SciShow Tangents

SciShow Tangents

www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/scishow-tangents
Introducing the lightly competitive knowledge showcase from the geniuses behind the YouTube series SciShow. Every Tuesday, join Hank Green, Ceri Riley, Stefan Chin, and Sam Schulz as they try to one-up and amaze each other with weird and funny scientific


81 - Healing
May 26 • 33 min
Are you suffering from mild boredom, a grumpy frown, and a general lack of extremely niche scientific knowledge? Well, SciShow Tangents has the cure for what ails you! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming…
80 - Games
May 19 • 32 min
Kicking the ball, passing another type of ball, running around the big arena and making a point! SciShow Tangents knows one thing and that one thing is SPORTS! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and…
79 - Hair
May 12 • 30 min
Mammals pretty much have the market cornered on hair, and you know all the other types of animals are jealous of us. Imagine a little lizard with bangs or something? It just wouldn’t be right. Sorry! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll…
78 - Salt
May 5 • 31 min
Salt: a mineral so nice that much of early human civilization was based on its procurement! Now we put big chunks of it on tasty pretzels at the mall! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and you can…
77 - Holes
Apr 28 • 33 min
Humans have been digging deep holes for fun and profit since time began, and some animals have been doing it for way longer than that! And all of those holes can’t hold a candle to some of the natural holes the Earth’s got going on. And those are nothing…
76 - Trees
Apr 21 • 30 min
This Arbor Day, give your favorite tree the gift they really want: this tree-themed episode of SciShow Tangents. Just put the headphones around its trunk or in a knothole! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming…
75 - Robots
Apr 14 • 31 min
Real robots have more and more in common with science fiction robots every day. Not enough that you need to worry about them rising up against humans, but you should maybe consider being nicer to your smartphone… Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents,…
74 - Rivers
Apr 7 • 32 min
It’s Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the rivers swell with crystal clear snowmelt from tall mountain peaks… and we’re all stuck inside and can’t really look at it! Dang it! So I guess close your eyes and imagine floating down a beautiful river…
73 - Ducks
Mar 31 • 36 min
Ducks! Basically a joke of an animal, if we’re being perfectly honest. They make silly noises, they waddle around, they are extremely cute and goofy looking, and they love to swim around in big piles of money! And look, you might see the title and think…
72 - Museums
Mar 24 • 34 min
Hey gang, here’s another episode recorded before social distancing set in. We hope all of our listeners out there continue to stay safe and be well, and again, we are honored that you choose to spend some of this time with us. Thank you and enjoy the…
71 - Experiments in Space
Mar 17 • 35 min
Hey everyone, things are a little different now than they were a couple weeks ago when we recorded this one. COVID-19 is impacting us all, and we just want to say that we hope you and yours are well. Thank you for choosing to spend your time with us every…
70 - Sugar
Mar 10 • 35 min
SciShow Tangents editorial assistant/genius Deboki Chakravarti joins us once more to talk about that sweet sand we all love so much: sugar! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and you can ask the…
69 - Viruses
Mar 3 • 33 min
Viruses are the subject of confusion & misinformation. Luckily, we have a friend who knows a lot about them! We sit down with microbiology genius Deboki Chakravarti to talk viruses. Be sure to check out more of Deboki’s work on Journey to the Microcosmos,…
68 - Oceans
Feb 25 • 31 min
Oceans: they cover 70% of the planet, but what do we really know about them? Like what’s with all the salt, huh? And just what is the difference between a ‘sea’ and an ocean anyway?! I have questions! This one has a real doozy of a Stefan poem. I cut out…
67 - Subatomic
Feb 18 • 34 min
Things get a little weird this episode, and by ‘little’ I mean very little! One thing I learned in this episode is that everything in the universe is touching each other, yet the particles in your body never truly touch! Mama Mia! Well anyway, I hope you…
66 - Hearts
Feb 11 • 33 min
This Valentine’s Day, what could be better than cuddling up with someone special and listening to the Tangents Crew talk about various medical procedures in gory detail! Pucker up! They say the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I…
65 - Meat
Feb 4 • 32 min
Meat… seems pretty simple on the surface, but what do we really know about it? Like.. are living things made of meat? Or is meat only meat once it’s being eaten? What was the first meat? What was the first thing to eat the first meat? Is eating…
64 - Music
Jan 28 • 31 min
So look, Stefan sings a song in this episode, so I’m not sure what more you need. He looked cool as heck when he was doing it and I was really proud of him! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and you…
63 - Running
Jan 21 • 30 min
From diet, to shoes, to movement efficiency, people devote their lives to researching and perfecting the art of running. Meanwhile, cheetahs run 75 mph and they sleep all day. No fair! Ceri caught a plane to run a marathon right after we recorded this! I…
62 - Magnets
Jan 14 • 31 min
Wise men have long pondered how magnets work. We all know the answer is “magic,” but Ceri and Hank have to keep up the illusion that science is real, so please humor them. Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming…
61 - Money
Jan 7 • 32 min
Listening to Tangents is like making an investment with your brain. And the dividend? Knowledge. Invest today, won’t you? Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and you can ask the science couch…
60 - Light
Dec 31, 2019 • 31 min
SciShow Tangents’ exploration of the electromagnetic spectrum continues with good old, dependable light! What is it? Where does it come from? Only Ceri knows (sort of)! Also, happy New Year to all of our amazing listeners! Thank you for your support over…
59 - Radio
Dec 24, 2019 • 35 min
Humans have wielded the power of radio waves for more than a century, but what exactly are they and how do we use them to transmit information? It turns out, even geniuses like Hank and Ceri have a hard time explaining that! Follow us on Twitter…
58 - Festive Ecology
Dec 17, 2019 • 33 min
Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Let it Snow; the timeless sounds of the holiday. And to that pantheon of greats is added another track: this 30-minute-long, spoken-word science podcast!
57 - Ceramics
Dec 10, 2019 • 32 min
From ancient clay pots to the heat-proof panels on the space shuttle, ceramics have been an integral part of human technology from the very beginning. I can’t even think of any jokes about ceramic! It’s just cool! More importantly! Over the last week or…
56 - Bones
Dec 3, 2019 • 29 min
Bones… seems like a simple enough topic, right? Well, would you believe me if I told you that scientists can’t even agree on how and why bones evolved in the first place?! And teeth? Don’t even get us started on teeth… Follow us on Twitter…
55 - Nutrition
Nov 26, 2019 • 30 min
When it comes to proper nutrition, just about the only thing everyone can agree on is that people need to eat food. Everything else, from eggs to carbs to vitamins, is basically up in the air! The Tangents crew wades into the quagmire that is modern…
54 - Transportation
Nov 19, 2019 • 29 min
Be Advised! This episode was recorded before we decided to reset the scores for Season 2 and rename them Sambucks. Please don’t tweet at us about this (and if you do tweet at us about it, be nice)! People absolutely love going places and doing stuff! And…
53 - Cryptography
Nov 12, 2019 • 32 min
YRHA WJ, XAWOQT KXTAQOQCT! XP DEW TEKIQ LD TWJQC TQNCQA LQTTHVQ, AYQQA LQ “KEEMT KXMQ TAECLD YQHARQC” HOF DEW YXKK SQ XOFWNAQF XOAE ARQ THL NHFQAT, LD OQY QZNKWTXIQ PHO NKWS! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming…
52 - Fire
Nov 5, 2019 • 31 min
Ancient man harnessing and wielding the elemental power of the flame was pretty cool, I guess, but I think this being Tangent’s one year anniversary is a little cooler, honestly! Plus, we announce who won the first season, so actually this episode is sort…
51 - Greatest Fears: Spiders!
Oct 29, 2019 • 32 min
SciShow Tangents’ Month of Fear concludes with what is undeniably the scariest, most valid fear of any of those discussed… spiders! I’m not saying spiders will pour out of your headphones and into your ears when you listen to this, but I’m also not…
50 - Greatest Fears: Confined Spaces!
Oct 22, 2019 • 33 min
SciShow Tangents’ Month of Fear continues and… wait… do you feel it… the walls they’re… closing in around you! Crushing you! …were you scared? Well, if you were Hank you probably would have been because his fear is enclosed spaces! How is that related to…
49 - Greatest Fears: Decomposition!
Oct 15, 2019 • 32 min
As the SciShow Tangents Month of Fear continues, your hosts get down into the wormy, slimy muck to discuss Ceri’s biggest fear: decomposition! Does that sound too generic to be truly terrifying? That’s what Sam thought too, and now he is also quite scared…
48 - Greatest Fears: Sharks!
Oct 8, 2019 • 30 min
SciShow Tangents’ Month of Fear continues! This week, Stefan is confronted by his fear of sharks! Thrill as we weave a tale of nigh-immortal sharks! Feel the chills run down your spine as you learn about how weird shark penises are! Try not to scream when…
47 - Greatest Fears: Failure with Caitlin Hofmeister
Oct 1, 2019 • 33 min
Here at Tangents, we don’t mess around when it comes to Halloween. So each week in October, the topic will be one of our greatest fears! Hank was apparently too afraid to even be on this episode, so instead special guest Caitlin Hofmeister confronts her…
46 - Plastic
Sep 24, 2019 • 29 min
Plastic: space age wonder material or planet-destroying scourge? The real answer may lie… somewhere in the middle (but leaning more towards scourge). Plus, learn exactly how many lego minifigures you can eat before you die! Follow us on Twitter…
45 - Teens
Sep 17, 2019 • 31 min
For humans, the teenage years are marked by angst, self-discovery, and homework. For elephants, they’re marked by pus-weeping face glands, uncontrollable rage, and a green penis! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for…
44 - Fashion
Sep 10, 2019 • 31 min
New York Fashion Week is in full swing, and the world’s most stylish science podcast is celebrating by exploring the intersection of fashion and science! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and you can…
43 - Navigation
Sep 3, 2019 • 31 min
Wether it’s a human trying to figure out the quickest way to the airport, a salmon returning to the waters where they were born, or a dog trying to figure out the perfect place to poop, almost everyliving thing uses some sort of innate or technological…
42 - Precious Metals
Aug 27, 2019 • 31 min
Almost all of human culture and economics is structured around a handful of pretty metals that we have arbitrarily assigned value to! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out topics for upcoming episodes and you can ask the science…
41 - Extremophiles
Aug 20, 2019 • 33 min
Extremophiles are tough little guys that not only survive but thrive in the harshest environments on Earth; unforgiving places like volcanic vents at the bottom of the sea, lakes of acid, and your bellybutton To learn more about extremophiles and a whole…
40 - Acid
Aug 13, 2019 • 32 min
This week, the Other Couch’s high-school-level understanding of chemistry is really put to the test as we talk about acids! What is it? How does it dissolve things? It has something to do… with protons? It seems way simpler in the movies! Follow us on…
39 - Deserts
Aug 6, 2019 • 30 min
You might think you know everything there is to know about deserts: big, sandy, hot, etc. But between the alien mummies and the ice blades, we’re guessing there’s a lot you don’t know. All that and you get to see Hank just totally embarrass himself while…
38 - Metamorphosis
Jul 30, 2019 • 33 min
When you think metamorphosis, you might think a beautiful butterfly coming out of its cocoon. However, lots of things metamorphose in much less graceful, much more sticky, gooey, unsettling, and potentially dangerous ways! Follow us on Twitter…
37 - Fungi
Jul 23, 2019 • 32 min
Plants and animals get all the glory, but fungi are out there every day, breaking down leaf litter, making our bread nice and fluffy, and fermenting alcohols. They deserve a little thanks, so we did a whole episode about them! Follow us on Twitter…
36 - The Apollo Program
Jul 16, 2019 • 29 min
From 1961 to 1972, thousands of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, pilots, and even a child or two worked on the Apollo Program, collaborating to bring humanity to the moon. Today, Tangents celebrates this unparalleled work of collective…
35 - Cancer
Jul 9, 2019 • 30 min
Living things are so full of complicated systems of cells and DNA, that things are bound to go wrong. And sometimes when things go wrong, cancer is the result. Today on Tangents we talk about the causes, health impacts, and potential cures (both real and…
34 - Natural Disasters
Jul 2, 2019 • 32 min
Natural disasters are a fact of life when you live on a giant ball of water, ice, and rock with a gooey magma center that’s hurtling through space… and all the pollution we’re pumping into the environment doesn’t really seem to be helping, either. Follow…
33 - Fossils with Kallie Moore
Jun 25, 2019 • 30 min
Fossils: a profound link to our Earth’s past… some are profound… some are beautiful… some are poop! Kallie Moore, host of PBS Eons joins the Tangents crew to talk old stone bones, fraudulent fossils, and a dinosaur so well preserved, we may be able to…
32 - Communication with Vanessa Hill
Jun 18, 2019 • 32 min
Birds singing, dogs barking, computers sending and receiving data, you reading this description: at the end of the day, it’s all communication. This week, we sit down with Vanessa Hill, host of the YouTube channel Braincraft, and do a little communicating…
31 - Digestion
Jun 11, 2019 • 31 min
Everybody eats, and everybody poops, but in between… that’s where the magic happens! This week we’re talking about everyone’s favorite organic method of removing nutrients from food: digestion! Follow us on Twitter @SciShowTangents, where we’ll tweet out…
30 - Messes with Joe Hanson
Jun 4, 2019 • 34 min
Be they big or small, purposeful or accidental, innocuous or potentially-planet-destroying, there is no question that humans are great at making messes and not so great at cleaning them up. Joe Hanson, host of the PBS channel Hot Mess, joins us to talk…
29 - Sleep
May 28, 2019 • 32 min
So, right off the bat, basically all you need to know about this episode is that Hank sings this week’s Science Poem. Beyond that, we delve into the eternal mystery that is ‘sleep.’ Where do ours dreams come from? How does sleeping help rejuvenate our…
28 - Cooking
May 21, 2019 • 30 min
Every day, billions of people perform vital, life sustaining chemistry right in their homes! Baking, frying, boiling, fermenting… all cooking is science, and the way it weaves into our lives and cultures makes it uniquely fascinating! Join us this week to…
27 - Mars
May 14, 2019 • 29 min
From countless stories of little green men to colonization plans and endless rover and satellite missions, humans are sort of obsessed with Mars. One of those obsessed humans is Hank Green! This week he finally gets to put all his knowledge about his…
26 - Sound
May 7, 2019 • 33 min
We couldn’t make podcasts without the science of sound. There’s a lot of technology involved in capturing the vibrations we’re making with our vocal folds so that we can share them with the whole Internet! So this week, we’re fine-tuning our knowledge of…
25 - Mutation with Trace Dominguez
Apr 30, 2019 • 33 min
This week, we’re joined by Trace Dominguez from the YouTube channel Uno Dos of Trace to talk about genetic mutations! Tiny changes in an organism’s DNA sequence can lead to big variations or absolutely nothing. It’s just a roll of the dice! So what…
24 - Agriculture
Apr 23, 2019 • 34 min
A bunch of things are considered agricultural science, from planting crops and raising sheep for wool to food safety and developing fertilizers. This week, we’re skimming the surface of agriculture, with a little detour into animals that sort of farm too.…
23 - Pregnancy
Apr 16, 2019 • 31 min
Pregnancy is, biologically speaking, extremely weird! A pregnant animal’s body goes through so many hormonal and physical changes to make sure a zygote has everything it needs to grow. This week, we’re talking about a few of those things, like why…
22 - Ancient Mega with Blake de Pastino
Apr 9, 2019 • 33 min
This week, we’re joined by Blake de Pastino from the YouTube channel PBS Eons to talk about how plants, animals, and geologic events used to be so… huge. There are still blue whales and massive natural disasters, but the days of the Megalodon have passed.…
21 - Bats
Apr 2, 2019
Bats have a bad reputation because of the ones that drink blood or spread disease, but these furry flying critters can be pretty cute! This week, we’re talking about everything from echolocation to weird potential uses for bat poop. Are there really bats…
20 - Charles Darwin
Mar 26, 2019 • 32 min
You might know him from his greatest hits: natural selection, Galápagos finches, and eating lots of the animals he studied… it’s Charles Darwin! This week, we’re talking about this famous biologist and some of the weirder science he did. What kind of…
19 - Timekeeping
Mar 19, 2019 • 32 min
If you think about it, we’re all time travelers moving forward at one second per second… right? This week, we try really hard to define time, get sort of existential about it, and then talk about the science of timekeeping, from circadian rhythms to weird…
18 - Giant Rodents
Mar 12, 2019 • 32 min
When can you start calling a rodent “giant?” When it’s twice the average size of its species? When you’re not grossed out by it? When it could be a mascot for a family fun center? We don’t really have a precise answer to that… but this week, we’re…
17 - Celebrity Science with Elah Feder
Mar 5, 2019 • 45 min
For our very first live show at PodCon 2, we were joined by Elah Feder, the co-host and producer of the podcast Undiscovered! Podcasting on a stage with a live audience meant we really had to bring our A-game, so we swapped stories of famous actors,…
16 - Bees
Feb 26, 2019 • 31 min
Do you ever just wonder, “are the bees doing okay?” They’re so important to our food industry and native ecosystems, and every couple of years it seems like something horribly bad is happening to them. So this week, we’re taking a look at the fascinating…
15 - Artificial Intelligence
Feb 19, 2019 • 36 min
We’ve all heard about “The Algorithms” that affect our lives, making decisions for and about us. And artificial intelligence systems are recommending podcasts, picking out targeted ads, and playing games against humans every single day. This week, we’re…
14 - The Sun with Caitlin Hofmeister
Feb 12, 2019 • 31 min
This week, our producer Caitlin Hofmeister is joining the pod to talk about the Sun, and lending her expertise as a host of the YouTube channel SciShow Space. The Sun affects pretty much everything we do here on Earth, from our weather to our technology.…
13 - Stimulants
Feb 5, 2019 • 32 min
Are you one of those people who doesn’t feel awake until you have caffeine coursing through your bloodstream? Well, you can choose to ingest some chemical stimulants, but they’re also something your body makes! Just think about the adrenaline rush before…
12 - Flight
Jan 29, 2019 • 33 min
At some point, we’ve all probably looked up at birds and wished we could fly. And some curious people took that wish and did science! From the biology of flying animals to machines that help humans take to the skies, this week, we’re exploring the science…
11 - Mucus
Jan 22, 2019 • 33 min
Mucus grosses people out. Whether it’s coming out of your nose or slime oozing from an animal, it’s not really a pleasant substance. But scientifically, mucus is super cool—it can be used for protection, hunting, lubrication, or plain old stickiness. Why…
10 - Dragons
Jan 15, 2019 • 33 min
Some small, magical corner of your heart wants dragons to be real, right? Well… sorry. They’re not. But this week, we wanted to celebrate some science adjacent to dragons, from fruit and animals named after them to giant flying predators that probably…
9 - Ice and Snow
Jan 8, 2019 • 33 min
From sugary snow cones to WWII plans for an aircraft carrier made of ice and wood pulp, humans have had big dreams for frozen water. So this week, we’re exploring the science of snow and ice across the globe. Turns out, there are ancient refrigerators in…
8 - Exercise
Jan 1, 2019 • 31 min
A new year means New Year’s resolutions and a new episode of Tangents! Lots of people are probably getting their fitness on, whether it’s by joining a gym or putting on yoga YouTube videos. So this week, we’re stretching our muscles to explore the science…
7 - Parasites with Sally Lepage
Dec 25, 2018 • 34 min
This week, we’re joined by evolutionary biologist and science communicator Dr. Sally LePage to talk all about parasites! How did we deal with them before modern medicine? Are there any parasites bigger than their hosts? And is parasite-ception a thing!?
6 - Advertising
Dec 18, 2018 • 31 min
From website banners to scratch-and-sniff magazine spreads, you’ve probably been the target of thousands of ads. Like, you’re even going to hear one during this podcast—we gotta eat! At this point, you might feel like you’re immune to advertising, because…
5 - Eggs
Dec 11, 2018 • 28 min
Eggs have tons of different sizes, textures, and protective shells, from giant ostrich eggs to squishy fish egg clusters. But, scientifically, they all boil down to the same thing: an egg is just a reproductive cell that can be fertilized by a sperm to…
4 - Taste
Dec 4, 2018 • 33 min
Have you ever wanted to lick the Moon and find out what that grey dust tastes like? If so, you’re in luck. This week, we’re sampling the science of taste, from the Apollo 16 mission reports to how the flavor compounds in amniotic fluid may affect babies’…
3 - Satellites
Nov 27, 2018 • 34 min
What do the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and the Moon have in common? They’re all satellites that orbit the Earth! This week, we’re going extraterrestrial to talk about the dreams, discoveries, and debacles that went into Mir…
2 - Flightless Birds
Nov 20, 2018 • 31 min
With American Thanksgiving around the corner, turkey is on everyone’s mind! So this week, we’re taking a closer look at flightless birds of all shapes and sizes! What prevents some birds from using their wings to fly? Did Australians really start a war…
1 - Science Hoaxes
Nov 13, 2018
This week, we’re delving into the complicated world of scientific hoaxes. Some are just goofs that went a little too far, but others have had serious negative impacts on public health.
Introducing: SciShow Tangents
Nov 2, 2018 • 3 min
Introducing the lightly competitive knowledge showcase from the geniuses behind the YouTube series SciShow. Every Tuesday, join Hank Green, Ceri Riley, Stefan Chin, and Sam Schulz as they try to one-up and amaze each other with weird and funny scientific…