Oh My Bleach! Save Our Reef! What in the world is coral bleaching? Where in the world is it happening? And how the world are starfish involved? Join Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas on an underwater adventure to Australia's Great Barrier Reef as they set out to explore the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How and Wow in the World of coral bleaching!
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Oh My Bleach! Save Our Reef!

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Oh My Bleach! Save Our Reef!

MINDY THOMAS, HOST:

Hey, Wowzer fams. Before we start the show, we have some exciting announcements to make, so you better sit down.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

First up, just in time for gift-giving, parents, we now have an online store. It's located at tinkercast.com, and there, you can find tons of WOW IN THE WORLD goodies and gear.

THOMAS: We've got WOW IN THE WORLD T-shirts. We've got adventure journals. We've got buttons for backpacks, stickers, water bottles, magnets. You name it, we got it. It's bonkerballs (ph).

RAZ: And in even bigger news - drumroll, please.

THOMAS: Oh, hang on, let me find my drum.

RAZ: OK.

THOMAS: Found it.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUMROLL)

RAZ: OK, OK, that's enough of that, Mindy. We're excited to announce that we've officially formed the World Organization of Wowzers.

THOMAS: Yes, the World Organization of Wowzers is for curious kids with wild imaginations and a keen sense of adventure.

RAZ: And there are some pretty big perks to joining the W.O.W., like an exclusive, members-only T-shirt.

THOMAS: Wow-defying magnifying goggles.

RAZ: And lots more pretty cool stuff to share with the other curious and creative kids in your world.

THOMAS: Grown-ups, to learn more about the World Organization of Wowzers or to check out our new online store, visit tinkercast.com. That's tinkercast.com.

RAZ: Reggie's (ph) been hard at work getting it up and running.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

RAZ: And we think you're going to really love what you find.

THOMAS: And thank you so much for continuing to spread the wow all year long.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD POCAST 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.

RAZ: OK, OK, let's see here - beach towel, check. Sandals, check. Bio-acidification testing kit, check - don't want to forget that.

THOMAS: (Yelling).

(SOUNDBITE OF WOOD SPLINTERING)

THOMAS: I keep forgetting you got that door blocking the entrance to your house.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Good morning, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Oh, hey, Mindy. Are you ready for the big trip?

THOMAS: Am I ready? Let me tell you. I just came up with an entire schedule while I was in the bathroom doing my business. Anywho (ph), allow me to unravel my list that I scribbled on the back of this roll of toilet paper. We've got snorkeling for apples, Jet Ski horseback riding, maybe a little sky driving.

RAZ: Actually, Mindy, I was sort of looking forward to, you know, a little R and R.

THOMAS: Rollerblading and a raccoon chasing, yes - I had that written down, but I had to use that piece for, you know. Anyway, I'll just jot it down again. This toilet paper keeps tearing on me.

RAZ: No, what I meant by R and R, Mindy, was rest and research.

THOMAS: Research - man, Guy Raz, this is supposed to be a friend vacation.

RAZ: I know, but I just can't help myself. Besides, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, Mindy. It contains over 100 species of jellyfish, 1,625 types of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins.

THOMAS: Wow. So the Great Barrier Reef is home to all those animals. It's like an underwater mansion.

RAZ: Yup. And although coral reefs, like the Great Barrier Reef, only cover a teeny, tiny part of the ocean floor...

THOMAS: Yeah.

RAZ: ...Those coral reefs are home to one out of every three sea creatures in the oceans, Mindy.

THOMAS: Wow, well, in that case, I think I might be up for a little rest and research myself, Guy Raz. You almost packed?

RAZ: Yup, just a couple more things here...

THOMAS: Oh, oh, OK. Yeah, is that going to...

(SOUNDBITE OF MEOW)

THOMAS: How does something like that even - oh, I see.

RAZ: And done.

THOMAS: Wow. OK, well, it's time to go. Reggie's outside waiting on your tarmac driveway, and he charges by the minute. So come on.

RAZ: Sorry, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: OK, now just hand me your luggage. It's heavy. OK, I'm just going to put it right here under Reggie's belly, and you just climb on top. You on?

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: Just going to hop on this bird saddle here. And all right, where's my PA system? Oh, here it is. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your co-pilot speaking, and we've just been given the green light from the tower for takeoff, and our destination today is Queensland, Australia, with a flight time of around 12 seconds. So strap in tight, sit back, and enjoy the flight.

RAZ: Mindy, what happened to the seat belts?

THOMAS: All flight crew, prepare for takeoff, and here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

THOMAS: Wow, Guy Raz, look at that.

RAZ: What? What? I can't hear you.

THOMAS: Sorry, I'll use the PA. Where'd I put that PA? Oh, here it is. Hello, this is your flight captain co-pilot speaking. If you'll look over to the right-hand side of the pigeon, you'll now be able to see the Great Barrier Reef.

RAZ: Wow, that stretches for miles.

THOMAS: (Yelling) One thousand four hundred and thirty miles to be exact.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Oh, sorry. The Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 1,430 miles along Australia's eastern coastline, weighing in at out about half the size of Texas.

RAZ: Wow, and, Mindy, I read it's the only living organism that's visible from space.

THOMAS: And one more thing - the Great Barrier Reef is the only living organism visible from space.

RAZ: That's what I just...

THOMAS: Ladies and gentlemen, we will now be starting our descent, so please hold on tight, and prepare for a water landing. I hope that you've enjoyed your life - I mean, your flight.

RAZ: Water landing - oh, no, not again.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPLASH)

THOMAS: Nice water landing, Reggie, and happy International Talk Like a Pilot Day.

RAZ: If I knew we were going to land in water, I would have worn my bathing suit.

THOMAS: Bye, Reg (ph). Thanks for the lift.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: Wow. Guy Raz, here we are, finally floating in the ocean above the Great Barrier Reef.

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: So what do you want to do first? We can maybe go ashore and tour the inside of some sand castles or chase some speedboats, maybe get kicked out of a volleyball game.

RAZ: Well, actually, Mindy, I've always wanted to explore underwater around the Great Barrier Reef - all those colors, all those marine species. There's a reason it's known as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

THOMAS: Oh, great idea. Before we go, I just need to find my - where is that thing? That's not it. How'd a lawnmower get in there? Oh, my cat, what?

(SOUNDBITE OF MEOW)

THOMAS: Ooh, ooh, here it is.

RAZ: What is that?

THOMAS: What? Do your glasses need glasses? Guy Raz, it's obvious what this is. In fact, this is how we are going to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

RAZ: Mindy, that's a toy submarine.

THOMAS: Well, lucky for us, I remembered to bring my reverse shrink wand with me. I've just got to find it here in my adventure toolbox. Another cat?

(SOUNDBITE OF MEOW)

RAZ: Why would you need that?

THOMAS: Because before you can even say the words kale elbow patches, this reverse shrink wand is going to turn this teeny, tiny submarine into a deluxe, two-person, underwater, ocean floor observatory.

RAZ: You mean to tell me...

THOMAS: Yup, I shrunk our submarine, and I'm about to unshrink it.

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: Abrakabooty (ph), kalamazaz (ph), make this tiny submarine bigger than Guy Raz, poof - perfect and yellow. All right, let me just open up the hatch here and...

RAZ: What about that leak? Did you get it fixed?

THOMAS: Yeah. Turns out it was caused by the screen door I installed. Anyway, let's just say I fixed it.

RAZ: OK, if you say so. I guess let's dive underwater.

THOMAS: Let's do it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONAR)

THOMAS: Guy Raz, you think we're in the right place?

RAZ: Yeah, I'm sure of it. Let me just double-check the GPS.

THOMAS: ...Because I'm looking through the periscope, and all I'm seeing are these weird, white tree things.

RAZ: Mindy...

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: I think I know what's happening here.

THOMAS: What's happening?

RAZ: I've been hearing about this. I think this might be the result of coral bleaching.

THOMAS: Coral whatting (ph)?

RAZ: Coral bleaching - it's when the coral in the ocean loses its color and turns white.

THOMAS: But why does that even happen?

RAZ: Well, Mindy, when the coral gets a little bit stressed out...

THOMAS: Stressed out - Guy Raz, what does coral have to be stressed out about?

RAZ: Well, a whole bunch of things actually, Mindy, like pollution, like getting too much sunlight and rising temperatures.

THOMAS: Temperatures - I don't know, Guy Raz. I'm just going to roll down this window here and...

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: ...Stick my hand out into the water. And whoa, this water feels really comfy to me right now and (yelling). Close the window. Close the window.

RAZ: Mindy, shut the window.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER DRIPPING)

THOMAS: Oh, sorry, big mistake, won't happen again.

RAZ: Please, don't do that again. Well, the water might feel nice and warm to us, but the coral and the symbiotic algae that live on the coral - well, they actually like it a lot cooler.

THOMAS: Hold the phone, Guy Raz - the symbiotic what that lives on who?

RAZ: The symbiotic algae that lives on the coral.

THOMAS: Wait, so coral has little algae plants living on it.

RAZ: Yup, it's actually a microscopic algae called zooxanthellae. And it's this algae that gives the coral its bright and vibrant colors.

THOMAS: And doesn't symbiotic mean a relationship in nature where two different species work together to help each other out?

RAZ: Yes, exactly.

THOMAS: Hey, just like you and me, Guy Raz - a symbiotic funship (ph).

RAZ: That's right. And in this case, the zooxanthellae turns sunlight into food for the coral, and the coral gives the algae a cozy place to live.

THOMAS: A cozy place to live inside it.

RAZ: That's right. But their relationship can get a little...

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: ...How do I put this - well, a little testy when the ocean temperature gets too hot.

THOMAS: That reminds me of the last time we took a friend vacation.

Ugh, why is it so hot in here? Even my sweat is sweating.

RAZ: I don't know. I think this thermostat must be broken. Let me just fidget with this for a second.

THOMAS: I'm melting. I'm melting.

RAZ: Mindy, calm down. You're not going to melt.

THOMAS: Fine. Then I'm just going to get out of this vacation, Guy Raz. I'm going home. (Shouting) Reggie.

RAZ: Okay. Okay. So yeah, when you were so hot and you had to race off, well, that's basically what's happening here on the reef, Mindy. The temperature gets so unbearable that the zooxanthellae ended up packing their bags and leaving the coral, taking all of their colors with them.

THOMAS: Oh. So the bleached coral that we see left behind is really just the regular coral without all of its colorful friends attached?

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: It's kind of sad.

RAZ: It is. And, Mindy, as you know, climate change is making our planet warmer. And that means that our oceans are also getting warmer. And as the oceans in this part of Australia get warmer and warmer, these bleaching events could possibly spread to the rest of the reef.

THOMAS: And then the entire coral reef is just dead?

RAZ: Bleached coral doesn't necessarily mean that it's dead. But without the zooxanthellae protecting it, it can get sicker and sicker faster and faster.

THOMAS: Kind of how like how Grandma G-Force always tells me to put on a coat, or I'll catch a cold.

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: Now, if we could only get the temperature of the oceans to drop, then the zooxanthellae can return to the reef and make a full recovery.

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: But I just realized something. This means that we would also have to deal with the Coral Killer.

RAZ: The what?

THOMAS: Oh. You haven't heard of the Coral Killer?

RAZ: No. But it sounds a little scary.

THOMAS: Oh, man. It's like something straight out of one of those horror movies where everything's more hilarious than it is horrifying.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: I got an idea. What do you say we hang a Roger and pilot this submarine due east? Just going to turn this thing to the right. There we go.

RAZ: Mindy, where are we going?

THOMAS: Almost there, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Is that a movie theater?

THOMAS: Yup. Bet you weren't expecting to find one of those at the bottom of the ocean, were you?

RAZ: So weird that they put one all the way out here and underwater. Are you sure we can take our submarine in there?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. It's an underwater drive-in movie theater. You just float right in.

RAZ: An underwater drive-in movie theater.

THOMAS: Just going to float on up to the ticket booth here and - where are the brakes on this thing? Oh, here we go. I'm just going to open up this window, so I can order our tickets.

RAZ: What? Mindy, shut the window.

THOMAS: Almost forgot we're in an underwater submarine. Got a microphone for this kind of thing. Hi. Two tickets to "The Coral Killer," please.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: (As ticket clerk, vocalizing).

THOMAS: Oh, let me ask my friend. Hey, Guy Raz. She wants to know if we want any snacks before we head in. They've got krill nuggets, shrimp cocktails, sea pickles. Hey, you like sea pickles, right? Actually, no time for that. The movie's about to start.

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: Oh, and I see the perfect seat for our submarine right in the middle of all the other submarines. Come on. Excuse us. Coming through.

RAZ: Excuse me. Sorry. Don't mind me.

THOMAS: Sorry. We're just going to squeeze on by.

RAZ: Pardon me. Excuse me. Pardon me.

THOMAS: Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse us.

RAZ: Pardon me. Don't mind me. Excuse me.

THOMAS: Oh, just going to squeeze...

RAZ: Pardon me. Sorry. Excuse me.

THOMAS: Ah, just in time. Now, here. Guy Raz, put on these headphones, so you can hear the movie.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As movie narrator) They thought the worst of it was over.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As movie character) I think the worst of it's over.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As movie narrator) But then came the Coral Killer...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (Gasping).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As movie narrator) ...Feasting on the living flesh of coral, devouring reefs the world over, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As movie character) There's thousands of them.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As movie narrator) They are the crown-of-thrones (ph) starfish.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (Gasping).

THOMAS: You know what, Guy Raz? We should probably get out of here.

RAZ: Excuse me. Sorry.

THOMAS: Sorry. Excuse me.

RAZ: Excuse me. Pardon me.

THOMAS: Oh, sorry. Coming through. Thank you.

RAZ: Pardon me. Don't mind me. Excuse me.

THOMAS: Oh, sorry. Excuse me. Oh, sorry.

RAZ: Pardon me. Pardon me. Sorry.

THOMAS: Pretty scary movie, huh?

RAZ: Mindy, that was horrifying - a giant starfish eating the coral reef. It's not real, is it?

THOMAS: Actually, Guy Raz, it is.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: These purplish-blue starfish can grow as long as a medium-sized dog - over 2 and a half feet. They're also known as corallivores.

RAZ: Corallivores? Now, I know a carnivore is an animal that only eats meat. And an herbivore is an animal that only eats plants. So does that mean that this starfish only eats coral?

THOMAS: Exact-oritos (ph), Guy Raz. And it turns out they're not too picky when it comes to their food, either. They'll eat just about any color you put in front of them.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As waiter) Bonjour, monsieur. May I take your order?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As customer) Yeah. I'll take an order of the branching and table corals.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As waiter) Very good, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As customer) And some of the porites...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As waiter) Porites.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As customer) Porites. Or foliose corals.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As waiter) Excellent.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As customer) I'm also going to take an order of the soft coral, the incrusted organisms. And what sponges do you have on special tonight?

RAZ: Huh. Interesting. So why have they only just become a problem now?

THOMAS: Well, some scientists think that this recent outbreak of flesh-eating starfish might be related to a weather event called El Nino.

RAZ: El Nino.

THOMAS: Yup. It's this crazy phenomenon that happens about once every ten years or so when a lot of warm water from the oceans around the equator near South America travels to the east coast of Australia.

RAZ: So the increased water temperatures from climate change and El Nino are not only bleaching the coral but also making its No. 1 natural predator's population go bonkerballs.

THOMAS: Hey, that's my word.

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: But yeah, that's exactly what happens. Just one of these starfish can lay up to 65 million eggs at a time.

RAZ: Sixty-five million eggs? This reef is going to be overrun. We've got to get out of here. I mean, the coral killers are going to come for us.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, calm down. I know someone who can help.

RAZ: You do?

THOMAS: Uh-huh. But we've got to get out of here. Back this baby on up. All right. Now listen to that.

RAZ: Mindy, what's that sound?

THOMAS: Oh, there it is. Do you see it?

RAZ: What is that?

THOMAS: Wow.

RAZ: It looks like a tiny, yellow submarine - actually kind of looks like ours.

THOMAS: That, Guy Raz, is the COTSbot - or as I like to call it, the Starfish Slayer.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: (As commentator) Hello, ladies and gentlemen. And thank you for joining us here on the Great Barrier Reef for this world-class bout between the Starfish Slayer and the Coral Killer. Now, Mark, what can you tell me about these two competitors?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As reporter) Well, see, the Coral Killer has been around for several millions of years now and, during that time, has really been able to hone its skills...

RAZ: OK. That's enough TV.

THOMAS: Hey, I was watching that.

RAZ: Well, no time for TV right now. By the way, what is this Starfish Slayer COTSbot thing?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. So the COTSbot - COTS meaning crown-of-thorns starfish - is this underwater drone developed by robotic researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. And its whole mission is to hunt down these sinister starfish.

RAZ: Wow. That's so cool. So it's like a little submarine that just swims around the reef, identifying crown-of-thorn starfish with those cameras on the front of it?

THOMAS: Yup. And every time it sees a new crown-of-thorns starfish, it snaps a picture and then puts that picture in its little robot brain to help it identify or better pick out future starfish when it comes across them.

RAZ: So once it identifies one of these starfish, what happens next?

THOMAS: Well, take a look.

RAZ: What is that? It looks like some sort of arm is coming out of the COTSbot.

THOMAS: Oh, yeah.

RAZ: Look at it go.

THOMAS: Got it.

RAZ: Mindy, what's it doing?

THOMAS: What's it doing? It's injecting that coral-killing starfish with poison.

RAZ: Poison?

THOMAS: Well, I mean the technical term is sodium bisulfite.

RAZ: OK. Well, I know sodium is the chemical form of salt. But bisulfite? What is that?

THOMAS: Oh, glad you asked. It's bile.

RAZ: Bile? Ugh, you mean that mucusy liquid that lines our intestines?

THOMAS: Yup.

RAZ: They're injecting that into these starfish?

THOMAS: You know it, Guy Raz. In fact, the bile that they're injecting into these starfish comes from cows.

RAZ: Wait a minute. We're injecting starfish with salty cow bile using a drone, all in an effort to save the reef?

THOMAS: Yeah. Pretty much. I mean, how cool is that?

RAZ: It's a mind-bogglingly cool, Mindy. But you know that these robots aren't the only ones bringing the fight to the starfish.

THOMAS: Really?

RAZ: Really. Look. Here comes one now - still coming. Still coming. Wait for it.

THOMAS: What? What are we waiting for? I don't have this kind of patience.

RAZ: Wait for it. There.

THOMAS: Oh, my googly-eyed cat. What is that?

RAZ: That, Mindy, is the giant triton sea snail.

THOMAS: That thing is gargantuan.

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: I mean, I've seen snails in my day. In fact, I've got three in my pocket right now.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: But I have seen anything that looked like that.

RAZ: Yup - 50 centimeters long - as long as a cat.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #8: (As announcer) Coming in at 1.5 feet, he hails from the coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific region. He eats crown-of-thorn starfish for breakfast. It's the triton terror.

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: I've totally heard about these guys. They're one of the crown-of-thorns starfish only natural predators, right?

RAZ: That's right. The Australian Institute of Marine Science here in north Queensland is currently doing a study to try and breed or make more of the starfish swallowers across the reef to try and stop this outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish.

THOMAS: Hold the phone, Guy Raz. So these starfish have millions of babies at a time, right?

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: So how in the world do you expect these giant snails to eat them all?

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: I mean, I've got a big appetite. But I max out at, like, 3 starfish in a sitting.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: What? What I mean to say is that there are way more starfish than there are snails.

RAZ: That's true, Mindy. And yes. These giant sea snails typically eat about one starfish a week.

THOMAS: What? One starfish a week?

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, I'm no math magician. But by my calculations, we're going to be, like, 300 years old by the time these snails finish their dinner. It's like they're at a snail's pace.

RAZ: That's true. But, Mindy, here's the thing. The researchers at the Australian Institute of Marine Science found out that just the smell of the triton in the water near the starfish is enough to send the starfish running.

THOMAS: Just like how some of the smells I make send you running.

(SOUNDBITE OF FART)

THOMAS: Excuse me.

RAZ: True. But the triton snail and the crown-of-thorns starfish are able to smell each other by detecting the chemicals that each of them give off in the water in the same way that we humans detect chemicals in the air with our noses.

THOMAS: And nothing smells better to a triton sea snail than a crown-of-thorns starfish. Mmmm.

RAZ: Yup. Just like every time you smell my double-chocolate fudge brownies.

THOMAS: Or every time you smell my homemade, freshly cut, made-from-scratch kelp noodles that I buy frozen from the store.

RAZ: Oh, those noodles are so good.

THOMAS: OK. So basically, what you're saying here is that when the crown-of-thorns starfish smells the triton sea snail coming for it, it freaks out and bolts?

RAZ: That's right. And the further away these snails can drive the starfish away from each other, well, the harder it is for them to breed and make more babies.

THOMAS: Whoa. Check it out. Looks like that triton snail finally made it to an unsuspecting starfish.

RAZ: Oh, man. He's really going to town on that starfish, Mindy. He must be hungry.

THOMAS: Look at him go, saving the reef one bite at a time.

RAZ: Go, triton.

THOMAS: Go, triton. Go get him, triton.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: WOW IN THE WORLD will be right back. Grown-ups, this message is for you.

That's it. Back to the show.

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

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

(SOUNDBITE OF DIALING PHONE)

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

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

CODY: Hi. My name is Cody (ph). And I'm 5 years old. And I live in Washington. And my wow in the world is that a deer walked up to my window, and it was eating. It looked up, and then it just kept eating. Bye. Love your show.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

CALLA: Hi. I'm Calla (ph). And I am 9. And I live in Memphis, Tenn. My wow in the world is that guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

OMA: Hi. My name is Oma (ph). I am 6 years old. And I am from Santa Fe, N.M. And my wow in my world is that sea horses don't have stomachs.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

KIERAN: My name is Kieran (ph). I'm from Venice, Calif. And my wow in the world is that king cobras are the longest venomous snake on the planet. Love your show, Mindy and Guy Raz. And I also love that hilarious bird Reggie, too. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

LESLIE: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Leslie (ph). I live in Roslindale, Mass., and I am 7 years old. My wow in the world is that it takes three days to get to the moon. You need an astronaut suit. The first thing to go to the moon was fruit flies. I love your show. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

MARVIN: Hi. My name is Marvin (ph). And I leave in Franklin, Tenn. And I am 6. My wow is dogs are colorblind. And so is my dad. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

RYAN: Hi. I'm Ryan (ph) from Prior Lake, Minn. And my wow is that I recently learned that a Delta plane takes off every 10 seconds. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

DAISY: My name is Daisy (ph). I am 4 years old. And I'm from Washington. And my wow is that falcons can screech loudly. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: End of messages.

THOMAS: Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us this week on WOW IN THE WORLD.

RAZ: And if you want to keep the conversation going, check out some of the questions we've posted on this episode at our website, wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And there, you'll be able to find all of the sources and journal articles we used for today's show.

RAZ: Our show is produced by Jed Anderson...

THOMAS: Say hello, Jed.

JED ANDERSON, BYLINE: Yello (ph).

RAZ: ...With help from Thomas Van Calkin (ph), Chelsea Ursin and Jessica Bodie (ph). Meredith Halpern-Ranzer is the big boss.

THOMAS: Our theme song was composed and performed by The Pop Ups. You can find more of their awesome, all-ages music at thepopups.com.

RAZ: And parents and teachers, if you want to send us an email, our address is hello@wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: Grown-ups, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @wowintheworld.

RAZ: And if you want to be featured at the end of the show, call us up and tell us your wow in the world.

THOMAS: Our phone number is 1-888-7-WOWWOW. That's 1-888-7-WOWWOW.

RAZ: And, parents, if you want to upload any photos or videos or messages to us, please visit wowintheworld.com and find a link where you can do just that.

THOMAS: And if you haven't already done so, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts or however you get your podcasts. Leave us a few stars in a review. And be sure to tell a friend about the show. Until next time, keep on wowing.

(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.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: WOW IN THE WORLD was made by Tinkercast and sent to you by NPR.

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