Unexplainable

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.

Science
Life Sciences
Natural Sciences
1
How scientists are searching for aliens
They’re not looking for UFOs or decoding government secrets. They’re doing something much simpler.
14 min
2
A universal virus-killer?
Airborne diseases kill millions of people a year, despite available antibiotics and vaccines.
21 min
3
Why do we cry?
Humans seem to be the only animals that cry from emotion.
21 min
4
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 — since its invention.
23 min
5
The case for cursing
Can swearing make you stronger?
25 min
6
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
36 min
7
Garbage patch kids
Scientists didn’t think it was possible for life to thrive in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Then, they found some anemones...
17 min
8
A stethoscope for the rainforest
Researchers planted microphones in a forest and walked away.
24 min
9
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
What’s up with the weird golden egg at the bottom of the ocean?
27 min
10
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.
19 min
11
The tallest mountains on Earth are ... undergro...
An expedition to Antarctica. Strange seismic readings. Clues to uncover a hidden part of our planet.
17 min
12
Weaponizing uncertainty
Our show celebrates uncertainty. But as environmental reporter Amy Westervelt explains, the concept also has a dark side.
22 min
13
Can we live in space?
NASA is planning for humans to live on the moon by 2040.
30 min
14
The ice cream effect
Decades of studies suggest that eating ice cream reduces diabetes risk. Could ice cream be ... good for you?
26 min
15
The data vigilantes
Data sleuths are working outside the system to keep science honest.
29 min
16
Trouble on Pickles Reef
Coral reefs are an essential ecosystem undeniably threatened by climate change.
24 min
17
Redefining death
This Halloween, we look at how technology is forcing us to ask: When is someone actually dead?
31 min
18
The Orcanizing
Over the last few years, orcas have been targeting boats, often leaving them stranded at sea.
19 min
19
Unexplainable or Not with Wyatt Cenac
Our game show is back!
31 min
20
Rogue waves
Towering walls of water sometimes appear in the ocean without warning or apparent cause.
25 min
21
Does garlic break magnets?
What would an episode of Unexplainable have sounded like if it had been made in 100 CE?
28 min
22
How to decode a thought
Can researchers decipher what people are thinking about just by looking at brain scans?
29 min
23
It’s getting harder to see
Something about modern life is leading to higher rates of nearsightedness across the world.
19 min
24
Jumping the gun
At last year’s World Athletics Championships, sprinter TyNia Gaither was disqualified for false starting... after the gun went off.
31 min
25
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, songs, and chatter.
31 min