Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

United States

How does LARP work? How does fingerprinting work? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the Stuff You Should Know about everything from psychology to propellant in this podcast from


Living Underground in Beijing  

Chairman Mao’s paranoia of a Soviet invasion led to hundreds of thousands of Beijing residents put to work for a decade building an 85-square-km underground city to serve as a massive bomb shelter. Instead it’s illegal underground housing today.

What's the What with Fish Fraud?  

Fish fraud, misrepresenting a fish as a more expensive one, costs Americans $25 billion a year. And because less than 100 inspectors check for fraud in the US and everyone from wholesalers to sushi restaurants are free to rip off their customers.

How the Census Works  

Counting humans has been happening for a long, long time. It usually had to do with taxing them, but now census data can reveal a lot about a population and help satisfy its needs. Count us in for this episode.

Hibernation: Not a Snooze  

When animals are faced with scarce food in the winter, they have two choices to stay alive: migrate or hibernate. For hibernators, their bodies undergo some mind-boggling physiological changes in the coldest months. Could humans ever do it too?

Why Did Easter Island's Civilization Collapse?  

When the first Europeans landed on Rapa Nui, which they renamed Easter Island, they were puzzled by what happened there. Only a few thousand people lived there but there were signs of a massive civilization that once flourished. What happened there?

The Amazing History of Soda  

The soda we get instantly mixed at a fast-food joint owes a lot to a rich history going back to the Roman baths, that features drugs, diseases and explosions. Learn all about soda and soda fountains in this surprisingly interesting episode.

How Polar Bears Work  

Polar bears are more than just lovable creatures that roam the ice in search of food. They're one of the most fascinating animals on planet Earth. Sadly, as ice shrinks, so does their habitat. Learn all about these huggable beasts in today's episode.

How Ice Ages Work  

Believe it or not, we live in an ice age. The polar glaciers give it away. Those glaciers used to come clear down to New York. We now know the traces they left are everywhere if you know what to look for; it just took some Swiss peasants to figure it out.

All we know about Zika so far...  

Zika is all over the news these days, yet in America, people don't seem to be too concerned just yet. Some say it's a case of the media crying wolf. Others say it's because the risk factors for zika are limited. Learn all about the latest virus to take center stage in today's episode.

What's the deal with Stradivarius violins?  

The Strad violin is noted for it tonal qualities and superior craftsmanship. And for its price tag. There are many theories why the Strad sounds so great, from the wood to the lacquer, to the simple fact that Antonio Stradivari was really good at what he did. Rosin up your bow and take a listen.

Do Animals Have Natural Rights?  

Animals have had legal protection from unnecessary harm since the 19th century. Yet what harm is necessary is open to interpretation and animals continue to suffer and die for science and commerce. Should they have the right to freedom from humans?

How Animal Testing Works  

The use of animals for commercial and scientific testing is a quietly controversial topic. That we humans have advanced as a species because we use animals as literal and figurative guinea pigs is undeniable. But do we have the right to do that?

How the Negro Leagues Worked  

A decade before the U.S. officially segregated in 1896, baseball banned black players. A decade before the US integrated, baseball broke the color barrier. Between, the Negro Leagues produced some of the finest players to ever take the field.

How Food Tasters Work  

Some people might think that tasting food for a living is the best job in the whole wide world. But think again! The reality is, it can be a tedious, grueling job that destroys your very love of food.

This Custom of Customs  

Customs may be a pain when you're traveling, but it's a necessary instrument the government uses to regulate trade. Your passport please?

Jellyfish: Even Cooler than Octopi?  

Jellyfish are among the most adaptable, competitive organisms on the planet. They can grow back into their juvenile stage when resources are scarce, reproduce in massive groups and kill an adult human, among lots of other neat stuff. Learn all about em!

The Delightful History of Steam Technology  

One of the coolest things humans have ever figured out is how to use steam as power. It made the Industrial Revolution possible and even today, 88% of America's electricity comes from steam turbines.

How Wolly Mammoths Worked  

It was only 11,000 years ago that the last true woolly mammoths died out, close enough to the modern age that humans lived alongside them. But were humans the cause of mammoths’ sudden extinction or was climate change to blame?

Evel Knievel Part II  

In today's episode, we cover part two of our Evel Knievel suite. The man, the myth, the legend. Check in and listen to the latter stages of Evel's career as the world's most legendary daredevil.

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