The BEST Episodes of Explained

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2020

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 - Aired Nov 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.

star 8.33
119 votes
The World's Water Crisis

#2 - The World's Water Crisis

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Sep 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?

star 8.15
135 votes
The Future of Meat

#3 - The Future of Meat

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 14, 2019

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

star 8.06
109 votes
Billionaires

#4 - Billionaires

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 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.

star 7.97
104 votes
Designer DNA

#5 - Designer DNA

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired May 23, 2018

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

star 7.91
186 votes
Cults

#6 - Cults

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 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.

star 7.89
119 votes
Why Women Are Paid Less

#7 - Why Women Are Paid Less

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Sep 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."

star 7.86
128 votes
The Racial Wealth Gap

#8 - The Racial Wealth Gap

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired May 23, 2018

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

star 7.75
204 votes
Coding

#9 - Coding

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 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?

star 7.74
100 votes
Music

#10 - Music

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Sep 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.

star 7.66
137 votes
Animal Intelligence

#11 - Animal Intelligence

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 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.

star 7.65
94 votes
Extraterrestrial Life

#12 - Extraterrestrial Life

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Jul 4, 2018

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

star 7.62
146 votes
The Female Orgasm

#13 - The Female Orgasm

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Aug 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.

star 7.61
137 votes
Weed

#14 - Weed

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Jul 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.

star 7.60
134 votes
Can We Live Forever?

#15 - Can We Live Forever?

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Aug 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.

star 7.60
127 votes
Pirates

#16 - Pirates

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 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.

star 7.59
91 votes
Monogamy

#17 - Monogamy

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired May 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.

star 7.54
167 votes
K-Pop

#18 - K-Pop

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired May 30, 2018

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

star 7.46
167 votes
The Stock Market

#19 - The Stock Market

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 20, 2018

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

star 7.43
147 votes
Political Correctness

#20 - Political Correctness

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Aug 29, 2018

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

star 7.42
125 votes
Why Diets Fail

#21 - Why Diets Fail

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 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.

star 7.42
149 votes
Diamonds

#22 - Diamonds

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 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.

star 7.39
100 votes
Cryptocurrency

#23 - Cryptocurrency

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 6, 2018

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

star 7.34
155 votes
Tattoo

#24 - Tattoo

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Aug 1, 2018

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

star 7.31
125 votes
eSports

#25 - eSports

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 27, 2018

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

star 7.31
142 votes