What makes gross things gross?
What makes gross things gross?

Listen On: Gross Out

Curated by: Rion Nakaya of The Kid Should See This.

Playlist runtime: 8 episodes: 2 hours, 23 minutes (143 minutes) + 9 videos

Imagine This

Episode: “Where does poo do when I flush the toilet?”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 7 minutes

How does wastewater get from your toilet out to the ocean? Dr. Ian Wright from Western Sydney University explains how the 20,000 kilometers of sewer pipes in Sydney, Australia carry poo through wastewater treatment plants for cleaning before it's sent out to sea. This summary episode of Imagine This will appeal to young listeners.

Curious City

Episode: Where does your poop go?

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 8 minutes

Get specific in this kid-friendly episode of Curious City from WBEZ Chicago when five-year-old Satchel Lang asks "Where does your poop go?" To find out, we tour the Chicago Sewer System and its complex but essential process for water treatment. It's a fascinating 101 on how poop and pee travels through your pipes, through a series of powerful filters, and with the help of some microbes, back out into the world in really useful ways.


Episode: “The science of poop with Mary Roach”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 16 minutes

Why do we poop and fart? Science writer Mary Roach describes "the epic journey food takes from your mouth to your rectum and into the toilet." This fascinating Tumble episode explains how farts are lifesaving, how astronauts poop in space, and how gut bacteria can keep us healthy. “Poop smoothie” jokes for all ages, including adults.

Brains On!

Episode: “Animal Farts”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 35 minutes

What do you think a pig fart sounds like? How about a snake fart? A manatee fart? Brains On host Molly Bloom talks with animal experts and animal fart experts to learn more about which animals do and don't fart, how animal farts are used for more than just relief, and which larva has “a toxic toot.”


Episode: “Dinosaur Poop Part 1: Who Dung It?”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 17 minutes

How much did dinosaurs fart, poop, and pee? What did they eat? And how can we find out 66 million years after their extinction? Explore the world of coprolites, dinosaur feces fossils! Paleontologist and former park ranger Karen Chin uses her experience with modern day animal scat to help solve dinosaur dung mysteries.


Episode: “Dinosaur Poop Part 2: The Coprolite Queen”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 15 minutes

Two hundred years ago, Mary Anning was a well-known fossil hunter in England. She's famous for her discovery of dinosaur coprolites... that's fossilized dino poop! Children's science historian Melanie Keene describes Anning's finds and the challenges she faced as a woman working in science in part 2 of Tumble's exploration of dinosaur poop.

Wow in the World

Episode: “Bag O' Worms & The Velocity of Poop”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 21 minutes

Can wax worms help us develop a plastic bag pollution solution? Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz explain how an accidental beekeeping discovery has led to some cutting-edge chemistry research and the hunt for an enzyme that can safely biodegrade polyethylene. Plus: Find out how quickly different mammals pee and poop and why those speeds might matter.

Every Little Thing

Episode: “Public Toilets: To Sit or To Hover?”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 24 minutes

This assumption-busting episode of Every Little Thing researches the science behind an everyday challenge: What's the most clean and sensible way to use a public toilet? Toilet seat covers? Not making contact? A frank yet kid-friendly discussion. Plus: What can go wrong when you're a 1960s-era NASA astronaut in a space vehicle, and you have to go to the bathroom? A lot more than you'd expect.

Bonus Videos:

The World's First Poop Museum

How do you preserve poop for a poop museum? Maddie Moate visits The National Poo Museum on the Isle of Wight to see how scat specimens are prepared for display in clear resin spheres. Plus, learn about the useful information that zookeepers find in animal scat.

Why Isn't the World Covered in Poop?

Thank over 7,000 species of dung beetles that eat the feces created on the planet every day. This animated TED Ed lesson for all ages explains how these rollers, tunnelers, and dwellers handle animal poop in different ways.

Why 10 daily tons of ant poop keep this rainforest thriving

Travel to Panama's Barro Colorado Island where the 2.74 meter (9 foot) tall hanging nests of Azteca ants, and the huge amount of poop that falls from them, helps to keep the rainforest thriving.

Renewable Energy: Powered by Poop

The Straus Family Creamery turns cow poop into electricity that fuels their dairy farm. Students Spurgeon and Darrah report on this sustainable technology for the California Academy of Sciences.

Much A-doo About Poo

Around 300 cows at the Jordan Dairy Farm in Massachusetts help produce fertilizer, heat, and electricity, too. PBSDS' Gross Science explains how anaerobic digesters work on farms and in sewage treatment plants. Come for the science. Stay for the fart sounds.

Seaview Science Video: Sea Cucumbers

Sea cucumbers are known as “underwater vacuum cleaners” because of the way they scavenge the ocean floor for particles of algae, waste, and miniscule animals in the sand. When they poop, they're creating healthier coral reefs. Watch this awesome underwater explanation.

The Janecki Omniprocessor

From poop to potable water: See how the Janecki Omniprocessor turns human feces into electricity and clean, drinkable water, as proven with a sip by philanthropist Bill Gates. This invention was part of a pilot program to improve sanitation in Dakar, Senegal and may be a sustainability game-changer in cities around the globe.

A dad who is revolutionizing sanitation in Pune, India

Swapnil Chaturvedi is a dad on a mission: He's founded a company to improve sanitation facilities, and to help conquer taboos around going to the bathroom, in a country where billions of people don't have access to clean toilets.

How to make fake poo

"Shock your children by taking a taste of a repulsive poo!" Learn how to make edible poop and conduct a mini-psychology experiment with the help of The Royal Institution's ExpeRimental video series. This awesome activity for adults (and kids) explores our emotions, specifically disgust and how we might unlearn it.

The Case for Eating Bugs

Would you try eating ants on a log if it might help create a more sustainable planet? Sautéed grasshopper tacos? Scorpion curry? How about larva lollipops? In this Gross Science video, Anna Rothschild cooks up a few healthy and sustainable dishes to eat as she explores why over 2 billion people around the world eat insects and arachnids as a part of their meals.