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Unexplainable

Author: Vox

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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.

91 Episodes
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We booped an asteroid

We booped an asteroid

2023-02-0121:53

Last fall, a NASA spacecraft slammed into an asteroid to test a way to avert a disaster on Earth. So are we safe now? 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Our houses are homes to hidden worlds of bugs. And the more ecologists explore those worlds, the more they realize that some of our tiny roommates actually have a lot to teach us.  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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
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. This episode originally ran on June 30, 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Plants with eyes?

Plants with eyes?

2023-01-1132:562

In the temperate rainforests of Chile, there is a vine that can shapeshift to copy the look of other plants. But how? Can it... see them? Or is something weirder happening? 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Our game show is back! This week, Avery Trufelman, host of the Articles of Interest podcast, tries to guess which of these three mysteries of movement have been solved and which are still unexplainable. 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Your gut's feelings

Your gut's feelings

2022-12-2129:093

How we feel emotionally may be influenced by unseen troves of microbial life that live inside us. Is it possible to harness this gut power? 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Back in January, we spoke to a scientist at the National Ignition Facility about how close they were to achieving what’s been called “one of the most impressive scientific feats of the 21st century.” This week, they announced they’ve finally done it. A version of this episode originally ran on January 5, 2022. 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Basic instinct

Basic instinct

2022-12-0729:363

How do animals know how to do things like spin a web or build a dam? A neuroscientist argues it's not “instinct.” Something bigger is going on. 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Why we cry

Why we cry

2022-11-3025:086

Humans seem to be the only animals that cry from emotion. What makes our tears so special? 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Can we live in space?

Can we live in space?

2022-11-1631:595

NASA just launched the Artemis program, a series of missions that will eventually take humans back to the moon, and beyond. But can humans actually survive in space long-term? 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Holding on to power

Holding on to power

2022-11-0931:371

A mountain, a tower, a thermos full of molten salt: These are the batteries that could power our renewable future. 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Redefining death

Redefining death

2022-11-0233:541

Death used to be fairly self-evident, but new technologies have forced us to ask: When is someone actually dead? And now, new research is raising a further question: Could death someday be reversible? 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Talking to ghosts

Talking to ghosts

2022-10-2630:422

Why do so many people think they can see and hear ghosts, and what does that say about our conscious experience of the world? This episode originally ran on October 27, 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
In the past few decades, the rate of food allergies in both children and adults has dramatically increased. What’s causing this rise, and what can we do about 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
On the first episode of Vox’s new podcast, The Gray Area, host Sean Illing talks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about the limits of both politics and science. Listen and follow on Apple Podcasts: https://bit.ly/3Cxl1KD Listen and follow on Spotify: https://bit.ly/3er7Mn2 Listen and follow elsewhere: https://bit.ly/3yFt5b8 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
For the first time, we get some answers. 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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Jumping the gun

Jumping the gun

2022-09-2133:465

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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
An Alzheimer's uproar

An Alzheimer's uproar

2022-09-1437:514

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! unexplainable@vox.com 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
Salamander search party

Salamander search party

2022-08-3128:226

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 transcripts and read more about the topics on our show. Also, email us! unexplainable@vox.com 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
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Comments (26)

squogg

I had never considered we don't know what clouds actually looked like before we started messing with the atmosphere. So wild! Can't wait to learn what information we obtain from Whaler journals.

Feb 2nd
Reply

squogg

"There's a sense of optimism in a question. It makes you feel like we could know the answer to them. We can fill in a little bit more of the hole of our ignorance." Absolutely love this way of thinking!

Jan 25th
Reply

Mae Arant

didnt ruin the beauty of what was in the documentary. to deny sentient being their autonomy and individuality of self is not necessarily scientifically appropriate-but a vestige of man's viewpoint that only man is important.

Aug 1st
Reply

Andrea Manconi

Really you discovered that vitamins and minerals are useless? No literature on them? LOL! unsubscribed

Jul 15th
Reply

Yuzuriha Yuki

Thinking of how could a soft simple shaped things can be chaotic too, and that could apply for any living form..

Mar 23rd
Reply

Rob Claypool

my wife had it from 17 to 35 had endoscopy on top of endo...had tubes scraped few times ended up having 5 kids although our first lil girl passed bc of it but then other 4 ok but ended up having a hysterectomy bc of the tuners on here ovaries..as a young man I never understood and was angered bc of the sex but look back at my strong passionate wife I admire for them trauma she went through

Aug 18th
Reply (3)

Sweet Creature

I am sure that I am one those who have the long-term symptoms

Jul 15th
Reply

Yogi

Seems you guys running out of topics now!

May 30th
Reply

John Lewis

I love the theme song at the top! great job!!!!

May 12th
Reply

Alexis

27:17 there's an abrupt cut to the end or at least it seems to be :(

May 5th
Reply

Andi-Roo Libecap

😱 holy wow!

Apr 16th
Reply

Andi-Roo Libecap

This was kind of terrifying. I don't want science to be wrong. I don't want scientists to let pride get in the way of solid research. I don't want funding and politics and human failure to influence results. 😬

Apr 9th
Reply

Dylan

I got hard oxenfree vibes from that little audio bit after the ad break

Apr 2nd
Reply

Andi-Roo Libecap

so cool!!!

Apr 1st
Reply

HiKi GaYa

good podcast

Mar 27th
Reply (1)

SamxReal

Great! More more

Mar 25th
Reply

John Buckner

The junior high presentation killed it. If your target audience is 12 yr olds, fine, but if not, please drop the giggles, the "super doopers", and the gee-whiz comments.

Mar 17th
Reply

HiKi GaYa

excited

Mar 16th
Reply (1)

Happy⚛️Heritic

Very interesting

Mar 12th
Reply (2)
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