The BEST Episodes of Explained
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Nov 9, 2019
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.
#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.
#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?
#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?
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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."
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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?
#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."
#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.
#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.
#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?
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.