Question of the Week

Naked Scientists  |  Podcast, ±4 min episodes every 1 week, 2 days
Each week we set out to solve one of the world's weirdest, wackiest, funniest and funkiest scientific puzzles. And along with the answer there's a brand new question to think about for next time...

What causes the Earths plates to move?

Where does the energy in the movement of tectonic plates come from? Apparently the reason is analogous to how your porridge gets heated up in the morning. We find out why!

Can you catch a yawn from a cat?

Why do we yawn? Is it because we're short on air? Matthew Boniface wanted to know this and whether he could catch a yawn from his cat. We spoke to Dr Hugh Matthews from Cambridge University to find out what makes them so contagious...

Will flights ever get faster?

14 hour flights sound like your idea of hell? Paul Jenn wrote in asking whether it was possible to speed up plane journeys, so we went to Neil Scott, head of engineering at Airbus, to find out.

What would happen if you were swallowed by a whale?

If you were swallowed by a whale, could you swim out and up through the oesophagus or would you be digested by the stomach acid? Plus, we ask about the future of flight: Are we going to be forever stuck in this air speed? What are the constraints of aerodynamics? Are noise rules the issue? Can a supersonic jet be ever built with decent fuel economy?

Why is my Movember moustache grey?

Facial hair a different colour to that on your head? We stroke our beards to ponder why. Plus we ask, what happens when you get swallowed by a whale?

How will life end on Earth?

Will we cause our own demise by burning the candle at both ends? Or will it be something like the giant impact that caused the dinosaurs to go extinct? What do you think?

What happens if a bee gets lost?

If you accidentally relocate a bee in your car, what happens? Would it join another colony or would that be it for the lost bee? For the answer to this insterest-sting question, we spoke to Henry Ferguson-Gow from the Zoological Society of London.