The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week

The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week

www.popsci.com/weird
At Popular Science, we report and write dozens of science and tech stories every week. And while a lot of the fun facts we stumble across make it into our articles, there are lots of other weird facts that we just keep around the office. So we figured, why not share those with you? Welcome to The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/popular-science/support


Pooping Magic Rocks, How We Ruined Bison, Common Cold Lies
Oct 9 • 49 min
Arielle Duhaime-Ross, host of Reset from Vox, joins us this week as a guest host! The weirdest things we learned ranged from dunking chickens in ice baths to magical stones from porcupine bellies. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
Debunking Hymen Myths, Moving Corpses, Birth Control to Please the Pope
Oct 2 • 40 min
OB-GYN and author Jen Gunter joins us this week as a guest host! The weirdest things we learned range from the invention of the birth control pill to corpses that change position long after their time of death. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest…
10k Steps is a Lie, a Secret Poop Factory, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Mysterious Death
Sep 25 • 45 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from robots wiping your butt to a Cheeto-shaped bacteria killing Eleanor Roosevelt. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by…
Spiny Female Penises, Goth Girl Summer, Hardcore Flamingoes
Sep 13 • 46 min
This week, we’ve got another voice messages edition of Weirdest Thing! We listen and react to extra weird, listener-provided facts that range from how a volcanic eruption led to the invention of the bicycle to female bugs with spiky penises. It’s always…
Calling All Weirdos For A Very Important Announcement
Aug 21 • 3 min
We’re dropping in to tell you about a few special episodes coming up—and how you can participate! The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by Popular Science. Share your weirdest facts and stories with us in our Facebook group or tweet at us!…
Feminist Butter Art, The First Celebrity Athletes, The Secret Lives of Algae
Jul 31 • 50 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from butter sculptures’ feminist origins to the cutthroat world of competitive endurance walking. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is…
The Hungriest Boy, Eyeglasses for Cannibal Chickens, Champion Guppy Gulpers
Jul 24 • 47 min
In the second half of our live show on June 14th, the weirdest things we learned this week range from the hungriest boy who ever lived to swallowing live goldfish for sport. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest…
Victorian Sex Drugs, Milk in Your Veins, Radioactive Dishes
Jul 17 • 45 min
The weirdest things we learned range from injecting cow’s milk into a person’s veins (don’t worry, it’s fresh!), to a modern gay sex drug with Victorian origins. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I…
Nazis Eating [email protected]#!, The First Pregnancy Test, Permanently Swollen Feet
Jul 10 • 41 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a good reason to eat fresh, steamy camel poo to injecting rats with human urine and seeing what happens. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
Running Naked Through 24 Time Zones, Virgin Births, Corpse Compost
Jul 3 • 43 min
The weirdest things we learned range from South Pole streakers getting frostbitten nipples and weenies to pacemakers playing a role in exploding crematoriums. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
The Secret to Perfect Sleep, Naked Mole Rat Royalty, Baby Shark (do do do do do do) Puke
Jun 26 • 34 min
In the first half of our live show on June 14th, the weirdest things we learned range from the bloody path to becoming a naked mole rat queen to a tiger shark vomiting feathers onto the deck of a boat. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I…
Magical Pee, a Feline Telephone, an Infuriating Math Problem
Jun 19 • 43 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from reading pee bubbles to discern one’s future, to turning a living, breathing cat into a functional telephone. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I…
Labor-Inducing Salad, White Hair Overnight, Coyotes Vs. Cats
Jun 12 • 35 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a salad that makes pregnant people have their babies to hair going white overnight. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast…
Wendy Zukerman talks werewolf tomatoes, overdosing on placebos, and snapping necks
Jun 5 • 41 min
Wendy Zukerman from Gimlet’s Science Vs. joins Weirdest Thing this week. The weirdest things we learned range from a man falling unconscious after taking too many placebo pills, to why the tomato’s latin name means “wolf peach.” Whose story will be voted…
Bill Nye talks killer clowns, mermaids, pigeon poo, and deadly bicycles
May 29 • 52 min
Bill Nye joins Rachel, Claire, and Eleanor on the show this week. Facts range from how pigeon poop led to the verification of the big bang to why your brain ignores gorillas and killer clowns lurking right in front of you. Whose story will be voted “The…
A very weird guest host is coming to Weirdest Thing!
May 24 • 2 min
Something very weird is happening at Weirdest Thing… Some science guy is coming on to be a guest host! Check out this teaser to get the scoop. The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by Popular Science. Share your weirdest facts and stories…
Historical Sex Toys, Killer Trains, Charles Fricken Dickens
May 10 • 18 min
This week, we’ve got the first-ever voice messages episode of Weirdest Thing! We listen and react to extra weird, listener-provided facts that range from a dildo machine for nuns to a chicken named Mike who lived for 18 months without a head. It’s always…
Here’s your chance to be on Weirdest Thing!
May 2 • 1 min
Want to star in an episode of Weirdest Thing? Now’s your chance! We want to hear your weirdest science, tech, health and engineering facts so we can share the absolute weirdest of the bunch with the rest of our listeners. All you have to do is download…
Fetish Origins, the Big Oyster, the Most Luxurious Fruit
Apr 24 • 34 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from preferring to have sex on a carnival velcro wall to eating a banana in tin foil with a knife and fork. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
Animal Prostitution, Pavlovian Pee Responses, Painful Ginger Genes
Apr 17 • 32 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from monkeys selling sex to a physiological explanation of peeing involving bagpipes. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by…
Man-Eating Deer, History’s Top Counterfeiters, a 12-Foot-Tall Bird
Apr 10 • 37 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from an absolutely enormous bird from New Zealand to deer with a taste for human flesh. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast…
Falcon Sex Hats, #HumanBones, Sleepy Muscle Twitches
Apr 3 • 33 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a hat made for romancing falcons to a booming bone trade on Instagram. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by Popular…
Disney’s Military Tech, DIY Mummies, Forgotten Female Scientists
Mar 27 • 36 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from monks that who themselves into mummies to the tech transfer between the military and Disneyland. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week…
Asses on Trial, The Brown Dog Riots, An Apple a Day…
Mar 20 • 35 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from animals being put on trial to the origins of the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week…
Poodle Science, The Great Pigeon Race Disaster, Artificial Hips
Mar 13 • 31 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the science of the poodle haircuts to the most dangerous pigeon race in history. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by…
Astronaut Farts, Deadly Dancing Plagues, A Shocking Art Scam
Mar 6 • 28 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from NASA’s fears of fart-induced explosions to groups of people who died from dancing. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast…
Naked Founding Fathers, Jalapeño Thumb, Counting Vampires
Feb 27 • 36 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from founding fathers of the USA who liked being nude to a condition called Jalapeño Thumb (aka “Hot Pepper Hands”) and how to cure it. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The…
The Most Man-Eating Tiger, Historical Balloon Riots, Baseball’s Curses
Feb 20 • 28 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a tiger that ate more than 600 people over seven years to not one, not two, but three historical hot air balloon riots. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest…
Sideshow Babies, Strange Sneezes, Rust for the Rust God
Feb 13 • 32 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from premature babies displayed as a sideshow exhibit to people who sneeze after eating a big meal. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week…
Biting Cow Lips, Death by Molasses, Shopping for a New Finger
Feb 6 • 28 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a 30-foot-tall molasses wave to the man who invented “bulldogging” in rodeos. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by…
Ladies Dueling Topless, Eating Every Animal, Birth via Pseudopenis
Jan 30 • 31 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from stripping during duels to stay alive to a man who wanted to eat every animal (for science). Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? Get your tickets to our live show here! The…
The Sweetest Butts, Flaming Birds, The U.S. vs. 40 Barrels and 20 Kegs of Coca-Cola
Jan 23 • 32 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the sweetest smelling butts to birds that were used as candles. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by Popular Science.…
The Deadliest Surgery Ever, Severed Foot Epidemic, Toe-Touching Athletes
Jan 16 • 33 min
On season 2 premiere of Weirdest Thing, the weirdest things we learned this week range from dozens of severed feet that wash up in the Pacific Northwest to an operation on one person that killed three people. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing…
Torturous Treadmills, Champagne and Balls, History’s Calendars
Dec 25, 2018 • 32 min
On the this special New Year’s episode, the weirdest things we learned this week range from the origins of treadmills (your New Year’s resolution) to the origin of the sparkling wine and the New Year’s ball to the origin of the modern calendars. Whose…
The Weirdest Things We Learned in Season 1
Dec 5, 2018 • 34 min
We learned a lot of weird facts in season 1 of this show. Rachel and long-suffering producer Jason reflect on the first 25 episodes of The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week and go through the data to figure out the weirdest things we learned, what types…
Halloween Spooktacular 2018 (Season 1 Finale)
Oct 31, 2018 • 40 min
On the season 1 finale of “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week,” four of our original hosts jump behind the mic to share their spookiest facts, in honor of Halloween. The weirdest things we learned this week range from fetuses that turn to stone to a…
Glowing Civil War Wounds, Bubble Wrap’s Origins, Historic Font Disputes
Oct 24, 2018 • 28 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the origins of bubble wrap to Civil War soldiers whose wounds glowed in the dark. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast…
Taxidermy’s Dark Secret, Woman “Births” Rabbits, The Parthenon’s Optical Illusion
Oct 17, 2018 • 33 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a piece of taxidermy with a dark secret to a woman who claimed to give birth to rabbits. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a…
Vanishing Twins, The Poison Squad, Levitating Frogs
Oct 10, 2018 • 39 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from levitating a frog with electromagnets to the idea that absorbing a twin in utero gives you superpowers. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
The Economy of “Frozen,” Hopping Space Robots, Animals on Drugs
Oct 3, 2018 • 39 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the science and economics of the kingdom in the movie “Frozen” to the most (and least) wholesome scientific studies of animals on drugs. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This…
Illegal Cheese, The Worst Dairy Disaster, Holes in People (and Cows)
Sep 26, 2018 • 33 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the world’s worst dairy-related disaster to a Sardinian cheese that is illegal to sell. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a…
Two Facts and a Lie with PopSci Editor-in-Chief Joe Brown
Sep 19, 2018 • 5 min
The weirdest things we learned this week are weird things we’ve already learned! In this mini-episode, Popular Science editor-in-chief Joe Brown plays “Two Truths and a Lie” about past editions of Weirdest Thing. Play along with him and see how many you…
Sucked into a Bottle, the Ultimate Exercise Hack, the Statue of Liberty’s Big Secret
Sep 12, 2018 • 38 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from turning the Statue of Liberty into a battery to a man whose penis was sucked into a bottle with an explosion. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? Buy tickets to our live…
Fatal Insomnia, Astounding Poops, NYPD Bees
Sep 5, 2018 • 39 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a plan to bring George Washington back from the dead to a solar storm that powered telegraphs with no batteries. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? Buy tickets to our…
The Beauty of Corpses, Zombie George Washington, Solar-Powered Telegraphs
Aug 29, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a plan to bring George Washington back from the dead to a solar storm that powered telegraphs with no batteries. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? Buy tickets to our…
Organ Meats, Fitness and Sweating, The World’s Largest Dog Ban
Aug 22, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from what organs you can and can’t eat to the world’s largest dog ban. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? Come to our live show in NYC on Sept. 14!…
Laughing Gas Parties, Human Femur Flutes, Domesticating Zebras
Aug 15, 2018 • 39 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from flutes made from human femurs to trying to tame zebras. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by Popular Science. Share…
Skin-Peeling Soup, Chlorinating the Ocean, Secret Drug Toilets
Aug 8, 2018 • 37 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a soup that makes your skin peel off to secret drug-finding toilets in airports. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by…
Detachable Sex Organs, Human Skin Artwork, 17th Century Thought Experiment Solved
Aug 1, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from animals that detach their sex organs during or after sex to artwork you can hang in your home on a human skin canvas. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest…
Bears in Ejector Seats, Nobel Prize for Giving Patients Malaria, The Secret Origins of Beer Yeast
Jul 25, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the Air Force testing ejector seats with black bears to a doctor winning the Nobel Prize for infecting his patients with syphilis. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The…
Le Pétomane (The Fartiste), Tesla Loved a Pigeon, Meat Lozenges
Jul 18, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a flatulist who became the highest-paid performer in France to meat lozenges. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by…
Poisonous Wallpaper, Cruise Ship Poop, The Best Ultramarathon Runners
Jul 11, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from poisonous wallpaper that people voluntarily put in their homes to an exploration of what happens to poop on a cruise ship. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest…
Sex Magick, The Oldest Mac and Cheese, Contagious Writer’s Block
Jun 27, 2018 • 39 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from a NASA engineer who believed in sex magick to the world’s oldest recipe for macaroni and cheese. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week…
Corpses Doing Yoga, The Loneliest Island, Biblical Quail Rhabdo
Jun 20, 2018 • 39 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from rhabdo, a potentially fatal medical condition first mentioned in the bible, to the most remote inhabited island on Earth. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest…
Ketchup Consistency Standards, Implanting Memories, People Inside of Sperm
Jun 13, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the standards and grading of ketchup to the idea that people were fully-formed inside of sperm before being born. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I…
The First Underwater Video, Ballooning Over the North Pole, The Call of the Void
Jun 6, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from finding lost footage of the first-ever underwater video to a daring attempt to fly over the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The…
Medical Cannibalism, Hildegard of Bingen, Predicting the Weather
May 30, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from nuns, the origin of the cosmos, and the female orgasm to the number of calories in an average human man. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
The Best Dog, Carnivorous Mushrooms, Naming Groups of Animals
May 23, 2018 • 38 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the world’s best dog to mushrooms that eat animals. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week”? The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week is a podcast by Popular Science. Share your…
Smoke Enemas, Secret Acoustic Engineering, Volcano Traps Lighthouse
May 16, 2018 • 40 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from trying to revive dead (or unconscious) people by literally blowing smoke up their butts to the secret testing your favorite products go through to sound expensive. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest…
The First Celebrity Diet, Animals Adopting Animals, Believing You Are Dead
May 9, 2018 • 31 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from the world’s first celebrity dieter, Lord Byron, to Cotard Syndrome, a mental illness where a person believes they are already dead or do not exist. Whose story will be voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
Giant Sloths, Caged Babies, Spicy Horse Butts
May 2, 2018 • 38 min
The weirdest things we learned this week range from Thomas Jefferson and giant sloths to Eleanor Roosevelt and suspending babies above Park Avenue in NYC. Who will win our to-the-death* competition and have their story voted “The Weirdest Thing I Learned…
What is The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week?
Apr 27, 2018 • 1 min
Here at Popular Science, we write (and read) dozens of stories every week. And though many of the fun facts we stumble across during our research make into an article, something always hits the cutting room floor. But we still want to share that…