The BEST Episodes of Explained

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2019

Network: Netflix

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.

The Next Pandemic

#1 - The Next Pandemic

Season 2 - Episode 7

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.

star 8.35
17 votes
The World's Water Crisis

#2 - The World's Water Crisis

Season 1 - Episode 19

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?

star 8.18
102 votes

#3 - Coding

Season 2 - Episode 5

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?

star 8.02
41 votes

#4 - Billionaires

Season 2 - Episode 2

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

star 8.02
56 votes

#5 - Cults

Season 2 - Episode 1

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.

star 7.99
69 votes
Designer DNA

#6 - Designer DNA

Season 1 - Episode 2

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

star 7.98
146 votes
Why Women Are Paid Less

#7 - Why Women Are Paid Less

Season 1 - Episode 18

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

star 7.93
100 votes
Animal Intelligence

#8 - Animal Intelligence

Season 2 - Episode 3

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.

star 7.78
49 votes

#9 - Music

Season 1 - Episode 20

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.

star 7.75
104 votes
The Racial Wealth Gap

#10 - The Racial Wealth Gap

Season 1 - Episode 1

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

star 7.74
152 votes

#11 - Pirates

Season 2 - Episode 6

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.

star 7.72
32 votes
Can We Live Forever?

#12 - Can We Live Forever?

Season 1 - Episode 15

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

star 7.68
95 votes

#13 - Weed

Season 1 - Episode 12

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

star 7.63
105 votes

#14 - Monogamy

Season 1 - Episode 3

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

star 7.62
127 votes
The Female Orgasm

#15 - The Female Orgasm

Season 1 - Episode 16

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

star 7.62
103 votes
The Stock Market

#16 - The Stock Market

Season 1 - Episode 7

Does the stock market accurately reflect the status of the economy? Finance specialists discuss market history, valuations and CEO incentives.

star 7.61
101 votes
Extraterrestrial Life

#17 - Extraterrestrial Life

Season 1 - Episode 9

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

star 7.61
109 votes

#18 - K-Pop

Season 1 - Episode 4

Elaborate music videos, adoring fans, killer choreography. Learn about the global music phenomenon from South Korea that goes beyond "Gangnam Style."

star 7.48
124 votes
Political Correctness

#19 - Political Correctness

Season 1 - Episode 17

Political correctness can sometimes feel like a tug-of-war between inclusivity and free speech. Experts discuss the concepts behind the fraught term.

star 7.47
97 votes
Why Diets Fail

#20 - Why Diets Fail

Season 1 - Episode 6

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.

star 7.38
104 votes

#21 - Athleisure

Season 2 - Episode 4

It began with boomers. Then came spandex. Now we sport leggings and other activewear everywhere. How did comfy, casual clothing go mainstream?

star 7.37
46 votes

#22 - !

Season 1 - Episode 10

Do we overuse exclamation points!? Linguists and copy editors look at how the punctuation has adapted across history, literature and internet-speak.

star 7.36
99 votes

#23 - Tattoo

Season 1 - Episode 13

They've been used to command respect, punish criminals and mark achievements. Tattooists speak about the origins of tattoo traditions and rituals.

star 7.33
96 votes

#24 - Cryptocurrency

Season 1 - Episode 5

Cryptocurrency has made people billionaires, but is digital cash the next revolution? Learn about this anonymous currency and how it's coveted.

star 7.26
113 votes

#25 - eSports

Season 1 - Episode 8

Is fake violence a sport? Fans, shoutcasters, and eSports icons break down today's video games and the explosive popularity of competitive gaming.

star 7.25
104 votes