Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 1
Where do stories of unicorns, mermaids and Bigfoot come from? And do they have any truth to them? In this four-part series, we're tackling listeners' biggest questions about modern myths and legends.
Today's episode is about mythical creatures that live on land. We'll hear the story of El Chupacabras, learn about the search for Bigfoot, and hear from some animals once mistaken for unicorns. Marc and Sanden have a new project to share, and Gungador has an urgent announcement. Plus, a Moment of Um about how sloths snooze upside down.
If you want to learn more about the history, facts and lore behind dragons and unicorns, check out this fascinating episode of Smash Boom Best:
This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, iD Tech (idtech.com/brains), and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate. All supporters of the show will get a bonus mystery sound extravaganza episode this January!
How do pianos work?
Behind every piano’s polished exterior are thousands of parts. From keys to strings, they work together to produce a sound.
In this episode, we take a field trip to a piano shop, peek behind the walls at a world-famous piano factory and have an EPIC FIGHTING BATTLE to discover how sound travels. And the Moment of Um answers this question: “Can you really hear the ocean in a seashell?”
This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains), Quip (getquip.com/brainson) and the Good Kids podcast. You can support the show and get access to a bonus Mystery Sound extravaganza episode at brainson.org/donate
Flavor facts: Why food is so delicious
You might think flavor is what happens on your tongue – and it is. But it’s also so much more.
Flavor is influenced by all the senses. How food looks, smells and feels can make a difference. Even the sounds you hear while eating can impact how you perceive taste.
We’ll visit a tastebud beauty salon, talk with a chef researcher and do some experiments provided by our friends at America’s Test Kitchen Kids. Plus: a three-part Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: “What makes spicy food spicy?”
Note: If you want to do the experiments along with us, congratulations, you can! You’ll need jellybeans, a blindfold and two pieces of dark chocolate. Listen, eat and yum!
This episode is a collaboration with our friends at America’s Test Kitchen Kids! They’re sharing access to their “The Nose Knows” experiment with Brains On listeners!
This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Stitch Fix Kids (stitchfix.com/kids/brains), and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains).
What was the first life on earth?
What was the first lifeform like? What was the first fish or mammal? Is it even possible to know? In this episode, we look to the fossil record to help us trace our roots back to the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Paleontologist Neil Shubin joins us to talk about discovering a remarkably cool fossil that helped us understand how life evolved over billions of years. We also take a field trip to the Hall of Ancestors and examine a few branches on the tree of life. And we learn why figuring out how life began on earth could help us as we find life elsewhere in the universe.
This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains) and Quip (getquip.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
Ask-A-Scientist: Bird Bonanza!
In this special episode, we've asked two rock star ornithologists to answer a flock of listener questions about birds. Drew Lanham and Corina Newsome talk flying, feathers, eggs, poop and how we humans can help birds. Plus: we test their ears with the Mystery Sound and their obscure bird knowledge with a game called Real Birds or Just Words.
And many, many thanks to for providing the bird sounds you hear in this episode.
This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and iD Tech (idtech.com/brains). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate