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Podcast Profile: Unexplainable

podcast imageTwitter: @voxdotcom@nhassenfeld (@voxdotcom followed by 79 science writers)
Site: www.vox.com/unexplainable
75 episodes
2021 to present
Average episode: 30 minutes
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Categories: Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: Unexplainable takes listeners right up to the edge of what we know ... and then keeps right on going. This Vox podcast explores scientific mysteries, unanswered questions, and all the things we learn by diving into the unknown. New episodes every Wednesday.

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List Updated: 2022-Sep-28 12:10 UTC. Episodes: 75. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2022-Sep-28 • 39 minutes
The math problem that could break the internet
Today's internet is built on a series of locks and keys that protect your private information as it travels through cyberspace. But could all these locks be broken? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2022-Sep-21 • 34 minutes
Jumping the gun
At the 2022 World Athletics Championships, sprinter TyNia Gaither was disqualified for false starting ... after the gun went off. Officials said she started faster than humanly possible. How can that be? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choice...
2022-Sep-14 • 38 minutes
An Alzheimer's uproar
This past July, a bombshell report in Science magazine suggested that a key Alzheimer’s study might have contained manipulated evidence. What does this mean for over a decade's worth of research? And where does the field go from here? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts ...
2022-Aug-31 • 28 minutes
Salamander search party
One of the world’s most biodiverse aquifers is full of strange, blind creatures that have evolved in isolation for millions of years. But one is missing. This episode was reported by Benji Jones and Mandy Nguyen, who produced the episode. Editing from Meradith Hoddinott, Katherine Wells, Brian Resnick, and Noam Hassenfeld, who scored the episode. Mixing and sound design from Cristian Ayala. Fact-checking from Richard Sima. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcri...
2022-Aug-24 • 40 minutes
What did dinosaurs sound like?
They probably didn’t roar like lions. Their real voices were likely much, much weirder. We asked scientists to help us recreate these strange, extinct sounds. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices Learn m...
2022-Aug-17 • 30 minutes
Can ovaries make new eggs?
There's an old story scientists tell about human ovaries: that they are ticking clocks that only lose eggs, never gain them. Now that story might be changing, opening the door to new treatments for infertility and menopause. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more...
2022-Aug-10 • 48 minutes
Will the eel (slim, shady) please have sex?
Where eels come from is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, in large part because scientists have never actually seen them reproduce in the wild. Gastropod explains why eels are somehow still so mysterious. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about yo...
2022-Jul-27 • 38 minutes
Yawn baby yawn
People yawn when they’re bored, right? So then why do athletes yawn before races? And why do so many animals yawn? … And why does reading this paragraph make you more likely to yawn? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoic...
2022-Jul-20 • 50 minutes
What’s the James Webb telescope searching for?
A lava planet, life on other worlds, the very first starlight in the universe — the most powerful space telescope ever built is ready to reveal many mysteries of the cosmos. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/ad...
2022-Jul-13 • 35 minutes
Vitamin X
Millions of Americans take dietary supplements — everything from vitamins and minerals to weight loss pills and probiotics. But because supplements are loosely regulated in the US, their makers don't have to prove that they work, or even that they are safe. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vo...
2022-Jun-29 • 29 minutes
Lost Worlds: What killed Venus?
Venus is the hottest, scariest planet in the solar system, but billions of years ago it may have been a lot like Earth, complete with an ocean of water. So, how did Venus go to hell? And could Earth be next? This is the final episode of our four-part series, Lost Worlds, and it originally ran on December 1, 2021. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Suppo...
2022-Jun-22 • 31 minutes
Lost Worlds: Life on Mars?
Mars was once a very different planet, with rivers, lakes, and — potentially — life. NASA’s latest Mars rover is on a mission to find traces of past life. What happens if it does? This is the third episode of our new four-part series, Lost Worlds. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/...
2022-Jun-15 • 28 minutes
Lost Worlds: Why do we have a moon?
In all our searching of the universe, we’ve never seen another moon like ours. It's big, it's weird, it's played a huge role in shaping our planet. But how did we get it? Every possible story points to cataclysm. This is the second episode of our new four-part series, Lost Worlds. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a fina...
2022-Jun-08 • 28 minutes
Lost Worlds: Aliens from Earth?
Was there a technologically advanced species living on Earth long before humans? And if one had existed, how would we know? This is the first episode of our new four-part series, Lost Worlds. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit pod...
2022-May-25 • 28 minutes
Dropping like flies
Insect populations are shrinking all over the world, and entomologists are buzzing with questions: Why is this happening? How quickly? And, most concerningly, what does it mean for food supplies or even life as we know it? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more ...
2022-May-18 • 27 minutes
Is telepathy real?
A groundbreaking study claims to have found a way for a fully paralyzed person to communicate entirely via thought. Today, Explained breaks down the science and asks: Is it too good to be true? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit ...
2022-May-11 • 24 minutes
Why do we dream?
Dreams are weird, but can they be a scientific tool? Can they teach us anything about humanity? About ourselves? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2022-May-04 • 29 minutes
Should I take a DNA ancestry test?
What are the scientific, family, and privacy implications? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2022-Apr-27 • 25 minutes
My octopus friend?
Octopuses are largely solitary animals, but there have been rare times — notably in the movie My Octopus Teacher — where they seem to have become comfortable around humans. But is it really possible to be friends with an octopus? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn...
2022-Apr-20 • 31 minutes
Glow in the dark ocean
Most deep-water creatures are bioluminescent. Marine biologist Edie Widder has spent the last 40 years trying to figure out why. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2022-Apr-13 • 27 minutes
When reality broke
In the 1920s, the scientist Werner Heisenberg came up with a wild idea that broke reality as Western science knew it. And it's still unsettling to think about. Benjamin Labatut's recent book, When We Cease to Understand the World, makes readers feel the aftershocks of the revelation, asking, "What's real?" For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unex...
2022-Apr-06 • 28 minutes
Making Sense: The sixth sense
Why stop at five senses? Just how much of the world can we perceive? And how much is out there that’s still out of reach, hiding in the dark? This is the sixth and final episode of our six-part series, Making Sense. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about yo...
2022-Mar-30 • 26 minutes
Making Sense: Sight unseen
Close your eyes and try to imagine an apple. Can you see anything? Aphantasia is the inability to see with your mind’s eye. Since it was discovered, scientists have been asking the question: What is the mind’s eye even for? This is the fifth episode of our six-part series, Making Sense. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making ...
2022-Mar-23 • 38 minutes
Making Sense: The Umami Mama
For thousands of years, there have been four basic tastes recognized across cultures. But thanks to Kumiko Ninomiya (a.k.a. the Umami Mama), scientists finally accepted a fifth. So could there be even more? This is the fourth episode of our six-part series, Making Sense. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial cont...
2022-Mar-16 • 30 minutes
Making Sense: No one nose
Dogs can smell cancer, Covid-19, and many other health problems in humans. Now, scientists are trying to duplicate these powers in robotic sniffers. But there’s a big challenge here: Scientists don’t really understand how smell works. This is the third episode of our six-part series, Making Sense, and it originally ran on March 10, 2021. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] W...
2022-Mar-09 • 29 minutes
Making Sense: The healing power of touch
Doctors can save the lives of premature infants, but the process is often painful. Luckily, a solution might be as simple as a parent’s loving touch. This is the second episode of our new six-part series, Making Sense. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about...
2022-Mar-02 • 41 minutes
Making Sense: How sound becomes hearing
In the same way optical illusions trick our eyes, audio illusions can trick our ears. This raises a fundamental question: What is hearing, and how much of it is made up by our brains? This is the first episode of our new six-part series, Making Sense. You can find more of Diana Deutsch’s auditory illusions at https://bit.ly/3Mdh6H4, Matthew Winn's research at http://www.mattwinn.com/Research.html, and Mike Chorost's writing at https://michaelchorost.com For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a gr...
2022-Feb-16 • 24 minutes
The methane hunters
Methane traps more than 80 times as much heat as CO2 over the short term. So we could make a real difference on climate change this decade if we could stop leaking so much methane into the atmosphere. But before researchers and regulators can figure out how to do that, the methane hunters need to find the leaks. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Suppor...
2022-Feb-09 • 34 minutes
What is love?
Can science help us predict whether a relationship will succeed? Or is it all just chaos? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2022-Feb-02 • 23 minutes
A sonic tour of the solar system
What does it sound like on Mars? On Jupiter? Titan? This collaboration between the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz and the composer Melodysheep imagines the soundscapes of other worlds. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoi...
2022-Jan-26 • 32 minutes
Finding asteroids before they find us
Scientists are constantly searching for asteroids that could crash into Earth. But if they find one, will they be able to do anything about it? NASA has launched a spaceship that will slam into an asteroid to find out. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about...
2022-Jan-19 • 29 minutes
Skeleton Lake
When scientists examined the DNA of ancient bones found near a Himalayan lake, they were forced to confront a seemingly impossible conclusion. This episode originally ran on March 24, 2021. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podca...
2022-Jan-12 • 29 minutes
Are humans running out of sperm?
In 2017, researchers published an explosive finding: Sperm counts may be declining in some countries around the world. Media outlets began worrying about a potential Spermageddon, but other researchers have pumped the brakes. Because scientists know surprisingly little about sperm. Also, Noam created a list on the Hark podcast app where he talked about some of his favorite bitesize moments of the show so far. And it’s easy to share with friends! https://bit.ly/3tib6pd For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplai...
2022-Jan-05 • 29 minutes
The quest to build a star
Scientists are closer than ever to harnessing fusion power — the same process that powers the sun — by essentially making a small star here on Earth. Fusion could give humanity its best shot at solving the climate crisis, but the technology has yet to be perfected and would require billions more in investments. Is it worth the bet? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read...
2021-Dec-31 • 5 minutes
BONUS: The 2021 song
Noam wrote an end-of-year song with Today, Explained host Sean Rameswaram, so we thought to drop it here as a little end-of-year surprise. Lyrics: 2021, it was gonna be fun Get a couple shots and then you’re done Then the second the year’d begun We had an insurrection 2021, it was gonna be fun Get a couple shots and then you’re done Then the second the year’d begun We had an insurrection Yeah it wasn’t just what we hoped to see We might have started too optimistically So if we keep our expectations low ...
2021-Dec-22 • 55 minutes
The building blocks of the universe
Most of the matter in the universe is dark matter, an invisible, untouchable, mysterious substance. Scientists don’t know what exactly dark matter is, despite decades of searching. But recently, they got a new clue in the form of an extremely tiny dancer. This episode is a remix of two prior episodes of Unexplainable, which has been airing on broadcast radio through a partnership with American Public Media. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read mo...
2021-Dec-15 • 31 minutes
99% of ocean plastic is missing
How can we solve the problem of ocean plastic if we don’t know where most of the plastic is? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-Dec-08 • 27 minutes
How medicine mansplained women’s health
Until 1993, many researchers excluded women from clinical drug trials, leaving doctors in the dark about how new treatments work in more than half the population. This is the story of why that happened, the women who fought to change it, and what we still don’t know about how sex and gender affect health. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexp...
2021-Dec-01 • 28 minutes
How Venus went to hell
Venus is the hottest, scariest planet in the solar system, but billions of years ago it may have been a lot like Earth, complete with an ocean of water. So, what killed Venus? And could Earth be next? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. ...
2021-Nov-17 • 33 minutes
Mind readers
Will scientists ever fully understand the human brain? In their quest for knowledge, they’ve tried knives, magnets, computers, blood, and even a good metaphor. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-Nov-10 • 26 minutes
A brainless yellow goo that does math
Slime molds can navigate mazes, control robots, and make complicated decisions, all without a central nervous system. If this weird gooey blob can think, does that mean scientists are thinking about intelligence all wrong? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more a...
2021-Nov-03 • 23 minutes
Why whales get beached
Every year, thousands of marine mammals end up trapped on beaches, but it’s often hard to figure out why. It’s even harder to figure out how much humans are to blame. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...
2021-Oct-27 • 33 minutes
Talking to ghosts
Why do so many people think they can see and hear ghosts, and what does that say about our conscious experience of the world? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-Oct-20 • 28 minutes
Honey, we shrunk the birds
A recent study of tens of thousands of birds has shown that birds are growing smaller over time. It could be due to climate change, and if so, we ought to consider: How else might humans be altering the literal shape of life on Earth — now and in the future? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making ...
2021-Oct-06 • 27 minutes
Nobel Prize 2.0
The Nobel Prize has rewarded some amazing discoveries. It’s also contributed to scientific tunnel vision. This week, how the Nobel impacted our understanding of an enormous cosmic mystery, and what a new and improved Nobel Prize could look like. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial c...
2021-Sep-29 • 30 minutes
The James Webb Time Machine
To look into deep space is to look back in time. With the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, scientists hope to see “cosmic dawn,” a period long ago when the first starlight transformed the universe. But what happened before cosmic dawn? The Webb can’t tell us, though future telescopes could. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We...
2021-Sep-22 • 27 minutes
The James Webb Space Telescope
After decades of planning, NASA is finally (finally!) set to launch the successor to the Hubble. The new Webb telescope will be a paradigm shift for astronomy, exploring places in the cosmos that have been completely invisible to us until now. But first, it has to safely reach a point nearly a million miles away from the Earth. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! unex...
2021-Sep-15 • 31 minutes
What causes Alzheimer’s?
For decades, Alzheimer’s researchers have been stubbornly pursuing a single theory, but they’re starting to wonder: is this narrow focus the reason we still don’t have a cure? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choic...
2021-Sep-01 • 29 minutes
Havana syndrome
Several years after US diplomats in Cuba claimed they were attacked by an invisible weapon, similar incidents continue to be reported around the world. Scientists haven’t been able to determine a definitive cause, but the possibilities point toward something just as mysterious as the illness itself: the inner workings of the human brain. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, emai...
2021-Aug-25 • 27 minutes
Getting to the bottom of butts
Once upon a time, there were no anuses. These ingenious organs allowed our primordial ancestors to grow bigger and more complex, but scientists still don’t understand how they evolved. And they’re still grasping at a mystery that literally surrounds it: Why is the human butt so big? For more go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It's a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support U...
2021-Aug-18 • 31 minutes
The mysteries of endometriosis
This common chronic condition — where tissue similar to what grows inside the uterus grows elsewhere in the body — is barely understood. So why is a condition so prevalent and painful still so unknown? It has a lot to do with who gets to ask research questions. Correction, August 18: An earlier version of this episode implied that the tissue involved in endometriosis is the same as the endometrium, which lines the uterus. It is similar tissue, but not identical. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable...
2021-Aug-11 • 31 minutes
A 150-year-old human
Two scientists. A billion-dollar wager. One unanswered question: Is the first human who will live to 150 already alive? The technology to make that happen may already be in development. But if it works, there will be new, unsettling questions for humankind to answer. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable b...
2021-Aug-04 • 27 minutes
How low can you go?
Earlier this year, Nicole Yamase explored the bottom of the Challenger Deep, the deepest place in the ocean, where few people have ever been. The rest of the seafloor is almost as mysterious — 80 percent remains unmapped — but the few glimpses scientists have gotten have completely revolutionized our understanding of the planet. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! un...
2021-Jul-28 • 25 minutes
The tornado problem
8 minutes, 24 seconds. That’s the average amount of warning time people get before a tornado touches down. To do better, and to understand tornadoes, scientists need to confront more of these storms, head on. For a clean version of this episode and more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial co...
2021-Jul-21 • 25 minutes
Moon poop
Astronauts left something on the moon that could help unlock the origins of life itself. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes about five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: vox.com/survey Support Unexplainable by making a fin...
2021-Jul-14 • 31 minutes
Hot pink flying squirrels
An accidental discovery on a nighttime walk led one scientist and his team to wonder: How many mammals glow under ultraviolet light? The list keeps growing, but scientists still aren’t sure why these furry creatures glow. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Email us at [email protected] We read every email! Also, we are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It take...
2021-Jun-30 • 32 minutes
Henrietta Leavitt and the end of the universe
In the early 1900s, Henrietta Leavitt made one of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy: a yardstick to measure distances to faraway stars. Using this tool, scientists eventually transformed our understanding of the universe. They realized space was expanding, that this expansion was accelerating, and that ultimately, everything will end. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics ...
2021-Jun-23 • 29 minutes
How do animals know where to go?
As part of a massive new global tracking project, scientists are monitoring animals from a receiver on the International Space Station, mapping the incredible, previously unknown journeys that animals undertake. They’re beginning to tackle questions like how far do animals actually move? And how in the world do they know where they’re going? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-Jun-16 • 25 minutes
Invasion of the jumping worms
These worms are fast, they’re mysterious, and they’re quickly changing North American ecosystems. How worried should we be about global worming? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/ad...
2021-Jun-09 • 30 minutes
The many heights of Mount Everest
How tall is the world’s tallest mountain? The answer is surprisingly tricky, which means that Everest’s official height is constantly changing. In fact, depending on the type of measurement scientists use, Everest may not be the tallest mountain in the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-Jun-02 • 33 minutes
Unexplainable Flying Objects
UFOs are real, but that doesn’t mean they’re aliens. Today, Explained, Vox's daily news podcast, tells the story of America's longstanding relationship with UFOs and what we might learn from an upcoming government report. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-May-26 • 32 minutes
The hunt for a new Pluto
Something strange is going on at the outer reaches of the solar system. One astronomer thinks it might be a Neptune-sized ninth planet, and he’s on a quest to find it. That search is happening at an enormous telescope on the summit of Maunakea, a dormant Hawaiian volcano with a long astronomical and cultural history. But many Native Hawaiian scientists are asking: What’s lost in the pursuit of larger and larger telescopes? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our ne...
2021-May-19 • 29 minutes
Cloudy with a chance of chaos
It’s surprisingly hard to predict how clouds form, move, and change, but it’s essential to try. Because how clouds react to a warming world helps determine how hot our future will be. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ...
2021-May-12 • 26 minutes
A new force of nature?
Last month, physicists at Fermilab in Illinois found that tiny subatomic particles called muons were wobbling strangely. This small observation could transform the future of particle physics, potentially pointing toward undiscovered particles or maybe even a new force of nature. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Une...
2021-May-05 • 27 minutes
Placebos work. Why?
For decades, scientists thought that placebos only worked if patients didn’t know they were taking them. Not anymore: You can give patients placebos, tell them they’re on sugar pills, and they still might feel better. No one is sure how this works, but it raises a question: Should doctors embrace placebos in mainstream medicine? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! une...
2021-Apr-28 • 25 minutes
A virus that could heal people
In 2016, the UN declared antibiotic-resistant bacteria the “greatest and most urgent global risk.” Our best hope just might be phages, or viruses that attack bacteria. Phages’ potential is enormous, but so is everything we don’t know about them. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial ...
2021-Apr-21 • 28 minutes
The Twilight Zone of the ocean
Every day, untold numbers of strange organisms rise from the middle of the ocean to its surface. They may be playing a crucial role in slowing climate change, so scientists are struggling to understand this migration ... before it’s too late. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial co...
2021-Apr-14 • 26 minutes
The viral ghosts of long Covid
Scientists don’t understand why so many people suffer from Covid-19 symptoms for months, well after they stop testing positive. But that’s just the start of the mystery. There are other diseases that cast these long shadows, and they point to a major blind spot in medicine. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplai...
2021-Apr-07 • 31 minutes
Is a ton of psychology just ... wrong?
A decade ago, psychologists realized much of their science was fatally flawed, calling untold numbers of studies into question. Now, some young psychologists are trying to rebuild the foundations of their field. Can they succeed? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Support Unexplainable by making a financial contribution to V...
2021-Mar-31 • 27 minutes
It’s ball lightning!
For millennia, people have been reporting stories of mysterious spheres of light that glow, crackle, and hover eerily during thunderstorms. They’ve been spotted in people’s homes, and are even said to be able to pass through windows. No one knows how ball lightning forms — but that’s not stopping scientists from attempting to recreate it in their labs. For further reading, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topi...
2021-Mar-24 • 27 minutes
Skeleton Lake
When scientists examined the DNA of ancient bones found near a Himalayan lake, they were forced to confront a seemingly impossible conclusion. *This episode has been updated. In the original version, we mixed up carbon isotopes with carbon isotope ratios. For further reading, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to sign up for our newsletter, view show transcripts, and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! [email protected] We read every email. Learn more about your a...
2021-Mar-17 • 29 minutes
Journey Toward the Center of the Earth
Sixty years ago, geologists tried to drill down through the Earth’s crust to pull up a piece of the Earth’s mantle. Their mission didn’t go exactly as planned. But it sowed the seeds for a new field of science that’s helped us rewrite not only the history of the planet, but, potentially, our definitions of life itself. The documentaries featured in this episode are "The First Deep Ocean Drilling: Mohole, Phase 1" and "Project Mohole: Report No. 1." For further reading, sign up for our newsletter here: ht...
2021-Mar-10 • 30 minutes
No one nose
Believe it or not, scientists still don't know how the sense of smell works. But they're looking at how powerful it is - dogs can actually sniff out cancer and many other diseases - and they're trying to figure out how to reverse engineer it. In fact, one MIT scientist may have built a robot nose ... without completely understanding how his invention works. For further reading, sign up for our newsletter here: http://vox.com/unexplainable-newsletter Show... transcript and articles at: http://vox.com/unexpla...
2021-Mar-10 • 34 minutes
Most of the universe is missing
Scientists all over the world are searching for dark matter: an invisible, untouchable substance that holds our universe together. But they haven't found it. Are they chasing a ghost? For further reading, sign up for our newsletter here: http://vox.com/unexplainable-newsletter Show... transcript and articles (including one about why we made this show now): http://vox.com/unexplainable Email us! [email protected] We read every email. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
2021-Feb-19 • 3 minutes
Introducing Unexplainable
Scientists don’t know what 95% of the universe is made of. They don’t know how a bike stays up. They don’t even really know how the nose works. Join us every Wednesday on Unexplainable for deep dives into the unknown, because what we don’t know is awesome. New episodes March 10th. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices