Pull A Face! The Science Of Four-Legged Facial Mimicry Hook your fingers in your cheeks, push your nose up with your thumb and strap yourselves in as Mindy and Guy head to the Interspecies Face Pulling World Championships to see the best funny face makers in the animal kingdom! Will Chad the Chimp finally win the big competition or will the newcomer Susan the Solitary Sun Bear pull a come from behind victory? Explore how animals of all kinds use their facial muscles to communicate in the wild. It's the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World of four-legged facial mimicry!
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Pull A Face! The Science Of Four-Legged Facial Mimicry

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Pull A Face! The Science Of Four-Legged Facial Mimicry

Pull A Face! The Science Of Four-Legged Facial Mimicry

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  • Transcript

MINDY THOMAS, HOST:

OK, Dennis. Now, just read the script exactly the way I wrote it, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) No problem.

THOMAS: OK, whenever you're ready.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Oh, I thought you were going to say action, like in Hollywood. Say action, like in Hollywood.

THOMAS: Ugh. Action.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Hey, Wowzers. Or is that supposed to be an exclamation? Hey, Wowzers. Mindy, is Wowzers a noun or an exclamation?

THOMAS: Ugh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) This is confusing.

THOMAS: Ugh. Just read the script, Dennis.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) OK. The WOW IN THE WORLD Pop Up Party is coming to Nashville, Tenn. A party? You're going to party in Nashville?

THOMAS: Ugh. Just keep going.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Oh, right. Mindy and The Pop Ups will see you there on Saturday, May 18.

THOMAS: Great.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Dennis sends his regards...

THOMAS: Ugh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) ...As he will be busy setting up snoop-curity (ph) cameras around his property that weekend.

THOMAS: Wait. Snoop-curity? Dennis, do you mean security cameras?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) No.

THOMAS: OK. Anyway, just finish up by letting them know that they can get their WOW IN THE WORLD Pop Up tickets at tinkercast.com/events. And they can find tickets for our shows in Boston and Chicago and - well, Denver's already sold out. So remember that - tinkercast.com/events. You got it?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Got it. OK, everyone, go to H-T-T-P...

THOMAS: Ugh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) ...Colon, backslash, backslash - wait. Is it backslash or is it forward slash?

THOMAS: Dennis.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) And is that three W's or six V's? Oh, you know what? I think it's six V's.

THOMAS: Ugh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) OK, everyone, go to v-v-v-v-v-v dot com...

THOMAS: Dennis, just tell them to go to tinkercast.com/events.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Oh, OK.

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #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 PERSON #3: With Guy and Mindy.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As Roger) The next station is Block Street (ph). Please make sure to take all of your belongings with you as you exit from the, argh (ph), starboard side of the vessel (laughter). Ah, I'm just having fun.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Roger (ph), no silly voices. I won't tell you again.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As Roger) Aw.

THOMAS: Come on. Wake up, Guy Raz. We're almost there.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

No, not the peanut butter; I have a dairy intolerance.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, get up. We're getting off at the next stop.

RAZ: Huh? Oh, sorry, Mindy. I must have dozed off there for a second.

THOMAS: Well, wake up. We're going to miss our stop. Come on.

RAZ: I was up late last night reading up on today's competitors.

THOMAS: Oh, I know. I have been so excited that I went ahead and just refilled all the ants in my pants.

RAZ: You what?

THOMAS: Anywho (ph), when I heard that our little old town was going to be hosting the Interspecies Face Pulling World Championships this year, I thought, you know who likes twisting and pulling his face into different expressions? This guy - Raz.

RAZ: Ugh.

THOMAS: Yeah, that's a good face. Or you could pull it this way, with your ears out and your nose up.

RAZ: Ow. Mindy.

THOMAS: Or the classic tongue out, one eye closed face.

RAZ: Mindy, let go of my tongue.

THOMAS: Or you could go for the...

RAZ: Mindy, stop pulling my face.

THOMAS: Oh, but it's so stretchy. It's like crazy putty.

RAZ: Ouch.

THOMAS: Oops.

RAZ: Ugh.

THOMAS: Sorry.

RAZ: Well, anyway, Mindy, I'm so excited. Making a face and mimicking other people's faces is, scientifically speaking, an incredibly rare thing, an ability only held by a few select animals.

THOMAS: And this is where the best of the best come to compete against each other.

RAZ: That's right. What we're about to see, Mindy, is a natural scientific phenomenon.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As Roger) The next station will be Sour Patch Arena. If you're attending the World Face Pulling Championships today, argh, this be your stop.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Roger, that's it. I'm replacing you with the robot voice.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As Roger) No.

RAZ: Here we are, Mindy. Don't forget your stuff.

THOMAS: Forget my stuff? How could I forget this?

RAZ: What is - what even is that thing, Mindy?

THOMAS: What? It's the kitchen sink.

RAZ: The what?

THOMAS: Ugh. Well, every time we go anywhere, I pack my adventure toolkit, and then you take one look at it and say, Mindy, it looks like you brought everything but the kitchen sink.

RAZ: Eh.

THOMAS: So this time I made sure not to forget it.

RAZ: Well, I didn't literally mean bring the kitchen sink, Mindy.

THOMAS: And now you can fill up your reusable water bottle without having to find a toilet to dunk it in.

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: OK, let's get off this train. And - ugh - you want to get the door?

RAZ: Ugh. Sure.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As character) Doors opening. Yargh (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Ah, come on.

RAZ: OK, let's see here. We should be able to get out this way. Here, follow me, Mindy.

THOMAS: Right behind you.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD MURMURING)

THOMAS: Um, sorry.

RAZ: Excuse me. Excuse me.

THOMAS: Sorry.

RAZ: Pardon me. Coming through.

THOMAS: Sorry. Pardon me.

RAZ: Don't mind me. Excuse me.

THOMAS: Coming through.

RAZ: Coming through.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As character) Sour candy here. Get your sour candy.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: (As character) Mouth pullers - 100% genuine Face Pulling Championship mouth pullers.

THOMAS: Ooo (ph) - Guy Raz, you want a mouth puller?

RAZ: A mouth puller?

THOMAS: Yeah, check it out. Um, hello, sir. One mouth puller, please.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: (As character) OK, here you go.

THOMAS: And here you go.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: (As character) Thank you very much.

THOMAS: OK, let's see here, Guy Raz. You put one end in one side of your mouth. Then the strap goes around your ear. And then you get the other part and put that in the other side of your mouth.

RAZ: Mindy.

THOMAS: And then that goes around that ear, and ta-da.

RAZ: Mindy, get it off. Get it off.

THOMAS: Aw, looks like you've got a permanent grin on your face.

RAZ: I think I'll leave the face pulling to the professionals, Mindy. Are you ready to head in?

THOMAS: You know it. Race you.

RAZ: I told you before, I can't run in this jacket.

THOMAS: I thought you said it was a sports coat.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Run, run, run, run.

RAZ: Mindy, wait up.

THOMAS: Ah, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Whoa, hold your horses there, missy.

THOMAS: Ah, sorry. Got a little carried away there.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) No, not you; the lady behind you.

(SOUNDBITE OF HORSES NEIGHING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Excuse me - you, miss, with the horses. Please hold the horses. We don't want them running around loose now.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #8: (As character) Ugh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Sheesh. Some people. How can I help you?

THOMAS: OK. Well, anywho, I've got two front-row tickets to the Face Pulling World Championships. Here you go.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) OK, let's just have a look here. Ooo, I'm sorry, ma'am, but these tickets appear to be counterfeit - totally fake.

THOMAS: What? That's impossible. The weasel that sold them to me is one of the most trustworthy rodents I know.

RAZ: I think it's pretty well-known that weasels are typically kind of sneaky, Mindy.

THOMAS: What?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) That is a misconception, actually. Statistically speaking, weasels are quite trustworthy. Now, possums - those are weasels. Anyway, afraid I can't accept these fake tickets. Look - the name of the event is even misspelled.

THOMAS: Ah, let me see that. Ah, the Face Dulling World Tampeningships (ph)? Man.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Open and shut case.

RAZ: Oh, no. I was really looking forward to these championships.

THOMAS: Don't give up that easy, Guy Raz. I bet someone around here is selling tickets. Uh, tickets. Looking for two tickets, please.

RAZ: Hm, let's see. I see a woman dressed up as a giant lemon. I see a sherbet salesman. Hey, what's that?

THOMAS: What's what?

RAZ: Up there in the sky.

THOMAS: It's a bird.

RAZ: It's a plane.

THOMAS: Nope, it's dolphin-itely (ph) a bird.

RAZ: Not just any bird, though.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

GUY RAZ AND MINDY THOMAS: Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUD)

THOMAS: Reg, what are you doing at the World Face Pulling Championships?

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: Selling tickets?

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: For charity?

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: So Reg, you think you could hook us up? We need two tickets.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: Oh, Reggie, thank you so much. You saved the day.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: Oh, and I got to pay you. And I think five paper clips and a pinch of belly button lint should cover it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: You can keep the change.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

THOMAS: OK, let's try this one more time, Guy Raz. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Hello again.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Why, if it isn't Miss McPhony Ticket Face (ph).

THOMAS: Yeah, that's me, but not for very much longer. Check it out. Bam - two tickets.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) OK, let's see here. No spelling errors and - yes, see? These tickets are elastic, so they're genuine.

THOMAS: Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Wait a minute.

THOMAS: Uh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) What's that you're carrying?

RAZ: It's the kitchen sink.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Ugh. Read the sign, please.

RAZ: No outside food or drink, no skateboarding and no kitchen sinks.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) That's right. Except for, of course, medical kitchen sinks or emotional support kitchen sinks. Is that an emotional support kitchen sink?

THOMAS: Well, uh...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Just what I thought. I'll need to confiscate that sink.

THOMAS: Whatever. Let's just go, Guy Raz. Here, catch.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) Wait, don't...

(SOUNDBITE OF CRASH)

THOMAS: Ah, let's go.

RAZ: Wow. This place is huge, Mindy.

THOMAS: It's even bigger than I thought it would be. Now, we just got to find a place to sit. Oh, look - I bet we could find somewhere to sit in that fancy booth over there. Ooo la la.

RAZ: VIP section, brought to you by lemon juice - wrinkling faces and going places since 1912.

THOMAS: Ooo, a sponsor.

RAZ: Mindy, VIP? We're not VIP.

THOMAS: Not with that attitude, we're not.

RAZ: Mindy.

THOMAS: Guy Raz-y (ph). Look - just follow my lead. Nose up, pearls on.

RAZ: Pearls?

THOMAS: And just say stuff like this when you walk in - oh, excuse me, sir. Could you show me to the caviar?

RAZ: Excuse me, sir. Could you show me to the caviar?

THOMAS: Yeah, just like that. OK, follow me. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As character) Pardon me, madam. This area is for VIP members only.

THOMAS: (Clearing throat).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As character) Oh, excuse me. I didn't see your pearls. My apologies. Come right in.

THOMAS: Not to worry. As you were. Come on, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Excuse me, sir. Could you show me to the caviar?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As character) Of course. Right there next to the chifferobe (ph). I shall have someone fetch you a crystal spoon and freshly buttered toast points from the butler's pantry, straight away.

RAZ: Thank you kindly, sir.

THOMAS: Over here, Guy Raz. Check out these seats.

RAZ: Ooo, nice seats, Mindy.

THOMAS: It even has a vibration mode.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLICK)

THOMAS: Aw.

RAZ: Wow. You can see the whole arena from up here, Mindy.

THOMAS: And it looks like the first event is just about to start.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Ladies and gentlemen, birds and bees, welcome to the annual interspecies Face Pulling World Championships.

(APPLAUSE)

RAZ: This is so exciting, Mindy.

THOMAS: I know. I've been watching the Face Pulling World Championships since Grandma G-Force was a kid. I can't believe I'm actually here.

RAZ: So remind me, Mindy - are they playing by European rules or North American rules?

THOMAS: Oh, North American. So here's how it works - two competitors go face to face - literally - and pull the funniest face they can muster. Then the first animal to break loses.

RAZ: I'm so excited. Have you seen the lineup for this year, Mindy?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. So first, we've got some of the regular competitors - you know, the apes, the monkeys, the humans.

RAZ: Did you see when Brad the human won the competition last year? I mean, he beat out my favorite face puller, Chad the chimp. Remember that face he pulled with his bottom lip stretched all the way over his nose?

THOMAS: Yeah. But this year, there's a newcomer - someone completely unexpected.

RAZ: Who's that?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Round one of the Face Pulling World Championships is set to begin.

THOMAS: Oh, I'll tell you all about it after this round.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) In the red corner, hailing from the jungles of Java, weighing in at 190 pounds - his favorite food is bananas. Give it up for Oscar the Orangutan.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: And in the blue corner, from Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Prancy (ph) Face, the man with the moldable mug - Brad the Human.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #11: (As Brad the Human) Hello.

(BOOING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to face pull.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #12: (As character) OK, you two. Only funny business. Three, two, one. Pull.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Brad has gone to the nose-up, ears-out face. Amazing. How is it even possible without a third hand? Oscar going for a teeth-out, eyes-crossed face. Oh, I think I heard a snicker. It looks like Brad is about to break.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) And just like that, Brad is eliminated from the Face Pulling World Championship. What an upset. Brad, the reigning champion from last year's competition, is out.

THOMAS: Oh, that's got to hurt. Man, I did not see that one coming.

RAZ: So Mindy, what about this newcomer you were talking about - someone that's never been in the competition before?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. Right. The species everyone's keeping an eye on this year, the underdog for this whole competition - the newcomer is Susan the Sun Bear.

RAZ: Susan the Sun Bear.

THOMAS: Yep. Not only is it the first time that a sun bear has competed in the World Face Pulling Championships, but it's also the first time that any species like it has competed.

RAZ: Well, what do you mean, Mindy?

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Ladies and gentlemen...

THOMAS: Oh, hang on - tell you in a sec.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) ...Let's hear it for our semifinalists. First up, you might remember his famous move from last year's competition, the twisted kisser. Give it up for the one, the only Chad the Chimp. And his challenger from the North Central African savannah, with her bright red cheeks and even redder face - please welcome Brenda the Baboon.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #12: (As character) All right. No boogers. No farting noises. Three, two, one. Pull.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) And let's see what Chad has for us this year. Oh, he's going for a lip-over-the-nose move. What a feat. I mean, what a face. Brenda already starting to grin. And...

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Oh, and Chad the chimp has shown once again why he's one of the best in the world. He will be moving on to the finals.

(APPLAUSE)

RAZ: Chad - go, Chad. Go, Chad.

THOMAS: Oh, you're a big chimp fan, huh?

RAZ: You bet, Mindy. Hey, check it out. I have his trading card here in my Wally. It's my good luck token.

THOMAS: Oh, look at that face.

RAZ: Right? He's a shoe-in for sure this year.

THOMAS: Not so fast, Guy Raz. Remember that new species of a competitor I was telling you about?

RAZ: Susan the Sun Bear.

THOMAS: Yep. And remember how I said that she wasn't just a first of her species to compete in the Face Pulling World Championships, but also her type of species?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: Well, what I meant by that was that sun bears are what are known as solitary animals.

RAZ: Huh. And solitary animals are species that tend to live by themselves in nature, rather than in groups.

THOMAS: Yes. And animals that like to live in groups are called social animals - so, like, monkeys and apes and, well, basically every other competitor in this competition.

RAZ: You're right, Mindy. Brad the human, Oscar the orangutan, Brenda the baboon - they're all primates. So what you're saying, Mindy, is that Susan the Sun Bear is not only the first of her species to compete in the Face Pulling World Championships, she's also the first solitary animal to ever pull a face here.

THOMAS: Bingo, Guy Raz. Many animals, including us humans, use our faces to convey or to show how we're feeling with the people around us - from anger to joy to sadness.

RAZ: And we humans and other social animals are super great at this. We mimic or copy a friend's face to show that we care about what they're saying.

THOMAS: Yeah, and for the longest time, scientists thought that this was just something that only a few skilled social animals could do.

RAZ: Right. But it's like Susan the Sun Bear came along and proved them all wrong.

THOMAS: Exactoritos (ph). So there was this primatologist - you know, a scientist who studies primates...

RAZ: Primates like monkeys, chimps and other apes.

THOMAS: Yeah. So a primatologist named Marina Davila-Ross from the University of Portsmouth in England wanted to see if this skill at mimicking or copying faces was more common in the animal kingdom than we thought.

RAZ: So did she go out into the wild to spy on animals?

THOMAS: Well, not exactly. She went to a rehabilitation center for animals in Malaysia.

RAZ: And a rehabilitation center is a place where injured or endangered animals are taken to get better or reproduce before being let back out into the wild.

THOMAS: Exactly. She went to one of these rehabilitation centers to see if any animals other than primates were able to mimic faces.

RAZ: And what did she find?

THOMAS: Well, she filmed 22 different sun bears for a bunch of days. And when she got back to the lab and looked over the footage, she saw that most of these bears, when interacting with each other, pulled faces at each other.

RAZ: Well, what kind of face pulling are we talking about here, Mindy? - like when I put hooks in your cheeks or when I pull your tongue out...

THOMAS: Let go of my tongue.

RAZ: ...Or when I push your nose in...

THOMAS: My nose - you're plugging in my nose.

RAZ: Oh, sorry.

THOMAS: So anywho, what I was saying is that the researchers observed or noticed that the sun bears would often come up to each other, bare their teeth...

RAZ: Bear - nice one.

THOMAS: Thank you beary (ph) much. They would bare their teeth and open their mouths really wide. And then, a split second later, the other bear would do the same thing back.

RAZ: Suggesting that the bears were communicating with each other using their faces.

THOMAS: You know it. And like I said, up until now, scientists had thought that this was something that only social animals could do.

RAZ: Whoa, talk about an underdog story.

THOMAS: Oh, I think it's about to start again.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) It's all come down to this, folks - the final face-off. Please welcome the returning challenger from the heartlands of Africa, the great ape with the foldable face, Chad the Chimp.

(CHEERING)

RAZ: We love you, Chad. Go, Chad.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) And his opponent - from the depths of the Malaysian woodlands, weighing 140 pounds and measuring 5 feet, 2 inches, the honey bear with the moldable muzzle, the great, grimacing wonder of the world - Susan the Sun Bear.

(CHEERING)

THOMAS: Yeah, Susan the sun bear. Pull that face, girl.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #12: (As character) OK. You know the rules. No plastic teeth. No fake noses. Three, two, one. Pull.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) And the battle begins. Chad is going with the ears pulled, tongue out. Susan baring all her teeth. Chad trying to regain the upper hand with the reversed cross-eye underbite. Susan, unphased, continuing to bare her teeth, opening her mouth wider. Chad's bottom lip begins to quiver. He's about to break.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Ladies and gentlemen, what an upset here at the Sour Patch Arena - Chad the Chimp defeated in the final. And we have a new champion.

THOMAS: Susan the Sun Bear.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character) Susan the Sun Bear.

(CHEERING)

THOMAS: Oh, man. What a finale. Sorry your chimp didn't win, Guy Raz.

RAZ: It's OK, Mindy. He'll be back next year. And besides, I think that this is a really important victory for solitary animals everywhere.

THOMAS: That is true.

RAZ: So what are these researchers hoping to do with this information next?

THOMAS: Well, now that we know that face copying or pulling or mimicking isn't a trick that only social animals can do, the researchers are looking to see if other solitary animals - like leopards, for example - can also communicate with their faces.

RAZ: So what you're saying is that the World Face Pulling Championships is just going to keep on getting more and more diverse.

THOMAS: Maybe - with more and more species added every year.

RAZ: So it looks like Chad might have some stiff competition yet.

THOMAS: Could be, Guy Raz. Only time and more research will tell.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #13: (As character) Pardon me. May I refill your caviar goblet? And perhaps I could interest you in our VIP pearl polishing service. Wait a minute. These pearls aren't pearls. They're breath mints and a button. I dare say you aren't VIP at all. I'm afraid I must ask you to leave.

THOMAS: Well, can I at least keep the caviar?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #13: (As character) No.

THOMAS: I was going to put it in a taco.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #13: (As character) Completely uncivilized.

THOMAS: Let me tell you something, buddy. We're vips (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #13: (As character) VIPs.

THOMAS: We're VIPs, baby.

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)

LILY: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Lily (ph), and I live in Naperville, Ill. My wow in the world is that buffalo birds lay their eggs in other birds' nests.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

QUINCY: Hi, Mindy. Hi, Guy Raz. My name is Quincy (ph), and I'm from New Orleans, La. My wow in the world is that there was once a carnivorous marsupial that lived in Australia. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

CAYDEN: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz and Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

CAYDEN: I'm Cayden (ph), and I live in Florence, Ariz. And my wow in the world is that a pineapple is actually a bunch of berries put together. P.S., I sing along with the pop song (ph) played in the beginning of the podcast. And your podcast is the best.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: Thank you, Guy Raz and Reggie. We love you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

COHEN: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Cohen (ph). I live in Lake Ridge, Va. My wow is that sharks' eyes go back in their head when they try to bite so if what they're biting attacks them, it can't get their eyes. Say hi to Reggie and the annoying Dennis for me.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Ahoy there.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

JILLIAN: Hi, Mindy. Hi, Guy Raz. My name is Jillian (ph), and I'm from Seal Beach, Calif. And my wow in the world is that - did you know that spiders are arachnids, not insects because of their eight legs? Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

TATUM: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Tatum (ph). And I live in Austin, Texas. My wow in the world is that space never ends. Say hi to Reggie for me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

EZRA: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Ezra (ph). I live in New York. My wow in the world that turtles can breathe through their butts. Bye. I love your show. And bye, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

GENEVIEVE: Hi. Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Genevieve (ph), and I live in Ithaca, N.Y. And my wow in the world is that one of Jupiter's biggest moons, Titan, is so much like Earth that it even has water and an atmosphere.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

JULIO: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Julio (ph), and I live in Rabat, Morocco. My wow in the world is that the longest crocodile can be 20 feet long. Bye. I love your show. Tell Reg and Dennis to stay away from crocodiles.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) You know the old saying, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) See you later, crocodile. You know, I don't get that old saying.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: 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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