whales

Leviathan: The Wolf of Whale Street

Canst thou draw out Livyatan melvillei with a hook? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the awesome undersea world of carnivorous whales -- as well as the sperm whale ancestor that may have preyed on its fellow toothed cetaceans.

Osedax: Sex Life of an Ocean Bone Worm

Enter the world of the osedax worm, where mouthless female scavengers liquefy the bones of dead whales with acid-drenched roots -- and where each female's body contains a harem of tiny, sperm-producing males. Robert and Christian discuss the bizarre lives of the osedax worms and invite "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah J. Hardt for a discussion on this and other fascinating modes of deep-water reproduction.

Earwax: Portable Time Capsules

Why do we have ear wax? Why does it build up and what can it tell us about ourselves? Enter the mysterious ear canal in this sticky new episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Mini-Gallery: Mouth of the Whale

Our podcast episode "Eaten Alive!" discusses the science of sperm whale digestion and just what it might be like to end up in one's belly. So here are some supporting visuals!

Podcast Notes: Eaten Alive!

Robert Lamb gives you some notes on the latest episode. Read more to get the scoop.

Eaten Alive!

Ah, to be swallowed whole and hugged within the stomach of a colossal beast. To some this idea is bliss; to most it's the stuff of nightmares. But can any creature on Earth truly swallow a human whole and alive? How likely is it? Join Robert and Julie on this Stuff to Blow Your Mind adventure deep inside the belly of a colossal whale.

You guys remember Sharon Shattuck, right? She's the documentary filmmaker responsible for "Parasites: A User's Guide" and a frequent collaborator with Radiolab. The recent "Loops" Radiolab episode featured a segment on the ultimate fate of a dead whale: how its body becomes not only a feeding ground but an ecosystem all its own. To help us envision this particular loop of life and death, Sharon created this lovely video detailing the stages of whale decomposition via puppets. Let's watch:

Noise Pollution: Pipe Down, People!

Like any other form of pollution, loud noises can seriously affect your health over time -- and that's just the beginning. As Robert and Allison break down the science behind noise, they also explain how noise pollution affects the natural world.

Why do whales beach themselves?

When whales or other aquatic mammals wash onto the shore, they are usually unable to return to the sea without help. What exactly causes a whale to beach, and how can scientists prevent it? Tune in and learn more in this episode.

Bob Barker Saves Whales with Namesake Ice-crusher

Bob Barker is best known for his genial, tanned, 35-year-long presence on "The Price is Right." But there's also the tough as nails, fighting Barker of movie cameos -- notably, "Happy Gilmore." This piece of news seems to satisfy both reputations: Barker is helping to stop whaling with a 1,200-ton (1,000-metric-ton), ice-crushing namesake ship. According to the AP, Barker donated $5 million to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which in turn named its anti-whaling vessel "The Bob Barker" in honor of the game show host. On Tuesday, the high-speed ship had its first encounter with Japanese whalers off of Antarctica.