Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been around for a long time. However, it wasn't until the last couple of years that it became truly revolutionary in terms of oil and natural gas production. The shale boom, and those profiting from it, have fracking to thank for the record levels of production that are currently being achieved.

So with a technology that is having such a dramatic impact on the energy landscape in North America, one would expect that the majority of the population would have some understanding of what is taking place. However, if that was your assumption, you would be drastically wrong, according to the Pew Research Center. 

So who understands and who doesn't?
A recent poll the company conducted found that only 51% of those polled chose natural gas from a multiple-choice list that included coal, diamonds, and silicon when asked which was associated with fracking. Folks older than 50 years of age were far more aware of the current oil and natural gas industry than their under-30 counterparts were. 

For those of you on the outside -- or if you just aren't 100% sure what fracking is -- tune into the following video, where Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman highlights the technology, the industry, and some key players making it all possible.

Taylor Muckerman owns shares of Halliburton. The Motley Fool recommends Halliburton and owns shares of Hi-Crush Partners. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.