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But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Have a question? Send it to us! Adults, use your smartphone's memo function or an audio app to record your kid's question (get up nice and close so we can hear). Be sure to include your child's first name, age, and town. And then email the audio file to

Join us on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter!

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But Why is now a book series! Are Llamas Ticklish? and Do Fish Breathe Underwater? Learn more and order here.

But Why has learning guides and coloring pages to complement our recent episodes. Our learning guides were designed to meet Common Core standards. Teachers, check out our list of learning guides by category.

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Latest Episodes
  • Younger people have lots of questions about older people, like: Why do we age? Why do people get gray or white hair? Why do older people have wrinkles? Why do older people have veins that stick up? Why are older people more tired? Why do some people get shorter as they get older? Dr. Suvi Neukam, a geriatrician at Oregon Health and Sciences University, answers kids’ questions about aging in this episode.
  • Why do birds fly? How do raptors soar? Why do some birds fly in the shape of a V? Why can’t some birds, like penguins, emus and ostriches fly? Why do hummingbirds fly so fast? We answer all of your questions about birds and flight with help from Anna Morris of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and Bridget Butler, the Bird Diva. And we get a preview of our new education series But Why: Adventures! Northeast Nature. Educators: learn more about But Why: Adventures! Northeast Nature and sign up for free access to the series!
  • We’re thinking about bears! Actually one specific type of bear: sun bears! Have you heard about this type of bear? They’re the smallest of the world’s bears, about half the size of a black bear. They live throughout southeast Asia and have a yellow or white crescent-shaped marking on their chests. We learn about sun bears with Siew Te Wong, a scientist and researcher who runs the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Malaysia. Also in this episode: Do bears live in caves? Why do they climb trees? Why do bears hibernate in winter? Naturalist Mary Holland answers questions about hibernation. And we are treated to A Bear Song by Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke!
  • It's all about bikes in this episode of But Why? How come bicycles stay up when you're riding, but fall over once you stop? We turn to Andy Ruina, professor of engineering at Cornell University, for the scientific answer. We also learn how a bike chain works and Olympic mountain biker Lea Davison tells how to get started when riding.
  • 11-year-old Alaska (from Colorado) wants to know: why do some kids love reading while others don’t? We know there’s a lot of debate lately about the best ways to teach kids how to read. But in this episode we leave the pedagogy to adults and let kids share with one another why they love to read and their best tips for kids like them, who may be struggling to learn (and love) to read. Plus, guest Fumiko Hoeft, medical doctor and professor at the University of Connecticut and at the University of California San Francisco, lifts the lid on our brains to explain what’s happening inside us when we learn to read. Dr. Hoeft runs a brain imaging research program and a lab called BrainLENS.
  • How are crickets so loud? Why do they chirp at night? How are they different from grasshoppers? We’re talking crickets today with Karim Vahed, a cricket and katydid expert and entomologist (bug scientist) in England who works with BugLife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust. When we first interviewed him for this episode in 2021, Vahed was working as a professor at the University of Darby. In this episode, Professor Vahed takes on some of pressing general insect questions as well: Do insects have bones? What do baby bugs like to do? Do insects drink water? Why are bugs so important?
  • Why is it that some people have allergies when others don’t, even if they’re in the same family? How do allergies work? Can you be allergic to water? Why are some people allergic to cats and dogs? Can you grow out of your allergies? We’re joined by pediatrician and allergy researcher Dr. Ruchi Gupta to answer the dozens of questions kids have sent us on this topic. Plus we learn about promising treatments being developed to help relieve allergy suffering.
  • What are eels? And why are some eels electric? We head to Poughkeepsie, New York to learn about eels with Chris Bowser, Hudson River estuary educator with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Plus we learn about electric eels. Electric eels have captured the imagination of many people, but they’re not actually considered eels by the scientific community. They’re a type of knife fish, more closely related to catfish and carp. But they are electric! So we’ll tackle why they’re electric and how they create electricity. David de Santana, of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, tells us what it’s like to study electric eels in the Amazon.
  • Why do people spend so much time on social media? But Why answers kids' questions about social media and screen time and we learn about how to be a good citizen online with Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and Growing Up In Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World, coming in September.
  • Why do wolves howl at the moon? Do wolves have different howls? How were wolves domesticated into dogs? How do wolves run fast for so long? What kind of habitats do wolves prefer? Why are people scared of wolves? Do they eat people? How do we protect them? But Why visits the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York, where education director Regan Downey answers kid questions about these apex predators.