Explained

The BEST episodes of Explained

Every episode of Explained ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Explained!

This enlightening series from Vox digs into a wide range of topics such as the rise of cryptocurrency, why diets fail, and the wild world of K-pop.

Last Updated: 11/30/2022Network:Netflix
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The Next Pandemic
star
8.28
167 votes

#1 - The Next Pandemic

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/7/2019

If you're not worried about a looming global pandemic, you probably should be. Are we prepared for an outbreak? Bill Gates and other experts weigh in.

Watch Now:Amazon
The World's Water Crisis
star
8.16
176 votes

#2 - The World's Water Crisis

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired 9/12/2018

The global water crisis is at an inflection point. How do we price our most valuable resource, while also ensuring access to it as a human right?

Watch Now:Amazon
Dogs
star
8.11
97 votes

#3 - Dogs

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/6/2021

Who's a good dog? They all are! From puppy-dog eyes to feats of heroism, see how canines evolved into humankind's best friends and sources of pure love.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Future of Meat
star
8.06
151 votes

#4 - The Future of Meat

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/14/2019

The planet's current rate of meat consumption is unprecedented -- and becoming unsustainable. In the future, will meat alternatives be the answer?

Watch Now:Amazon
Billionaires
star
7.93
153 votes

#5 - Billionaires

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/3/2019

There are more billionaires than ever. But how does this vast accumulation of wealth affect the world? Mark Cuban and Bernie Sanders offer insights.

Watch Now:Amazon
Cults
star
7.89
169 votes

#6 - Cults

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/26/2019

How do cults lure people in and exert control? Learn a cult’s telltale signs, and how loneliness and life online makes indoctrination easier than ever.

Watch Now:Amazon
Designer DNA
star
7.86
241 votes

#7 - Designer DNA

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/23/2018

Scientific feat or terrifying social experiment? Specialists in the field discuss the high stakes and ethical controversies of gene editing.

Coding
star
7.83
139 votes

#8 - Coding

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/24/2019

Computer code now controls how we live. But how did these programming languages evolve? And how can they be used to build a new and better world?

Watch Now:Amazon
Why Women Are Paid Less
star
7.82
167 votes

#9 - Why Women Are Paid Less

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired 9/5/2018

Hillary Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter discuss the cultural norms at the center of the worldwide gender pay gap, including the "motherhood penalty."

Animal Intelligence
star
7.73
142 votes

#10 - Animal Intelligence

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/10/2019

What goes on inside an animal's mind? Figuring out how they think and feel might just be the key to understanding our own place in the world.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Racial Wealth Gap
star
7.72
258 votes

#11 - The Racial Wealth Gap

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 5/23/2018

Cory Booker and others discuss how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have compounded to create a racial wealth gap.

Chess
star
7.72
88 votes

#12 - Chess

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 8/20/2021

For centuries, chess has captured hearts and minds — and pawns — and it's more popular than ever. What makes this ever-changing board game so special?

Watch Now:Amazon
Sugar
star
7.68
102 votes

#13 - Sugar

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/16/2021

Once crucial for survival, sugar now poses a health risk. Is there a way to satisfy our primeval craving for sweetness in a healthy, balanced way?

Watch Now:Amazon
Music
star
7.68
179 votes

#14 - Music

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired 9/19/2018

When does sound become music? Why are humans so uniquely able to master musicality? Researchers talk rhythm, octaves and the magic of song and dance.

Watch Now:Amazon
Extraterrestrial Life
star
7.65
191 votes

#15 - Extraterrestrial Life

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 7/4/2018

Despite decades of searching, we have yet to discover extraterrestrial life. Scientists discuss the reasons, including: Are aliens just too snobby?

Watch Now:Amazon
Can We Live Forever?
star
7.63
172 votes

#16 - Can We Live Forever?

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired 8/15/2018

Can we uncover the secrets to extending the human lifespan? Experts discuss how developments in science -- even the French lilac -- hold some clues.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Female Orgasm
star
7.62
176 votes

#17 - The Female Orgasm

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired 8/22/2018

The female orgasm is more elusive when a man is involved. Discover the reasons why and how women are embracing hands on solutions.

The End of Oil
star
7.59
87 votes

#18 - The End of Oil

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 8/13/2021

Oil led to huge advancements - and vast inequities. As the planet warms, why is it so hard to turn away from fossil fuels, and can it be done in time?

Watch Now:Amazon
Weed
star
7.58
171 votes

#19 - Weed

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired 7/25/2018

Marijuana experts discuss the rise of potent "sexually frustrated" cannabis plants, the quests for consistency in weed strains and the history of hemp.

Watch Now:Amazon
Pirates
star
7.54
136 votes

#20 - Pirates

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/31/2019

In pop culture, pirates are often depicted as booty-looting rogues, but their history is far more complicated. See how they became enemies of humanity.

Watch Now:Amazon
Time
star
7.53
86 votes

#21 - Time

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired 10/1/2021

Time flies… sometimes. Its passage can seem to speed up and slow down. Why do we experience time the way we do, and how do we take back some control?

Watch Now:Amazon
Flags
star
7.49
85 votes

#22 - Flags

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/30/2021

A flag can unite, divide and terrorize. Explore how a piece of cloth transformed into a powerful symbol of both love and hate, freedom and oppression.

Watch Now:Amazon
Monogamy
star
7.48
225 votes

#23 - Monogamy

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 5/23/2018

What do biology, human history and the promiscuity of bonobos reveal about monogamy? Experts and everyday couples weigh in on shifting cultural norms.

Diamonds
star
7.47
142 votes

#24 - Diamonds

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/28/2019

A diamond is forever. But why is that? Dig into how these mined pieces of carbon became both a status symbol and a sparkly sign of everlasting love.

Watch Now:Amazon
Why Diets Fail
star
7.45
197 votes

#25 - Why Diets Fail

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 6/13/2018

Atkins. Paleo. Keto. Do any work in the long term? Experts look at marketing, food environments and genes to explain why diets are often unsuccessful.

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