A World Before Fire: The Terrestrial Anomaly

Smoke rises from a charred grove of trees at the Blue Cut wildfire in Wrightwood, California on August 17, 2016. JONATHAN ALCORN/AFP/Getty Images

Humans existed before their mastery of fire, albeit in a rather primitive state -- and yes, even Earth itself knew an age when fire itself was not only scarce, but chemically impossible. In this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe venture back to a time before the flame and consider the curious, interconnected ascension of man and fire. In part one, explore the chemistry of a flameless Earth and the possibility of alien technology without fire.

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Topics in this Podcast: fire, technology, evolution, Geology