Exploring stories of science discovery. Tumble is a science podcast created to be enjoyed by the entire family. Hosted & produced by Lindsay Patterson (science journalist) & Marshall Escamilla (teacher). Visit www.tumblepodcast.com for more information and educational content.
How do cheetahs get their super speed? We talk to a cheetah scientist to find out why a spotted cat is the fastest animal on Earth. Cheetahs are literally built for speed! Anne Hilborn spent months scoping out cheetahs on the hunt in the grasslands of the Serengeti. We’ll discover how cheetahs’ incredible speed is linked to their survival - and what they do when being fast isn’t enough. **** On our special bonus interview episode - available to our Patreon & Castbox supporters - Anne shares...more
Is there a hard edge to the solar system? This question led to a big, breakthrough discovery that changed the way we picture the solar system - and every other solar system in the universe. The Kuiper Belt is a gigantic field of small, icy objects beyond Neptune, “planet scraps” left over from the formation of the planets. For many, many years, no one believed it might exist. Until astronomers Jane Luu and David Jewitt decided to see what was out there. Jane Luu tells the story of how she helped...more
Who would win in a competition, a hamster or bacteria? Place your bets, because we’re going to tell the story of this epic science showdown. Danielle Tullman-Ercek is a synthetic biologist trying to find a better way to make life-saving medicine. To do it, she’s engineering a bacteria cell to compete with a medicine-making hamster cell. Listen to find out what if Danielle and her bacteria have what it takes to win. What’s a hamster cell doing making medicine, anyway?! If you engineered your own...more
How do species get their scientific names? To find out, Lindsay and Marshall take a field trip behind the scenes at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. That’s where we meet Chris Mah, a sea star scientist who has discovered and named over 50 new species! (You might remember him from “The Surprising Story of Sea Stars’ Sticky Feet.”) Chris shows us next season’s hottest new sea stars, shows off his amazing toy collection, and shares the secrets behind his super naming super powers...more
Do you love fossils, adventure, and spending time in small spaces? If so, you could become an underground astronaut! Marina Elliot, Becca Peixotto, and Kenni Molopyane found this unusual job description through a Facebook ad, and landed deep inside a cave that few people can access. The team of archeologists talked to Tumble in the middle of excavating Homo Naledi, one of the biggest recent discoveries on the human family tree. Find out how they squeeze through a 7 inch gap on their daily commut...more
Join us for a journey through Tumble's favorite animal episodes! Swim with whale sharks in Mexico, climb mountains with pikas, travel back in time to discover our earliest primate relatives, and more. Download two hours of stories of animal science discovery, and you'll be all set to turn your road trip into an animal adventure. For a collection of episodes about astronomy, check out The Road Trip To Outer Space. We'll be back January 11 with brand new episodes. Have a great holiday!
We're going on an indoor expedition to discover the species in our own home! You’ll never look at the bugs in your house the same way again. Ecologist and author Rob Dunn is our guide to exploring what he calls, “the unknown we wake up in every morning.” We’ll find out how many species live in the average home (it’s more than you think!) and tell you how you can conduct your own scientific survey inside your house. It’s an activity that could help scientists discover indoor wildlife all around t...more
What’s it like to go inside the world’s largest bat colony? In this special bonus episode, we’re sharing part of our interview with Jessica Dreyer, modern day Bat Woman and biologist. (Remember her from “The Journey to the Bat Cave”?!) Find out why a cave just outside San Antonio, Texas is home to 15 million bats - the largest gathering of mammals anywhere on the planet! Want to get behind-the-scenes of our stories of science discovery? Join our Patreon campaign to get bonus interview episodes ...more
Today we’re presenting the first episode of Becoming Mother Nature, a show from our friends at Gen-Z Media. It’s recommended for listeners 9 and up. For the rest of our listeners, we’ll be back with a new Tumble episode next month! When Chloe is sent off to live with her mysterious and eccentric grandmother, she learns an unbelievable secret. Grandma Ivy is none other than Mother Nature herself! And Chloe is next in line to assume the power and responsibility of the job. Can a twelve-year-old l...more
Not a true crime story, but a true science story! Starring a murder of crows, a person in a creepy mask, and one very curious scientist named Kaeli Swift. We unravel the mystery of what appears like scene from a Halloween fright night, but is actually an experiment designed to reveal the reasons for some very weird crow behavior. Turns out, you can get a lot of strange looks on the road to science discovery. NOTE: This episode is about the scientific study of death in animals. No animals die in...more
It’s a scientific controversy of planetary proportions! Is Pluto a planet, or not? You decide, after we present two sides of an epic astronomy argument. Back in 2006, the International Astronomer’s Union voted on a definition of the word “planet” that excluded Pluto and other newly dubbed “dwarf planets” from planethood status. Astronomers - and everybody else - quickly chose sides. We dive deep into the debate and learn that Pluto’s not the only Space Object Formerly Known As A Planet. Then we’...more
A volcanologist imagines a world without volcanoes, and tells us how her recipe for homemade lava bombs might lead to discoveries about ancient volcanoes in outer space! It turns out that volcanoes do more for planets than create natural pyrotechnic displays. You’re guarenteed to be blown away by volcanologist Erika Rader’s EXTREME VOLCANO SCIENCE PROJECT. Spoiler alert: It involves a huge cauldron of molten rock, an aircannon, and a forklift. Tell Erika what YOU would do with a lava machine: E...more
Join us on a field trip to the biggest bat colony in the world! Bracken Cave is home to 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats. It’s the largest concentration of mammals on the planet, and it’s made up of only mothers and their babies. On our visit, we’ll meet a real-life Batwoman. Jessica Dreyer is a bat biologist who is studying how bats learn to be bats. Now… TO THE BAT CAVE! To see photos from our trip, as well videos of “bat rain” and the evening “batnado,” check out our blog at sciencepodcas...more
This summer, Tumble went live!! and we want to share the science magic with all our listeners. In this episode, you’ll hear our favorite parts of our Back-to-School Science Splash Jam from the Scottish Rite Theater in Austin, Texas. Get ready for a sea star song written by listeners, jellyfish trivia, and amazing science questions from fans. A super huge thanks and shoutout to everyone who came to our events! If you’re curious about Tumble live events, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our ...more
What if you could shrink your technology down to a size that’s 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair? It sounds like sci-fi, but it’s not. Romain Quidant shows us how he helped shrink an entire medical laboratory down to the size of a computer chip. The “lab on a chip” uses molecular mini-detectives to track down diseases hiding within a tiny drop of blood. We’ll find out how it works, and why a tiny particle could make a big difference for human health. To see a photo of Romain ...more
Meet 11-year-old Sarah Galvani-Townsend! She’s our first ever kid science expert. In many ways, Sarah is a regular kid who loves science. But she’s got an unusual hobby. Sarah tells us why studying dogs and rabies is one of her favorite extracurricular activities, and how she translates “science language” into “kid language.” To read Sarah’s paper and find out more about Science Journal for Kids, visit our blog at sciencepodcastforkids.org/blog. The original paper is called “One Health approac...more
It’s the tale of an epic science adventure. It’s the drama of the hunt for a dragon… a snapdragon! This isn’t the kind of dragon that breathes fire. It’s a flower! And biologists have been hunting for them every summer, in an ongoing quest to understand how species evolve and separate. We tag along with biologist Carina Baskett on her very first day of the snapdragon hunt, in the Pyrenees mountains of Spain. Join us as we get excited about “fieldwork” - one of the coolest (and most adventurous)...more
Joe Hanson is a scientist who hosts PBS Digital Studio’s It’s Okay to Be Smart and Hot Mess, a new YouTube show about climate change. He’s been a longtime friend of Tumble’s, so it was a no-brainer to ask him to help answer listener questions! Joe tells us why penguins can’t fly, how animals breathe underwater, what’s beyond the universe, and why our teeth get wobbly and fall out. Plus, find out what we think Tumble: Aquatic Edition would sound like! Watch some of our favorite of Joe’s videos ...more
Got a long trip coming up? Turn it into an adventure into outer space! Marshall’s headed out on an intergalactic journey. He’s lined up the best episodes on astronomy for your road trip! See what it’s like to spend a year on Mars, take a wild ride through the solar system, find out if it’s possible to ship Co2 off our planet, search for alien life, and investigate black holes with the world’s top black hole hunter. You’ll be there in no time when time is flying by at warp speed! When we get to ...more
**Recommended for listeners age 8 and up** This week, we’re presenting a new show from our friends at Gen Z Media! It’s called Young Ben Franklin, and it’s a mystery-adventure series about the 14 year old kid who went on to become one of America’s most famous founding fathers. If you enjoy this show, you can find more like it at bestrobotever.com. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts, so that you won’t miss an episode of Young Ben Franklin. The full series premiers on ...more
This week, we’re taking you to visit one of most powerful computers in the world! It’s called MareNostrum 4, and it’s housed in a former chapel in Barcelona, Spain. We’ll find out how scientists are using supercomputers to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. Researchers Eduard Porta and Claudia Rosas explain what it’s like to work with one of the fastest machines in the world. See photos from Lindsay’s visit to MareNostrum 4, and learn more about supercomputers on our blog. It’s the ...more
You’ve never heard of a summer camp like this before. It’s a science camp, but the campers ARE the science! Imagine playing volleyball with electrode helmets, going to bed attached to sleep machines, and having scientists study popsicles made of your spit (“spitsicles”). We talk to the scientist who started Sleep Camp, a study that’s been going on for over 30 years. Join us as we learn what Sleep Camp has taught us about why sleep is so important for kids and teens. Our question from JoJo is, “W...more
What would happen if our Moon suddenly disappeared? Would we still have tides? It turns out that the Moon has a much bigger influence on Earth than you might think. Without the Moon, life as we know it would not exist! Rocket scientist Miquel Sureda explains what happened before the Moon existed, and how we know that the Moon is slowly moving away from us. Plus, we have a special treat for you - we made up a story about the Moon’s disappearance with our friends from What If World! For more inf...more
For Earth Day, we’re discovering how the tiny, adorable pika is helping scientists study climate change! Temperatures in their mountain habitat are getting warmer, and rain and snow isn’t as predictable as it used to be. Scientists have discovered that the number of pikas in certain areas are shrinking – or even disappearing. But some populations are doing just fine. A scientist named Pika Jo wants to find out why. An unexpected disaster leads her to a surprising discovery. To find out more ab...more
What happens when a Brownie Troop goes to a weather balloon launch? One Brownie guesses that they’ll make contact with unicorns in the sky. Atmospheric scientist Gary Morris shows us what it takes to launch the biggest balloon you’ve ever seen to the very top of Earth’s atmosphere. Along the way, we’ll learn why weather balloons are the best way to find out about air pollution. And who knows? Maybe we’ll discover unicorns, too! This story came together when a Brownie troop leader emailed Tumble...more
This is #2 in a series on dinosaur coprolites, AKA fossilized feces! In the 1800’s, Mary Anning was known as the best fossil hunter in England. She made many great discoveries, including dinosaur poop. With help from our friend Kidosaurus and children’s science historian Melanie Keene, we dig into Mary Anning’s story and her place in the history of women in science. After you listen to this episode, check out our blog at sciencepodcastforkids.com/blog for books about Mary Anning and an amazing ...more
Call it fossil feces, dinosaur dung, or preserved poo. This is the first of a two part series on dinosaur poop! We kick it off with the modern-day science of coprolites. Paleontologist Karen Chin shares how she cracked the case of a mysterious coprolite, and discovered a different dinosaur diet. STAY TUNED for the next episode in the series, about a pioneering female paleontologist and a very unusual family of scientists, who discovered that funny looking rocks were actually ancient dung. Th...more
Return of the mailbag! The Tumble inbox is filling up with questions, and Marshall scrambles to answer them while Lindsay relaxes with a glass of lemonade. We find out why rainbows don’t fall down, why naked mole rats are naked, whether you can sneeze with your eyes open, why we have dreams, and how scientists studied tickling with a tickle robot. Want to learn more (and see what naked mole rats look like)? Visit our blog at sciencepodcastforkids.com/blog. We’re on Instagram now! Follow us at...more
“How do sea stars grip onto rocks?” That’s what listener Chloe wants to know. To find out, we take a trip to an aquarium to see sea stars’ tiny tube feet in action, and call up sea star expert Chris Mah. What we learn is a surprising story of how scientists made a big mistake when it came to studying to sea stars’ spectacular grip - and how they finally got it right. There’s some amazing science behind these starry creatures! What’s your favorite animal fact? Can you find out how scientists kno...more
“Do plants feel pain?” Jude’s question leads us to stunning discoveries about what plants feel, what they hear, and even what they talk about! Biologist Heidi Appel reveals how scientists learned about plants’ inner lives, and tells us the story of how she discovered “listening” plants. You’ll never look at plants the same way again. What can YOU observe about your houseplants? How do they react to changes in light, water, or other variables? Tell us -- and send in your science questions -- at...more
Meet Envirobot, a robotic eel who slithers along the surface of the water, seeking the source of water pollution. The future is here, and it's full of swimming robots! We meet members of the team behind Envirobot, Bezhad Bayat and Alessandro Crespi. They tell us what it takes to turn a swimming animal into a robot - the twists, the turns, the technology, and the math. If you could design a robot based on a swimming animal, what would it be and why? What would it do? We want to hear your ideas, ...more
"How are minerals made?" "What makes rocks sparkly?" Mary Lou and Tilly are curious about minerals, the chemical compounds that make up rocks! Get ready for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Field Museum in Chicago! Collections manager Jim Holstein opens cabinets containing some of the most exceptional minerals in the world. Find out how scientists have classified minerals for hundreds of years, and why some minerals glow in the dark. Do you have a rock collection? Or any kind of collection? How ...more
“Could we ship Earth’s extra carbon dioxide to Mars?” Our listener Ilan has come up with a brilliant plan to stop climate change in its tracks, and make Mars a place we can live - AT THE SAME TIME. Your intrepid Tumble hosts attempt to lift his idea off the ground, with help from Czech environmental scientist Kristina Zackuciova, and NASA astrophysicist Scott Guzewich. Join us, to find out how a scientific journey starts - and whether Ilan has discovered how to save two worlds with one simple pl...more
It's a mail bag episode! While Lindsay is away, Marshall is going through a bunch of listener questions and answering them as best he can. Do monkeys get ice cream headaches? Why is Play-doh so salty? Listen to find out the answer to this and more in this special episode of Tumble. If you want to submit a question for Marshall & Lindsay to answer, go visit our website at http://sciencepodcastforkids.com.
Why do people believe in ghosts? And can science ever prove that they don’t exist? We take a road trip with Dennis Waskul, a sociologist who traveled to graveyards and “haunted” houses to hear ghost stories, from the people who lived them. He wanted to find out why 50% of Americans believe in ghosts. What he discovered might spook you - in a good way! (Note: This episode is NOT scary.)
We often talk about how there are so many great kid podcasts out there to discover. Now, we're bringing those podcasts directly to you, in this sampler pack of a bonus episode! Find these podcasts and more at applepodcasts.com/kids You'll hear some of our favorite podcasts for kids. We really believe that listening to podcasts for kids with our son has brought something truly special into our lives, that we couldn't get with any other type of media. We've heard from listeners that Tumble has t...more
Children are the best language learners, says psycholinguist Evan Kidd. But how do children learn languages so easily, and why is learning another language so hard when you're an adult? It's something we've been wondering since we moved to Barcelona, Spain this summer. Evan Kidd shares his quest to put together the complex puzzle of how humans learn language. What he's discovered might change the way you think about your own native tongue. To join us on our adventures in Barcelona, plus get acc...more
Where does electricity come from? That's what listener Ati wants to know. Lindsay and Marshall get on the case of a massive blackout that plunged 50 million people into darkness Scientist and engineer Mike Legatt helps us solve the mystery. We made a cool electric grid scavenger hunt for this episode that you can download for free on our Patreon Page! Subscribe at the $5 level (or higher!) to find more great activities like this one. You can also listen to Tumble on the BRAND NEW Kids Listen A...more
Do solar systems move? That’s what Levan wants to know. NASA astronomer Stefanie Milam shares how technology has allowed humans to see the course our solar system has charted through space – and how a powerful new telescope will widen our view even more. Want to learn more, and see photos of the James Webb Space Telescope? Check out our blog at sciencepodcastforkids.com. Help us take Tumble to the next level (outer space?)! Support the podcast you love at on our Patreon campaign at patreon.com...more
How does our brain remember things? Neuroscientist Andre Fenton found that question has no easy answers. Andre has spent years experimenting with PKMZeta, a tiny molecule he believes is the key to forming memories. But what if he’s wrong? This is a personal story of the scientific process, and the bumps along the journey that lead to knowledge. Welcome back to Season 3 of Tumble! We're so excited to be back with all new episodes - from Barcelona, Spain! To kick it off right, we're doing a Patr...more
Tumble will be back with all new episodes this fall! Make sure you're subscribed to Tumble to get the first episode on September 8. This season, expect more great stories about science discovery, from around the world! Thanks to listeners Kinnari, Ash, Liesel, Caroline, and Rosemary for helping us record our message. Have a science question? Want to send us a drawing? Know of a scientist we should interview? Email us at email@example.com. To support the show, go to patreon.com/tumblepod...more
Everybody poops. But why? To find out, science writer Mary Roach takes us on a journey into the alimentary canal - that's the tube that runs from our mouth to our rectum. Along the way, we learn about pooping in space, and how someone else's poop might one day save your life! Have you been looking for an easy way to find more great podcasts for kids like Tumble? Or maybe you want a place for your kids to listen and discover podcasts on their own. We have great news for you! With Kids Listen, we’...more
Dinosaurs didn’t roar. What?! Paleontologist Julia Clarke has been uncovering clues to how dinosaurs sounded, in ancient bird fossils from Antarctica. She shares the story of her groundbreaking fossil find that revealed the surprising sounds of the dinosaur world! Come on an expedition to Antarctica and into Julia’s lab on her quest for discovery. Now is the time to send us your science questions! Record your name, age, and your question. Tell us what you think the answer is, and how scientists ...more
Are we alone in the universe, or are there other life forms out there? That's what Daniel, a listener from New Zealand, wants to know. Scientists have been searching for the answer with a surprising tool: radio. But this isn't any old radio. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, shares the story of how the search for intelligent life got started, and where it's headed. Are you a teacher or homeschooling parent? Tell us how you use Tumble! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We ...more
Brothers Ian, Sam, and Eli want to know, “How do vaccines keep our bodies healthy?” We meet two scientists, Omar Khan and Jasdave Chahal, who have teamed up to tackle the world’s most dangerous diseases with a new technique for developing vaccines. They tell the story of how they came together in a quest to battle biological “ninjas” that want to invade our bodies and make us sick. Are you a teacher or homeschooling parent? Tell us how you use Tumble! Email us at email@example.com. We love...more
Who is the oldest primate, and is it our great-great-great grandfather? Listener Elena's question takes us into a laboratory chock full of fossils, and brings us back to the impact that killed most of the dinosaurs. Anthropologist Chris Kirk introduces us to our very ancient - and very tiny - ancestors. Visit our blog at tumblepodcast.com to see photos of Rooneyia and Mahgarita, as well as a tour of the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab! We have resources to get started with your own fossil hunt. If y...more
Wonder why a cat always lands on its feet? It's a question that stumped scientists for over a hundred years. Some suspected that mischievous cats were breaking the laws of physics! Was it the catnip? Or was it a mystery of physics? Physicist Greg Gbur helps us break the case... with the first ever cat video. Check out the original flipping cat photos and film, as well as a video of cats weightless in zero gravity (!!) on our blog at sciencepodcastforkids.com. You'll also find visual explanations...more
Imagine this: You’re in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico with a big fish on the line. But suddenly, you’re surrounded by whale sharks, the biggest fish in the world. What do you do?! If you’re a scientist, you get curious. Marine biologist Rafael de la Parra tells us how and why he got a headcount of the biggest whale shark party ever seen. We adopted a whale shark! Send your suggestions for MXA-130’s new name to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our blog to see photos of her, find out about he...more
What would you bring on a trip to Mars? That’s a question Sheyna Gifford had to ask herself when she packed to live on Mars for a year. Wait, what?! We find out about a NASA experiment on top of a volcano that’s getting astronauts prepared for a real-life mission to Mars. Learn how to apply for a trip to Mars - in sim or in space - on our blog at tumblepodcast.com This month, we are asking listeners to recommend podcasts to friends who have not yet discovered them! For #trypod, check out kidslis...more
The People of the Snow with Kelly Elder Why does it snow, where does it snow, and why are snowflakes not the same size or shape? We jump into a pile of snow questions, and find a very different kind of science in the snowy Arctic. Kelly Elder, a snow hydrologist, tells the story of how scientists work with the Inuit people to understand how snow is changing in a warming world. More information about this episode on our blog at tumblepodcast.com For an ad-free version of the podcast, educational ...more
Something is living in your showerhead. Scientists need your help to figure out what it is, and why it’s there. Biologist Noah Fierer is enlisting people around the country to search out the tiny, microscopic life in showers. Find out what happens when Lindsay and Marshall sign up as citizen scientists, and turn their bathroom into a lab. To find out more about the Showerhead Microbiome Project, visit http://robdunnlab.com/projects/showerheads For more citizen science projects you can participat...more
We dive into the gross side of science with Anna Rothschild, host of the PBS/NOVA series Gross Science! Anna tells us how a robot named Vomiting Larry helped scientists discover how to stop the spread of a potentially deadly sickness. Plus, fourth graders tell us what they think is gross, and we learn why talking about poop can be important for your health. What do YOU think is gross? What does Vomiting Larry look like? Send your questions and drawings to email@example.com, or use our cont...more
What is the Earth made of? That’s the question at the core (pun intended!) of this episode. Geologist Ta-Shana Taylor shares the fascinating story behind a decades-long quest to drill into the Earth. You’ll be wanting to “Get Down to the Moho” after listening! Thanks to listeners Brody and Liam for sending in their questions. This is our first episode of Tumble, Season 2! We’ve got much more in store, including educational resources! Check out our blog at tumblepodcast.com and Patreon at patreon...more
It's almost here! We've got brand new episodes of Tumble starting January 13. Here's a quick sample of what's to come. Subscribe now on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Have an Android? Try our partner Wondery's new app on Google Play!
Our friends Andrew & Polly from the podcast Ear Snacks introduce their favorite Tumble episode. Listener Ilya asks if there's a way to remove all the trash from the ocean. Scientist Jenni Brandon helps us investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a vast, swirling soup of trash, twice the size of Texas. Stay tuned to the end of the episode to hear how listeners suggested solving this huge environmental problem. Tumble t-shirts are now available in kid's, men's, and women's sizes. Get your...more
In this special bonus episode, some of our favorite guest scientists answer listener questions! It’s like a Tumble reunion! Learn about the bugs you can find near your home, how ants let each other know about food finds, and if bats fly at night so they can eat more bugs. Thanks to Paloma, Liesel, and Bella for your questions! We still have a few “encore shows” left to play while we get ready for the new season. You might have noticed we’ve had listeners introduce their favorite shows. Next week...more
Invisibility cloaks: Not just for wizards? Listener Quinn introduces his favorite Tumble episode, where we explore the very real science behind invisibility! Tumble t-shirts are now available in kid's, men's, and women's sizes. Get yours at sciencepodcastforkids.com/shop! Is Tumble a part of your daily routine? Show your love by pledging to our Patreon at patreon.com/tumblepodcast. Lastly, we could use your help with an audience survey for our partner, Wondery! Go to wondery.com/survey and answe...more
Our listener Griffin picked an exciting tale of outer space for this week's episode! Astronomer Joel Green explains how scientists discover and photograph planets outside our solar system. Have a few spare minutes? Fill out our listener survey at wondery.com/survey. Ask us a question, listen to more episodes, and donate at tumblepodcast.com. Subscribe to Tumble Science Podcast for Kids and review on iTunes. Follow on Facebook and Twitter. Join our Patreon at patreon.com/tumblepodcast. Thanks for...more
What makes dogs loyal? This question comes from Amalia, a sixth grade student. We ask two different dog scientists, and their answers will surprise you. We learn about an experiment that tests dogs’ loyalty - or does it? Get ready to get inside the head of a dog! We want to hear about your dogs! Ask us a question, listen to more episodes, and donate at tumblepodcast.com. Subscribe to Tumble Science Podcast for Kids and review on iTunes. Follow on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for listening!
Why do people get scared and how? We ask Dr. Margee Kerr, a scientist who studies the science of fear. She once set up a basement lab in a Halloween haunted house to understand why people sign up to get scared. She found out that going to a house of horror is actually a lot like doing yoga! Find out why, and how to scare a scientist. Correction: On this episode, we referred to the woman in Sebastin's recording as his mom. She is his step-mom. Ask us a question, listen to more episodes, and donat...more
A fan favorite episode, now with new black hole discoveries! We answer our first listener question, how do black holes work? We talk to Dr. Karl Gebhardt, who has helped discover over half of the black holes that astronomers have ever found. Light cannot escape from a black hole, which means that they are impossible to see. We find out the secret to finding black holes, and how what happens inside might explain mysteries of gravity. Astronomy adventures are ahead in this episode! Music in this e...more
Send us your interviews with scientists, and they might end up on our show! In this special bonus episode, we'll teach you how to interview a scientist. It's easier than you might think, and it's super fun. You might learn something that changes your life, or at least your outlook on science! Plus, our listener Vida finds out for us if you can send a robot into a black hole. Check out our blog on www.tumblepodcast.com for step-by-step instructions on how to interview a scientist, with expanded t...more
Sarah Richardson, a biologist, dreams of being of a farmer. Instead of tending to barns full of cows making milk, she'll have petri dishes full of bacteria. We're taking a break until 2017 to create more stories of science discovery. But we're not going away! Far from it. We'll be hard at work dreaming and making new awesome stuff for you. Stay in touch with us by Facebook, Twitter, and tumblepodcast.com, where you can send us questions, comments, drawings, and videos! This is a great time to s...more
Where is the deepest part of the ocean, and have we been there in person? Ocean explorer Gaelin Rosenwaks answers with an amazing story of the first explorers to dive to a mysterious place called Challenger Deep. It's filled with awesome adventure, incredible risk, and awe-inspiring reward. This is a journey that changed the way we understand the ocean. We're working on a bunch of exciting new stuff for you this week, so we are re-playing one of our favorite episodes. Love Tumble? Subscribe on ...more
Why do batteries - even rechargeable ones - die? What if there was a battery that lasted forever? Mya Le Thai, a young scientist, was sick of recharging her phone. So she set out make make a longer lasting battery. What she created was better than she had ever thought possible - a battery that won’t die. It lasts 100 times longer than the typical phone battery. Find out what goes on inside a battery, and how Mya came to her eureka moment. Tell us what you would do with a battery that lasts forev...more
Why are there so many different species of ants? That’s what entomologist Corrie Moreau wants to know. There are more species of ants than there are species of mammals and birds - combined! Her quest starts in the jungle and ends in a lab, where she unravels the story of ants conquering the earth. Plus, listeners tell us what THEY know about ants! Take Corrie’s advice: Get outside and play with bugs! Then tell us about it. What did you see and observe? Take photos and make drawings. Email them t...more
Are cats evil, or just misunderstood? That's what our friends at Brains On debate for a panel of kid judges. Find out what they decide in this special guest episode! Plus, Lindsay and Marshall weigh in on their conclusions. What do you want to know about cats? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter pages, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support Tumble on Patreon, and you can have your name read on the show (and get more great stuff!) Pledge at patreon.com/tumblepodcast. Subscribe on iTu...more
Why do fireflies flash their lights on and off, on and off? That’s what four curious kids want to know. Biologist Sara Lewis has studied fireflies for decades, and she’s cracked the code of their spectacular light displays. She explains why fireflies light up at night with a story of an undercover experiment. Sara tells us how she “spoke firefly” and learned that female fireflies are surprisingly hard to please. To learn more about fireflies, see Sara’s website and book at www.silentsparks.com. ...more
We have a short and sweet summer episode for you! Charles Darwin is known as the father of evolution, but he got his start as a naturalist as a young man. He took an ambitious five year journey around the year, studying thousands of species of plants and animals. Many years after his return to England, he wrote The Origin of Species, one of the most famous and influential scientific books ever written. Áki Jarl Láruson tells the story, at a meeting of evolutionary biologists in Austin, Texas. ...more
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vast, swirling soup of trash, twice the size of Texas. Can we ever clean it up? That’s what 8 year old Ila wants to know. She lives in Hawaii and likes to pick up trash whenever she goes to the beach. She lives closer to the garbage patch than most of us. We talk to Jenni Brandon, a researcher who has been to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a place where few people will visit, but where we all have an impact. She tells us how surreal it is to sail through t...more
What are invisibility cloaks made of, and when can we buy them in gift shops? That's right, invisibility cloaks are not just for wizards anymore. We get into the very real science of invisibility with Dr. Andrea Alu. Dr. Alu is one of the leading scientists working on "cloaking." We learn how scientists are playing with the laws of physics and optics to turn fantasy into scientific reality. Have a question for Tumble? Send us a recording with your name, age, question, what you think the answer ...more
Where is the deepest part of the ocean, and have we been there in person? Ocean explorer Gaelin Rosenwaks answers with an amazing story of the first explorers to dive to a mysterious place called Challenger Deep. It's filled with awesome adventure, incredible risk, and awe-inspiring reward. This is a journey that changed the way we understand the ocean. Love Tumble? Leave us a review on iTunes! Want to be on the show? Send us a question! Record yourself asking the question, and tell us what you ...more
How do black holes work? And how do we learn about them, if they're impossible to see? We talk to Dr. Karl Gebhardt, who has helped discover over half of the black holes that astronomers have ever found. Light cannot escape from a black hole, which means that they are impossible to see. We find out the secret to finding black holes, and how what happens inside might explain mysteries of gravity. Astronomy adventures are ahead in this episode! Music in this episode is by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo...more
What happens to your brain when you get a concussion? It's common to get hit in the head when you play rough or risky sports. Everyone knows a concussion makes you woozy for a while. But the impacts of repeated concussions can last much longer. Learn how American football players have helped scientists unravel a mystery that could change the way that sports are played. With Dr. Kiki Sanford, host of the wonderful podcast This Week in Science. We want to see your ideas about how to keep your brai...more
We take you inside the famed Explorers Club in New York City, where we meet a real explorer! Richard Garriott de Cayeux has been around the world and into space on scientific expeditions. He shares the stories of famous explorers and his own family expeditions – beginning with his astronaut dad. Plus, he explains on how to find a real meteorite near your house! If you want to see some of the amazing collections of Explorer’s Club history, watch video tours on our blog at http://www.tumblepodcast...more
Does the universe go on forever? Or does it have an edge? Jack and Kate have a few ideas about how to find out, involving a GoPro and a rocket. We ask astrophysicist Katie Mack if the universe is infinite and if a robot explorer will ever send us a selfie from the very edge of its expansion. Her answer will boggle your mind. Visit tumblepodcast.com to learn more! Subscribe on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tumble-podcast/id984771479, and leave us a review. Music by Marshall Es...more
What makes dogs loyal? This question comes from Amalia, a sixth grade student. We ask two different dog scientists, and their answers will surprise you. We learn about an experiment that tests dogs’ loyalty - or does it? Get ready to get inside the head of a dog! We want to hear about your dogs! Email us at email@example.com, visit us at tumblepodcast.com, and like us on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Mia Cobb.
Why do bats hang upside down? That's what fifth graders living in the Bat Capital of the World - Austin, Texas - want to know. We visit Micaela Jemison at the world headquarters of Bat Conservation International to figure out why bats have such weird sleep habits. Plus, why would bats walk on treadmills? They're mysterious creatures. This is the first in a series of shows featuring kids' questions. We want to hear what you think! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Facebook, and t...more
Sarah Richardson, a biologist, dreams of being of a farmer. Instead of tending to barns full of cows making milk, she'll have petri dishes full of bacteria. They'll be making a brand new kind of fuel that could replace gas we put in our cars. But just like the first human to milk a cow, Sarah has a difficult job to do. In this episode, she explains how she's trying to convince bacteria to make the things we need - but will they listen? Learn more about Sarah's story at www.tumblepodcast.com, and...more
What would the world be like if there were no parasites? You might actually miss those mind-controlling blood suckers. Science writer Carl Zimmer tells us how scientists are discovering the hidden importance of parasites' dirty work.
[Now, with new information on decoy spider research!] One dark night in the Amazon, three guys stumble face first into a new discovery - and capture it all on video. Joe Hanson, from It's Okay to Be Smart, tells the story. Music in this episode by Broke for Free.
No one knows what dark energy is or why it exists. So how did astronomers discover the mysterious force that's pulling the universe apart? Astronomer Jeff Silverman explains one of the universe's biggest mysteries. Learn more at www.tumblepodcast.com! Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review. Music by Noveller and YACHT, courtesy of the Free Music Archive.
Emily Graslie, host of the YouTube science show The Brain Scoop, explains how an encounter with a dead mouse at a natural history museum steered her toward one of the most important discoveries of her life. (This episode contains references to preserving dead animals.) Music in this episode is by Podington Bear. Brain Scoop clips used with permission
Dinosaurs never went extinct. They're living in our backyards. How did scientists discover that birds are secretly dinosaurs? Science writer Brian Switek tells us how some suspicious fuzz on a farmer's fossil find cracked open the biggest case in dinosaur paleontology. Music in this episode by Podington Bear, Noveller, and Johnny the Ripper, courtesy of the Free Music Archive.
A mystery that began with an unusual star spotted in the year 1054 took almost a thousand years to solve. In this episode, supernova expert Jeffrey Silverman explains how astronomers cracked the case and discovered what happened in the ancient night sky. Hint: It involves a massive explosion. Music by Podington Bear and Broke For Free.
When a tiny beetle starts destroying farmers' fields in Australia, scientists decide to bring in a giant toad to bite back. But they never predicted what would happen next. In this episode, science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum tells a story of science gone wild. Music in this episode is by Podington Bear.
What does the moment of discovery sound like? In this episode, Joe Hanson of It's Okay to Be Smart shares the story of a fellow YouTuber who stumbles upon an incredible new species while filming in the Peruvian rainforest. Music in this episode is by Broke For Free. Video still is from from Smarter Every Day.
Science fiction is full of adventures to distant planets outside our solar system. But it wasn't until 20 years ago that astronomers were able to confirm that they exist. Dr. Joel Green explains how astronomers discover and photograph planets in galaxies far, far away. Music in this episode is by Podington Bear.
One man's very, very unfortunate accident made him one of the most famous patients of all time. Dr. Rachel Berman shares the story of how this man helped scientists figure out what the brain does. Music in this episode is by Podington Bear. Photo of Phineas Gage from the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.
Dr. Hayley Gillespie, an ecologist, tells us how she cracked the case of the Barton Springs Salamander's mysterious meals. Music by YACHT, courtesy of the Free Music Archive and Creative Commons. Photo courtesy of Dr. Hayley Gillespie.