Radiolab for Kids Presents: Terrestrials

Radiolab for Kids Presents: Terrestrials

A show where we uncover the strangeness right here on Earth


May 9, 2024 1 min

The Terrestrials team is delighted to announce we’re coming back to the Radiolab for Kids feed! We’ve been traveling the globe in search of the strangeness right here on Earth. And we’ll be sharing a whole new batch of stories – and songs – in September.

In the meantime:

-catch up on past episodes!

-bop your head to songbud Alan’s songs!

-check out our brand new teaching resources!

Support for Terrestrials is provided by the Simons Foun...

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NPR’s Life Kit explains a free, simple tool for your parenting toolbox. Called 'special time,' the strategy is widely recommended by children's health professionals to help reduce behavioral issues in young children. Here's a guide on how to do it with your kids at home.This episode of Life Kit was produced by Summer Thomad. Our visuals editor is Beck Harlan. Our digital editor is Malaka Gharib. Meghan Keane is the supervising edit...

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Mozi is about to turn... 900 years old, and he's having a tough time with it! So, Flip introduces him to some of the oldest earthlings around, the Bowhead Whales! Featuring new songs from the Pop Ups like "How You Are Old," learn more about these 250 year old swimmers in the Arctic Ocean.

Support for Terrestrials is provided by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

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November 11, 2022 33 mins

Today’s episode is all about one of the most dynamite dinosaurs, the Brontosaurus! This long-necked icon has been featured in books, cartoons, movies, and even logos. But did the Brontosaurus really exist in the first place? We’ll dig into that question and uncover the history of Brontosaurus with science writer and bronto-enthusiast Riley Black. We’ll also learn about taxonomy from a ghost and catch up with Mr. Bone Jangles. Plus,...

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October 27, 2022 35 mins

In the game of life, every species is like an action figure. You got your dogs and your dung beetles, your bald eagles and your blueberries. And for a long time scientists believed it was pretty much impossible for those action figures to mix and make a new kind of action figure that was able to have its own babies (dog beetles? Baldberries? Nah). But, today we tell the story of a four-legged beast in Kentucky whose existence is up...

October 20, 2022 29 mins

The ocean can be a scary place: the waves are so strong, the water so deep. But surfer and illustrator AJ Dungo tells the story of an earthling who figured out how to walk on water and literally defy the rules of gravity. If you want a big SPOILER, here it is: It’s only human for the season, the grandfather of modern-day surfing, Duke Kahanamoku. Duke’s great grandniece, Heather Kina’u Paoa tells us about what Duke’s life was reall...

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October 13, 2022 26 mins

Over a billion lightyears ago, in the darkness of outer space, a collision of black holes sent out a fleet of invisible waves that were headed right toward planet Earth. The waves were so powerful they could ripple spacetime but most people on Earth didn't believe the waves were real. SPOILER ALERT: The waves are called gravitational waves and…they are real! Astrophysicist Dr. Wanda Díaz Merced tells the story of what happened when...

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October 6, 2022 27 mins

High above the banks of the Mississippi river, a nest holds the secret life of one of America’s most patriotic creatures. Their story puzzles scientists, reinforces indigenous wisdom, and wows audiences, all thanks to a park ranger named Ed, and a well-placed webcam. If you want to spoil the mystery, here ya go: it’s a bald eagle. Actually, it’s three bald eagles. A mama bird and daddies make a home together for over a decade and g...

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September 29, 2022 31 mins

A singing entomologist, Dr. Sammy Ramsey, and a biologist with a knack for inventing things, Dr. Paul Mireji, tell us about one of the most fearsome animals on our planet. If you want a SPOILER of what it is, read on: It sucks our blood, spreads diseases; it's the tsetse fly. Both Sammy and Paul were afraid of this creature, but share the story of what can be gained by looking close at what scares you. In the case of the tset...

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September 22, 2022 24 mins

A color-changing creature many people assumed to be brainless outsmarts his human captors. SPOILER: The creature is an octopus! Author Sy Montgomery tells the story of one octopus named Inky who makes us question who we consider intelligent (and kissable) in the animal kingdom. 

Learn about the storytellers, listen to music, and dig deeper into the stories you hear on Terrestrials...

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Radiolab for Kids and WNYC Studios present Terrestrials, a six-episode miniseries hosted by Lulu Miller (co-host of Radiolab). Each episode introduces you to a creature or earthly phenomenon that will defy your expectations of how nature is supposed to work. Along the way, you'll encounter a chorus of experts, including scientists, surfers, hip hop artists and…a "Song Bud" named Alan Goffinski who cr...

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June 29, 2022 21 mins

Hey Radiolab for Kids listeners! We’re back after a long hiatus with one of our favorite episodes from earlier this year. And a surprise... 

We're cooking up something new and looking to get your feedback. Join our Radiolab for Kids listener panel by taking this 5 minute survey (

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May 15, 2020 31 mins

In 2007, Bruce Robison’s robot submarine stumbled across an octopus settling in to brood her eggs. It seemed like a small moment. But as he went back to visit her, month after month, what began as a simple act of motherhood became a heroic feat that has never been equaled by any known species on Earth.

This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen. 

Special thanks to Kim Fulton-Bennett and Rob Sherlock a...

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March 27, 2020 18 mins

We'll kick off the chase with Diana Deutsch, a professor specializing in the Psychology of Music, who could extract song out even the most monotonous of drones. (Think Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller. Bueller.)For those of us who have trouble staying in tune when we sing, Deutsch has some exciting news. The problem might not be your ears, but your language. She tells us about tone languages, such as Mandarin and Vietnamese, which rely ...

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March 27, 2020 20 mins

We kick things off with one of the longest-running experiments in the world. As Joshua Foer explains, the Pitch Drop Experiment is so slow, you can watch it for hours (check out the live cam) and not detect the slightest movement. But that doesn't mean nothing's happening. Professor John Mainstone tells us about his desperate attempts to catch the flashes of action hiding inside this decades-long experiment.

Then, Carl Zimmer joins...

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March 27, 2020 39 mins

According to one theory, the moon formed when a Mars-sized chunk of rock collided with Earth. After the moon coalesced out of the debris from that impact, it was much closer to Earth than it is today. This idea is taken to it's fanciful limit in Italo Calvino's story "The Distance of the Moon" (from his collection Cosmicomics, translated by William Weaver). The story, narrated by a character with the impossible-to-pronounce name Qf...

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March 27, 2020 19 mins

Back in 2012, when we were putting together our live show In the Dark, Jad and Robert called up Dave Wolf to ask him if he had any stories about darkness. And boy, did he. Dave told us two stories that became the finale of our show.

Back in late 1997, Dave Wolf was on his first spacewalk, to perform work on the Mir (the photo to the right was taken during that mission, courtesy of NASA.). Dave wasn't alone -- with him was veteran R...

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March 27, 2020 21 mins

This all started back when we were working on our Guts show, and author Frederick Kaufman told us about getting sucked in to the mystery of what happens to poop in New York City. Robert and producer Pat Walters decided to take Fred's advice and pay a visit to the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant... which turned out to be just the beginning of a surprisingly far-ranging quest.


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March 27, 2020 17 mins

While most of us hear a wall of white noise, squeaks, and squawks....David Rothenberg hears a symphony. He's trained his ear to listen for the music of animals, and he's always looking for chances to join in, with everything from lonely birds to giant whales to swarming cicadas.

In this podcast, David explains his urge to connect and sing along, and helps break down the mysterious life cycle and mating rituals of the periodical cic...

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March 27, 2020 19 mins

In this short, writer Alex Bellos tells Robert how, from the very first time humans ever used numbers, we couldn’t help but give them human-like qualities. From favorite numbers to numbers that we’re suspicious of, from 501 jeans to Oxy 10, our feelings for these digits may all come down to some serious, subconscious inner-math….a deeply human arithmetic buried in our heart.


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