Hey Baby Island, How'd You Get Here? - When Underwater Volcanoes Grow UP! If you could take one item to a desert island what would it be? A pacifier? A rattle? How about a diaper? Well that might be just what you need if you're visiting an itty bitty baby island! Join Mindy and Guy Raz as they take the Wow Machine out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to visit the youngest volcanic island on the planet! It's the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World of VOLCANIC ISLANDS!
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Hey Baby Island, How'd You Get Here? - When Underwater Volcanoes Grow UP!

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Hey Baby Island, How'd You Get Here? - When Underwater Volcanoes Grow UP!

Hey Baby Island, How'd You Get Here? - When Underwater Volcanoes Grow UP!

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/705921693/705921992" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MINDY THOMAS, HOST:

Hey, wowzer fams (ph). As you may have heard, the Wow in the World Pop Up Party has been popping up all over North America, and we're finally ready to announce our next four cities. Reggie...

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: ...Drumroll, please.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUMROLL)

THOMAS: This spring and summer, the Wow in the World Pop Up Party is coming to Nashville, Tenn., on May 18; Boston, Mass., on June 2; Chicago, Ill., on July 6; and Denver, Colo., on July 14. Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday, April 1. But members of the World Organization of Wowzers get first dibs on our members-only presale that is open now, as in today. Also, for Florida wowzers, don't forget we will be at the Tampa Theatre on Saturday, April 6. It's coming soon, so hurry up and get your tix (ph). For tickets and more info on all of our upcoming live shows, visit tinkercast.com/events. Grown-ups, that's tinkercast.com/events.

That's it. Now let's get on with this brand-new episode of WOW IN THE WORLD.

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

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: Stay seated. Three, two, one, ignition.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: Get ready for an adventure of magnificent proportion.

THE POP UPS: (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.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: With Guy and Mindy.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: We're on our way, Houston.

THOMAS: Hey, Guy Raz. Guy Raz. It's me - Mindy. Open the door.

(SOUNDBITE OF KNOCKING)

THOMAS: I'm here. Guy Raz? Razzie (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Hi, Mindy.

THOMAS: Hey, Dennis.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Mindy, it's 4 in the morning. What are you doing up so early?

THOMAS: Just getting ready for my morning walk with Mr. Sleepy Pants in here.

(SOUNDBITE OF KNOCKING)

THOMAS: Guy Raz, I'm outside.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Mindy, Mr. Sleepy Pants moved out of that house five years ago. Lots of people have lived there before Guy Raz. Back in the '50s, it was Lazy Susan. Then after her was Mr. and Mrs. Party Pooper. They were cool, but they also owned a lot of scaredy-cats.

THOMAS: Dennis, what are you even doing awake? It's the middle of the night.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Well, you're making a racket, and I'm an insufferable busybody.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

THOMAS: Good morning, Guy Raz. (Singing) Good morning. Good morning. It's time to wake up the brain. Good morning.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Mindy, what on earth are you doing? It's the middle of the night.

THOMAS: Actually, it's four hours past the middle of the night.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: It's 4 a.m.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Hi, Guy. Hey, since we're all awake, who wants to play Yahtzee?

THOMAS: Dennis.

RAZ: Dennis? Mindy, what on earth is going on here?

THOMAS: It's time for our new, weekly neighborhood walk. Remember? I was saying how I needed to get more exercise after I won that napping hot dog eating contest.

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: And then you were like, hey, we should go on one long walk around the neighborhood once a week.

RAZ: Ugh. Uh-huh.

THOMAS: And then you said, come over to my house and knock on the door tomorrow at 4 o'clock. And judging by the time on this watch I'm not wearing right now, it's 4 o'clock.

RAZ: Oh, Mindy. I meant 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I assumed you would have figured that out by yourself.

THOMAS: Well, you know what happens when you assume.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: You get confusing, logistical mix-ups like this.

RAZ: (Yawns) Well...

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: You've woken me up, so I suppose if we start now, we might be able to make it back for sunrise.

THOMAS: Whew. Well, you know I love a good sunrise. One time I took the Wow Machine to go back and forth in time just to watch the same sunrise 12 times in a row.

RAZ: (Yawns).

THOMAS: You know, if you're not careful, a bird's going to fly in your mouth.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

RAZ: Let me just get into my walkout (ph) gear, and we can get going. Just wait here for a minute.

THOMAS: Okey-doke, I'll be waiting right...

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR CLOSING)

THOMAS: ...Here.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Well, Mindy, looks like it's just you and me - a science-minded sassafras and a professional neighborhood snoop.

THOMAS: What?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Exactly. What adventures lie in store for us? Will we solve scientific mysteries, or will we go eavesdropping in the backyard?

THOMAS: Ugh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Personally, I say eavesdropping. I think audiences will really respond to it, and it'll...

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

RAZ: I'm ready.

THOMAS: Ah, right on time.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) ...All the hashtags.

THOMAS: Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Also, I really think it'll help flesh out our characters as we go into the sixth and seventh seasons. Where are you going?

RAZ: You know, Mindy, once you're actually out of bed, and you've got the cold morning air on your face, it's actually quite nice being out at this time of day. It's so peaceful.

THOMAS: I know. No people, no cars, no babies running you over with their roller blades.

RAZ: Just peace and quiet. Ah.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHICKEN CLUCKING)

THOMAS: Ooo (ph), it's ready.

RAZ: Mindy, what in the wow was that?

THOMAS: Oh, that was my phone.

RAZ: Who's trying to contact you at 4 in the morning?

THOMAS: Oh, that wasn't someone trying to contact me.

RAZ: Then why did your phone just bock (ph) like a chicken?

THOMAS: That was just my phone letting me know that my app is finished downloading.

RAZ: Your app?

THOMAS: Yeah, it's this new app called Nice Breakers.

RAZ: Nice Breakers?

THOMAS: Mmm hmm. It's kind of like icebreakers - you know, like the kind of questions that you ask people to get to know them a little bit better.

RAZ: But Mindy, we've known each other for years. Do you really think we need icebreaker questions?

THOMAS: And OK. Here we go. Guy Raz, if you could take one item to a deserted island, what would it be and why?

RAZ: Oh, that's a good one, Mindy. Hmm, let me see. I suppose it would have to be my collection of essays from the London Review of Books.

THOMAS: Hmm, color me surprised.

RAZ: Oh, boy. I could read and reread those for years and years and years, until someone stopped by the island to rescue me. Oh, did I ever tell you about that one article I read, Mindy, about carbon capture solutions in developing...

THOMAS: Well, if you must know, I guess I would have to take a rattle.

RAZ: A rattle?

THOMAS: Maybe a pacifier.

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: Maybe, like, one of those little cribs you can travel with.

RAZ: A rattle? A pacifier? A crib?

THOMAS: Mmm hmm.

RAZ: Mindy, why would you want to take all those baby baggage to a deserted island?

THOMAS: Well, Guy Raz, I'm thinking of a very specific island.

RAZ: Oh...

THOMAS: The island I'm thinking of is a little baby island way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, near the island country of Tonga.

RAZ: A little baby island? Mindy, is this an island full of babies?

THOMAS: (Laughter) Of course it's not an island full of babies, Guy Raz. Ridonculous (ph).

RAZ: (Laughter) Oh, good. Because I thought you were saying...

THOMAS: The island is a baby.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: The island is a baby.

RAZ: I don't think I understand, Mindy. You're going to have to explain this one to me.

THOMAS: Well, I guess I could tell you about it.

RAZ: Yeah?

THOMAS: But I'd rather show you about it. Come on. Let's turn this Nice Breaker into a stone-cold adventure-maker.

RAZ: I thought we were going for a walk, Mindy.

THOMAS: Well, it's kind of hard to walk to an island, Guy Raz. I mean, for one, they're surrounded by water on all sides.

RAZ: Well...

THOMAS: But good news for us - I have a partly functional Wow Machine that can get us there lickety-split. And since it can travel through time, we can just come back once we're done, and I can wake you up all over again.

RAZ: Ugh.

THOMAS: Anything for science, right?

RAZ: Anything for science.

THOMAS: Yes. OK, you wait here, and I'll run back and get the Wow Machine, OK?

RAZ: Ugh. OK.

THOMAS: Be back before you can say, hey, where did Mindy go? I thought she was right here, but now she isn't. Wow, she's faster than lightning. Sure hope she'll be back soon.

(SOUNDBITE OF CATS MEOWING)

RAZ: Mindy, are you pulling along the Wow Machine with your cats?

THOMAS: Yeah, all 47 of them. I lift out of my adventure toolkit (ph). Come on, guys.

RAZ: And what's that leaking out of the bottom?

THOMAS: What? Oh, that's margarine.

RAZ: Margarine?

THOMAS: Yeah, I ran out of butter.

RAZ: Uh-huh.

(SOUNDBITE OF CATS MEOWING)

THOMAS: OK. All right. There we go. OK, hop in, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Uh, Mindy, did you move the door again?

THOMAS: Yeah, had to make room for the solar-powered toaster. The door is now - where did I put that thing? Oh, here it is. Here it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR CRANKING)

RAZ: Oh?

THOMAS: One-hundred-percent upcycled (ph) door. Can you believe someone was just going to throw this thing away?

RAZ: Mindy - Mindy, where did you get this thing? It looks 400 years old.

THOMAS: (Laughter) Four-hundred and twenty-one years old. I found it on the side of a pirate ship.

RAZ: An abandoned pirate ship?

THOMAS: Sure.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

THOMAS: Oh, sorry, let me just grab that. (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF HAMMERING)

THOMAS: There, good as new.

RAZ: Ugh.

THOMAS: Right behind you, buddy. OK, let's see here. Just get these empty coconuts off the dashboard.

RAZ: Empty coconuts?

THOMAS: Yeah, Reggie borrowed the Wow Machine the other day, and he took a four-year vacation to Tahiti and was back in an hour.

RAZ: OK.

THOMAS: All right, let me see here. Got to punch in the coordinates - the island of Hunga Tonga. Let's lock it in.

GUY RAZ AND MINDY THOMAS: And here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

THOMAS: Oh, wow. What a ride. Never gets old, right, buddy?

RAZ: Right.

THOMAS: Come on, let's go look outside from the observation deck.

RAZ: Wait, the Wow Machine has an observation deck?

THOMAS: Yeah. It's right between the gym and the business center.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Now, if you get to the pool, you've gone too far.

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: Come on, follow me. OK, Guy Raz. May I present to you...

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

THOMAS: ...Hunga Tonga - one of the youngest, most teeny-tiny baby islands in the entire world.

RAZ: Whoa.

THOMAS: Can you even believe it? It's 4 years old today - a little toddler. Such a little cutie. Pretty soon he's going to be going off to island kindergarten to learn his island ABCs and make lots of little island friends.

RAZ: Wait a minute, Mindy. Is this what you mean when you were talking about a baby island?

THOMAS: Yeah. Isn't it cute? I mean, look at those little adorable sand banks. I just want to eat them up.

RAZ: Where exactly are we, anyway?

THOMAS: Ugh. Well, that's kind of a tough question to answer because, well, we're kind of in the middle of nowhere.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Technically this island belongs to the Kingdom of Tonga.

RAZ: And the Kingdom of Tonga is a string of islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

THOMAS: You know it. Tonga is made up of more than 160 islands and is 6,540 miles away from the U.S. West Coast.

RAZ: Oh, yeah. I can see it on my globe right here.

THOMAS: Your globe?

RAZ: I never leave home without it.

(SOUNDBITE OF GLOBE SQUEAKING)

RAZ: Here it is - Tonga. Huh. It looks like these islands lie about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.

THOMAS: Yeah, that looks about right. And this little baby was formed in the Kingdom of Tonga in January of 2015. So do you want to watch?

RAZ: Watch what?

THOMAS: The island being born.

RAZ: Born? Mindy, don't you mean formed?

THOMAS: Yeah, that's what I said. So do you want to watch?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: Well, then, strap in again. We're going to use this Wow Machine to travel way back in time, all the way to 2015.

RAZ: 2015 - that's, like, seven Guy phones ago.

THOMAS: I know. Aren't ancient cultures so fascinating?

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)

THOMAS: 2015, here we come.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

THOMAS: That was a close one. I had to dodge a royal wedding, two soccer World Cups and a Beyonce baby.

RAZ: But we're here.

THOMAS: Safe and...

(SOUNDBITE OF VOLCANO ERUPTING)

THOMAS: What was that sound?

(SOUNDBITE OF VOLCANO ERUPTING)

RAZ: Mindy, what was that?

THOMAS: Well, if I had to guess, I'd say it's...

(SOUNDBITE OF VOLCANO ERUPTING)

THOMAS: ...An underwater volcano.

RAZ: An underwater volcano.

THOMAS: Is there an echo in here?

(SOUNDBITE OF ECHO)

RAZ: Mindy - Mindy, why in the world would you land us right over an active underwater volcano?

THOMAS: Because, Guy Raz, this is how most islands are formed - in the fiery and watery depths of massive underwater volcanoes.

(SOUNDBITE OF VOLCANO ERUPTING)

RAZ: Bah (ph). Wah (ph).

THOMAS: Ugh, no. Who shut the blinds? We're going to miss the best part. I can't get these things to open ever.

(SOUNDBITE OF VOLCANO ERUPTING)

THOMAS: Oh, man. That sounded like a good one.

RAZ: Mindy, are you sure we're safe in here?

THOMAS: Yes, of course I'm not sure we're safe in here, Guy Raz. Now, can you give me a hand with these blinds? Because we're missing the best part of the show.

RAZ: Sure thing, Mindy. Wait. Don't you just pull this cord?

(SOUNDBITE OF BLINDS RAISING)

THOMAS: I knew that.

RAZ: Whoa. Look at that, Mindy. All those bubbles and jets of water, that massive cloud of ash. This is amazing.

THOMAS: And to think that just four years from now, there'll be an island right there in that exact same spot.

RAZ: Wait a minute, Mindy. Is this a volcanic island?

THOMAS: You know it is.

RAZ: You know, Mindy, I've read about these sorts of islands before. But if I'm not mistaken, don't these islands only usually hang around for a few months before sinking back into the ocean?

THOMAS: Yeah. In fact, over the past 150 years, only three volcanic islands have survived more than a few months.

RAZ: Whoa.

THOMAS: Whoa is right. But this island is extra special because...

RAZ: Because it's sort of shaped like the bat signal?

THOMAS: Close, but no. This island is extra special because it's the only one of those three islands that have been born in the age of satellites. Which means...

RAZ: Which means that we have satellite photos of it growing up from a small little eruption in 2015 to the 4-year-old we have now in 2019.

THOMAS: Bingo. And if you played all those satellite images in a row like a flip book, it would look a little something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF FART NOISES)

THOMAS: Whoops. Wrong button. Where did I put the fast forward button on this thing? Oh, here it is. A little something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS)

RAZ: Whoa. That's incredible, Mindy. I can see the island slowly rising up from the water. And look, I can see plants starting to sprout on the black soil down there. Wow.

THOMAS: OK. We're coming up on 2019. Got to time this just right. Wait for it. Wait for it. Now.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

THOMAS: There we go. Back to present day.

RAZ: Nice landing, Mindy.

THOMAS: Thanks, buddy.

RAZ: It's now been around four years. So does that mean that Hunga Tonga is here for good now?

THOMAS: Well, according to a team of scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center that recently visited the island on a research expedition, they expect the island will be here for around another 30 years.

RAZ: Wow, really?

THOMAS: Yeah. You know, in fact, I think I see one of those little researchers down there on the beach right now.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Maybe he can tell us more about it. Here, let me just get on the megaphone.

Hello, down there.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As researcher, screaming).

THOMAS: Oh, no. It's OK, little buddy. We come in peace.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: Ahh (ph), aliens - I knew it. Ahh. Run for your lives.

THOMAS: Why does this keep happening to me?

Well, I guess we're going to have to investigate ourselves. Prepare for a water landing, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Water landing?

THOMAS: Three, two, one, zero.

RAZ: Ahhhh (ph).

(SOUNDBITE OF WOW MACHINE LANDING)

THOMAS: Wait. Did I ever fix that leak?

RAZ: Huh?

(SOUNDBITE WATER GURGLING)

THOMAS: Nope.

RAZ: Mindy, what are we going to do? We're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a slowly sinking Wow Machine.

THOMAS: Well, the first thing we're going to have to do is stop complaining and go with the flow. Get it? Because of the leaking water.

RAZ: Mindy...

THOMAS: And the second thing to do is grab an oar and help me get to land before this Wow Machine becomes a Wow-That-Sunk-Quickly Machine.

RAZ: Are the oars in the same place as last time?

THOMAS: Yes, of course they're not, Guy Raz. Here, I'll get them. They're right next to the tennis rackets. You want starboard or bow?

RAZ: Does it matter?

THOMAS: Starboard it is. Catch.

RAZ: Catch? Mindy, this is a tennis racket.

THOMAS: No time for semantics, Guy Raz. Row. And row. And row. And row. And row. And row.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER RUSHING)

THOMAS: Hey. We made it.

RAZ: Yay.

THOMAS: OK. Let's get out and see what's going on on Hunga Tonga.

(SOUNDBITE OF CREAKING, THUD)

THOMAS: Hmm (ph), smell that South Pacific Polynesian air.

RAZ: Wow, Mindy. Take a look at this soil. It's completely black. And its grains are bigger than regular sand, like small little pea-sized pebbles.

THOMAS: Yeah, I think this might be basalt.

RAZ: Basalt? Oh, you mean the type of rock that forms once the lava from a volcano cools down.

THOMAS: Exactly. All of this black stuff we're standing on right now probably started its life as piping-hot volcanic magma.

RAZ: And yet, look over there, Mindy.

THOMAS: Over where?

RAZ: Over there. There's green vegetation growing all over this baby island.

THOMAS: Green vegetation is my third-favorite kind of vegetation.

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: Come on. Let's check it out. Run, run, run, run, run...

RAZ: Hey, Mindy, wait up.

THOMAS: Whoa. Check this out, Guy Raz.

RAZ: This is incredible, Mindy. This island is in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles away from most of the rest of the world. And yet, life seems to be thriving here.

THOMAS: But how?

RAZ: Well, if it's anything like other islands in the Pacific, the answer probably lies in what those feathered friends are doing over there.

THOMAS: Where?

RAZ: See, over there, the birds.

THOMAS: Oh, yeah - those sooty terns chilling out over on the cliff base.

RAZ: Right, those sooty tern that have decided to make this island their home as they fly across the Pacific. And these birds have most likely brought these plants with them.

THOMAS: What? How?

RAZ: Well...

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD SQUAWKING, SPLAT)

THOMAS: Ugh. Is that sooty tern becoming a poopy tern?

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD SQUAWKING, SPLAT)

RAZ: Yup. And the seeds from many of these plants probably arrived in the bellies of these migratory birds. And once they pooped out onto the volcanic soil here, well, it began to grow into what we see here today.

THOMAS: You mean like how those ducks were spreading duckweed from pond to pond and lake to lake all over America?

RAZ: Exactly.

THOMAS: Whoa.

RAZ: And that's not all, Mindy. Volcanic soil like the stuff we're standing on right now is chock-a-block (ph) full of nutrients like phosphates and nitrates and potassium and calcium, which are all needed for plants to grow up big and strong.

THOMAS: Yeah. Well, watch where you're treading there, Guy Raz, because there is a lot of that plant fertilizer all over this island beach. Ugh.

RAZ: So did you find out what the scientists from NASA learned about this island, Mindy?

THOMAS: Well, as it turns out, this little volcanic island can teach us a lot more about other volcanic islands. And I'm not talking about just the ones found here on Earth.

RAZ: Wait. What do you mean?

THOMAS: OK. So the scientists at NASA are hoping that these satellite images can help us to understand how volcanoes and oceans work together to make islands here on Earth.

RAZ: Huh.

THOMAS: And if they can do that, they can use similar satellite images that we have from Mars to understand if they were also formed with oceans millions of years ago.

RAZ: Wow.

You know what, Mindy? It's actually quite peaceful out here.

THOMAS: I know - the perfect spot for our morning walk.

RAZ: The beach, the waves...

THOMAS: The pooping birds.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD SQUAWKING, SPLAT)

RAZ: What more could you ask for?

THOMAS: Ooh (ph), I know - this.

RAZ: Oh, no, not more Nice Breakers.

THOMAS: Oh, yes, more Nice Breakers. OK. Let's see here. Oh - this is a good one.

If you had to choose between getting woken up at 4 in the morning every day for the rest of your life or row across the Pacific Ocean with nothing but a wooden door from a pirate ship and a tennis racket, what would you choose?

RAZ: Mayday. Mayday.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: 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)

RYAN: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. I'm Ryan (ph).

JACOB: I'm Jacob (ph). And we live in Wheaton, Ill. Our wow in the world is that a rare-earth magnet the size of a Lego brick can lift 50 pounds - or five bowling balls.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

NORA: Hi, Mindy, Guy Raz, Reggie and Dennis.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Dennis) Ahoy there.

NORA: My name is Nora (ph). And I'm from Santa Barbara, Calif. And my wow in the world is that owls can turn their heads 270 degrees in each direction. Also, T. rex babies are born with feathers.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

JACKSON: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Jackson (ph) and Jaylinda (ph). And we're from Austin, Texas. Our wow in the world is that the skin of a golden poison dart frog shot contains enough toxin to kill up to 100 people.

JAYLINDA: Hi, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

BETTY LOU: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name's Betty Lou (ph). I live in Oakland, Calif. My wow in the world is that hippos make their own sunscreen. Learned that from "Wild Kratts." Bet you didn't know that. Bye. Hi, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

JULIANNA: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz and Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

JULIANNA: My name is Julianna (ph). And I live in San Antonio, Texas. My wow in the world is that foxes have a good hearing that they can hear a watch ticking from 40 yards away. Bye. Love your show.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

LUCAS: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Lucas (ph), and I'm from Los Angeles, Calif. My wow in the world is that humans share 50 percent of their DNA with bananas.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

IRIS: My name is Iris (ph), and I'm from California. My wow in the world is that in a different galaxy, there's a planet with two suns. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

ELI: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Eli (ph). And this is my sister Isla (ph). She is 2 1/2 years old. We live in Rochester, Minn. Our wow in the world that blue light from the sun makes our bodies stay awake. When it is nighttime and you are playing on your tablet, phone or computer, the blue light tricks your body into staying awake because it turns off the melatonin that tells our body it is night. Love you. Our dog's name is Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: End of messages.

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

RAZ: And to keep the wow rolling, check out this week's scientific conversation starters at our website wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And, grown-ups, there you can find more info on how your kids can become members of the World Organization of Wowzers, shop our Wow Shop, upload photos and videos to us and check dates for our upcoming live events. That's wowintheworld.com.

RAZ: Our show is produced by Jed Anderson.

THOMAS: Who provides the bells, whistles and silly characters. Say hello, Jed.

JED ANDERSON, BYLINE: Yello.

THOMAS: Our show is written by me, Guy Raz and Thomas van Kalken, who also provides silly characters. Tom?

THOMAS VAN KALKEN, BYLINE: Hello there.

RAZ: Thanks also to Jessica Boddy, Casey Koeffer (ph), Rebecca Caban (ph), Kit Ballenger (ph) and Alex Curley. Meredith Halpern-Ranzer powers the wow at Tinkercast.

THOMAS: Our theme song was composed and performed by The Pop Ups. For more info on their two-time-Grammy-nominated, all-ages music, find them at thepopups.com.

RAZ: And, grown-ups, you can follow WOW IN THE WORLD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @wowintheworld. And our email address is hello@wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And if you're a kid with a big wow to share with us, call us at 1-888-7-WOW-WOW for a chance to be featured at the end of the show.

RAZ: Also, if you haven't already done so, please subscribe to WOW IN THE WORLD on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

THOMAS: Yeah. Leave us a few stars, a review. Or just tell a friend about the show.

RAZ: Thanks again for listening. And until next time...

RAZ AND THOMAS: Keep on wowing.

THOMAS: Jinx.

(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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