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Skeptoid Episode Guide - Ancient Mysteries


How the Pyramids Were (and Were Not) Built - Part 2 (Skeptoid #779) - Today we're going to wrap up our two-part series on Egypt's Great Pyramid -- there is so much false history around them that it takes two shows to debunk. There have been some very exciting new discoveries about the Pyramids in recent years, that clarify and expand our vast knowledge about these greatest of all ancient structures.
May 11, 2021
Read | Listen (13:42)
How the Pyramids Were (and Were Not) Built - Part 1 (Skeptoid #778) - Hardly any ancient structures have been graffitied with more false historical claims than Egypt's Great Pyramids, usually of the form that we don't know how ancient people could have done this or that, therefore they must have had some mysterious help. But we actually know a great deal about the Pyramids, and today we're going to start our two-part journey to wash away some of the popular beliefs with real history.
May 4, 2021
Read | Listen (14:03)
The Engineered Moon Conspiracy (Skeptoid #776) - There is a subculture who believe that our Moon has certain physical characteristics that prove it could not have evolved naturally, but is instead best explained as an artificial satellite, constructed by some unknown intelligence. As these beliefs are based on hard science facts about the Moon, they are a perfect place to point our skeptical eye and see if the Moon needs to be re-examined, or if perhaps some of these people aren't getting their science quite right.
April 20, 2021
Read | Listen (13:33)
More Out of Place Artifacts (Skeptoid #731) - Sometimes an object is found where it has no place being, like a modern piece of electronics inside a lump of coal that's millions of years old. Some people attribute this to time travel, and others just scratch their heads and can't come up with any explanation. They're called out of place artifacts, and today we're going to have a look at some of the best known, and see if we can find a place for them.
June 9, 2020
Read | Listen (14:17)
Decoding Gobekli Tepe (Skeptoid #724) - The lives of archaeologists have always been pained by the mass media's adoration of alternate historians -- a handful of authors who believe that Atlantis was real, or that Ancient Aliens were real, or some version of the narrative that there was some advanced civilization on Earth predating our own. Gobekli Tepe is an archaeological site in Turkey that has some genuinely strange things about it -- and it's one of the darlings of the alternate historians. What is really going on with it?
April 21, 2020
Read | Listen (14:17)
Debunking Ancient Aliens, Part 3 (Skeptoid #721) - It would take half the podcasts ever created to debunk all of the untruths promoted as fact by HISTORY's Ancient Aliens series, and so by no means does this third in our three-part series pretend to do a comprehensive job. But we're trying to hit most of the big ones. Today we're going to fact check the television on points such as the Crystal Skulls, the Nazca Lines, and a bunch of little golden ornaments that you've been told are airplanes or spacecraft.
March 31, 2020
Read | Listen (13:21)
Debunking Ancient Aliens, Part 2 (Skeptoid #720) - Here at Skeptoid, we really hope you aren't offended at this prolonged counterstrike against the tsunami of misinformation promoted by HISTORY's Ancient Aliens series. So we ask that you please bear with us during this second of our three-part battle. Today we're going to fact check Ancient Aliens claims about a mysterious Hall of Records they claim is inside Egypt's Great Sphinx, about an ancient megalithic site in South America called Puma Punku, and a few other offenses to archaeology and to our ancient civilizations.
March 24, 2020
Read | Listen (14:41)
Debunking Ancient Aliens, Part 1 (Skeptoid #719) - Few shows in the entire history of television have worked so aggressively to de-educate the population and promote misinformation as HISTORY's Ancient Aliens, featuring the delusions of discredited crackpots as if they represent some valid historical perspective. Today, Skeptoid is going to get back to its core mission of correcting pop misinformation, and will take a crack -- the first in a three part series -- at debunking Ancient Aliens.
March 17, 2020
Read | Listen (14:04)
The Green Children of Woolpit (Skeptoid #704) - There is an old legend from England about a pair of children who showed up at a village in the 12th century. They couldn't speak English, and strangest of all, they were green. Like, they literally had green skin. The story remains unsolved, but if we look close enough, we can learn a great deal. First, were this children actually green? Or maybe was there something about their health that made them look green? Or is the entire thing made up? We're going to see what we can find out.
December 3, 2019
Read | Listen (13:17)
The Age of the Sphinx (Skeptoid #693) - Popular TV shows try to persuade us that Egypt's Great Sphinx is far older than archaeology tells us.
September 17, 2019
Read | Listen (14:32)
All About Atlantis (Skeptoid #667) - For centuries, alternative history fans have been denying Plato's intent and trying to frame Atlantis as a real island.
March 19, 2019
Read | Listen (14:20)
Stonehenge and the Scope of Uncertainty (Skeptoid #655) - There are things we don't know about Stonehenge, but does that mean we know nothing at all?
December 25, 2018
Read | Listen (14:08)
The Great Kentucky Meat Shower (Skeptoid #653) - A rain of meat is said to have fallen in rural Kentucky one day in 1876.
December 11, 2018
Read | Listen (12:53)
Pop Quiz: Ancient Mysteries (Skeptoid #645) - How well do you know your Skeptoid? Today's pop quiz focuses on ancient mysteries.
October 16, 2018
Read | Listen (14:47)
The Mysterious Stone Chambers of New England (Skeptoid #643) - Some believe these stone structures in New England to be evidence of ancient cultures.
October 2, 2018
Read | Listen (14:31)
Draining the Baghdad Battery (Skeptoid #640) - Many people believe this ancient scroll container was actually an early type of battery.
September 11, 2018
Read | Listen (13:16)
Cueva de los Tayos and the Lost Metal Library: Part 2 (Skeptoid #638) - A closer look at how bad the evidence is that a cave exists filled with golden alien wonders.
August 28, 2018
Read | Listen (14:59)
Cueva de los Tayos and the Lost Metal Library: Part 1 (Skeptoid #637) - Some people believe that this cave in Ecuador harbors an alien library etched on metallic plates.
August 21, 2018
Read | Listen (14:22)
Numerology (Skeptoid #626) - We put this ancient system of divination based on numbers to the test.
June 5, 2018
Read | Listen (14:29)
The Keepers of Flannan Light (Skeptoid #610) - Mystery clouds the story of what happened to these three vanished lighthouse keepers.
February 13, 2018
Read | Listen (14:26)
Eclipse Myths and Science (Skeptoid #584) - A look at the science-based myths and misconceptions about eclipses, plus some things you might not know.
August 15, 2017
Read | Listen (13:02)
The Mercury Rivers of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (Skeptoid #566) - A miniature of all China's waterways in liquid mercury is said to be at the heart of the First Emperor's tomb.
April 11, 2017
Read | Listen (13:10)
Exploring Kincaid's Cave (Skeptoid #556) - Some say a marvelous cave of Egyptian wonders is hidden in the Grand Canyon.
January 31, 2017
Read | Listen (12:24)
The D. B. Cooper Mystery (Skeptoid #552) - The world's only unsolved hijacking case is filled with misinformation.
January 3, 2017
Read | Listen (12:23)
Defusing India's Ancient Atomic Blasts (Skeptoid #541) - The facts behind an urban legend claiming a nuclear war in India some 12,000 years ago.
October 18, 2016
Read | Listen (13:05)
The Hope Diamond: A Curse Deconstructed (Skeptoid #499) - Find out how the obviously false story of a curse came to be associated with this famous diamond.
December 29, 2015
Read | Listen (12:35)
Deconstructing the Tasaday Tribe (Skeptoid #490) - Some say this tribe of "gentle savages", discovered in 1971, was just a hoax. The truth isn't quite so simple.
October 27, 2015
Read | Listen (13:12)
Who Was Charles Fort? (Skeptoid #488) - This enigmatic author of the strange continues to confound.
October 13, 2015
Read | Listen (12:11)
Franklin's Cannibals (Skeptoid #482) - The fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Expedition gives a valuable lesson in types of evidence.
September 1, 2015
Read | Listen (12:13)
Captain Kidd's Treasure (Skeptoid #481) - Think you're going to find Captain Kidd's buried treasure on the US east coast? Think again.
August 25, 2015
Read | Listen (12:07)
The Chess-Playing Mechanical Turk (Skeptoid #476) - An overview of the amazing chess playing robot of the 1700s.
July 21, 2015
Read | Listen (11:21)
Solfeggio Frequencies (Skeptoid #474) - Certain specific sonic frequencies are not the key to love, intuition, or spiritual order.
July 7, 2015
Read | Listen (13:10)
The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica (Skeptoid #452) - In Costa Rica, mysterious stone spheres left behind by the country's previous inhabitants seem to defy explanation.
February 3, 2015
Read | Listen (08:56)
Ancient Astronauts (Skeptoid #449) - Did aliens visit the ancient Earth and inspire human cultures? Some people claim so.
January 13, 2015
Read | Listen (13:28)
Megalodon Myths (Skeptoid #445) - The Discovery Channel wants you to think that a giant prehistoric shark may still swim our oceans.
December 16, 2014
Read | Listen (14:34)
SS Iron Mountain (Skeptoid #443) - This large riverboat is said to have vanished without a trace on the Mississippi River in 1872.
December 2, 2014
Read | Listen (11:01)
Griffins (Skeptoid #442) - Griffins, considered absurd mythological beasts today, were actually our first attempt to explain fossils.
November 25, 2014
Read | Listen (10:34)
The Legend of the Flying Dutchman (Skeptoid #427) - The real source of the ancient nautical legends of the Flying Dutchman ghost ship.
August 12, 2014
Read | Listen (11:49)
Out of Place Artifacts (Skeptoid #403) - Some objects found around the world seem to defy rational explanation.
February 25, 2014
Read | Listen (13:06)
Listener Feedback: Ancient Mysteries (Skeptoid #402) - I respond to questions and feedback sent in by listeners around the world.
February 18, 2014
Read | Listen (12:10)
The Red Haired Giants of Lovelock Cave (Skeptoid #390) - Some say that an early Native American tribe were giant cannibals.
November 26, 2013
Read | Listen (11:39)
Pope Joan (Skeptoid #353) - This apocryphal Middle Ages pope said to be a woman in disguise probably never existed.
March 12, 2013
Read | Listen (12:42)
The Flat Earth Theory (Skeptoid #338) - The Flat Earth Theory has its origins not in alt-science but in Christian Fundamentalism.
November 27, 2012
Read | Listen (12:41)
The Phantom Time Hypothesis (Skeptoid #332) - A number of theories claim that several centuries never actually happened, and were faked by the Church.
October 16, 2012
Read | Listen (13:17)
Raiding the Ark of the Covenant (Skeptoid #327) - The true history of the most famous holy relic from Biblical times.
September 11, 2012
Read | Listen (11:53)
The Mystery of the Vitrified Forts (Skeptoid #326) - Some 60 ancient stone forts in Scotland have vitrified walls, with the stone melted into glass. Here's what we know.
September 4, 2012
Read | Listen (12:23)
The Golden Ratio (Skeptoid #325) - For centuries, claims both scientific and pseudoscientific have been made for the golden ratio.
August 28, 2012
Read | Listen (13:18)
8 Spooky Places, and Why They're Like That (Skeptoid #323) - These strange places around the world rank among the most macabre, but have interesting explanations.
August 14, 2012
Read | Listen (13:20)
Catching Jack the Ripper (Skeptoid #304) - A look at what is and isn't known about history's most infamous serial killer.
April 3, 2012
Read | Listen (12:28)
The Beale Ciphers (Skeptoid #301) - Treasure hunters comb Virginia searching for a legendary hoard of gold and silver.
March 13, 2012
Read | Listen (12:42)
Finding Amelia Earhart (Skeptoid #295) - The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is one of the worst examples of television promoting pseudohistory.
January 31, 2012
Read | Listen (13:05)
The Mystery of the Mary Celeste (Skeptoid #289) - The facts, as we know them, about what really happened to maritime lore's most famous missing crew.
December 20, 2011
Read | Listen (12:05)
Noah's Ark: Sea Trials (Skeptoid #279) - Why it's impossible for a wooden vessel the size of Noah's Ark to be seaworthy.
October 11, 2011
Read | Listen (12:11)
The Monster of Glamis (Skeptoid #276) - The story of a living beast in Scotland's Glamis Castle may have a nugget of truth.
September 20, 2011
Read | Listen (13:15)
The Abominable Snowman (Skeptoid #269) - Science shows that the Yeti of the Himalayas is almost certainly not a real creature.
August 2, 2011
Read | Listen (12:11)
Anastasia (Skeptoid #263) - The Grand Duchess Anastasia did not survive her family's 1918 execution, and did not go on to live in the US.
June 21, 2011
Read | Listen (12:25)
The Voynich Manuscript (Skeptoid #252) - The true history and meaning of history's most famous undeciphered book.
April 5, 2011
Read | Listen (13:48)
Finding the Lost Colony of Roanoke (Skeptoid #245) - Historians actually have a pretty complete picture of what happened to the "missing" Roanoke colonists.
February 15, 2011
Read | Listen (12:17)
Mystery Spots (Skeptoid #240) - Various "gravitational anomalies" around the world have fascinating real science behind them.
January 11, 2011
Read | Listen (12:02)
The Frog in the Stone (Skeptoid #223) - Stories of living frogs being found encased in solid rock have a more interesting (and reality-based) explanation.
September 14, 2010
Read | Listen (12:49)
Toil and Trouble: The Curse of Macbeth (Skeptoid #222) - The Curse of Macbeth should make Shakespeare's play too dangerous to perform, but science tells us for sure.
September 7, 2010
Read | Listen (11:31)
Yonaguni Monument: The Japanese Atlantis (Skeptoid #220) - A look at a massive stone structure off the coast of Japan, said to be a manmade pyramid.
August 24, 2010
Read | Listen (11:53)
The Lost Ship of the Desert (Skeptoid #209) - The facts behind tall tales from the American southwest of ships found in the middle of the desert.
June 8, 2010
Read | Listen (11:09)
The Non-Mystery of Puma Punku (Skeptoid #202) - Though some claim the stone structures at Puma Punku were alien, archaeologists find no real mysteries there.
April 20, 2010
Read | Listen (12:32)
The Virgin of Guadalupe (Skeptoid #201) - Mexico's Virgin of Guadalupe played an important role in the Catholic colonization of the Americas.
April 13, 2010
Read | Listen (14:50)
Cargo Cults (Skeptoid #199) - Some native religious groups in the South Pacific hope to recreate WWII's influx of material goods.
March 30, 2010
Read | Listen (12:17)
Did Jewish Slaves Build the Pyramids? (Skeptoid #191) - It's a popular story, but all the evidence tells us that no Jews were in Egypt at the time of the Pyramids.
February 2, 2010
Read | Listen (12:30)
The Antikythera Mechanism (Skeptoid #184) - This ancient device, 1000 years ahead of its time, neither proves alien visitation nor disproves history.
December 15, 2009
Read | Listen (12:06)
The Naga Fireballs (Skeptoid #183) - These fireballs actually do rise from the Mekong river each year -- and we know exactly what causes them.
December 8, 2009
Read | Listen (12:38)
The Baigong Pipes (Skeptoid #181) - Modern metal pipes found buried in ancient China are neither pipes nor evidence of ancient alien visitation.
November 24, 2009
Read | Listen (11:16)
All About Astrology (Skeptoid #173) - Astrology neither has plausibility nor any test data showing that its predictions are better than random chance.
September 29, 2009
Read | Listen (15:23)
Decrypting the Mormon Book of Abraham (Skeptoid #168) - Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith allegedly translated the adventures of Abraham in Egypt.
August 25, 2009
Read | Listen (12:23)
Coral Castle (Skeptoid #149) - Although urban legends say the creator of Coral Castle had supernatural help, the photographs tell a different story.
April 14, 2009
Read | Listen (11:41)
The Case of the Strange Skulls (Skeptoid #144) - A collection of bizarre human skulls from around the world.
March 10, 2009
Read | Listen (15:13)
The Bosnian Pyramids (Skeptoid #140) - Belief that this hill in Bosnia is an ancient pyramid is driven by New Age woo and pathological science.
February 10, 2009
Read | Listen (13:25)
Chasing the Min Min Light (Skeptoid #133) - The Australian outback's mysterious jack o' lantern has sparked some good stories, but some even better science.
December 23, 2008
Read | Listen (10:45)
The Oak Island Money Pit (Skeptoid #129) - This mysterious treasure pit on a Nova Scotia island has a fascinating natural explanation.
November 25, 2008
Read | Listen (10:31)
Illuminating the Fatima Miracle of the Sun (Skeptoid #110) - The pope canonized them, but these three children didn't actually predict anything in 1917.
July 22, 2008
Read | Listen (11:05)
Mystery at Dyatlov Pass (Skeptoid #108) - A look at one of Russia's most bizarre mysteries of mass death.
July 8, 2008
Read | Listen (10:30)
King Tut's Curse! (Skeptoid #106) - A look at the tale, the popular explanation, and the real science behind it.
June 24, 2008
Read | Listen (10:43)
The Crystal Skull: Mystical, or Modern? (Skeptoid #98) - Despite their reputation for mystical powers, crystal skulls are neither ancient nor mysterious.
April 29, 2008
Read | Listen (8:53)
Apocalypse 2012 (Skeptoid #93) - The real science behind the events predicted in 2012.
March 25, 2008
Read | Listen (11:15)
The Greatest Secret of Nostradamus (Skeptoid #66) - Virtually nothing that pop culture tells us about Nostradamus is true.
September 18, 2007
Read | Listen (14:38)
A Mormon History of the Americas (Skeptoid #43) - The Book of Mormon's history of the Americas is full of irreconcilable errors and false archaeology.
May 6, 2007
Read | Listen (9:32)
Living Stones of Death Valley (Skeptoid #21) - An examination of the mysterious stones that move by themselves across the desert floor.
January 15, 2007
Read | Listen (3:46)






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