Unexplainable

Unexplainable takes listeners right up to the edge of what we know … and then keeps on going. Host Noam Hassenfeld and an all-star team of reporters — Byrd Pinkerton, Meradith Hoddinott, and Mandy Nguyen — tackle scientific mysteries, unanswered questions, and everything we learn by diving into the unknown. New episodes drop every Wednesday.

Science
Life Sciences
Natural Sciences
126
Honey, we shrunk the birds
A recent study of tens of thousands of birds has shown that birds are growing smaller over time.
24 min
127
Nobel Prize 2.0
The Nobel Prize has rewarded some amazing discoveries.
23 min
128
The James Webb Time Machine
To look into deep space is to look back in time.
26 min
129
The James Webb Space Telescope
After decades of planning, NASA is finally (finally!) set to launch the successor to the Hubble.
23 min
130
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?
27 min
131
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.
25 min
132
Getting to the bottom of butts
Once upon a time, there were no anuses.
23 min
133
The mysteries of endometriosis
This common chronic condition — where tissue that normally grows in the uterus grows elsewhere in the body — is barely understood.
27 min
134
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?
27 min
135
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.
25 min
136
The tornado problem
8 minutes, 24 seconds.
21 min
137
Moon poop
Astronauts left something on the moon that could help unlock the origins of life itself.
21 min
138
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?
27 min
139
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.
28 min
140
How do animals know where to go?
25 min
141
Invasion of the jumping worms
These worms are fast, they’re mysterious, and they’re quickly changing North American ecosystems.
23 min
142
The many heights of Mount Everest
How tall is the world’s tallest mountain?
26 min
143
Unexplainable Flying Objects
UFOs are real, but that doesn’t mean they’re aliens.
29 min
144
The hunt for a new Pluto
Something strange is going on at the outer reaches of the solar system.
30 min
145
Cloudy with a chance of chaos
It’s surprisingly hard to predict how clouds form, move, and change.
25 min
146
A new force of nature?
Last month, physicists at Fermilab in Illinois found that tiny subatomic particles called muons were wobbling strangely.
22 min
147
Placebos work. Why?
For decades, scientists thought that placebos only worked if patients didn’t know they were taking them.
23 min
148
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,
21 min
149
The Twilight Zone of the ocean
A dive into its mysterious depths
24 min
150
The viral ghosts of long Covid
Scientists don’t understand why so many people suffer from Covid-19 symptoms for months, long after they stop testing positive.
22 min