In This Club, The Lions Sleep Tonight

The London Zoo is believed to be the first zoo to use "silent disco" events to bring in more visitors and revenue. Its success has encouraged other zoos to try it as well.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

The London Zoo is one of several zoos, including those in Denver and San Francisco, that have hosted a "silent disco" at which participants are given wireless headphones with a choice of music channels, allowing them to get their dance on without disturbing the animals' sleep. They have been a huge hit with locals (of the human variety), bringing in an extra 6000 visitors a week during the summer months. Some come dressed in animal costumes, and some get their face painted to look like one of the regular zoo residents.

What's the Big Idea?

The silent disco is becoming an increasingly popular party option in densely populated areas all over the world, and it's one of several events that zoos have been offering to draw more adult visitors and increase revenue. Admission to London's event costs between US$16-40, and prior to the animals' bedtime they and the guests get a look at each other, as they would during a normal zoo day. Some challenges exist, including the tendency for patrons to sing along with the music. In response, a message is relayed through the headphones: "The animals have gone to bed. Please keep your singing voices in your head."

Photo Credit:

Develop mindfulness to boost your creative intelligence

Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

Image: Big Think
Big Think Edge
  • Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
  • Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

For a long time, the West shaped the world. That time is over.

The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.

  • Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
  • European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Keep reading Show less

Vikings unwittingly made their swords stronger by trying to imbue them with spirits

They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.

Culture & Religion
  • Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
  • To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
  • They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less