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Unexplainable

Unexplainable is a science show about everything we don’t know. Host Noam Hassenfeld is joined by an array of experts and Vox reporters each week to look at the most fascinating unanswered questions in science and the mind-bending ways scientists are trying to answer them. New episodes drop every Wednesday.

Tell us about a scientific mystery that fascinates you.

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The Unexplainable team includes Noam Hassenfeld, Byrd Pinkerton, Meradith Hoddinott, Mandy Nguyen, Cristian Ayala, and Brian Resnick. The show is a production of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Show transcripts. Clean versions of explicit episodes. Songs from the podcast.

What science still doesn’t know about the five senses

Cancer has a smell. Someday your phone may detect it.

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Doctors learned how to save premature infants’ lives. They forgot about pain.

Scientists are investigating how to treat pain in babies who can’t tell you when it hurts.

The mystery of methane gone missing

What science still can’t explain about love

What romance novels can teach us about attraction

There’s a Covid-19 epidemic in deer. It could come back to haunt us. 

The quest to avert an asteroid apocalypse is going surprisingly well

Fusion energy is a reason to be excited about the future

The largest space telescope in history is about to blow our minds

11 epic mysteries scientists totally can’t solve

The world’s largest space telescope is set to launch on Christmas. Here’s how to watch.

Venus could have been a paradise but turned into a hellscape. Earthlings, pay attention.

Psychiatrists are uncovering connections between viruses and mental health. They’re surprising.

How technology has inspired neuroscientists to reimagine the brain

The curious case of the ancient whale bones

The animals that may exist in a million years, imagined by biologists

How telescopes make the universe self-aware

Astronomers were skeptical about dark matter — until Vera Rubin came along

How scientists discovered the universe is really freaking huge

Animals can navigate by starlight. Here’s how we know.

What’s with these invasive “crazy” worms and why can’t we get rid of them?

Nobody knows exactly how tornadoes form — and the mystery can be deadly

These eerie, glowing clouds keep appearing more often

Scientists aren’t sure what will happen to clouds as the planet warms

How a tiny, wobbling particle could unlock mysteries of the universe

The weird science of the placebo effect keeps getting more interesting

“It’s deep. It’s dark. It’s elusive.” The ocean’s twilight zone is full of wonders.

Scientists haven’t figured out long Covid. Here are 5 of their best hypotheses.

The replication crisis devastated psychology. This group is looking to rebuild it. 

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Ball lightning is real, and very rare. This is what it’s like to experience it.

Close encounters with mysterious, hovering balls of lightning, illustrated.

Ancient DNA is helping rewrite human history

How an ill-fated undersea adventure in the 1960s changed the way scientists see the Earth

Dark matter holds our universe together. No one knows what it is.

Unexplainable: A new podcast about the most fascinating unanswered questions in science 

Extremely powerful cosmic rays are raining down on us. No one knows where they come from.

Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.

Why your desk job is so damn exhausting

Humans and Neanderthals had sex. But was it for love?

The discovery of human-Neanderthal mating is changing our understanding of what it means to be human.