Where Did We Come From? Where in in the world did we come from? How in the world did we get here? Who in the world were our ancient ancestors? Join Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas as they travel back in time to discover the history of our big Homo sapien family! Also, how in the world can we help our human family affected by Hurricane Harvey? What in the world is a hurricane, and how does it form? It's the latest in Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World!
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Where Did We Come From?

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Where Did We Come From?

Where Did We Come From?

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MINDY THOMAS, HOST:

Hey, Guy Raz. Whoa, what's that you got in your hands there?

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Check it out, Mindy. I got a whole stack of WOW IN THE WORLD stickers.

THOMAS: Ah, no way. Let me see. Those are awesome.

RAZ: I know. You want one?

THOMAS: What? Yeah, I would love one. They're just the right size for my forehead - I mean, my car window.

RAZ: And I'm going to put one on my laptop computer.

THOMAS: Hey, I wonder if anyone listening right now would like a WOW IN THE WORLD sticker.

RAZ: That's a great idea, Mindy. You know what? If anyone listening wants a free WOW IN THE WORLD sticker, we'll pop one right in the mail to you - here's how.

THOMAS: Grown-ups, just go to wowintheworld.com, and sign up for our upcoming newsletter.

RAZ: It's absolutely free, and we'll keep you posted on everything wow happening in our world.

THOMAS: Plus, we'll send you a free WOW IN THE WORLD sticker to show your Wow pride

RAZ: So parents, just go to wowintheworld.com to sign up and get your free WOW IN THE WORLD sticker today.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: Stay seated. Three, two one. Ignition.

Get ready for an adventure of magnificent proportions.

(Singing) I don't know what you've been told, but we're in a golden age. So many discoveries that are jumping off the page. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

With Guy and Mindy.

We're on our way, Houston.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: Mindy, have you heard about the floods in Texas?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. And there's been so much rain because of that hurricane that began earlier this week.

RAZ: And in the city of Houston, so much water all over the city has damaged homes, and schools and hospitals, and it's affected almost all of the people who live there. And Mindy, they need our help.

THOMAS: Yeah, I was just saying the same thing, Guy Raz. And it's so super important that, when times are tough like this, that we all pull together and help our human family out wherever they are.

RAZ: And there are a few simple but important ways we can all do our part.

THOMAS: Yeah, like maybe starting by making a contribution to the American Red Cross. That's what I did.

RAZ: Mindy, the Red Cross has thousands of volunteers in Texas already. And they're working to provide safe places for people to stay while the city dries out.

THOMAS: And I saw that some companies, like Airbnb, are asking people who have room in their homes to sign up and offer up space in their homes for someone affected by the flooding and the rain.

RAZ: And Mindy, we've posted a list of ways we can all help out our friends in Texas at our website, wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: Uh, hey, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Yeah?

THOMAS: Maybe this is a good time to explain how hurricanes start.

RAZ: That's a great idea.

THOMAS: OK, so to start, a hurricane is a tropical cyclone.

RAZ: And in Asia, Africa and Australia, they're sometimes called by other names like typhoons.

THOMAS: And all tropical cyclones form near the Earth's equator.

RAZ: ...So at the midpoint of our planet...

THOMAS: ...Where the ocean is generally warmer because the weather around the equator is always warm.

RAZ: And when the wind starts to whip up warm water, the water evaporates and forms teeny, tiny water particles called water vapor. And that water vapor rises up into the air.

THOMAS: Now, this happens a lot. And sometimes, a lot of water vapor starts to form clouds, and that's pretty normal.

RAZ: But sometimes, depending on how much wind is in the area, the water vapor forms a big cloud.

THOMAS: And when that big cloud connects to another big cloud...

RAZ: ...And another one...

THOMAS: ...And more and more clouds...

RAZ: ...It can form a tropical depression.

THOMAS: And a tropical depression is sort of like a crazy, windy, thunder-and-lighting storm.

RAZ: And if that tropical depression continues to move over warm water, that water acts almost like energy for the storm, and it can make it stronger and stronger.

THOMAS: And as those winds get stronger, and stronger and stronger, that storm becomes a hurricane.

RAZ: And that's a storm with intense rain and wind, lightning, thunder and even sometimes tornadoes.

THOMAS: And most hurricanes affect cities close to water.

RAZ: And Houston isn't just close to water, but it's very flat. And it was built on land that isn't much higher than the level of the ocean.

THOMAS: ...Which is why, when there's heavy rain in Houston, you sometimes get floods.

RAZ: Now, while hurricanes sound a little bit scary, the good news, Mindy, is that meteorologists - the people who study the weather - well, they usually know when a hurricane is coming about four or five days before it hits land.

THOMAS: ...Which means there are a bunch of things that we can do to prepare.

RAZ: But most importantly, the aftermath of a hurricane or a flood is a time when we all need to pull together and help each other out.

THOMAS: Help people clean up from the water damage and find places to live while they're fixing their homes.

RAZ: And get things working again quickly so people can get back to doing the things that they normally do.

THOMAS: So if anyone is looking for more ways to help out, we've got some great resources for grown-ups and kids posted to our website, wowintheworld.com.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world.

RAZ: (Spitting).

THOMAS: (Singing) Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-loo-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do (ph).

RAZ: (Spitting).

THOMAS: Uh, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Just a few more spits...

THOMAS: What? I - what -

(Yelling) Ah, it got on me.

Why are you spitting, Guy Raz?

RAZ: Oh, hey, Mindy. Yeah, yeah - just a few more spits of the old saliva.

(Spitting).

THOMAS: Oh, this is disgusting. Guy Raz, what has gotten into you? Where are your manners?

RAZ: Oh, yeah, sorry. It's not what it looks like.

(Spitting).

THOMAS: Ah, say it, don't spray it, man. This is gross.

RAZ: No, no, I'm not trying to be gross. I'm...

THOMAS: Nope, it's super gross. And you need to cut this out right now, Guy Raz. Look at that giant loogie (ph) on your shirt.

RAZ: I'm not spitting for the sake of spitting. I'm actually spitting for science.

THOMAS: Wait - spitting for science? Why didn't you just say so? Guy Raz, stand back while I make my contribution to science.

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: (Spitting).

Yeah, that's the stuff.

RAZ: No, Mindy, that's not what I'm trying to communicate here.

THOMAS: But you specifically said you were spitting for science, and I was just trying to help.

RAZ: Yeah, but I'm spitting into this specifically designed test tube.

THOMAS: Spitting into a test tube - well, I can do that.

RAZ: This is a small, plastic test tube that will collect a sample of my spit so I can send it off to a lab.

THOMAS: Man, those scientists are going to be so psyched to get a package of your spit in the mail.

RAZ: Well, this little plastic tube now contains my entire family history.

THOMAS: What? Your entire family history is in that tube?

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: OK, this is getting weird. First, you spit into this tube. And now, you're telling me that I can find out about the time your great-great-grandma Myrtle (ph) met President George Washington?

Oh, President Washington, what an honor - and what nice teeth you have. Are those things real?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As George Washington) No, madam, these are false teeth. I have a very good dentist I could recommend you if you'd like some of your own.

THOMAS: Your entire family history - what else could it tell us?

RAZ: ...Well, not my personal family history, Mindy. This plastic tube filled with my spit won't tell you that kind of story.

THOMAS: So then what will it tell you?

RAZ: Well, I'm going to send this sample of my saliva off to a lab where they will analyze my DNA.

THOMAS: Oh, you mean the nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living things. What? Who am I? Where'd that come from?

RAZ: Yes, you can think of DNA as the map of each and every single living thing - the code that makes us who we are.

THOMAS: And from that DNA, we get our genes.

RAZ: And when I say genes, I'm not talking about Levi's, Mindy.

THOMAS: I am. No, I'm not.

RAZ: I'm talking about teeny, tiny little parts of the DNA that we inherit, or get from our parents. And those genes are what gives us our traits. So some of us have brown eyes, or red hair or, like me, big ears.

THOMAS: Oh, so that's why so many of us look like our parents.

RAZ: Right. And so by sending this sample to the lab, they can figure out where my DNA comes from.

THOMAS: Whoa. So by studying what's inside this spit tube, they might be able to tell you who your ancestors were.

RAZ: Well, not the exact people, but when scientists look at my spit, they can figure out the general areas of the earth where my ancestors lived.

THOMAS: Oh, man, this is so crazy. So how long is this thing going to take to come back?

RAZ: Well, let's see. If I pop it in the mail today, I should have it within five or six days.

THOMAS: Five or six days? Man, that's going to take a million years to get here. Wait a minute. Why don't we just hop into my dad's time machine to go five or six days into the future and get the answers now?

RAZ: Well, I suppose we could. But every time we use that thing, Mindy, you end up barfing all over the place.

THOMAS: Yep, barfing all over the place is just the price I pay for being a scientific explorer.

RAZ: Ah, well - oh, by the way, where is that rickety old time machine anyway?

THOMAS: Oh, it's in my airplane hangar. Sometimes I let Reggie (ph) use it as a karate studio. Now I'm just going to open the door. Ugh, man, the button's not working. This thing's jammed.

RAZ: Uh, well...

THOMAS: (Yelling) Hey, Reggie, the door's jammed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: I'm going to let him come over here and karate kick it open.

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: Reggie, take down this door, you karate old bird.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOOD SPLINTERING)

THOMAS: Nice work, karate bird.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: Come on, Guy Raz. Let's get inside.

RAZ: Are you sure Reggie didn't mess with any of the sensitive equipment in there?

THOMAS: Nah, nothing a little spit and elbow grease can't fix. Just got to climb on in this thing and...

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: Oopsie (ph).

RAZ: Let me just close the hatch.

THOMAS: OK, there we go. So Guy Raz, can you just scooch over just a tiny bit? It's crammed in here. OK, thanks, that's better. All right, now, where was that button? Let me see here.

RAZ: Mindy, maybe we should consult the instruction manual.

THOMAS: What - instruction manual? I don't need an instruction manual. Guy Raz, I know how to work this baby like the back of my hand.

RAZ: Are you sure?

THOMAS: Plus, I lost it.

RAZ: Ugh.

THOMAS: Now watch as I crank this thing up and push all the buttons. Oh - missed one.

RAZ: You sure about this?

THOMAS: Of course, I am. What could possibly go...

GUY RAZ AND MINDY THOMAS: (Yelling) ...Wrong?

THOMAS: I think it's working. Is it working? I don't know. Where are we?

RAZ AND THOMAS: (Yelling).

THOMAS: (Throwing up).

RAZ: Did you have scrambled eggs for breakfast?

THOMAS: Ugh, much better.

RAZ: Ugh.

THOMAS: They looked the same coming out as they did going in.

RAZ: We got to get you some anti-barfing (ph) serum for our next trip.

THOMAS: Ah, so let's open this hatch and see if we've arrived five days in the future. I think it's jammed.

(SOUNDBITE OF HATCH OPENING)

THOMAS: Got it.

RAZ: Huh, looks like your same old...

THOMAS: Come on, let's get out of here. We got to check the mailbox to see if your results were delivered. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. OK, here. Open it up. It's the moment of truth.

RAZ: OK, easy does it.

THOMAS: Just open it.

RAZ: It's here, Mindy, look. My DNA lab results arrived.

THOMAS: OK, give me the envelope.

RAZ: OK, but just be gentle, OK?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, gentle is my middle name.

(Growling.)

(SOUNDBITE OF PAPER RIPPING)

THOMAS: Got it open, and the results are...

RAZ: Let's see, here.

THOMAS: What does it say?

RAZ: OK, according to my DNA analysis, I am 52 percent Mediterranean. So that means about half of my ancestors lived around the Mediterranean Sea - so Southern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

THOMAS: Oh, and look here. It says that you're 22 percent Southwest Asian. So that means that some of your ancestors lived in places near the countries of Iran and Afghanistan.

RAZ: And I'm also 21 percent Northern European. So that means some of my ancestors lived in places like Germany.

THOMAS: Wow.

RAZ: And I'm 2 percent sub-Saharan African, which means a few of my ancestors lived in Africa.

THOMAS: Wait a minute, don't all of us humans have roots in Africa? I mean, that is where our earliest ancestors were born.

RAZ: Yes, every single human on earth is a member of the Homo sapien species.

THOMAS: And species means a similar group of living things that create more of that same species.

RAZ: That's right. So cats are a species. So are horses and tigers. But so are plants and flowers, like the water hyacinth, and even things like garlic and fruit flies, Mindy.

THOMAS: Crazy.

RAZ: ...And, of course, our nearest living relatives - chimpanzees.

THOMAS: Whoa, hold the phone, Guy Raz. Check out this line right here on your DNA results.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Right here at the top, it says that 2.7 percent of your DNA comes from Neanderthal.

RAZ: Let me see that.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, that probably explains why you grunt when you get hungry.

RAZ: You're right. But that, of course, would mean that I'm not 100 percent Homo sapien.

THOMAS: Whoa.

RAZ: I wonder what my DNA ancestry guide would say about that. Let's see here. Yes, OK, got it. Here's what it says, Mindy. It says ancient Homo sapiens came into contact with Neanderthals starting about 270,000 years ago, and interbred with them.

THOMAS: Wait a minute, so our ancient Homo sapien ancestors had families with Neanderthals? Whoa.

RAZ: Mindy, this book explains that, at one time, there were at least three other humanlike species in addition to ours, roaming the earth all at the same time. And Neanderthals were one of them.

THOMAS: So who were the Neanderthals?

RAZ: Well, this book says that they were another hominid, or humanlike species, that lived on earth. And they looked a little different from us Homo sapiens.

THOMAS: Yeah, check this out. It's a drawing of a Neanderthal in this book, here. They look super hairy with really big heads.

RAZ: And from what I've read, Neanderthal bones have been found in parts of Europe and the Middle East. And they died out as a species about 30,000 or 40,000 years ago.

THOMAS: Well, do we know why?

RAZ: Well, scientists don't exactly know why, but we do know that there were at least two other types of human species who lived on Earth at the same time as we Homo sapiens did. But scientists also don't exactly know why those other species went extinct.

THOMAS: Well, here's what I'm curious about. If all of us humanlike species have our origins and our roots in Africa, then how did we spread out all over the world?

RAZ: Well, that's a question I've also been wondering, Mindy. And maybe it's time to get back into the time machine.

THOMAS: Yes.

RAZ: ...And head to the Paleolithic era to find out.

THOMAS: Back to the time machine. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. OK, now stand back. I'm going to open the hatch.

(SOUNDBITE OF METAL CLANGING)

THOMAS: It's jammed. Ah, it's jammed. It's jam - got it. Now hurry up, climb inside before history catches up with us. Let me just type in the code here.

RAZ: You sure you have the right code?

THOMAS: No, I'm not sure I have the right code. Paleolithic - now, I know it lasted for more than 2 million years, so - 70,000 years, how does that sound to you?

RAZ: That works. But just make sure you type in...

THOMAS: This one?

RAZ: (Yelling) East Africa.

RAZ AND THOMAS: (Yelling) Whoa.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

THOMAS: Huh, think I'm really starting to master the art of the smooth landing.

RAZ: That was a smooth landing? Oh, my aching back...

THOMAS: No time for whining, Guy Raz. We got to figure out how we Homo sapiens and our other hominid relatives like Neanderthals spread out around the world from their birthplace in Africa. Come on, let's get out of this hunk of junk.

(SOUNDBITE OF HATCH OPENING)

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: Wow.

THOMAS: Whoa.

RAZ: If my calculations are right, Mindy, we've landed in a part of the world that is probably where the country of Ethiopia is located.

THOMAS: Whoa, Guy Raz, look over there.

RAZ: Whoa.

THOMAS: Those people over there look like us Homo sapiens.

RAZ: Wow, that's a pretty big group of them.

THOMAS: And it looks like they're walking somewhere. Let's follow them.

RAZ: (Whispering) Mindy, I think we're witnessing an example of how our human ancestors started to spread out around the world.

THOMAS: By walking? Sorry.

(Whispering) By walking?

RAZ: (Whispering) Yeah. They literally walked from East Africa into the Middle East. And then some went west to Europe, and some went east to Asia.

THOMAS: (Whispering) So that means that all of us humans are from one, single extended family.

RAZ: (Whispering) Yes, it's so cool, isn't it? It's why humans, no matter where they're from, or who their moms or dads are, are 99 percent genetically identical.

THOMAS: Wait, even you and me?

RAZ: Yes, because we are part of the same species, even though me and you look different.

THOMAS: Wait, we do? Where's my mirror?

RAZ: Our DNA is pretty much identical, Mindy, with very small variations.

THOMAS: Hey, whoa, look over there - more Homo sapiens. And it looks like they're also walking - walking towards the Middle East.

RAZ: Mindy, isn't this amazing? I mean, this is how our earliest ancestors came to spread out. And we're witnessing this magical event.

THOMAS: OK, slow down. There is no way that this happened in one trip.

RAZ: Well, that's probably true. Paleontologists and other scientists who study ancient creatures believe that our Homo sapien ancestors probably spread out from Africa over a period of 80,000 years.

THOMAS: Well, what were they searching for?

RAZ: Well, it's kind of a mystery. We don't know for sure because these ancient Homo sapiens that we're looking at now didn't have a language. They didn't write things down. So scientists don't exactly know for sure, but they have lots of theories.

THOMAS: So, for example, food - right?

RAZ: That's right. Humans need a few basic things to survive - food and water, sleep and shelter.

THOMAS: And don't forget belonging, and love, and esteem, and self-actualization and...

RAZ: That came a little later.

THOMAS: Maslow's hierarchy of human needs.

RAZ: Well, back in Paleolithic times - the time we're witnessing right now - Homo sapiens just needed to survive. And so it's likely that they moved from one place to another place for these very reasons.

THOMAS: ...So, like, searching for caves to live in or places where there was lots of food to eat.

RAZ: Probably, yeah.

THOMAS: But here's what I don't get. So there were other humanlike species around this time. There were Neanderthals and Denisovans.

RAZ: That's right.

THOMAS: So if I'm using my powers of deductive reasoning correctly, I'd say that these other species, or maybe their ancestors, also walked from Africa to other parts of the world.

RAZ: Well, that's probably right because all of the evidence we have from fossils and the ancient bones we've found is that the origin of our family of creatures, known as Hominidae, is here in Africa.

THOMAS: This is all starting to make sense.

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: Hey, why don't we head back to the lab to see if we can do some more research about how our Homo sapien ancestors came into contact with Neanderthals and Denisovans?

RAZ: All right, then - to the time machine.

THOMAS: I call driver's seat. Ah, this thing is a tight squeeze. Get over. All right. Now batten the hatches, Guy Raz, because we're going to warp speed.

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: ...All the way to 2017.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ AND THOMAS: (Yelling).

RAZ: Mindy?

THOMAS: I'm here, just stuffed into this cup holder.

RAZ: We got to get bigger cup holders. Thirty-two ounces just doesn't mean the same thing anymore.

THOMAS: Can I get a hand here?

RAZ: Oh, sorry. Here. Ugh.

THOMAS: Almost - come on, you can do it.

RAZ: Almost...

THOMAS: Get me out of this cup holder.

(SOUNDBITE OF POP)

THOMAS: Home, sweet home - back at the lab.

RAZ: So, Mindy, you know how you were asking about these other humanlike species - the Denisovans and the Neanderthals?

THOMAS: Yeah.

RAZ: Well, I just got the latest issue of the journal Science Advances. And look at the cover.

THOMAS: Let me see that. Whoa, a whole article about Denisovan baby teeth - bet those are worth a lot of money.

RAZ: Mindy, this article by a group of paleoanthropologists, including Viviane Slon from the Max Planck Institute in Germany, describes how they just tested a little, teeny, tiny baby tooth that was found in a cave in a part of Russia known as Siberia.

THOMAS: Man, talk about losing the tooth you lost. Well, what did they find out from the test?

RAZ: Well, let's see here. Flip through. Whoa, here it is. It seems like this little baby tooth belonged to a Denisovan.

THOMAS: And if my memory is correct, Denisovans were another humanlike species, but they were not Homo sapiens like us. And they were also not Neanderthals, either.

RAZ: Right.

THOMAS: ...Which were another humanlike species that once lived mostly in Europe.

RAZ: Right. And the cool thing about Denisovans is that scientists only really confirmed, or proved their existence, in the past 10 years.

THOMAS: Huh. Well, if there were Denisovans living in Russia, and Neanderthals living in Europe, and Homo sapiens walking through the Middle East and spreading out all around the world, then...

RAZ: Then our Homo sapien ancestors must've met some Denisovans and Neanderthals along the way.

THOMAS: And maybe they even had families together.

RAZ: ...Which explains why most Homo sapiens on Earth today have a little bit of Neanderthal or a little bit of Denisovan DNA inside their bodies.

THOMAS: That's so cool.

RAZ: And now that DNA testing has become so much easier and cheaper than ever before, almost anyone who wants to take a test can take one. Mindy, I actually did mine with National Geographic's Genographic Project.

THOMAS: That's pretty cool. But what I'm wondering right now is why Homo sapiens are the only Homo species left on planet Earth today.

RAZ: Well, from what paleontologists have found, there were at least 16 other Homo species. So besides Homo sapiens, there were the Homo naledi, and Homo habilis, and Homo heidelbergensis and others.

THOMAS: So what happened to them?

RAZ: Well, many of these species lived for millions of years. And over time, like other species, well, they went extinct.

THOMAS: And I guess we Homo sapiens are still pretty young.

RAZ: Yeah, I mean, we've only been around for 300,000 years, Mindy. So that kind of makes us, like, babies in the hominid family.

(SOUNDBITE OF BABIES CRYING)

THOMAS: Aw, just a bunch of little babies, we humans are.

RAZ: Well, we certainly act like babies sometimes - at least, as a species.

THOMAS: Oh, and you haven't seen anything until you've seen a Homo sapien tantrum.

(SOUNDBITE PEOPLE CRYING)

THOMAS: Humans, humans, calm down. Use your words.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Na-na-na-na-na (ph).

THOMAS: Nope, the other words.

(SOUNDBITE OF MAN CRYING)

THOMAS: Everybody, just chill out. Just chill out. We are all part of the same family. Come on, man, he's your brother.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE DIALING)

THOMAS: Hi. Thanks for calling WOW IN THE WORLD. After the beep, get ready to record.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

GRACE: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. I'm Grace (ph) from New York.

JACQUELINE: And I'm Jacqueline (ph) from Michigan. We are both 10 years old.

GRACE: ...And going into fifth grade.

GRACE AND JACQUELINE: Our wow in the world is that chickens eat yogurt.

GRACE: When they do, they get it all over them.

JACQUELINE: We love your shows.

GRACE: Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

SADIE: My name is Sadie (ph), and I'm from Washington, D.C. And I'm 5. My wow in the world is, seashells are made by sand.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

MINTON: Hi, my name is Minton (ph), and I live in Dallas, Texas. And my wow in the world is that bats have really bad eyesight, but they have really good hearing. Bye-bye, I love your show.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

JANE: Hi, Guy Raz and Mindy. My name's Jane (ph). I'm from Sacramento, and my wow in the world is space, time and life itself. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

NEERA: Hello, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Neera Lindsey (ph), and I live in Atlanta, Ga. And I'm 8 years old. My wow in the world is that the Grand Canyon was made by the Colorado River. It's so deep. It must've taken millions of years. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

PALOMA: Hi, my name is Paloma (ph). And I'm 8 years old, about to be 9. And I live in Alhambra, Calif., and South Pasadena. And my wow in - and the wow in my world is that fruit flies can buzz in note F. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

HENRY: My name is Henry (ph). I'm 6 1/2 years old. I live in Portland, Ore. And my wower (ph) in the world is that I saw a insect that had four legs in the front and four legs in the back, and it walked like a Slinky. Love your show.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

ALEX: Hi, my name is Alex (ph). I'm 8 years old. I live in Newcastle, Australia. My wow is, I went to the Great Barrier Reef and saw tons of fish and coral. You can see the Great Barrier Reef from outer space. Love your show, bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: End of messages.

THOMAS: Hey, guys, thank you so much for checking out this Thursday edition of WOW IN THE WORLD. Grown-ups, to keep the conversation going, we've posted some fun questions on our website, wowintheworld.com. And there, you can also find the results of Guy Raz's personal DNA test. I'm not kidding.

And we love hearing from you. Grown-ups, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - @wowintheworld. And our email address is hello@wowintheworld.com. Today's show was written by me and Guy Raz, and produced by Jed Anderson. Say hello, Jed.

JED ANDERSON, BYLINE: Yello (ph).

THOMAS: Our theme song is written and performed by The Pop Ups. You can find more of their awesome music at thepopups.com. Special thanks to Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Jessica Body (ph), Chelsea Ursin and Alex Curley for helping to make this show possible. Finally, we've loved hearing what's been wowing you. Thanks so much for sending in your voicemails. We listen to each and every one of them.

For a chance to be featured on an upcoming episode, have your grown-ups help you share something that's recently wowed you by dialing 1-888-7-WOW-WOW. Thanks again for subscribing and telling your friends about our show. We'll be back on Monday with a brand new episode. Until then, go forth, and find your own wow in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: WOW IN THE WORLD was made by Tinkercast and sent to you by NPR.

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