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
1
Can you put a price on nature?
It’s hard to figure out the economic value of a wild bat or any other part of the natural world, but some scientists argue that this kind of calculation could help protect our environment.
21 min
2
The deepest spot in the ocean
Seventy-five percent of the seafloor remains unmapped and unexplored, but the first few glimpses scientists have gotten of the ocean’s depths have completely revolutionized our understanding of the planet.
25 min
3
What’s the tallest mountain in the world?
If you just stood up and shouted, “It’s Mount Everest, duh!” then take a seat.
25 min
4
Did trees kill the world?
Way back when forests first evolved on Earth … they might have triggered one of the biggest mass extinctions in the history of the planet.
24 min
5
Can we stop aging?
From blood transfusions to enzyme boosters, our friends at Science Vs dive into the latest research on the search for the fountain of youth.
33 min
6
Who's the daddy? There isn't one.
A snake. A shark. They got pregnant with no male involved.
17 min
7
Itch hunt
Itch used to be understood as a mild form of pain, but scientists are learning this sense is more than just skin deep.
15 min
8
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.
23 min
9
Is Earth alive?
A cell is alive. So is a leaf and so is a tree. But what about the forest they’re a part of?
25 min
10
The alpha myth
The researcher who popularized the idea of the alpha wolf has spent decades trying to take it back.
38 min
11
The eclipse chasers
Solar storms can wreak havoc on power grids, satellites, even astronauts — but scientists still struggle to predict them.
17 min
12
The Yips
Think about the thing you’ve practiced more than anything else in the world.
25 min
13
The bleeding edge, part two
Diagnosing diseases such as endometriosis can require difficult steps, like surgery.
21 min
14
The bleeding edge
Periods and menstrual fluid have long been overlooked by scientists.
16 min
15
Aliens from Earth?
Was there a technologically advanced species living on Earth long before humans?
24 min
16
How scientists are searching for aliens
They’re not looking for UFOs or decoding government secrets. They’re doing something much simpler.
14 min
17
A universal virus-killer?
Airborne diseases kill millions of people a year, despite available antibiotics and vaccines.
21 min
18
Why do we cry?
Humans seem to be the only animals that cry from emotion.
21 min
19
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
20
The case for cursing
Can swearing make you stronger?
25 min
21
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
22
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
23
A stethoscope for the rainforest
Researchers planted microphones in a forest and walked away.
24 min
24
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
What’s up with the weird golden egg at the bottom of the ocean?
27 min
25
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