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Novelty Seekers: Using Instagram For Learning and Inspiration

Instagram is not just for selfies anymore, it can also be used more mindfully by filling your stream with nuggets of bite-sized learning you can “snack on” while you’re on-the-go.

And I’m not just talking about inspirational quotes!

What I’m talking about is useful knowledge that you can use in conversations and to help inspire your curiosity. Instagram is the ideal mobile app to combine visual inspiration and learning in a way that dramatically increases the amount of novelty, unpredictability and complexity in your daily information diet.

To get started, here are some of the best educational Instagram accounts that I highly recommending following to spike both your curiosity and dopamine levels:

1. Science

This fascinating Instagram account is dedicating to helping you understand how the building blocks of the Universe fit together with science, which is something definitely worthing learning about!


This tree-lined road is the Avenue of the Baobabs in western Madagascar. There are nine species of baobab tree in the Adansonia genus and eight of them can be found in Africa, with six of those being endemic to the island of Madagascar. The ninth, and very lonely, species of baobab can be found in Australia. These chunky trees can store up to 26,000 gallons of water in their trunks in order to survive the inevitable droughts that happen in their surrounding environment. Considered “The Tree of Life,” the baobab can provide shelter with its trunk, fabric from its fibers, and sustenance with its fruit. Long live the baobab! (Seriously, though, there’s one that’s 6,000 years old and people built a legit bar in it.) Photo cred: Gavinevans via Wikipedia #science #botany #africa #madagascar

A photo posted by Science (@science) on


2. Tech

The pace of technological innovation is at breakneck speeds these days. It can be hard to keep up with all the latest discoveries and innovations coming from all the amazing creative minds in the world today. This Instagram account will help you stay informed.

Researchers have designed ultra-thin diamond nanothreads that could pave the way for ultra-high space elevators. The U Tech Australia team created the material by alternating cycles of pressure to isolated, liquid-state benzene molecules, finding that rings of carbon atoms assembled into neat and orderly chains, essentially form strong ultra-thin diamond nanothreads. The number one problem with building a space elevator (though there are many) is creating a cable that can operate for 22,000 miles. While we haven’t found that magical material quite yet, diamond nanothreads might be exactly what we’re looking for. There are still plenty of issues to overcome, but this material will make solving those problems a lot easier. #tech #space #miles #astronaut #nasa #diamond #australia #technology   A photo posted by Tech (@tech) on



What could possibly be more inspiring than contemplating the vastness of outer space? NASA has a great Instagram account that gives you an ever-changing window on the glory and enchantment of the Cosmos. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is also a must-follow account for astronomy buffs.


Our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recently captured a unique view of Earth from the spacecraft’s vantage point in orbit around the moon. Seen in this composite image, we see Earth appear to rise over the lunar horizon from the viewpoint of the spacecraft, with the center of the Earth just off the coast of Liberia. On the moon, we get a glimpse of the crater Compton, which is located just beyond the eastern limb of the moon, on the lunar farside. LRO was launched on June 18, 2009, and has collected a treasure trove of data with its seven powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge about the moon. LRO experiences 12 earthrises every day; however the spacecraft is almost always busy imaging the lunar surface so only rarely does an opportunity arise such that its camera instrument can capture a view of Earth. Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University #nasa #space #moon #earth #science #astronomy #lro #lunar #earthrise

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on


4. U.S. Department of the Interior

Explore the beauty and wonder of the natural world that lies within the borders of the United States. The Department of the Interior is charged with the task of protecting America’s vast wilderness. Hopefully, they can inspire enough people to go explore for themselves and then fight to protect this amazing Planet.


5. Astrophysics

Impress your friends with your knowledge of Astrophysics. This Instagram account is full of insanely beautiful starscapes and great explanations for how the mysterious laws of the physics and the Universe operate.


This simple yet profound quote by Carl Sagan really puts things in perspective. “Across the sea of space the stars are other Suns.” From massive galaxies to small solar systems, stars create some of the universes most beautiful structures. So how many stars are there in the universe? This may seem like an impossibility, to know how many stars there are in the universe. First off, it is impossible to know how many. It is possible, however, to estimate how many stars there may be. It’s actually quite easy to figure how you can estimate how many stars there are, but it is difficult to actually measure it. Stars tend to cluster into galaxies, so an easy way to estimate how many stars there are in the universe is to first estimate how many galaxies there are. It’s impossible to know how many galaxies are actually in the universe. For all we know the universe could be infinite in size, and thus there would be an infinite number of stars and galaxies. To get around this problem scientists simply estimate how many stars and galaxies are in the observable universe, which is about 48 billion light years across. To figure out how many galaxies the observable universe contains, astronomers used the Hubble space telescope to take an image of a seemingly empty area of the sky. Sometime later, the image revealed around 10,000 individual galaxies. This number can be used to give astronomers a rough estimate of how many galaxies there are in the universe. The number turns out to be around 10 trillion galaxies. So now astronomers have an idea of how many galaxies there are in the observable universe, yet how many stars are there? To figure this out you would need to figure out how many stars the average galaxy has. Astronomers used the number of stars that our Milky Way contains, around 100 to 200 billion stars. Multiply the number of stars in the Milky Way by the number of galaxies and astronomers got a rough estimate of how many stars are in the universe. And the number is huge. 100 octillion stars, or 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, or a 1 with 29 zeros after it. This means that there are more stars than grains of sand on Earth. Image credit: @planetarysociety   A photo posted by Astronomy (@astrophysics_) on


6. Futurism

Pledge allegiance to the future. This fun and inspiring Instagram account explores how new scientific discoveries are shaping the future of the world. Follow their weekly guides to new discoveries in science and technology to discover the new possibilities that science is regularly uncovering.


7. The History Channel

I think history is underrated. It won’t make you rich, but it may make you smarter enough to not make the same mistakes that have been made by people, cultures and societies over and over again for eons. The History Channel’s Instagram is a good way to spark your interest in learning from historical events (another good one is History in Pics).



8. Curiosity

Spark your curiosity with daily, bite-sized educational insights. For example, can you believe that a headless chicken named Mike lived without a head for 18 months? Seriously interesting stuff!


9. TED

An educational Instagram from the people dedicated to sharing ideas worth spreading. The TED Conference (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) inspires with the stories of their incredible speaker’s lives and all kinds of amazing facts about the world we live in.



10. National Geographic

I spent a lot of my childhood reading my parent’s massive library of yellow National Geographic magazines. Now I can follow them for daily inspiration in my Instagram feed. I love the way their stories celebrate the adventure and diversity of life on Earth.


You should also follow my Instagram account DIY Genius for creative inspiration and thought-provoking memes.

What Did I Miss?

What are your favorite Instagram accounts for learning and inspiration? Let me know in the comments below.

Did you learn something new from this post? Please share the learning inspiration with your friends.

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