pod.link copied!

Unexplainable takes listeners right up to the edge of what we know ... and then keeps right on going. This Vox podcast... more

Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Player FM
Podcast Republic


Can we stop aging?

From blood transfusions to enzyme boosters, our friends at Science Vs dive into the latest research on the search for... more

15 May 2024 · 37 minutes
Who's the daddy? There isn't one.

A snake. A ray. A shark. They each got pregnant with no male involved. In fact, scientists are finding more... more

08 May 2024 · 20 minutes
Itch hunt

Itch used to be understood as a mild form of pain, but scientists are learning this sense is more than... more

01 May 2024 · 18 minutes
How did Earth get its water?

Life as we know it needs water, but scientists can’t figure out where Earth’s water came from. Answering that question... more

24 Apr 2024 · 25 minutes
Is Earth alive?

A cell is alive. So is a leaf and so is a tree. But what about the forest they’re a... more

17 Apr 2024 · 28 minutes
The alpha myth

The researcher who popularized the idea of the alpha wolf has spent decades trying to take it back. Our friends... more

10 Apr 2024 · 40 minutes
The eclipse chasers

Solar storms can wreak havoc on power grids, satellites, even astronauts — but scientists still struggle to predict them. One... more

03 Apr 2024 · 19 minutes
The Yips

Think about the thing you’ve practiced more than anything else in the world. Maybe it’s painting. Or writing. Or playing... more

27 Mar 2024 · 27 minutes
The bleeding edge, part two

Diagnosing diseases such as endometriosis can require difficult steps, like surgery. But researchers are hoping to use menstrual fluid to... more

20 Mar 2024 · 24 minutes
The bleeding edge

Periods and menstrual fluid have long been overlooked by scientists. Now, researchers are starting to suspect they might be sources... more

13 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Aliens from Earth?

Was there a technologically advanced species living on Earth long before humans? And if one had existed, how would we... more

06 Mar 2024 · 26 minutes
How scientists are searching for aliens

They’re not looking for UFOs or decoding government secrets. They’re doing something much simpler. For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great... more

28 Feb 2024 · 16 minutes
A universal virus-killer?

Airborne diseases kill millions of people a year, despite available antibiotics and vaccines. But scientists think there might be another... more

21 Feb 2024 · 24 minutes
Why do we cry?

Humans seem to be the only animals that cry from emotion. This Valentine’s Day, we’re wondering: What makes our tears... more

14 Feb 2024 · 24 minutes
Should you quit Diet Coke?

Safety questions have haunted aspartame — the no-calorie sweetener used in many diet soft drinks and other low-calorie products —... more

07 Feb 2024 · 25 minutes
The case for cursing

Can swearing make you stronger? For more, go to http://vox.com/unexplainable It’s a great place to view show transcripts and read more about... more

31 Jan 2024 · 27 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... more

24 Jan 2024 · 38 minutes
Garbage patch kids

Scientists didn’t think it was possible for life to thrive in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Then, they found some... more

17 Jan 2024 · 20 minutes
A stethoscope for the rainforest

Researchers planted microphones in a forest and walked away. Listening back could help heal rainforest ecosystems. For show transcripts, go to... more

10 Jan 2024 · 26 minutes
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

What’s up with the weird golden egg at the bottom of the ocean? How do eggs actually choose sperm? Hit... more

03 Jan 2024 · 30 minutes
Something weird near the beginning of time

The James Webb Space Telescope launched two years ago, giving scientists a new view into the early universe. Now, it's... more

20 Dec 2023 · 21 minutes
The tallest mountains on Earth are ... underground?

An expedition to Antarctica. Strange seismic readings. Clues to uncover a hidden part of our planet. For show transcripts, go to... more

13 Dec 2023 · 19 minutes
Weaponizing uncertainty

Our show celebrates uncertainty. But as environmental reporter Amy Westervelt explains, the concept also has a dark side. For show transcripts,... more

06 Dec 2023 · 25 minutes
Can we live in space?

NASA is planning for humans to live on the moon by 2040. But how much space can the human body... more

29 Nov 2023 · 32 minutes
The ice cream effect

Decades of studies suggest that eating ice cream reduces diabetes risk. Could ice cream be ... good for you? And... more

15 Nov 2023 · 29 minutes
The data vigilantes

Data sleuths are working outside the system to keep science honest. But is there a better way to prevent scientific... more

08 Nov 2023 · 31 minutes
Trouble on Pickles Reef

Coral reefs are an essential ecosystem undeniably threatened by climate change. Can scientists breed a stronger coral for the future? For... more

01 Nov 2023 · 26 minutes
Redefining death

This Halloween, we look at how technology is forcing us to ask: When is someone actually dead? And we look... more

25 Oct 2023 · 33 minutes
The Orcanizing

Over the last few years, orcas have been targeting boats, often leaving them stranded at sea. Are these orcas trying... more

18 Oct 2023 · 22 minutes
Unexplainable or Not with Wyatt Cenac

Our game show is back! This time, comedian Wyatt Cenac is in the hot seat in front of a live... more

04 Oct 2023 · 34 minutes
Rogue waves

Towering walls of water sometimes appear in the ocean without warning or apparent cause. What drives their terrifying power? For more,... more

27 Sep 2023 · 28 minutes
Does garlic break magnets?

What would an episode of Unexplainable have sounded like if it had been made in 100 CE? For more, go to... more

20 Sep 2023 · 30 minutes
How to decode a thought

Can researchers decipher what people are thinking about just by looking at brain scans? With AI, they're getting closer. How... more

13 Sep 2023 · 31 minutes
It’s getting harder to see

Something about modern life is leading to higher rates of nearsightedness across the world. What is it? To buy tickets to... more

30 Aug 2023 · 20 minutes
Jumping the gun

At last year’s World Athletics Championships, sprinter TyNia Gaither was disqualified for false starting... after the gun went off. Officials... more

23 Aug 2023 · 33 minutes
Can we talk to animals?

Two scientists explain how AI might help us translate animal communication, and what we might learn from their squawks, chirps,... more

16 Aug 2023 · 34 minutes
Unexplainable or Not: Beach day!

Sam Sanders, host of Vulture’s Into It podcast, is in the hot seat for a new episode of our game... more

09 Aug 2023 · 29 minutes
Who let the wolves in?

Dogs were the first domesticated animal in history, emerging from wolves some 20,000 years ago. But how did wolves become... more

02 Aug 2023 · 24 minutes
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, and it... more

26 Jul 2023 · 27 minutes
The Black Box: In AI we trust?

AI can often solve problems in unexpected, undesirable ways. So how can we make sure it does what we want,... more

19 Jul 2023 · 30 minutes
The Black Box: Even AI’s creators don’t understand it

AI has the potential to impact our society in dramatic ways, but researchers can’t explain precisely how it works or... more

12 Jul 2023 · 34 minutes
Do animals grieve?

A dog on its owner’s grave. A killer whale carrying around its dead calf. A goose that isolates when its... more

28 Jun 2023 · 26 minutes
Why do we dream?

Dreams are weird, but can they be a scientific tool? Can they teach us anything about humanity? About ourselves? This episode... more

21 Jun 2023 · 23 minutes
Cracking the Indus code

The Indus Valley civilization was one of the largest, most advanced civilizations in the ancient world. But we barely know... more

14 Jun 2023 · 24 minutes

Awe is what takes our breath away when we face a sky full of stars or listen to a moving... more

07 Jun 2023 · 24 minutes
Expecting: Weed and pregnancy

Many states have extremely punitive policies around cannabis and pregnancy. But researchers don't actually have great data on cannabis's harms. For... more

24 May 2023 · 30 minutes
Expecting: Baby brain

Caring for a child seems to change parents’ brains. But what does that actually mean for how parents think and... more

17 May 2023 · 27 minutes
Expecting: Pregnancy souvenirs

Fetuses leave cells behind in their parents' bodies, where they braid themselves into tissues, and remain, for years. What are... more

10 May 2023 · 36 minutes
The tornado problem

2023 has been a record-setting year for tornadoes, and these storms came with barely any warning. So to better understand... more

03 May 2023 · 24 minutes
How to resurrect a mammoth

Scientists are hard at work trying to bring back woolly mammoths (and dodos). But should they? And what would they... more

26 Apr 2023 · 32 minutes
Live show, dead dinosaurs

We did a live show! We talked about how one of our favorite episodes came together and how we went... more

19 Apr 2023 · 37 minutes
Talking trees

Studies suggesting trees communicate through an elaborate underground fungal network have captured imaginations. It’s a beautiful idea, but the fantasy... more

12 Apr 2023 · 23 minutes
Your questions, unexplained

This week, we tackle three listener questions — on sleepwalking, deja vu, and Earth’s magnetic field. Next time, we could... more

05 Apr 2023 · 28 minutes
What's so funny?

Scientists are digging into what makes something funny. We compare their notes with comedians — including Atsuko Okatsuka, Josh Johnson,... more

22 Mar 2023 · 20 minutes
Origins: The meaning of “life”

For every definition of life, there’s a creature that sends us right back to the drawing board. This is the third... more

15 Mar 2023 · 26 minutes
Origins: The first living thing

How did life on Earth start? To help answer that, researchers are trying to create some life for themselves. This is... more

08 Mar 2023 · 29 minutes
Origins: How did Earth get its water?

Life as we know it needs water, but scientists can’t figure out where Earth’s water came from. Answering that question... more

01 Mar 2023 · 27 minutes
What is love?

Can science help us predict whether a relationship will succeed? Or is it all just chaos? This episode originally ran on... more

15 Feb 2023 · 34 minutes
Why we hiccup

Listeners told us that eating baby carrots or telling lies can bring on the hiccups. Burping or kissing can make... more

08 Feb 2023 · 29 minutes
We booped an asteroid

Last fall, a NASA spacecraft slammed into an asteroid to test a way to avert a disaster on Earth. So... more

01 Feb 2023 · 22 minutes
Origins: The meaning of “life”

Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Player FM
Podcast Republic


For every definition of life, there’s a creature that sends us right back to the drawing board. This is the third episode in... more