All Episodes

Why Embarrassment Is Actually Good For You

We explore why embarrassment has lasted through evolution and its function.

In Search of the Blackest Thing on Earth

We are in search of the blackest black things on Earth and why.

The Unexpected Measure that Makes the Modern World Tick

Knowing exactly what a “second” is is more complicated than you might think!

How We Solved the Greatest Riddle In Navigation

The secret is In order to know WHERE you are, you need to first know WHEN you are.

The Unbelievable Story of Earth’s Most Epic Flood

Let's learn the story of one of the worst natural disasters that’s ever happened!

The Biggest Myth About Climate Change

We learn about all the reasons that Earth’s climate changes, natural and otherwise.

The Crime Wave We Can Blame on… Neutron Stars?

Turns out, we can blame it all on neutron stars and some oddities of the periodic table.

Why is Puberty so Weird?

Join Joe in this whirlwind tour of the endocrine system to find the answers.

Why No One Can Agree What’s Really the Tallest Mountain

Is Everest the tallest mountain on Earth? The answer is not as simple as you might think.

Trying to Land a Plane (to Prove a Point)

Turns out we’re all at risk of being overconfident about something.

Why You Can’t Smell Yourself?

There's an absolutely weird, but surprisingly common phenomenon called sensory adaptation.

Making a Hurricane Indoors (For Science)

Scientists in Florida can recreate a Category 5 hurricane in a box the size of a bedroom.

Are Humans Still Evolving?

Are humans still evolving? And how have our technological advances affected the process?

How Illusions Can Explain Reality

Illusions teach us how our brain constructs a three-dimensional reality using 2-D images.

Can Life Really Be Explained By Physics?

Joe talks biology with science communicator extraordinaire Prof. Brian Cox.

Why Don't Big Animals Get More Cancer?

We explore why animals like whales, elephants, and other large animals not get cancer.

What’s Actually on the Other Side of a Mirror?

The real magic of mirrors is far stranger and more interesting, as you’re about to learn.

About Be Smart

Be Smart is created and hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D. We give you deep answers to simple questions about science and the rest of the universe.

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