A TED-Ed Lesson Explaining How Breathing Triggers a Complex System to Transport Oxygen Throughout the Body

In the TED-Ed lesson “How Do the Lungs Work?,” beautifully animated by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club and scored by Dave Feddock, educator Emma Bryce explains how the body uses a complex system to transport oxygen triggered solely through the simple act of breathing.

Breathing, in other words, keeps the body alive. So, how do we accomplish this crucial and complex task without even thinking about it? The answer lies in our body’s respiratory system. Like any machinery, it consists of specialized components, and requires a trigger to start functioning. Here, the components are the structures and tissues making up the lungs, as well as the various other respiratory organs connected to them. And to get this machine moving, we need the autonomic nervous system, our brain’s unconscious control center for the vital functions.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.