachers to me are the people that are Going in and annihilating Wildlife for Profit without any You know the people that are going in And and machine gunning an elephant to

Take its tusks yeah the people that are Sneaking into protected areas in Africa And shooting rhinos So they can cut off their horns before The animal's even dead while its baby is Beside it So and and there's a difference between A poacher and a hunter I'm a Hunter JJ's a hunter I I work with an Organization called vetpaw in Africa and They use United States veterans who have Come back Post 9 11 Veterans who have Come back from the war and have these Skills And they've been using these guys to Protect the last Black Rhinos white Rhinos elephants and so we've I've Gotten to see this play out on a private Reserve in Africa where These incredible people have decided to Protect zebras wildebeests all types of Impala giraffes several herds of Elephants white rhinos Black Rhinos all Of this stuff is protected And what's interesting is It's a Hunting Preserve And so It's been very interesting and Challenging sharing my work there with The public because for instance I went To a very high profile photographer Recently and I said you have to get over Here and see this it's it's amazing what

These people have done it's this Reserve Called buffalo kloof and they've you Know this this rescued families of Elephants and they have you can see a Black rhino every day if you want to This is so they're critically endangered And it's because of the work that vetpod Does Protecting these animals from poachers But what people don't understand is that Hunting happens all the time on the Reserve not for the elephants and the Rhinos those are those are special and They will never be hunted there but Things like an Impala things like an Inyala a wildebeest a zebra There aren't as many predators as there Used to be so if you leave those animals Unhunted you know without the wolf to Chase the herd to thin off the ones that Are old and dying or sick Well then you just have animals that are Old and dying and sick walking around Suffering and so on reserves like this They hunt And they take the old ones and they use The funding from hunting no one's going To pay you thirty thousand dollars to Take a picture of a buffalo but they'll Pay you thirty thousand dollars to hunt A buffalo And so these reserves responsibly and Ethically on foot Can go hunting and manage and again if

They if they were hunting rhinos or if They're hunting elephants I'd be out in A second the hunting non-endanger Species they're hunting non-endangered Species a hunting game species and the The difference is that a poacher is Gonna and so those are responsible Hunters that are ecologists and Conservationists whereas a poacher is Someone that will come in and kill Recklessly And murder an animal for no reason for a Part to sell I would love to travel together actually Um so um let's let's we'll talk offline I would love to make that happen if you Allow me I'm I'm 100 serious man I've Tremendous respect for your work and I've been watching you since the Beginning I would love to do that Together Um I've been I've talked to Joe quite a bit about it And I really Love the idea of eating the meat that I've hunted it's mostly what I eat is Meat not for dietary I don't have any Weird constraints on my diet and so on I Just really enjoy eating meat Uh that's really good and uh there is a Part of me that's bothered by factory Farming yes sure that uh it's very Easily accessible to me but there's

Something deeply wrong with it Um part of the reason I love fishing and Eating the the the fish that I catch it Just seems to be um More ethical but also A more intimate deep connection honest Connection with uh with nature you get To see the killing of the food that You're consuming versus Removing that from the picture not even Thinking about it not thinking about That this came from the me and Um Yeah I love the idea that you kill I Kill one animal and I eat that animal Basically for the whole year yeah an Ethically slaughtered animal whether It's a fish or a deer or whatever else To me that's oh God how I'm gonna I'm Gonna use the wrong religious term here But there's a there's a I feel like I Want to use the word like Sacrament but It's like there's a there's a there's a Deeply Profound ritual And and honestly honestly if you if you Teach a kid to grow a vegetable you show A kid how to grow a carrot and the the Miracle of like wait I put a this thing Just grew in there it just appeared Because there was sunlight and it's like Yeah The the To me yes you that when you feel that

Fish tug on the line to me it it does Something that that awakens a deep Primal something this satisfaction and Then when you eat that you feel you feel Good and and so I think the other thing Like sort of functionally speaking is That aside from the fact that I think It's one of the original We were so disconnected like we should Be hunting we should be Gathering Walking more I mean look at like what What we discussed now like people are Like oh you got to get your steps in for The day and it's like that never used to Be a problem Um You know people like well should should We be eating animals and it's like what Do you think we do here on Earth like I'm not sure how you got so confused But Walmart did it to you like I don't Know like what I it living where I've Lived and I mean from 18 to 35 I feel Like I've grown up I've lived more Outside than I have inside and I've It's just to me like showing people These things I can see this miraculous Wonder in their eyes when they when they Realize that they can reach out into the World and interact with something and And so when I hear these like frantic People talking about you know whether or Not it's right it's like no of course it Is then again factory farming is is

Awful but but I try to stay I try and Walk the line I'm worried about wild Animals I'm worried about wild Ecosystems The other thing that's sort of Important about hunting is that if if People's livelihoods depend on Salmon and elk and and ocean fisheries Well then they'll fight to protect it Naturally because it's part of their Life and it's if everybody's going to Burger King and everybody's getting Chicken wrapped in plastic they forget That the fish are there because they're Too busy watching sitcoms and so then When the inter when the conglomerate Comes in and builds a dam Nobody really cares and then you just End up with a few hippies and signs Standing next to the river and it Becomes silly We forget the meaning You mentioned that Ayahuasca reveals for oh boy oh no the The darkness that's there in the in the Jungle There's Beauty but there's Darkness so What is what is it that I Oscar reveals What is the Heart of Darkness [ __ ] it Opens the Heart of Darkness right up Um um I'm gonna show you a picture of Him of our Shaman and then I'm going to Ask you if you want to do Ayahuasca here Not here in that sense it can only be

Done in the jungle anybody that tells You I've heard people be like oh I did Ayahuasca in Brooklyn last week and I'm Like no you didn't I actually told that to my native Friends I went hey guess what I said a Bunch of Gringos keep thinking they're Doing Ayahuasca in Brooklyn and they Were like howling laughing they're like You can't do it outside the jungle and I Was like exactly I've never done Ayahuasca I would love to have uh I've Done or eaten whatever mushrooms sure It's it's a wonderful experience I think It's wonderful um but ayahuasca Oh man yeah see I'd done mushrooms I Thought I was like okay and I I I yeah I Was like I got this I had my notebook I Was like I'm gonna Journal a little bit Yeah you know and then but but you Quickly yeah I quickly quickly realized How out of my depth I was and how Unprepared I was for what was happening Because you sit in a circle with these Native guys and there's one you know He's got the feathers and he's old and He's got a face like the map of the World and he's he's smoking this fat old Tobacco thing and He calls you forward and you kneel Before him and you're going Is it too late to back up and everyone's You know there's one candle and he blows Smoke over the over the cup and he hands

It to you and you're like again it's These it's these it's these Like these things that you can't argue With it's these facts like as soon as This goes down I'm gone I know it and This is a moment in my life that I I Have to either embarrass myself in front Of everybody or I'm going forward with This and dish And then I went and sat You're sitting in the dark and it's Again so we're on a platform with a with Palm thatched roof and the jungle is all Around you so all those Millions tens of Millions of frogs and insects are and I'm like all right cool and I remember I Like you know like I tried to like light A cigarette or something and I went Oh that's not gonna happen you know and Then I and I I put my hands on the floor And like my experience I mean like we've Done mushrooms you know it's like it's It's interesting it's introspective No this this was like somebody unzipped The Universe I I you know I spent a lot Of without you boring people with it I Spent a lot of time in in in like Unconstructed dream space like floating Between nebulas like there was a long Period where there was no physical shape Where I lived without a name and like so It's like it's like you get brought so Deep down so elementally lost in the Universe where like I truly felt like I

Was experiencing moving through places Like like that like that uh like that Um asteroid that I have like it's it's Like a piece of your pure piece is Something detached from the earth and so I I got back from it and uh I had a interesting new appreciation for Life uh I strongly suggest that people Just do mushrooms like a normal person Unless you unless you're ready so it was Really intense it was really intense but To be fair the shaman who did it was Like the old school guy yeah and he was He was getting up there in years and he Had forgotten and over boiled The Brew Yeah and so we came back and I was like Four in the morning and I had you know All this crazy [ __ ] I'd been on Journeys And years down there and so when I came Back and I had like hands I started Crying I started absolutely weeping Gratitude gratitude that I was alive I Was gonna get to see my people again I Was like I have to see my parents again Yeah I'm gonna get to talk I thought you Might have be gone I was gone I was gone I was I was a I was a dimly conscious Something floating in dark space and It's been what felt like years down There and so when I I really did feel Like being reborn which I was like Cheap Trick like yeah you Um but no the the the the way it moves You Through the Jungle the way the

Jungle moves through your skin There are moments of absolute majesty And incredible discovery that happened Along the way Um and on the way up the jungle brings You up and and the shaman brings you up And and you and you get to move through The forest in a way that It's almost like you're inhabiting the Consciousness of animals very very very Like I didn't think that hallucinogenics Could do this to it to a brain you know Mushrooms you're like oh I can I feel Like I can feel music like really cool You know you guys want to watch the Penguins This is transformative like what yeah Did that did that change you I don't Know I think it definitely it definitely I I almost feel like it showed me the Thing that I was scared the most of and It's that it was like that it's all just Cold dark nothing it like brought me to Like the basement of the universe and I Felt like the point of that was to to Come back to this place where there's All this life and light and love and and All this amazing stuff that we Experience on a day-to-day basis and Don't take for granted and so just like Almost dying this was like fully dying Like they're you know But the great part is is that usually It's not that intense this guy had over

Boiled The Brew he had also I saw the Vine afterwards most Ayahuasca Vines are Like as thick as your arm this one was Like as thick as a garbage can it was Like the oldest Ayahuasca Vine you can Imagine And at like four in the morning I like Crawled over to my friend Chris who's a Tough New York City firefighter we were Like holding each other just like Weeping just like thank God we're back And uh Then we had to go looking for the shaman Where the hell is this guy he's gone Yeah we found him in the morning and he Was laying in the Stream naked like E.T At the you know at the end when he's Like laying like in the yeah he he Kicked his own ass with that brew and he Retired after that oh [ __ ] so we really Got like we somebody turned the dial all The way up on us and so we got we got Blasted so it's not supposed to be that Bad but I think you're somebody who's Fearless in sort of diving into those Kinds of places I think I also retire From Ayahuasca I could be Fearless with Other things but I think I'm good It sounds kind of uh to me personally Kind of exciting Why I think I think that you have a Severely Fearless aspect to you I mean You're When you come up with something that

Intrigues you like if somebody told you Right now that you could go Physically into deep space I feel like You would do it yeah I did yeah if go to Mars yeah right and some of it is I don't even know if you have that Some of that is more Goggins like I want To see where my mind breaks by pushing It to Tough places There's a curiosity of exploring the Mind the limits of the mind I feel like You're not a cold plunge that's like You're not coming back right Right and that's that's okay Ah see no I have I I do I have I I'm with you on that I love seeing my Limits I absolutely love seeing my Limits I love getting my ass kicked I Love being shown how insignificant I am But when it comes to something like that Where you got to push your chips in it's Got to be something for me it's got to Be a hill that I believe in before I die On it and it's like Like to me the the promise of exploring Space isn't enough but Like even just the way I mean you said You're like I'm going to Ukraine here I Go You know there's a certain Um Dedication to to curiosity At any expense

And I think that that is something that Maybe we share in very in in different Directions Something tells me without with those With those crocodiles outside I would Have gotten eaten something tells me There's some something trying to Preserve you in this world I'm not sure Exactly what that is Somehow you keep surviving what do you Think is the meaning of this whole thing Why are we here Like if you ever ask yourself for that Question I feel like that's every day I Feel like I'm someone that lives with That a lot And I think that I think that it Actually takes me away from the human World a little bit I feel like I've Always been a little bit apart Because I think that other people do You know Mushrooms and they go wow that really Made me think about how amazing it is Here And I feel like on a daily basis I find myself where I'm like I can't Believe that any of this is possible you Know I I and that and that goes that Goes from how delicious something tastes To being able to talk to to to to Someone in your family or or have a Phone it's times where I'm in the Amazon

And I I miss home and I even just face Timing with someone I go this is Possible yeah like people are rubbing Sticks together to try and survive Saber-toothed tigers not that long ago And I'm over there like yo mom look at This It's wild like I'm in a constant state Of awe and so Um I actually hope That this is That this is a testing ground And whether it's aliens or God or Whatever it is that this is all that This is that this is that this is Something crucially important that would Be nice Because it feels like it is Yeah I hope that too that the Universe Almost created us to see What's possible And that I'd like to believe that beauty And good is possible And and those are the things that make Me say that it's not it's impossible for It to just mean nothing And I'm very and just like you said There could be life forms that that we Can't even understand that could there There are there are I'm very open to the Idea that there's meanings that we have No idea about The few things I know are the things

That I love and some of the things that I love You know are being pushed to Extinction So I try to protect them but that's That's That's that's that's my mission but I'm Saying like in terms of what are we Doing here I'm I'm just Um Always always amazed at the at the Simplest things I mean the you know that We can sit here doing this it's changing Yeah Using our imagination to fill in the Gaps exchanging feelings experiences Images Yeah it fills you with all and every Once in a while you get a little glimpse Of something like a deeper meaning that Might be there you know you don't you Don't really know what it is but you get A glimpse every now and then you keep Searching And then it's over before you know it Paul uh hopefully for you you got many More years it was dark man you're an Important important and a beautiful man Paul thank you so much for talking today Thank you for being who you are for Everything you're doing Um I hope to see you again soon many Times and maybe one day soon in the Jungle I hope that happens thank you Lex

Thanks for listening to this Conversation with Paul rosly to support This podcast please check out our Sponsors in the description and now let Me leave you with some words from Jane Goodall If we kill off the wild Then we're killing off a part of our Souls Thank you for listening and hope to see You next time

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