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Sep 17, 2020

What We Really Know About Life in Outer Space

What do we really know about extraterrestrials? (Photo: Wild Thing Podcast)
What do we really know about extraterrestrials?

In recent years, the search for extraterrestrials has been accelerated by a wave of new technologies that allow us to better probe distant reaches of the galaxy. Meanwhile, a pair of events have generated enormous excitement among those who believe that aliens might already be among us. In 2017, when the first interstellar object was detected in our solar system, a highly respected Harvard astrophysicist suggested it might be a probe that was sent by aliens. That same year, the public learned about a secret program by the U.S. military that was investigating potential threatening UFOs. All of this was enough to spur journalist Laura Krantz to launch an investigation of her own into what we really know about extraterrestrials. The result is a new season of Wild Thing, a podcast that explores the strange and unusual things that capture our imaginations. This week, we talk to Laura about the challenges of doing rigorous reporting on a topic that a lot of people don’t take seriously and share the kickoff episode of her otherworldly new series.


This episode of the Outside podcast is brought to you by Whoop, the fitness tracker that gets you training smarter by giving you feedback on every moment of your day. For a limited time, Outside Podcast listeners get 15 percent off a membership; just enter the code “outside” at checkout.

The Outside Podcast

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.