BANG! Where'd This Universe Come From?! Where in the world did our universe come from? How in the world was it formed? And what in the world happened to ALL of us on August 17th 2017 without any of us even realizing? Join Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas on a time traveling adventure through the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How and Wow in the World of gravitational waves, neutron stars, and the history of our universe!

BANG! Where'd This Universe Come From?!

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


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

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Get ready for an adventure of magnificent proportions.

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 MAN #3: With Guy and Mindy.

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


Ah, what a beautiful evening - a clear, dark sky, quiet and just me and my telescope. Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing could take away from this peaceful, bucolic night. Oh, I love looking at the stars.


That's it. Sounding great, guys.

RAZ: What is that?

THOMAS: Over here, boys. Right this way.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Yep, that's it. You got it. Now I need a little bit more from the frying pan section.

RAZ: (Shouting) Mindy.

THOMAS: OK. Now I need some metal spoons.

RAZ: (Shouting) Mindy.

THOMAS: Oh, hi, Guy Raz.

RAZ: (Shouting) Mindy, what are you doing?

THOMAS: Oh, I'm just rehearsing with my pots and pans choir.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: We meet every Wednesday night right here in this quiet and peaceful field.

RAZ: Mindy, I can see that. But you're making a racket. Can you please cut it out?

THOMAS: What? I can't hear you. I think the saucepan section just arrived.

RAZ: (Shouting) Mindy.

THOMAS: Wait. Sorry. What did you just say, Guy Raz?

RAZ: (Shouting) Mindy, cut it out.

THOMAS: Hold on a sec. Let me just get my band to stop playing. Hey, boys. Put a lid on it - literally. OK. Much better. I can hear you now. What were you saying?

RAZ: Mindy, what in the world are you doing?


RAZ: I was enjoying a peaceful night in this field, looking through my telescope at the stars.

THOMAS: Oh, wow. Well, that sounds like fun. Can I take a look?

RAZ: Mindy, why are you making such a racket?

THOMAS: A racket? Guy Raz, are you talking about those sweet sounds you just heard?


THOMAS: Can it, boys.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As band member, whispering) Sorry.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, that was my pots and pans band practicing for our Wednesday night jamboree.

RAZ: Well, actually, I'd have preferred the "Moonlight Sonata."

THOMAS: Oh, we can do that. Hey, boys. "Moonlight Sonata." You ready?

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: And a one and a two and a...

RAZ: (Shouting) No, Mindy. No. That's not what I was asking for. Can I just get some peace and quiet here?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, calm down. You don't have to shout. Man, my ears.

RAZ: (Groaning).

THOMAS: OK. I guess I'll send the band home. Time to pack it in, boys. Wrap it up.

RAZ: Thank you.

THOMAS: OK. So you were saying?

RAZ: Well, I was trying to observe the cosmos.

THOMAS: You mean outer space?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: With this little telescope?

RAZ: Well, yeah. I'm hoping to try and understand the mysteries of our universe.

THOMAS: Mysteries?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: Mysteries like what?

RAZ: Well, for starters, the biggest mystery of all, which is how did we even get here?

THOMAS: How did we get here? Well, let me see. We took the 32 Bus from 5th Avenue and Broadway. And then we got off at the wrong stop.

RAZ: No, no, no, no. Not how did we get here to this particular park. But how did all of us humans get here? Like, how did our planet get here? How did the sun and our solar system and all the stars and planets in the sky get here?

THOMAS: Wait a minute. Are you talking about the origins of our universe?

RAZ: Yes.

THOMAS: The source of our existence?

RAZ: Yes.

THOMAS: OK. Then I'm going to put on my leotard. Where is it? And oh, my sweatband.

RAZ: Leotard and sweatband?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah, because, Guy Raz, it's time to get metaphysical. You get it?

RAZ: Oh, brother.

THOMAS: Here. I brought you a Mumumelon (ph) unitard. It's one size fits most.

RAZ: Not sure I'll be needing that. I'm just trying to explore one of the greatest theories in cosmology.

THOMAS: Cosmology, cosmo - oh, cosmology. You're talking about, like, the study of our universe, right?

RAZ: Yup. And one of the greatest scientific theories in cosmology - or explanations based on facts and information found by scientists - is what's known as the...

THOMAS: I think I know where this is going.

RAZ: Well, can you guess?

THOMAS: If I was a betting man, I'd say you were talking about the Big Bang.

RAZ: Exactamundo (ph), Mindy. I'm talking about the very, very, very beginnings of our universe and everything and everyone inside of it.

THOMAS: Man. If only I could hop into the time machine and see it.

RAZ: Well, that would be cool. But, Mindy, we don't have to do that. In fact, every single night of every single day of every single year, each and every one of us can become a time traveler.

THOMAS: Without a time machine? Go on.

RAZ: Here. Here. Let me show you.

THOMAS: Right now?

RAZ: Go ahead, Mindy. Look through the telescope.

THOMAS: OK. Well, yeah. Let me look through this thing. Yeah, it's pretty cool. I think the star I'm looking at is - is that Proxima Centauri?

RAZ: That's the one. And as you know, Mindy, Proxima Centauri is the closest star in space to our solar system.

THOMAS: OK. But just to be clear, the closest star to Earth is, of course, our own sun.

RAZ: Right. Our sun is the center of our solar system. We have eight planets in our system that orbit - or circle - the sun.

THOMAS: And I always kind of think of our solar system as, like, our block or our neighborhood...

RAZ: Interesting.

THOMAS: ...'Cause our solar system is kind of like our neighborhood but in space.

RAZ: That's a really interesting way to think about it. And, Mindy, in space, just like with neighborhoods, there are millions and millions more solar systems in space, millions of suns with their own planets circling around.

THOMAS: Well, does that mean that there are other creatures out there somewhere in space?

RAZ: Well, we just don't know for sure, Mindy. But if I had to guess, I'd probably say there's a decent chance because our planet Earth is just one teeny, teeny, tiny planet in our galaxy.

THOMAS: Our galaxy known as the Milky Way...

RAZ: Yup.

THOMAS: ...Named after the famous candy bar.

RAZ: Huh?


RAZ: And in the Milky Way, there are millions of solar systems...


RAZ: ...And, astronomers believe, as many as 400 million other planets.

THOMAS: And that's just our galaxy.

RAZ: Exactly. The Milky Way galaxy is full of 100 million stars and 400 million planets. And that's just one galaxy in a universe of millions or maybe billions more galaxies.

THOMAS: This is so exciting. I can't wait to make friends with aliens. We'll jump rope. We'll have a lemonade stand. We'll collect pond water and stick it under a microscope. We'll trade baseball cards. We'll be best friends forever.

RAZ: Well, I'm not so sure that's going to happen any time soon, Mindy.


RAZ: Well, for starters, the distances in space are so vast, so huge that even if there are other living creatures somewhere out there in the cosmos, there's a good chance that if they exist, they haven't figured out how to travel through space and time to come and visit us.

THOMAS: Wait a minute. I almost forgot, Guy Raz. You said that if I looked through this telescope, I'd become a time traveler. And, Guy Raz, I don't know about you, but I'm standing right here, right next to you in this park, looking up at the stars.

RAZ: Bingo. Bingo, Mindy. You got it.

THOMAS: Bingo? I didn't even know I was playing.

RAZ: Bingo, as in you hit the nail on the head.

THOMAS: I'm not even holding a hammer.

RAZ: You hit the bull's eye.


RAZ: Collared the horseshoe.

THOMAS: OK. Enough with the idioms. I get it. But I don't see how I became a time traveler.

RAZ: Mindy, just by looking up at that star, Proxima Centauri, you are seeing the past. You are looking at history happening right before your eyes.

THOMAS: I think I know what you mean. If Proxima Centauri is the closest star to our solar system, it means it's about 4.2 light years away.

RAZ: Right. It takes the light coming from Proxima Centauri about four years and a few months to reach the Earth.

THOMAS: Which means that when I look at the star from here on Earth, I'm looking at it four years ago.

RAZ: Yes. You and me, Mindy - we are time travelers right at this very moment. And anybody on planet Earth can be one, too.

THOMAS: Wow. We're real-life, Grade-A, 100-percent, certified-organic, non-GMO, free-range time travelers right here in the - wait a minute. Guy Raz, why are you so excited?

RAZ: What do you mean?

THOMAS: I mean, we own a time machine. My dad was working on it for 30 years, and I finally helped him finish it.

RAZ: Oh, yeah. I almost forgot about that hunk of junk. Speaking of which...

THOMAS: Come on, Guy Raz. Here. Put this on quick.

RAZ: A helmet? Why do I need a helmet?

THOMAS: Oh, my seagull Robert requires them of all passengers now.

RAZ: Robert seagull? What happened to Reggie?

THOMAS: Oh, so Reggie's auditioning for the school play "Bye Bye Birdie."

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: So Bob the seagull here decided to step in and help me out. He's newly retired, so he's got a lot of free time to fill.

RAZ: Where are we going anyway?

THOMAS: My house. Come on.

RAZ: Your house?

THOMAS: Well, technically, it's a gingerbread mansion. You ready?

RAZ: Not really. But...



RAZ: I can't believe I missed landing with Reggie. Glad I wore that helmet. Mindy? Mindy, where are you?

THOMAS: Over here, Guy Raz. Just dragging the time machine out of my garage here. Can you help me with this?

RAZ: Oh, no, Mindy. Do you know how late it is?

THOMAS: It's 9 o'clock. Why?

RAZ: Well, it's a week night. And I was supposed to be in my jammies a half hour ago. There is no way I can travel through space and time at this very moment.

THOMAS: Well, good for you, I have the perfect solution.

RAZ: Uh-oh.

THOMAS: We'll go back in time to the very, very, very beginning of our universe.

RAZ: You mean the Big Bang.

THOMAS: Yep. The Big Bang.

RAZ: You mean 13.8 billion years ago?

THOMAS: You got it, Galileo.

RAZ: Well, how do you expect to go back in time 13.8 billion years ago, witness the Big Bang and get me home in time in bed by 9 p.m.?

THOMAS: Ah. Well, glad you asked me, compadre, because after we witness the Big Bang, all we have to do is set the time machine to 30 minutes before your bedtime. And...

RAZ: Presto. Back with time to spare.

THOMAS: Exactoritos (ph). You'll have time to brush, floss, rinse and repeat.

RAZ: Oh, I love those nights.

THOMAS: Come on. Hop in, Copernicus.

RAZ: (Groaning).

THOMAS: I'll let you drive this time.

RAZ: All right.

THOMAS: Here. Take the keys.

RAZ: Let's set this baby to 13.8 billion years ago.


RAZ AND THOMAS: Here we go.

RAZ: Mindy, I hope you took your anti-nausea medicine because this could make you...

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: We interrupt this program for a brief barf break. WOW IN THE WORLD will return in three, two, one.

RAZ: What a journey. I'm so glad you lined the time machine with those covers we use in the backseat of the car. I mean, it really kept the barf from making a big mess.

THOMAS: Yeah. Good call, Guy Raz. Plus, it preserves the resale value of the time machine.

RAZ: So, Mindy, what do you hear?

THOMAS: Nothing.

RAZ: Listen.

THOMAS: I'm listening.

RAZ: What do you hear?

THOMAS: Nothing. Is it possible to hear nothing?

RAZ: Yes. You are hearing nothing because we are in the middle of nothing.

THOMAS: Hold the phone, Guy Raz. If we're in the middle, we have to be in the middle of something. If there's nothing, there's no middle.

RAZ: Yeah, fair point. So, Mindy, peek through the window here because we're probably better off keeping the hatch of the time machine closed just to be on the safe side.

THOMAS: Especially once the Big Bang starts to go bang.

RAZ: So look out here - right here, Mindy.


RAZ: What do you see outside the window? Describe what you see.

THOMAS: Is nothing an answer?

RAZ: Yes, that's right. Nothing, nada, nunca, no dice. Nothing.

THOMAS: So this is where it all began, huh?

RAZ: Yup. Nothing - there is nothing to see here. Move it along, folks.

THOMAS: No here here.

RAZ: No there there.

THOMAS: No where or what.

RAZ: Or who. But why?

THOMAS: OK. So if what I think is about to happen will happen very soon, we should start to see the birth of our universe.

RAZ: You ready?

THOMAS: I'm not seeing anything.

RAZ: Wait for it.

THOMAS: I'm very impatient.

RAZ: Wait for it.

THOMAS: Still not seeing anything.

RAZ: Wait for it.

THOMAS: OK. I can't stand it anymore, Guy Raz. You're saying there's going to be a giant explosion, a bang. And then the universe as we know it is going to form?

RAZ: Well, not exactly. There was probably no single moment when everything just exploded. The truth is no one really knows how it all happened.

THOMAS: So what are we waiting for?

RAZ: Well, good question. I'm not really sure. But where we are right now...

THOMAS: In the middle of nothing.

RAZ: ...In the middle of nothing, there's intense energy. Can you feel it?

THOMAS: No, not feeling it.

RAZ: I had hoped we might feel something.

THOMAS: So are we supposed to see something?

RAZ: Well I'm not sure. I mean, all I know is that around 13.8 billion years ago, there was this invisible, intense energy - so much heat and pressure that it started to expand and expand and expand. And as that heat and energy expanded and grew...

THOMAS: It started to build our universe.

RAZ: Yup. All the stars, planets and asteroids and space rocks and, eventually, our Earth.

THOMAS: Did you just hear that?

RAZ: Yeah. Yeah. I heard something.

THOMAS: It's starting to feel like our time machine is being pushed out.

RAZ: Hey. Hey.

THOMAS: You feel that?

RAZ: Mindy...


RAZ: We might be experiencing the earliest phase of the Big Bang.

THOMAS: The expansion of our universe?

RAZ: Yeah. And I'm feeling like our time machine is about to get...

RAZ AND THOMAS: (Shouting) Blasted into space.

RAZ: Quick, Mindy - type in 13.8 billion years in the future.

THOMAS: OK. OK. I'm typing as fast as I can.

RAZ: But don't forget to add those 30 minutes.

THOMAS: OK. Here we go.

Man, I think - Guy Raz, I think we just witnessed the start of the Big Bang.

RAZ: Yeah. And, Mindy, it's all starting to make sense.

THOMAS: What's starting to make sense?

RAZ: My trampoline.


RAZ: My trampoline.

THOMAS: Your trampoline? Guy Raz, what on planet Earth are you talking about?

RAZ: Quick - let's go to the backyard. I want to show you something on my trampoline.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, you told me it's a week night, and you had to be in bed by 9 o'clock. This is no time for jumping on the trampoline.

RAZ: Come on, Mindy. To the trampoline.

THOMAS: I'm so confused. Run, run, run, run.

RAZ: Come on. Up here, Mindy. Come on. Come on. Get up here.

THOMAS: OK. But what does a trampoline have to do with any of this?

RAZ: OK. Well, think about our universe kind of like a trampoline.

THOMAS: Does it have a basketball hoop attached?

RAZ: Not for the purposes of this experiment.

THOMAS: Oh, got you.

RAZ: So imagine that at the center of this trampoline, we put a really heavy bowling ball.

THOMAS: OK. Still not sure why, but all right. So lucky for you, I just happen to have a bowling ball in my backpack here.

RAZ: Perfect. OK. Now, imagine our planet Earth is like this baseball here at the edge of the trampoline, OK?


RAZ: When the bowling ball in the center of the trampoline moves, look what happens to the baseball at the edge.

THOMAS: Oh, it moves, too.

RAZ: Precisely, Mindy, precisely. This is exactly what the famed physicist Albert Einstein was talking about.

THOMAS: Wait a minute. You're telling me the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein had a trampoline? You think he did flips on it?

RAZ: No, no. No, Mindy. Of course not.

THOMAS: But you just said Albert Einstein had a trampoline.

RAZ: No, no, no. What I'm trying to figure out is Einstein's theory of gravitational waves.

THOMAS: You're talking about Einstein's theory that if something really big happened out there in distant space, somewhere in the cosmos we should, in theory, feel it right here on Earth?

RAZ: Yes. The theory of gravitational waves - just like when the bowling ball moves at the center of the trampoline, it makes the baseball at the edge of the trampoline move, as well.

THOMAS: But did Albert Einstein ever prove his theory?

RAZ: No, not during his lifetime. But amazingly, Mindy, in the past few years, astrophysicists...

THOMAS: You mean the scientists who try to explain how our universe was born?

RAZ: Right. Those scientists - they detected a gravitational wave here on Earth.

THOMAS: You mean they noticed something big happening in distant space that reached here on Earth?

RAZ: Yes, exactly. Here. Here. Let me show you in my birdbath over here.

THOMAS: Man, between your trampoline and your birdbath, your backyard is getting pretty cramped, Guy Raz.

RAZ: So watch as I toss this pebble into the birdbath.


THOMAS: All I see are ripples going out from where you dropped the pebble.

RAZ: Exactly. Those ripples expand out from where the disturbance in the water was. And in this case, the disturbance was caused by the pebble.

THOMAS: So that's sort of like how gravitational waves work.

RAZ: Yes. And, Mindy, something incredible happened right here on Earth on August 17, 2017. And we just found out about it.

THOMAS: August 17 - oh, wait. I know. August 17 is national I love my feet day.

RAZ: No, no, no, no. That's not it, Mindy.

THOMAS: Oh, sorry. I took a guess. It's also black cat appreciation day.

RAZ: No, no, no, Mindy. Besides, those aren't real holidays. They're just made up by marketers to try and get us to buy things and discuss them on morning news shows in the third hour, when no one's watching.

THOMAS: OK. Well, you may not love your feet. But I know that on August 17, I was soaking my old dogs in a warm bath of Epsom salts.

RAZ: Well, on that very same day, Mindy, August 17, 2017, astrophysicists detected a gravitational wave, a ripple in space that they were able to detect using a very special laser that, for a brief moment, Mindy, stretched and squished every single one of us on Earth.

THOMAS: Wait a minute. You're saying we all got stretched and squished on August 17?

RAZ: Exactamundo, Mindy. Every single human, creature and object on planet Earth, even if we didn't actually feel it - on that day, a gravitational wave 130 million years in the making arrived to our planet and passed through all of us.

THOMAS: You know, come to think of it, I do remember reaching all the way up to the top shelf in my library to check on the status of my sea monkeys. And I did it without a stool.

RAZ: Well, that sounds like a coincidence. But it is true. For the briefest of brief moments, we all grew a teeny, tiny bit that day.

THOMAS: Well, what happened on August 17 to make that possible?

RAZ: Mindy, on that date, August 17, 2017, astrophysicists working in labs around the world all detected a spectacular explosion that happened 130 million years ago.

THOMAS: Wait a minute - 130 million years ago?

RAZ: Yes - a ginormous explosion in distant space, an explosion that is so far away, it took 130 million years for us to see it here from Earth.

THOMAS: Wow. That's sort of like when we were looking at the stars earlier tonight.

RAZ: Exactly. We were looking at the star Proxima Centauri. And...

THOMAS: And that star's light took four years for us to see it now.

RAZ: Right - because Proxima Centauri is a star that's about four light years away from Earth.

THOMAS: Which, by my calculations, would take us about 165,000 human years to get to on the space shuttle.

RAZ: Wow. Really?

THOMAS: Well, yeah because we humans don't have the technology to travel as fast as light does.

RAZ: Mindy, what happened 130 million years ago was so powerful, so incredibly huge that it created a gravitational wave, just like on the trampoline, just like in my birdbath.

THOMAS: So what caused the explosion?

RAZ: Well, two giant neutron stars collided, an explosion so big it's called a kilonova.

THOMAS: And neutron stars are small stars but very, very powerful stars.

RAZ: So powerful, Mindy, that in that moment, when those two neutron stars crashed into each other, it produced an explosion more powerful than all of the energy our own sun could make in 10 billion years.

THOMAS: You're talking about a gamma ray burst.

RAZ: That's exactly what astrophysicists believe they all witnessed. And even though that explosion has long passed, the energy from that explosion just reached us here on Earth in 2017.

THOMAS: That's bonkerballs (ph).

RAZ: And it's not just bonkerballs. It's beyond bonkerballs, Mindy, because this discovery has helped astrophysicists get one step closer to understanding just how our universe was created.

THOMAS: Color me impressed.

RAZ: And it gets better, Mindy, because this gravitational wave wasn't just detected by the special lasers astrophysicists use. A NASA satellite up in space called Fermi was also able to see that massive explosion.

THOMAS: Wow. So what happened after the explosion?

RAZ: This is where it gets even more amazing.


RAZ: Well, that explosion created 1,000 trillion tons of gold.

THOMAS: Gold? Quick, Guy Raz. Get into the time machine. We're going to be rich. We're going to be rich.

RAZ: Well, hold on just a minute there, Mindy, because even if we could get up there, we'd probably get turned into dust simply because that explosion was hot - hotter than anything we've ever known.

THOMAS: But 1,000 trillion tons of gold? I mean, at today's price of gold - OK. So one gram is about $40. One ton is 907,000 grams. So 907,000 grams times a trillion...

RAZ: Mindy...

THOMAS: That would be...

RAZ: Mindy, don't. Don't. That calculation is too big for your calculator.

THOMAS: Don't worry, little buddy. Just a few more adjustments. And...

RAZ: Mindy, it's too big a number. You're going to...


RAZ: ...Short circuit it.

THOMAS: Better start saving for a new calculator. Man, if I just had some gold to buy one with.

RAZ: Oh, no. I'm going to bed because I know where this adventure's going to end.

THOMAS: But if we just put on our heat shield on the time machine...

RAZ: No way. No way. Besides, if I don't get eight hours of sleep, I get really grumpy in the morning.

THOMAS: Come on. Don't be a party pooper. Just one little trip in the time machine?

RAZ: No way.

THOMAS: Come on. Just one teeny, teeny, itsy-bitsy journey to the greatest gold rush in history?

RAZ: I think I'll stick with staying here on Earth for now.

THOMAS: OK. Well, how about a goodnight lullaby?

RAZ: That sounds really nice. What do you got?

THOMAS: Oh. My pots and pans band wrote something special for this very occasion.

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: Boys, hit it.

RAZ: No. No.

THOMAS: We call it the Sweet Supernova Sonata.

RAZ: (Shouting) Mindy...

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

That's it. Back to the show.


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


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


BEN: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Ben (ph), and I'm 8 years old. And I live in Cincinnati. My wow in the world is that NASA discovered a new planet called Planet X. It is about as big as Neptune and in the solar system past Pluto. Thanks. Bye.


DAPHNE: Hi, Guy Raz and Mindy. I'm Daphne (ph).

AUDREY: And I'm Audrey (ph).

DAPHNE: I'm 9.

AUDREY: And I'm 7.

DAPHNE: We're from Centennial, Colo. And our wow in the world is that tigers have striped skin, not striped fur. Thank you. Bye.



MADELINE: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Madeline (ph). I am 9 years old. I live on Guam. And my wow in the world is that peeing on jellyfish stings helps it not hurt as bad. Bye.


NOVALEA: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Novalea (ph), and I am 11 years old. I live in Philadelphia, Penn. My wow in the world is that bananas grow on banana palms, which are considered herbs. Banana palm is the largest herb in the world. Banana seeds are so small that you don't realize you are eating them. Thanks. Love your show. Bye.


ROWAN: My name is Rowan (ph). And I'm from Montpelier, Vt. My wow in the world is duck-billed platypuses because they're mammals, but they actually lay eggs and take care of their babies by feeding them milk. That is so cool. Merry Christmas. Goodbye.


LUCIA: I'm Lucia (ph), and I'm 5 years old - from Prescott, Ariz. - and my wow in the world is about me and my sister making snow angels and having a snowball fight. Bye.


ELI: Hi. My name is Eli (ph). I live in Austin, Texas. I'm 5 and one quarter years old. And my wow in the world is when the dinosaur time was, the grass growed (ph) as long as a two-story house. Bye, Mindy and Guy Raz. I love your videos.


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

THOMAS: And, grown-ups, there you can find more details on how your kids can become part of the World Organization of Wowzers. Lots of cool perks - exclusive T-shirts, autographed pictures of us and a bunch of other cool stuff.

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

THOMAS: Say hello, Jed.


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

RAZ: And, parents and teachers, if you want to send us an email, our address is

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 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 and a review and be sure to tell a friend about the show. Until next time, keep on wowing.


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

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.