What does space smell like? Which country features the unicorn as its national animal? And what color were the very first oranges? (Here’s a hint, they actually weren’t orange-colored). Well, if you’re a fan of weird science-based information, then you probably know all of these answers already! But not all of us majored in “Fun Facts Academy,” so today, we’re whipping up a fresh batch of podcast potpourri that will highlight the best under-the-radar podcasts, hosts, episodes, and facts that will make you question everything about life. So whether science is your jam or you’re eager to learn about some cool stuff to impress your friends, keep scrolling down for a fun brain-power boost!
#1 The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week
Life is full of adventures and plenty of weird things to talk about, and in The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week, you’ll get to learn about some crazy science facts! From exotic poop to face blindness, this podcast will make you feel smarter while uttering the words, “This can’t get any weirder.” (Oh, it does).
The Hosts: This podcast is hosted by Claire Maldarelli, Sara Chodosh, and Rachel Feltman, who are all quirky, charming, and enthusiastic about their “weird” finds for the week. Rachel tends to lead the episodes with an authoritative tone of voice, but Sara and Claire also chime in with their chipper attitudes.
The Guests: Past guests have included Jen Gunter (author and OB-GYN) and Arielle Duhaime-Ross (the Reset host), among several others.
Why You Have to Listen: Googling “fun facts about XYZ” can only get you so far, but don’t worry, this podcast has lots of cool tidbits that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, who was the first moron? And what’s up with penises on some female bugs? If you’re eager for the answers, then you’ll enjoy each episode’s descent into total weirdness.
Listen to The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week
#2 60-Second Science
Most podcasts hover between 30-60 minutes in length. That’s great for some people, but others just want a podcast that gives them some cool information quickly and efficiently. So if you fall into this category, then 60-Second Science might be your new BFF. Each episode is roughly 2-minutes in length (fair warning: its longest one is an excruciating 3-minutes in length) and discusses all kinds of cool science facts.
The Hosts: The hosts on this podcast vary depending on which episode you’re listening to. Some recurring names include Susanne Bard, Steve Mirsky, Adam Levy, and Jason G. Goldman.
The Guests: There are no guests on the 60-Second Science podcast.
Why You Have to Listen: 60-Second Science has a little bit for everyone. From new information regarding the coronavirus to fossils from centuries ago, you’re bound to learn some cool stuff about animals, food, climate change, and computers.
Listen to 60-Second Science
Rating: All Ages
#3 Good Job, Brain!
If you think Jeopardy! is easy, then you’re going to have a blast with Good Job, Brain! This podcast has the feel of a game show, but without the timers, intimidating contestants, and prize money (aw, darn). They cover all kinds of topics, and both veterans and beginners of classic trivia board games are sure to learn something new with every episode.
The Hosts: Say a quick hello to Karen, Dana, Colin, and Chris as they ask each other (and you!) random trivia questions about slogans, people, food, and so much more. Though they tend to talk over each other sometimes, they’re always full of energy, smiles, and laughter.
The Guests: There are no guests on the Good Job, Brain! podcast.
Why You Have to Listen: How quickly can you solve a sea riddle? What’s the dark mystery surrounding the classic tug of war game? Well, whether you’re into video games, history, science, or fashion, this podcast has a whole lot of trivia questions, answers, and explanations for brainiacs alike.
Listen to Good Job, Brain!
#4 Curiosity Daily
Feeling a bit curious lately? If so, then take a seat and open your ears and mind to this educational podcast. Curiosity Daily prides itself on presenting information in the science, tech, psychology, and lifestyle realms, and with the charm and charisma of Ashley Hamer and Cody Gough, viewers may walk away feeling energized and knowledgeable like a scientist. The podcast also includes some pretty neat historical data, as well as life hacks and how certain types of electronics work.
The Hosts: Hamer has written for notable publications like Buzzfeed, USA Today, and TIME, and has an interest in various subjects, including marathon running, saxophones, and astronomy. Gough has spent over 10 years working on Chicago’s 720 WGN Radio and loves theater and history.
The Guests: Guests on this podcast include mathematician Matt Parker, Sig Hansen and Keith Colburn from Deadliest Catch, and Dr. Julia Schaletzky.
Why You Have to Listen: They say that laughter is the best medicine, but why? And how does beauty sleep actually make you more beautiful? Oh, and what’s the deal with binaural beats? Gough and Hamer seek the answers to these questions in Curiosity Daily, where science is presented in an easy-to-follow and enthusiastic manner.
Listen to Curiosity Daily
Rating: All Ages
#5 Chemistry For Your Life
Chemistry is all around us, and more often than not, we don’t really think about what’s in the foods we eat or the tools we use. Fortunately, Melissa and Jam are here to debunk some fun science myths in Chemistry For Your Life, such as why odors smell awful, why curly hair is curly, and if cold (as in, the temperature) really exists. It’s fun for those who have a knack for science subjects, as well as people who are fascinated with how the world works.
The Hosts: Chemistry For Your Life is hosted by Jam Robinson and Melissa Collini. Jam Robinson is a freelance media marketing specialist who has worked with many companies to build their brand. He also specializes in photography and has an immense love for coffee. Melissa Collini received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the science field.
The Guests: There aren’t many guests on this podcast, but one of the more recent ones is Renee Collini, who just so happens to be Melissa’s sister.
Why You Have to Listen: Don’t worry, you don’t need a Ph.D. in organic chemistry to listen to Chemistry For Your Life, because Melissa and Jam break concepts down in the easiest way possible. From helium changing your voice to hand warmers generating heat, this podcast offers a little bit of something for everyone.
Listen to Chemistry For Your Life
Rating: All Ages
#6 How I Built This
Well-known companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon rake in millions of dollars each year, but how did they all get started? Well, that’s the whole point of How I Built This, a podcast that takes you behind-the-scenes of some of these types of companies. Maybe you love to fly like David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways, or you believe that ice cream is the very best dessert, like Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (they’re the creators of the iconic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream). Whatever your mentality is in life, there’s an entrepreneur out there who thinks just like you.
The Host: Guy Raz is a radio host and a journalist who has helped to create and manage several productions, including Wow in the World, Wisdom from the Top, and TED Radio Hour. He currently teaches journalism at the prestigious Princeton University and has received several awards for his achievements in journalism (some of these include the National Association of Black Journalists Award and the Edward R. Murrow award).
The Guests: Raz has talked with numerous company founders and entrepreneurs to gain more insight into how the inner workings of a brand operate. Some of the more notable guests were Stacy Madison (who helped to build the Stacy’s Pita Chips brand), Katia Beauchamp (one of the founders of Birchbox), and Susan Griffin-Black (an EO Products founder).
Why You Have to Listen: Some of us want to start a company, while others want to steal some “ways to be successful” secrets. Whatever you need to feel fulfilled in life, How I Built This has you covered with exclusive interviews, as well as life advice on overcoming failures, building a brand, and so much more.
Listen to How I Built This
Rating: All Ages
#7 Song Exploder
You might be wondering why a music-based podcast is on this list, but we’ve saved the best for last for a very good reason: these musical facts about bands, songs, and their history is difficult (if not, impossible) to find anywhere else. So here’s a question for you: What’s the story behind Nine Inch Nails’ music? And what inspired Justin Hurwitz to compose that iconic “Audition” song for the beloved movie La La Land? Well, you’ll find all the answers on Song Exploder, where Hrishikesh Hirway sits down with singers and songwriters to talk about their music, and what they all really mean. Ranging from popular to old-school artists, Hirway doesn’t shy away from great music, even if some of these artists haven’t reached that “well-known” status yet.
The Host: Hirway has made some great strides in the music and podcasting world thus far. He received an art degree from Yale University, and went on to make music in his band, The One AM Radio. His music has also been featured on hit TV shows, movies, and commercials, some of which include One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl.
The Guests: Each episode features a new music artist or band that discusses the meaning behind some of their most iconic songs. Past guests have included Slipknot, Fleetwood Mac, Wolf Alice, and Black Panther.
Why You Have to Listen: Meeting the members of Metallica or U2 is a pretty rare opportunity, but with Song Exploder, fans will have the chance to hear them talk about their hit songs, and the many emotions behind them. Sometimes it’s heart-breaking, while other times, it’s funny and silly, but overall, it’s perfect for those who simply love music.
Listen to Song Exploder
Gone are the days where you had to crack open some kind of “101 Fun Facts” book to get through a road trip, a boat ride, or a plane ride. Nowadays, we have the magic of podcasts right at our fingertips to entertain us about history, pop culture, science, fashion, and weird information that you didn’t learn about in school. And with our exciting podcast potpourri mix, you’re sure to find an entertaining host that will teach you about space, climate change, and everything else in between.
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