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Endless Thread

219 EpisodesProduced by WBURWebsite

Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the internet's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities to find untold histories, unsolved mysteries, and other jaw-dropping stories online and IRL.

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Aunties

July 1st, 2022

29:27

Reddit's Auntie Network, an online community "dedicated to providing information and resources to those in need of abortion services," has been inundated with new members since the Supreme Court's decision to overturn …

The Loudest Sound

June 24th, 2022

38:53

Imagine if an explosion in California was so loud that it could be heard in New York City. This is the story of a real event that was just as loud — …

Encore: Giddyup! Riding Groups Tap Into Long History Of Black Cowboys

June 17th, 2022

29:15

In the summer of 2020, images of Black men and women riding horses at protests went viral. But the history of Black cowboys goes all the way back to the creation of the American West. In this encore episode, the Endless …

Lost in Translation

June 10th, 2022

19:36

From a seriously violent tale on Duolingo to a Reddit post about a life-changing mistake, we bring you two stories on the pitfalls of jumping to …

TikTok Tics

June 3rd, 2022

38:50

When Ben hears a rumor about kids "catching" tics from watching too many TikTok videos, we set out to investigate. We hear from neurologists and …

'He Died in the Goddamn Waiting Room'

May 27th, 2022

30:49

With unprecedented hospital staff shortages, COVID-19 has upended the nursing profession. But the r/nursing subreddit offers an online life raft for many in the industry — a place where nurses can speak freely and …

When Online Extremism Becomes Offline Violence

May 20th, 2022

25:13

On Endless Thread, we talk about the blurring lines between our online and offline worlds. This week, we discuss the role online platforms played in …

Cyberwitches

May 13th, 2022

33:24

Since the dawn of the internet, cyberwitches have traded in their broomsticks and cauldrons for floppy disks and smartphones. This week on Endless …

Us vs. Them vs. Andy

May 6th, 2022

29:28

From a young age, "Andy" wanted to be a police officer.

But in 2021, after 15 years on the job, he quit. Andy wrote about his decision in the …

Egg-cellent If True

April 29th, 2022

26:09

When a colleague sent us a viral Reddit post from WallStreetBets, we set out to investigate. A redditor who goes by u/throwmetfawaythanks tricked …

The Faker

April 22nd, 2022

37:15

Sixteen-year-old M.H. was excited for another year on her cheerleading squad in suburban Pennsylvania. But the year was cut short when an anonymous …

There's a r/place for us

April 15th, 2022

23:08

After its first successful iteration in 2017, r/place returned on April 1, 2022 for four days of battling fandoms vying for space inside a pixelated …

The Herman Cain Award

April 8th, 2022

37:06

A deep dive into The Herman Cain Award subreddit, which ironically awards those who die from COVID after publicly expressing anti-vaxx sentiments or pandemic-denying memes online. We meet a moderator and a Herman Cain …

Excrement of the Stars

April 1st, 2022

38:55

Thousands of years ago, a massive meteoroid seared through the Earth’s atmosphere and split into fragments over Greenland. Its pieces were later used …

Political feuds don't take vacations

March 25th, 2022

26:43

Ben and Amory are, sadly, not the type of people who truly "unplug" when they go on vacation, but this week's story is proof that those people do, in …

Goblins, Toenails, and Beach Rap

March 18th, 2022

24:08

In times like these, you've got to take joy wherever and however you can get it. Amory and Ben swap unexpected sources of joy they've bumped into recently — from a goblin-themed Reddit post, to the scariest toe talons …

Ballerina in the Sky

March 11th, 2022

41:40

This is the story of a shocking event that sent Endless Thread producer Quincy Walters, and countless others, down a disturbing and fascinating …

Eugene from Ukraine

March 4th, 2022

30:35

"How to prepare your house for an active wartime?"

This was the title of a post on r/NoStupidQuestions about a month ago. The Reddit user, a 32-year …

Dogs in Elk

February 25th, 2022

29:16

"I know how to take meat away from a dog. How do I take a dog away from meat?" This was a real question posed in Salon.com's Table Talk forum in 1999. What ensued from there played out like, well, a play.

The Endless …

Space Heist! (Or, How to Steal a Planet)

February 18th, 2022

40:06

On December 28, 2004, CalTech astronomer Mike Brown and his colleagues found an unnamed dwarf planet drifting through the far reaches of the solar …

Li Ziqi: China's Quarantine Queen

February 11th, 2022

40:36

While you were tending to your quarantine sourdough starter, Chinese YouTube star Li Ziqi was growing mushrooms, making peach blossom crowns and listening to the sound of blooming roses. Join Amory and Ben as they …

Murph

February 3rd, 2022

38:35

Jack Murphy, or "Murph the Surf," is best known for pulling off the biggest jewel heist in New York City history. But Amory's here to tell you about …

The complicated, chaotic rise of 'antiwork'

January 28th, 2022

32:38

"Unemployment for all, not just the rich!" That's the catchphrase of r/antiwork, a Reddit community of more than 1.7 million people who want to end …

Tales of the Tailed

January 20th, 2022

26:24

Heads up: This episode mentions the tragic death of a dog. Take care when listening, and hug your furry loved ones. 

Amory, Ben, and producer Quincy explore three stories, in which a man's furry best friend is shot by …

The internet's fight over dinosaur emoji

January 14th, 2022

27:22

Emoji might not be 66 million years old, but they are pretty much everywhere. Join Ben and Amory as they explore the history of dinosaur emoji in …

Encore: To the Max (Headroom)

January 6th, 2022

37:04

On November 22nd, 1987, two TV stations in Chicago had their broadcast signals hijacked by someone wearing a Max Headroom mask. In the years since, …

Encore: Today You, Tomorrow Me

December 21st, 2021

23:39

10 years ago, Justin found himself on the side of the road with a blown out tire. Hours went by and no one stopped to help. But just as he was about to give up, something happened that changed Justin forever.

Encore: Three Autistic Redditors on Autism

December 21st, 2021

42:00

Three autistic Redditors talk to us about their view of the world, their view of autism, and their hopes for greater representation in society.

MEMES, Bonus: The Chorus

December 16th, 2021

27:36

Amory and Ben team up with NPR to take on Twitter Spaces. This bonus episode is a recording of ET's 11/30 livestream chat with meme experts Kenyatta Cheese (Know Your Meme), "meme librarian" Amanda Brennan and Garbage …

MEMES, Part 11: I've Heard This Before

December 9th, 2021

33:56

In this episode, we cross-examine memes and their relevance, and look at a surprising hypothesis that draws a through-line from TikTok to much farther back in history –- all the way to the very beginning of human …

MEMES, Bonus: Overly Attached Girlfriend

December 7th, 2021

16:49

Unlike some of the other everyday-people-turned-memes featured in this series, Laina Morris leaned in big-time when her parody entry in a Justin Bieber fan contest turned into the epic meme Overly Attached Girlfriend in …

MEMES, Part 10: Makmende

December 2nd, 2021

36:02

We know that there have been meme wars in America, and that Donald Trump has been called the “first president meme’d into office.” But in Kenya—a …

MEMES, Bonus: The yearbook photo

November 24th, 2021

24:50

For being the internet's poster boy for bad luck, Kyle Craven thinks he sure got lucky. In this bonus episode of our meme series, Ben and Amory chat with Craven, better known as the face of the Bad Luck Brian meme that …

MEMES, Part 9: I'm Not Done Yet

November 18th, 2021

46:52

Anybody old enough to remember life before cutting the cord has probably seen the work of TV pitchman Billy Mays. But people much younger still know …

MEMES, Part 8: The Scream

November 10th, 2021

34:02

If you typed “inauguration” into your web browser anytime between 2017 and 2020, you likely saw, near the top of your search results, an image of a …

MEMES, Part 7: Dead Giveaway

November 4th, 2021

38:21

In 2013, four white musicians turned a local TV news clip featuring a Black man named Charles Ramsey into a song and uploaded it to YouTube. The auto-tuned meme, titled "Dead Giveaway," gained tens of millions of views …

Hallomeme Bonus: Slender Man

October 29th, 2021

25:07

When two 12 year-old girls attacked their friend in the woods of Waukesha, Wisconsin in May of 2014, they claimed to have done it to please Slender …

MEMES, Pt. 6: Call me... The Punisher

October 28th, 2021

40:32

The Punisher has always been a complicated Marvel antihero: a man whose creator imagined him as a reaction to the failures of government at home and …

MEMES, Pt. 5: The President of Kekistan

October 21st, 2021

43:48

He is known by several names, but Gordon Hurd is the one this man-turned-meme adopted when he fled Cameroon for the UK more than two decades ago. Gordon eventually found the app Fiverr and started making videos for …

MEMES, Bonus: Zoë Didn't Start the Fire

October 18th, 2021

21:01

Most of us hate the photos our parents take of us. But what happens when one goes viral? 

Zoë Roth was 4 years old when her dad took a photo of her …

MEMES, Pt. 4: Woman Yelling at a Cat

October 14th, 2021

41:27

Humor is a key ingredient of any unit of culture that morphs and spreads over time. But humor isn’t always there at the beginning. For “Real …

MEMES, Bonus: A Billion Ricks

October 12th, 2021

19:06

Last week, we explored the origin of the “Rick Roll,” a meme that evolved from Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song, “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Since the …

MEMES, Pt. 3: Gotta Make You Understand

October 8th, 2021

42:06

Who gets credit for starting a meme? Usually... nobody -- they're made too quickly and organically. In the case of one of the most famous …

MEMES, Pt. 2: Scumbag Steve

September 30th, 2021

40:12

If there is an OG meme in which a human is the star, Scumbag Steve is it. He spread across the internet like wildfire in 2011 as a universal representation of dudes who are the worst. And, like any person grappling with …

Is 'Kilroy Was Here' the original meme?

September 30th, 2021

36:05

We often think of memes as living solely online. But the term “meme” was coined in the 1970s -- before the birth of the internet -- by evolutionary …

Coming October 1st... MEMES!

September 23rd, 2021

2:34

On October 1st, Endless Thread is back. We're kicking things off with a deep exploration into something that has changed lives, politics, and the way …

Snacktime: Why You Should Care About Other People

September 16th, 2021

18:21

Ben tells Amory about a controversial idea for a reality TV show. Amory tells Ben about the thing Dr. Anthony Fauci did NOT say... but everyone thinks he did. 

Snacktime: Mystery Celebs & Fed-Up Mods

August 28th, 2021

21:58

Ben tells Amory about a subreddit trying to determine the identity of a mystery celebrity, and Amory tells Ben about an open letter penned by Reddit moderators that's calling on the platform to take stronger action …

Suitcases of Cash and Bob Saget's Ghost

August 19th, 2021

14:09

Gather round for this week’s Snacktime episode, where Ben tells iLab producer Nora Saks two stories about found money, a gambling ruse in a Belizean …

Geedis

August 5th, 2021

44:18

What is Geedis? Endless Thread revisits an episode from 2019 in which the team joined the internet's two-year-long quest to answer this question. The strange, furry character and his buddies in The Land of Ta had been a …

Snacktime: Weird Spotify Playlists

July 22nd, 2021

22:00

Fun fact: Ben wooed his wife with a mix CD, and Amory's husband wooed her with a mix CD. The lesson? Never underestimate the power of a good playlist. But if it's a "Weird Spotify Playlist," the object of your affection …

Encore: The Great Glitter Mystery

July 8th, 2021

40:19

Much like rewatching a favorite TV show in its entirety, it can be comforting to listen back to something from "the beforetimes." So this week, we're …

Snacktime: To Joust Is No Jest

June 24th, 2021

20:52

Ever heard of horse repossession? How about equine semen fraud? On this week’s Snacktime, Ben tells Amory about the still-very-much-alive sport of jousting and how it relates to a pretty wild story about a Redditor’s ex …

Endless Thread Presents: Twenty Thousand Hertz

June 17th, 2021

24:14

Is your voice your own? Not anymore. This week on Endless Thread, we present "Deepfake Dallas," courtesy of our friends over at Twenty Thousand Hertz, a podcast revealing the stories behind the world’s most recognizable …

Snacktime: Long Orders, Secret Menus

June 3rd, 2021

17:21

One of the things that makes Starbucks so liked by people everywhere is the amount of customization you can do with your drink. But is there such a thing as too much customization? On this week's Snacktime, Amory tells …

Snacktime: A Refreshing Trend for Troubled Times

May 20th, 2021

20:55

From daily walks to sourdough starters, many of us found new ways to have fun and stay sane during the pandemic. For some, a new trend has plenty of... appeal.

In this Snacktime episode, Ben tells Amory about an …

Snacktime: Pizza Is My Life

May 6th, 2021

29:41

In 2008, college student Kevin Toomey was cruising around Columbus, Ohio, listening to AM radio, when a jingle for Rotolo's Pizza came on. It was …

Endless Thread Presents: Cautionary Tales

April 22nd, 2021

39:02

Today's episode brings together three of our favorite things: mysteries, cultural deep-dives, and Dungeons & Dragons. It's an episode of …

Snacktime: Passports and Space Trains

April 9th, 2021

20:34

In this Snacktime episode, Ben and Amory talk about vaccine passports in Texas and the out-of-this-world contents of a mysterious box.

Snacktime: The Cebu Swiper

March 30th, 2021

23:03

In this Snacktime episode, we explore a post made on r/HobbyDrama about how some local plant-trading Facebook groups have had their wholesome hobby …

Snacktime: War and Crows

February 25th, 2021

21:12

We're cooking up a new season of Endless Thread as we speak, dear listeners. But in the meantime, we realized we could probably all use a snack to …

Stonktime: r/WallStreetBets And GameStop

January 29th, 2021

40:31

The subreddit r/WallStreetBets has been at the center of a national story this week involving GameStop and a couple of angry hedge funds. To help us …

Endless Thread Presents: Anything For Selena

January 19th, 2021

32:14

Today, we present episode one of Anything for Selena, a new podcast from WBUR and Futuro Studios.

Growing up along the US-Mexico border, Maria Garcia felt torn between her two identities as Mexican and American. But …

Update: Things Are (Still) Bad

January 12th, 2021

21:37

In the aftermath of a violent mob storming the U.S. Capitol building, we got back in touch with Indi Samarajiva. Indi's a writer who lived through …

A Special Announcement

January 7th, 2021

4:11

Endless Thread is currently on break cooking up our next season, but we're getting back in touch with a special announcement.

Donate Now: wbur.org/socks

Endless Thread Presents: Decoder Ring

December 17th, 2020

45:56

While we're on break working on a new season, we recommend checking out Decoder Ring. In each episode, Decoder Ring explores a cultural question, …

Encore: Black Lives Matter IRL And Online

December 10th, 2020

29:46

Endless Thread is on break so we're sharing one of our favorite episodes from the past year. We published it back on Juneteenth 2020 after asking for stories that caught our listeners' attention at the height of the …

A Trip Down Memory Lane

December 4th, 2020

36:23

It's that time of the year again: Endless Thread is going on a winter break. But don't miss us too much. We'll be back in 2021 with a fresh, new, …

Encore: All You Can Eat... And Then Some (Updates!)

November 27th, 2020

42:03

Chicken patrol. Tiny plates. Purses lined with plastic bags. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Endless Thread re-releases "All You Can Eat," an episode …

Niall Needs A Friend

November 19th, 2020

36:05

A month ago, we received an email that really caught our attention. It was from a listener in Ireland named Niall, who has been feeling isolated …

Today You, Tomorrow Me

November 13th, 2020

22:00

10 years ago, Justin found himself on the side of the road with a blown out tire. Hours went by and no one stopped to help. But just as he was about to give up, something happened that changed Justin forever.

Low Stakes Hot Takes

November 6th, 2020

25:26

We all have that one opinion — that firmly held, low stakes, non-political belief. You know the one. It's usually met with (low stakes) outrage …

Endless Dread: An Uninvited House Guest And A Fake Doctor

October 29th, 2020

18:55

Ben and Amory swap terrifying tales from Reddit, featuring an uninvited house guest and a doctor with an unusual fetish. Happy Halloween!

Bonus: 'Brainwashed'

October 28th, 2020

25:39

This past Spring, Endless Thread released a series called “Madness: The Secret Mission for Mind Control and the People Who Paid the Price.” If you …

Things Are Bad

October 22nd, 2020

30:08

With increasing political divide and heightened civil unrest in the United States, many fear that it will culminate in a second civil war. We explore …

Endless Dread: Backrooms And Ghostly Photos

October 15th, 2020

21:15

In the spirit of Halloween, the Endless Thread team shares spooky stories from Reddit, including the origins of a classic horror movie SFX, the creepy world of r/backrooms, and the mystery surrounding three photos found …

Girls Trip

October 9th, 2020

24:10

Randi-Lynn thought she was going on a relaxing family vacation to the mountains. Just a few days later, she was hiding in a bathroom and frantically posting on Reddit, asking for help. The headline of her post? "I think …

QAnon Casualties

October 2nd, 2020

28:40

For nearly two years, a Redditor named Jitarth Jadeja got deep into QAnon, the Far Right conspiracy theory founded on the idea that President Trump is secretly waging war against a satanic cabal of pedophiles who …

Snacktime: Spiders Are Bros

September 24th, 2020

14:00

Spiders... even the word is unsettling for some of us. But the r/spiderbro community on Reddit is a place where you just might gain a new appreciation for arachnids -- from the petite and unassuming, to the big and …

Unsent Letters

September 17th, 2020

29:24

The unsent letter. We all have one, half-composed in our heads or fully-formed as an email draft. If you’re really poetic, it might be on a piece of …

Snacktime: Odd Jobs

September 10th, 2020

15:03

Do people say, "That's a thing??," when you tell them what you do for a living? Then you probably have an odd job. This week, Endless Thread tips its hat to you as we discuss the odd jobs of Redditors. 

Tight Squeeze

September 3rd, 2020

32:28

You might not think about caves in the same breath as you do the deep ocean or outer space, but you probably should. There are approximately 70,000 …

Snacktime: Dad Jokes

August 28th, 2020

22:58

The spotlight is on r/DadJokes, which -- you guessed it -- is home to the most pun-derful, cheesy-but-lovable comedic material the internet has to …

Angel's Glow

August 21st, 2020

28:03

There's a Civil War legend that dates back to April of 1862, in the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh. Supposedly, when night fell on thousands of …

Snacktime: Zelda And Zebra Plants

August 13th, 2020

14:23

Author John Boyne and Jeff the zebra plant take center stage in this edition of snacktime. Also, Ben and Amory realize they share an affinity for... melon ballers?

Ghost Town

August 6th, 2020

29:55

In the summer of 2018, Brent Underwood got a text in the middle of the night from a friend saying, "Look at this ghost town for sale!" Within a month, Brent had purchased Cerro Gordo, California, an abandoned silver …

Snacktime: Harry Potter, Billie Eilish, And 'Soup Tubes'

July 30th, 2020

15:25

Ben, Amory, and Josh share some of the most memorable Reddit posts of late, from a "magical" parenting decision to a very bizarre business idea.

Randonauts

July 23rd, 2020

34:58

r/randonauts is a fast-growing community of Redditors who use random, quantum-generated coordinates to go on real-life adventures. But what happens when those random coordinates lead you straight to a grisly crime scene?

Snacktime: Llama At A Wedding

July 17th, 2020

17:32

“What are the dimensions of an adult llama?” asked a Redditor called Mrs. Sam Handwich in the "No Stupid Questions" community. "I've been hired to …

Giddyup

July 9th, 2020

27:58

Images of Black men and women riding horses at protests around the country have been going viral. But the history of Black cowboys goes all the way back to the creation of the American West. The Endless Thread team digs …

Encore: We Want Plates + Pile Of Crockery

July 2nd, 2020

1:09:30

Endless Thread is re-releasing a crown jewel from the archives. It's the team's epic adventure to locate a mountain of dishware in the middle of the …

Shrinkflation

June 25th, 2020

28:55

From the supermarket to the housing market, products are getting smaller but prices are not. Why is this happening? And can it be stopped before the …

Black Lives Matter IRL And Online

June 18th, 2020

28:31

Over the last few weeks, Endless Thread has been asking for stories that have caught your attention as millions of people around the country and …

Bonus: Making 'Madness'

June 11th, 2020

24:44

"Madness," our 5-part series about the history of CIA-funded mind-control experiments, involved a lot of research and a lot of interviews -- most of …

Endless Thread Presents: Truth Be Told

June 4th, 2020

36:31

The Endless Thread team has been watching as protests and police brutality have broken out in cities around the country, and around the world. We are …

Endless Thread Happy Hour

May 28th, 2020

2:15

Join the Endless Thread team on Friday, June 5th, at 5pm ET for a happy-hour Zoom discussion of our 5-part, in-depth series "Madness: The Secret …

Madness, Pt. 5: The Unreachable Summit

May 21st, 2020

35:03

Dr. Ewen Cameron wanted to win a Nobel Prize for his work in psychiatry. He never got one. He died of a heart attack while climbing a mountain in the Adirondacks in 1967. So, we don’t have access to Cameron's thoughts …

Madness, Pt. 4: Pursuit Of Justice

May 14th, 2020

36:02

In the early 1980s, victims of Dr. Ewen Cameron’s mind-altering experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute began a slow process of finding each other and building a case against the CIA for funding Cameron's work. The …

Madness, Pt. 3: Subproject 68

May 7th, 2020

35:38

As the fear of communism was rising in the U.S. after World War II, government officials set their sights on developing a weapon that sounds straight …

Madness, Pt. 2: Brave New World

April 30th, 2020

34:13

Hundreds of people who were experimented on at the Allan Memorial Institute over the course of two decades are all connected to one man: Dr. Ewen Cameron. In this episode, we look at how Cameron rose to prominence in …

Madness, Pt. 1: The Sleep Room

April 23rd, 2020

28:12

In our first episode, we share powerful accounts of abuse at a psychiatric hospital in Montreal, and we introduce the renowned doctor who conducted …

Zoom Party This Friday!

April 15th, 2020

1:52

This Friday, April 17th, at 7pm EST, Endless Thread is hosting a Zoom party! Join co-hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson and producer Josh Swartz for a little trivia, an exclusive sneak preview of their upcoming …

A Parent, A Nurse, And A Patient

April 10th, 2020

20:15

Another look at the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In this episode, we hear from a parent who recently had an infant in the NICU, a nurse who fears for his safety, and someone who recently recovered …

Zombies And Preppers

April 2nd, 2020

26:35

We speak with Max Brooks about the viral PSA he made with his dad, Mel Brooks, and how his zombie apocalypse novel, World War Z, has become eerily relevant during the coronavirus pandemic. Then, we chat with …

How Reddit's Coronavirus Community Became A Global Lifeline

March 27th, 2020

24:30

Redditors share how they're coping with the coronavirus pandemic. We also take an in-depth look at r/coronavirus, which has fast become one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and reliable sources of information for …

Endless Thread Presents: 'Madness'

March 12th, 2020

2:29

Endless Thread presents a special series called "Madness: The secret mission for mind control and the people who paid the price." Get a sneak peek of …

Encore: Call of the Void

February 28th, 2020

26:49

When you’re in a high place, peering over a ledge, do you ever get that super weird feeling that you should just... jump? This is a real scientific …

Snacktime: A Fairy Tale Proposal

February 13th, 2020

19:24

In honor of Valentine's Day, Amory tells Ben a snack-size story about a feast-size grand gesture that has left millions of people all over the world …

Double Life

January 30th, 2020

37:38

92-year-old Robert Middelmann uncovered a secret about himself when he was very young. Keeping it was a matter of life and death. But, after many …

Snacktime: Snektime

January 23rd, 2020

9:17

Ben and Amory dissscusss sssome facsssinating ssstories about sssnakes.

'I Was Abducted'

January 16th, 2020

31:53

Monique has always known she was abducted as a child, but specific details about what happened, and why, have been elusive. It wasn’t until she …

Snacktime: Bushfires and Books

January 9th, 2020

12:21

Ben and Amory discuss a Reddit deep-dive about the Australian wildfires and one man's very, very long reading list.

Where Are They Now (Updates!)

January 2nd, 2020

17:13

Ben and Amory get updates from a few previous guests. Then, they invite the hosts of the podcast "Food, We Need To Talk" into the studio for a final …

Encore: Dear Anon

December 26th, 2019

31:38

What do Bill Gates, finding your soul mate, and charting a new life path have in common? Reddit Gifts! The world's largest anonymous gift exchange …

Nick, Jess, and David

December 20th, 2019

42:06

Three autistic Redditors talk to us about their view of the world, their view of autism, and their hopes for greater representation in society.

Snacktime: Feeling Adrift

December 12th, 2019

18:04

Ben shares a story about a real-life grand theft auto adventure and Amory tells the story of a dad whose new hobby may only be scratching the surface of something deeper.

Free To Be Childfree

December 5th, 2019

41:59

r/childfree is one of the fastest growing communities on Reddit and it's for people who do NOT want children. They don't want to be told why they …

Underunderstood: The 9/11 Hoax That Wasn't

November 27th, 2019

35:42

While we’re busy stuffing our faces over Thanksgiving, we thought we’d share a story you’ll love from another great podcast: Underunderstood. They look into a photo that frequently goes viral on Reddit to figure out, …

To the Max (Headroom)

November 21st, 2019

35:40

On November 22nd, 1987, two TV stations in Chicago had their broadcast signals hijacked by someone wearing a Max Headroom mask. In the years since, …

Bonus: Glitter's Connection To Forensic Science

November 14th, 2019

7:34

Get ready for some extra sparkle on the heels of last week’s deep dive into “The Great Glitter Mystery.” Retired Forensic Scientist Ed Jones has one …

The Great Glitter Mystery

November 7th, 2019

39:32

Endless Thread solves one of the internet’s most compelling unresolved mysteries. Inspired by a New York Times feature about glitter last year, …

Endless Dread: Imaginary Friend

October 29th, 2019

25:18

When Kellie's 3 year-old daughter told her about her new imaginary friend, Kellum, she didn't think too much of it. But gradually, Kellum started to …

Snacktime: Even More Dread

October 24th, 2019

13:19

Endless Dread continues with two more spooky stories, one about “The Smiling Man” and one about an unsettling recording from a sleep app.

Endless Dread: Olga of Kiev

October 17th, 2019

28:48

Olga of Kiev executed one of the most bone-chilling revenge tours in history after her husband, Igor, was murdered. Then, with a burning city in her wake, she converted to Christianity and became a saint.

Snacktime: Endless Dread

October 10th, 2019

14:32

We kick off this year’s series of spooky stories in the lead-up to Halloween with tales about a frightening curse and a memorable first date.

Loot Crates

October 3rd, 2019

27:11

Loot crates are virtual prize boxes available for purchase in video games, containing mystery items like customizations, powerful weapons, or rare …

Snacktime: Restoration

September 26th, 2019

10:13

Alex found an old and very rare family photo. The only problem? It was damaged to the point that the faces were completely unrecognizable. So...he …

Speak Memory

September 20th, 2019

26:04

Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri know a lot about us – maybe TOO much about us. But when we’re gone, they also leave our loved ones with …

Snacktime: Who Is 'Batbrat?'

September 12th, 2019

12:27

A Redditor named ‘batbrat’ has been quietly solving mysteries for years – identifying everything from a Victorian mourning ring from the 1800s to a …

God Is A Capitalist

September 5th, 2019

34:23

Hillsong is an Australian megachurch famous for its hipster vibe, multi-platinum house band, and connections to celebrities like Justin Bieber, Chris …

Snacktime: Diablo and Classic Culkin

August 29th, 2019

18:24

Ben and Amory swap recent Reddit gems about an obscure heavy metal band and a surprising Macaulay Culkin appearance at a comedy show.

Geedis

August 22nd, 2019

43:07

What is Geedis? This is the question that thousands of internet sleuths have been trying to answer for more than two years. The strange, furry character and his buddies in The Land of Ta have remained a mystery of 80’s …

Snacktime: Into The Woods

August 16th, 2019

13:33

This Snacktime episode takes us to the woods, with revenge-filled confessions and mysterious sounds...

Gone Wild Audio

August 8th, 2019

41:48

Audio erotica is blowing up right now, from Silicon Valley-backed startups to the rise of ASMR -- not to mention a huge growth in podcasts. But the hub for audio erotica can be found on Reddit in a community of more …

Snacktime: LSD And Hot Sauce

August 1st, 2019

13:23

Ben and Josh trade favorite Reddit stories about an Englishman whose bad LSD trip leads to a months-long French charade and a job seeker whose interview tactics leave him spitting fire...but not in a good way.

The Amber Room

July 25th, 2019

30:44

Once considered “the eighth wonder of the world,” the Amber Room was a treasure of kings and architectural marvel before being stolen by Nazis and …

Bonus: Dad Bods And Guppies

July 22nd, 2019

12:10

Remember in January when we talked about New Year's resolutions in our 'Get Motivated' episode? Well, 2019 is half over, so Ben and Amory give an …

Snacktime: Sharks And Aliens

July 18th, 2019

16:02

SNACK ATTACK! I mean... SHARK ATTACK! I mean, BOTH. Another snack-sized episode for you, complete with shark attacks, the story of a chilling shipwreck, and whatever the heck is happening in Area 51.

Boston-area …

Pile Of Crockery

July 11th, 2019

32:30

The thrilling conclusion to an internet mystery surrounding a massive pile of dishware in the middle of the woods.

We Want Plates!

June 27th, 2019

41:10

A Redditor stumbles upon a huge pile of plates in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. Reddit sleuths across the globe try to figure out where the plates are located and how they got there. Endless Thread embarks on an epic …

Endless Thread Presents: Pride Stories From 'Kind World'

June 24th, 2019

14:04

In honor of Pride month, the Endless Thread team shares a pair of stories from another WBUR podcast -- Kind World. Co-hosts Yasmin Amer and Andrea Asuaje tell stories about the profound impact an act of kindness can …

Snacktime: In A Pickle

June 20th, 2019

7:56

Snacktime returns with the story of a Redditor who got into quite the sticky situation. All he needed to get unstuck was a captive Reddit audience…and a jar of pickles.

Shipwrecked

June 13th, 2019

36:17

When someone close to you dies, it can be a struggle to feel normal again – and to have people TREAT you normally again. When T.J.’s long-time partner died suddenly in 2017, she found a sense of normalcy and healing …

Infectious, Pt. 5: Talk To Me

May 30th, 2019

42:55

At the end of the day, our species only survives if we can communicate. In our fifth and final episode of "Infectious," we hear from those whose lives have been irrevocably altered by vaccines and learn about a …

Infectious, Pt. 4: Anatomy Of An Outbreak

May 23rd, 2019

44:31

Even considering the winding road of scientific advancement and the new expressway that is the internet, what the heck happened in Clark County? With reporting from the ground in Washington and Oregon, we take the …

Infectious, Pt. 3: Going Viral

May 16th, 2019

46:40

You can’t tell the story of today’s anti-vaccine — or “vaccine hesitant”— movement without telling a story of technology and social media. Part 3 of …

Infectious, Pt. 2: The Flintstone Dilemma

May 3rd, 2019

38:42

There was a time when the measles were common enough to be a source of comedy on TV shows like "The Flintstones." So how did we go from joking about the measles to reports on the news about a growing international …

Infectious, Pt. 1: Scabs, Pus, And Puritans

May 3rd, 2019

37:07

The problem with being healthy is that you completely forget what it feels like to be sick. In 2019, many people assume that the history of vaccination is recent history -- maybe a few centuries of innovation starting …

'Endless Thread' Presents: 'Infectious'

April 26th, 2019

2:38

"Endless Thread" presents "Infectious: The Strange Past and Surprising Present of Vaccines – and Anti-Vaxxers."

Bonus: Jon Favreau, Live At CitySpace

April 26th, 2019

42:54

T-minus one week until Endless Thread returns with new episodes! In the meantime, let's talk politics -- because Ben recently interviewed Jon …

Bonus: Endless Thrones

April 12th, 2019

21:47

In advance of the season 8 premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones," we talk to one of the head moderators of r/gameofthrones and to a couple of in-house GOT nerds to hear some of their fan theories and predictions for the …

Encore: Pitch Perfect

March 29th, 2019

20:32

In celebration of the start of the MLB season, we revisit our baseball-themed episode from last year, featuring everything from Snoop Dogg... to a very unlucky mourning dove.

Remix: Four Love Stories From The Wild World Of Reddit

February 13th, 2019

58:23

In honor of Valentine's Day, we took our favorite love stories from previous episodes and created one epic love-centric monster mix. xoxo

Encore: And... It's Good!

February 1st, 2019

36:34

Hey football fans, ever heard of the Chicago Bears Principle? How about Winter Magic? Or the UFL? In this Super Bowl-themed episode, Redditors educate us on the stats, the halftime history books, and tackle football on …

Bonus: Harvard Astronomer On Why Aliens Aren't Just Science Fiction

January 29th, 2019

23:34

Superstar astronomer Avi Loeb discusses mysteries surrounding the interstellar space object known as 'Oumuamua, why it could be a probe sent by an …

Stuck Between The Rock and Deep Space

January 24th, 2019

38:55

News of a mysterious interstellar object flying through our solar system inspired Redditors to collaboratively pen a perfectly cheesy sci-fi action …

Coming Soon... Our Sci-Fi Radio Drama

January 22nd, 2019

2:25

This Friday, Endless Thread releases one of its wackiest, most ambitious episodes yet: a sci-fi radio drama based on a movie script, based …

Cupcake

January 17th, 2019

31:54

Chris and Kim have been married for 13 years and things have been going really, really well. So well, in fact, that they wondered... what's next? Their answer: consensual non-monogamy. They think of their additional …

Bonus: R. Kelly Vs. The Savages

January 16th, 2019

31:02

The release of Lifetime's 6-part documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly" has sparked new conversations about the R&B singer -- at the water …

Get Motivated

January 10th, 2019

31:26

Jared Wells was ready to accept death just one year ago. But a year in the gym with a bodybuilding legend has totally changed his perspective on life... and his body, of course. Plus, Ben and Amory share their 2019 …

Encore: Something Wicked

January 3rd, 2019

27:52

"Our landlord isn't letting me talk to you, but it's important we do." This text was written on one of several creepy post-it notes that mysteriously appeared in Redditor u/RBradbury1920's apartment. Who wrote them? …

Encore: That Old Chestnut

December 28th, 2018

32:36

One of the nuttiest stories of near extinction and resurrection ever seen in the United States. It involves genetic engineering, warring factions of …

Humans Being Bros

December 20th, 2018

24:30

A Santa who went above and beyond. Emotionally-exhausted parents who received a well-timed helping hand. A surprising invention that warms the heart... and body. We celebrate the season of giving by highlighting some of …

All You Can Eat

December 13th, 2018

27:47

Chicken patrol. Tiny plates. Purses lined with plastic bags. We peek behind the curtain of the strange world of all-you-can-eat buffets, from the …

The Deadly Double

December 7th, 2018

35:35

A Redditor finds a mysterious dice game in his grandparents’ basement. It reads “The Deadly Double: A Game to Play at Your Own Risk.” The Endless Thread team helps him investigate the game and finds surprising …

Grateful Doe

November 30th, 2018

26:18

An unidentified man died in a car crash in 1995 with Grateful Dead ticket stubs in his pocket. Twenty years later, Reddit sleuths helped solve the …

Encore: The GOAT

November 21st, 2018

29:52

The Italian cyclist Gino Bartali could rightfully be called "the GOAT" -- the Greatest of All Time -- for his athletic achievements alone. But in …

Dear Anon

November 16th, 2018

30:53

What do Bill Gates, finding your soul mate, and charting a new life path have in common? Reddit Gifts! The world's largest anonymous gift exchange …

Brain Melt

November 9th, 2018

25:43

Redditor Stephanie Graham started feeling a bit off in the third trimester of her pregnancy. Then, things got weird. Really weird.

The Greatest Squirt Gun Ever Built

November 1st, 2018

27:51

One of the bestselling toys of all-time, the Super Soaker, was invented by a rocket scientist nicknamed "The Professor." This is the story of the man, the legend: Lonnie Johnson.

Bonus: Magic Mushrooms With Michael Pollan

October 29th, 2018

12:53

Author Michael Pollan talks about all things magic mushrooms, including their potential for upending the brain's hierarchy and helping people cope …

Screamtime: Zombie Fungus

October 25th, 2018

29:36

Imagine a fungus that could infiltrate your whole body, turn you into a puppet, and grow right out of the top of your head. Actually, you don't have …

Screamtime: Roof Man

October 18th, 2018

20:49

Paranormal activity has haunted Darcy throughout her life. But it wasn’t until a nighttime ritual with her daughter turned spooky that she wondered what else might be at play.

Bonus: Australian Scientist Offers First-Hand Account Of Steve Irwin's Tragic Death

October 16th, 2018

6:24

Australian scientist Jamie Seymour was friends with the famous "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin. He was even there when Irwin was fatally stung by a stingray in 2006. Jamie sat down with Ben to reflect on that experience …

Screamtime: Doom Jelly

October 11th, 2018

35:49

Imagine sitting in a hospital room for 24 consecutive hours in the most agonizing pain you can possibly imagine. You feel a sense of impending doom. You have a feeling this won’t end well. Then, the pain subsides and …

Screamtime: Haunted House, Holy Water

October 5th, 2018

24:38

When Alex was in high school, he and his best friend used to break into abandoned houses. Alex was a tough guy, giving people hell. Until one night, …

Turning Hate Into Humor

September 28th, 2018

35:30

An elite unit of trolls is engaged in an existential battle against hate speech on the internet. This is their story.

Snacktime: 'Last Seen' Edition

September 24th, 2018

14:21

We’re popping into your feed to share a project we think you’ll love. It’s a new podcast called “Last Seen,” about the largest unsolved art heist in …

The Great Mattress Conspiracy

September 20th, 2018

36:17

Why are there so many Mattress Firm stores? How did they end up catty-corner across intersections and in the same shopping centers? Are the …

Rome, Sweet Rome

September 14th, 2018

27:41

Could a unit of Marines destroy the entire Roman Empire if they traveled back in time? That is the question that inspired the now-legendary Reddit …

Tim From Texas

September 6th, 2018

29:06

Tim Rose was driving home in February 2015 when he got into a car accident. He was mostly fine, though he went to the hospital just to be safe. That's where things took a turn. He turned to Reddit for help and his life …

The Cursed Manuscript

August 30th, 2018

32:06

A 17th century monk using a nom de plume pens what could have been the blockbuster of its time: a teenage boy embarking on an epic voyage to the …

Buck It

August 23rd, 2018

28:03

A Reddit comment about a chance encounter on a train inspires Ben to get hypnotized and Amory to face her fears in front of an audience at an open mic.

Test Of Time

August 16th, 2018

29:08

Did you ever receive a love note in elementary school? What happened to the person who wrote it to you? Or what about that person you went to a music …

The Original Most Interesting Man In The World

August 9th, 2018

28:02

King David Kalākaua was the last king of Hawaii. But he was much more than that -- he was a traveler, a dreamer, a tech nerd. Or maybe he was fond of drinking, reveling and gambling. It depends on who you ask. But one …

Season 2: First Listen

August 6th, 2018

1:48

The Endless Thread team has been hard at work on a new season of episodes. Don't believe us? We have proof! Take a listen to our trailer for Season 2. 

Snacktime: Cake, Camels, and Catfish

August 2nd, 2018

21:39

It's snacktime! Some more of our favorite quick-hits from Reddit.

Snacktime: A Trade Of Their Own

July 27th, 2018

22:49

In this "Snacktime" episode, we chow down on two stories that were sent to us by listeners. The first, a look at how baseball fans on Reddit mark …

Snacktime: Steak And Potatoes

July 19th, 2018

24:43

Two of Amory and Ben's favorite Reddit posts, both of which have to do with food.

Snacktime

July 12th, 2018

18:48

This week's episode is pretty short and sweet -- Amory and producer Josh Swartz talk about their favorite Reddit posts.

Getting Home: Update

July 5th, 2018

45:41

We listen back to the story of Shane Correia and get an update from him. Shane's life has been mostly chaos -- from domestic violence, to a murder …

Call of the Void

June 28th, 2018

26:21

When you’re in a high place, peering over a ledge or a drop off, do you ever get that super weird feeling that you should just...jump? This is a real …

Axeman's Jazz

June 22nd, 2018

30:03

A serial killer dubbed "The Axeman" terrorized New Orleans in 1918-1919. One day, the local paper published a letter he'd written saying that he …

Still Breaking

June 15th, 2018

35:55

Redditors discover a massive online conspiracy. A man risks life, limb and the ire of morning motorists to protect the ideal of a free and open internet.

The Rest... Is History

June 7th, 2018

31:14

Every relationship has a story. Samantha and Laura's is extraordinary. In recognition of Pride month, we bring you a story of love in transition.

I, Ken Bone

June 1st, 2018

24:39

We talk to the man, the meme, the legend: Ken Bone. What happens to a meme deterred? We find out.

In Memoriam

May 24th, 2018

26:31

Death: It comes for all of us, eventually. This week we bring you two tales from Reddit about the Grim Reaper himself. One involves gravestones; the …

Rice Bunny

May 17th, 2018

25:28

How Chinese #MeToo activists are keeping the movement alive, despite government censorship.

Bonus: Yanny Vs. Laurel... Vs. Yaley?

May 16th, 2018

16:53

We bring you a bonus episode that takes on the "Yanny vs. Laurel" debate that's dividing the Internet.

Schooled

May 10th, 2018

23:19

It's May, which means most of the kids in school right now are thinking about the summer. And to celebrate, we've got two stories about some rather …

Hail Corporate

May 3rd, 2018

24:44

A man makes a terrible sculpture of his girlfriend...out of Soylent. (Guess what..."they are now separate.") He then makes a flyer to try to give …

That Old Chestnut

April 26th, 2018

31:50

One of the nuttiest stories of near extinction and resurrection ever seen in the United States. It involves genetic engineering, warring factions of …

Busted

April 19th, 2018

25:11

Weed, dope, kush, reefer -- whatever you call it, marijuana is quickly becoming legal across the country. It's also bringing people together, on Reddit.

Mission Improbable

April 12th, 2018

27:10

What do you do when you're about to fly home from Japan and you realize you've left your passport in your hotel 300 miles away? Or when you're looking for pals to run with you from England to Italy? Post to Reddit, of …

Fun Guy

April 5th, 2018

23:00

A lab at the University of Oklahoma wants your dirt -- really. A viral post on Reddit brought awareness to this fascinating program, which studies fungi from soil samples from around the country with the hopes of …

Pitch Perfect

March 29th, 2018

19:45

With spring finally here and the MLB's opening day upon us, we're talkin' baseball -- the funny, the memorable, the peanuts, the hot dogs.

Bill Hader Talks 'Barry,' Reddit And Why He's So Popular Online

March 22nd, 2018

20:29

Funnyman Bill Hader has a new show, "Barry," about a depressed hitman who heads to Los Angeles for a job, and ends up taking acting classes. He talks about his career as a comedian and how his stage fright helped …

Dirty 6th

March 15th, 2018

21:32

Excerpts from Amory and Ben's live AMA at SXSW, plus their conversation with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman.

Something Wicked

March 8th, 2018

27:08

We dive into a famous Reddit mystery involving creepy post-it notes, an iffy landlord, and a stranger who saves the day.

There Was An Attempt

March 2nd, 2018

27:46

A small village in upstate New York faced a lot of criticism about its official seal. They decided to change it, but did it really make a difference? You might say... there was an attempt.

The GOAT

February 23rd, 2018

27:45

The Italian cyclist Gino Bartali could rightfully be called "the GOAT" -- the Greatest of All Time -- for his athletic achievements alone. But in …

Kickin' It

February 15th, 2018

35:29

More than 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Alex from Brockport, New York, is determined not to be one of them. He's currently 5 months clean, after using heroin for 5 years, and Reddit is one of …

Gator Roll

February 9th, 2018

25:50

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Endless Thread brings you three love stories brought to you straight from Reddit. You’re not crying, your eyes are just sweating.

And... It's Good!

February 2nd, 2018

35:51

Hey football fans, ever heard of the Chicago Bears Principle? How about Winter Magic? Or the UFL? In this Super Bowl-themed episode, Redditors educate us on the stats, the halftime history books, and tackle football on …

Introducing Edge of Fame (and Norm Macdonald AMA)

January 26th, 2018

5:02

Check out a new podcast from WBUR and the Washington Post called Edge of Fame.

The Vault

January 26th, 2018

23:18

This week, Endless Thread goes underground and back in time -- into what just might be the most important vault in the world. What's inside that …

Getting Home

January 18th, 2018

35:03

When there was chaos in his life, Shane Correia had one constant -- his folder.

No No No No Yes

January 12th, 2018

27:30

In the first episode of Endless Thread, we bring you two stories of two incredible near-misses.

A First Listen

December 4th, 2017

2:34

This audio trailer offers you a preview of the upcoming season of "Endless Thread," a new podcast by WBUR and Reddit.

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