Coolest Stuff on the Planet

HowStuffWorks takes you on a tour of the world -- all from the comfort of your desk chair. Learn about the coolest stuff on the planet, from Route 66 to Moscow.

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6 Cool Facts about Route 66

With loads of fascinating sights and miles of history, route 66 is one of North America's most iconic roads. Join Rachel and Kathryn as they delve into the story of Route 66, presenting 6 fascinating facts about this uniquely American roadway.


With loads of fascinating sights and miles of history, route 66 is one of North America's most iconic roads. Join Rachel and Kathryn as they delve into the story of Route 66, presenting 6 fascinating facts about this uniquely American roadway.
6:00

6 Cool Facts about Route 66

The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania offers a safari experience like no other. Find out why this mini Serengeti is a great place to bird-watch in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:15

A Wildlife Adventure through the Ngorongoro Crater

When Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables, she drew inspiration from the arresting landscape of Canada's Prince Edward Island. Join Rachel and Kathryn as they explore the history and attractions of Prince Edward Island.
9:23

Adventures in Anneland

Over the course of 700 years, these salt mines have become home to numerous unique statues, artifacts and works of art. Join Rachel and Kathryn as they investigate the iconic Polish salt mines in this episode.
7:10

Back to the Polish Salt Mines

The Badlands of North and South Dakota get their name from the Sioux Indians, who found the area harsh and arid. But don't let the name fool you -- the Badlands are full of majestic views and unique formations sculpted by continual erosion.
6:33

Badlands to the Bone

Singapore offers visitors a wide array of attractions, from multicultural cuisine to performing arts. Find out why Singapore is a great place for theater -- and good behavior -- in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
4:52

Catching a Show (and more) in Singapore

Yosemite isn't just the nickname of a cantankerous cartoon character -- it's also one of the oldest national parks in the world. Discover the natural delights of Yosemite in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
6:02

Checkin' out the Natural Wonders of Yosemite

The Sapporo Snow Festival is a celebration of Japan's winter season -- and, of course, snow! Join Rachel and Matt as they admire the festival's marvelous snow and ice sculptures -- and other fun, wintry events -- in this episode.
5:36

Chillin' at the Sapporo Snow Festival

What do you get when you combine breathtaking ocean views, beautiful parks and the home of Ernest Hemingway? Key West, of course. Tune in to learn more about the history of Key West (and learn why it's called the Conch Republic) in this podcast.
7:14

Chillin' in the Capital of the Conch Republic

The small town of Churchill in the Canadian province of Manitoba has a lot of natural attractions -- especially of the large, white variety. Find out why it's a great place to check out bears and whales in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:24

Churchill: The Polar Bear Capital of the World

The Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat is a wonder of the ancient world -- and it's also a great place to climb stairs. Find out why stairclimbing and Ankgor Wat rank as the Coolest Stuff on the Planet in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
4:48

Climbing the Stairs of Angkor Wat

Tikal is a popular archaeological site that was once a powerful, thriving city-state in the Mayan empire. Learn more about Guatemala's most famous attraction, and some fun facts about the ancient Mayas, in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:25

Exploring the Ruins of Tikal

Join Rachel and Kathryn as they combine two of their favorite things -- road trips and food -- to explore five of the coolest restaurants in the United States. Tune in for a look at everything from Junior's cheesecake to classic cuisine from New Orleans.
6:47

Foodie Road Trip: 5 Places You Must Dine in the U.S

Frankfurt isn't just the fifth-largest city in Germany -- it's also home to some of Europe's most fascinating architecture, including a surprising amount of skyscrapers. Join Rachel and Kathryn for a closer look at Frankfurt.
6:25

Frankfurt on Mein Mind

British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest is home to ancient trees and wildlife of all kinds, including a rare type of bear. Learn more about this unique ecosystem -- and efforts to conserve and sustainably manage it -- in this episode.
5:34

Greetings from the Great Bear Rainforest

The Kanto Festival in Akita City, Japan, is a harvest festival famous for music, parades, chanting -- and men balancing giant poles of lanterns on various parts of their bodies. Discover why the Kanto Festival is Cool Stuff in this episode.
5:17

Hangin' Out at the Akita Kanto Festival

With a penchant for hot tubs and surprising tolerance for cold weather, the monkeys of Japan are curious creatures. Join Rachel and Matt as they explore the Jigokudani area of Japan -- and explain why it's called 'Hell's Valley.'
6:00

Hell's Valley: Not Just for Monkeys

U.S. Highway 61 runs between New Orleans, Louisiana and Wyoming, Minnesota. This isn't an ordinary stretch of road -- it's also home to some of the America's most important music history. Join Rachel and Kathryn as they traverse the history of Highway 61.
5:57

Highway 61 Visited

The Big Cypress Swamp is an essential part of the greater Everglades ecosystem in Florida. Take a swamp tour in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:49

Hiking Through the Big Cypress Swamp

Located on the coast of South Africa, Cape Town is the country's second-most populous city. But what's it like, exactly? Tune in as Kathryn and Rachel take a closer look at Cape Town.
5:25

Howzit from Cape Town

This week, Kathryn and Rachel take a digital excursion to Kathryn's hometown: Kingston, Jamaica. Tune in for an insider's guide to the history, sights, sounds and food of Jamaica's capital.
6:13

Kathrynston: An Insider's Guide to Kingston, Jamaica

howstuffworks, the coolest stuff on the planet, lake baikal, Siberia
5:57

Lake Baikal, the Oldest Lake on the Planet

The ancient Peruvian city of Machu Picchu is one of the world's most popular tourist attractions for good reason. Get lost in this famous "city in the clouds" with Matt and Rachel in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:49

Machu Picchu: The Real City in the Clouds

Also know as 'The Red City,' Marrakesh has a long, unique history filled with fascinating events. Tune in to learn more about the role of bargaining in the culture, the most happening square in the world and more.
7:01

Mesmerizing, Magical Marrakesh

Due to a large population of camels in the region, camel racing is a strange and popular sport in Australia's outback. Get a front row seat at one of Australia's most famous camel racing events -- the Camel Cup -- in this episode.
5:14

Outback Camel Racing: Going for the Camel Cup

Katmai National Park is a remote, rugged place that's famous for brown bears and volcanoes. Explore the wildlife and geological wonders of this gorgeous slice of Alaska in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:01

Roamin' Around Katmai National Park

Moscow, the largest city in Russia, is a bustling megacity with a storied past and a burgeoning future. Learn more about Russia's capital city in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:05

Runnin' Around Moscow

Located off the coast of Costa Rica, Cocos Island isn't your average Central American getaway. Tune in as Matt and Rachel explore this island's unique ecosystem -- along with its mysterious history -- in this episode.
4:44

Scuba Diving and Treasure Hunting at Cocos Island

The falls at Niagara are popular with sightseers, honeymooners -- and daredevils. Tune in as Rachel and Matt explore what attracts so many adrenaline junkies to Niagara Falls in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:11

Sightseeing at Niagara Falls

Southeast Alaska, also known as the Alaska Panhandle, is a favorite haunt of humpback whales and massive, shifting glaciers. See both in action in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
6:25

Southeast Alaska: Rivers of Ice and Playful Whales

In part two of their series on St. Petersburg, Matt and Rachel admire some more of the Coolest Stuff that Russia's former capital has to offer. In this case, some truly amazing architecture and famous landmarks.
6:33

St. Petersburg Part Deux: Famous Landmarks

Once the capital of Russia, St. Petersburg is often compared to Venice because of its many canals, rivers and bridges. In this first episode of a two-part series, learn more about the city's lovely layout, early history and famous "white nights."
5:49

St. Petersburg: The Venice of the North

Mauna Kea isn't just the highest point in Hawaii. It's also the best astronomical site, and sacred in Hawaiian culture. In this episode, Kathryn and Rachel take a closer look at one of Hawaii's most famous volcanoes.
5:01

Stargazing on the White Mountain

Often referred to as the Great Wall, China's Long Wall was originally constructed to keep out invaders from the North. Take a tour of the world's most famous wall -- and learn some surprising trivia along the way -- in this episode.
6:14

Strolling down the Long Wall of 10,000 Li

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a vibrant red rock formation in the heart of Australia. Find out why it's a great place to visit -- and to catch a sunset -- in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:37

Sunset at Uluru

Yonaguni Island is a tiny Japanese island with a big reputation. Learn more about the famous "monument" that has drawn the world's attention to Yonaguni, as well as some of the island's other unusual attractions, in this episode.
5:52

Swimming with Hammerheads at the Yonaguni Monument

British Columbia's Knight Inlet boasts breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife. Explore this extensive fjord and meet its furry (and non-furry) denizens in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:29

The Bears of Knight Inlet

Home to the Port Lockroy Post Office and massive colonies of penguins, Antarctica is famous for its unique landscape and frigidity -- but how cold is it, exactly? Tune in for the answer -- along with a brief history of the continent -- in this episode.
7:33

The Coolest Continent on the Planet

In this final episode of the year, Matt and Rachel reveal their 5 favorite Coolest Stuff topics of 2009.
5:53

The Coolest Stuff of 2009

Albuquerque, New Mexico, is home to many ballooning enthusiasts -- and the world's biggest hot air balloon festival. In their Coolest episode yet, Matt and Rachel take you on a tour of ABQ's enchanting (and colorful) "balloon fiesta."
8:02

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Albuquerque Balloons

Carlsbad Cavern is a labyrinthine, underground wonderland full of massive chambers, otherworldly rock formations and hordes of bats. Rachel and Matt take you on a tour of New Mexico's subterranean Cool Stuff in this episode.
10:14

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Carlsbad Cavern

Traditionally known as Chinese New Year, China's Spring Festival is a time of feasting, fireworks and good fortune. Join Rachel and Matt as they discuss Chinese New Year traditions, from red envelopes to housecleaning, in this episode.
8:56

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: China

On the beaches of Costa Rica, Olive Ridley sea turtles perform mysterious, synchronized reproductive rites called "arribadas." Learn more about this mass nesting behavior -- and where in Costa Rica you can watch it unfold-- in this episode.
6:14

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Costa Rica Sea Turtles

Easter Island is a tiny, volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean with a mysterious history -- and some really big statues. Learn more about the mysterious moai of Easter Island in this episode.
8:11

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Easter Island

Khufu at Giza has a reputation for greatness. Find out why this reputation is deserved -- and who really built Khufu's pyramid -- in this episode.
5:58

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Egypt Great Pyramid

Located in Provence, France, this river canyon is the second-largest gorge in the world. With numerous trails and routes, the gorge offers an unparalleled experience for everyone from professional climbers to weekend enthusiasts. Tune in and learn more.
8:09

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Gorge of Verdon

The Great Barrier Reef, which is actually made up of thousands of individual reefs, is a wonderland of marine life. Take a swim near this amazing ecosystem -- and meet some of its many inhabitants -- in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:36

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Great Barrier Reef

Once the imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto is a modern city with an old soul. Join Matt and Rachel as they explore the temples, shrines and traditions of Old Kyoto in this episode.
6:38

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Kyoto, Japan

In this episode, Rachel, Matt and the guys from the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast take you on a tour of Guatemala's beautiful Lake Atitlan, courtesy of an organization called Cooperative for Education.
5:00

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Lake Atitlan

In the movies, lemurs from Madagascar have a penchant for busting a move. Find out why that's not too much of a leap of logic in real life -- and why Madagascar is cool --  in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:12

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Madagascar

Perched precariously atop high rock towers, the monasteries of the Meteora in Greece inspire vertigo -- and awe. How did they construct buildings waaaaaaay up there? What in the world possessed them to do so? Tune in to this podcast to find out.
7:34

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Meteora Monasteries

The Indian state of Rajasthan is a land of desert sands, sturdy fortresses and colorful cities. Explore the impossibly blue-hued city of Jodhpur -- and meet some of its unruly denizens -- in this episode.
7:21

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Rajasthan, India

The smallest sovereign country in the world, Vatican City -- officially known as the State of the Vatican City -- makes its home in the heart of Italy's capital, Rome. Explore this unique city-state and its world-renowned attractions in this episode.
8:29

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Rome

Mexico's Sea of Cortez is a strange juxtaposition of desert and sea. Meet some the sea's most playful marine inhabitants -- and discover firsthand why it's called "the World's Aquarium" -- in this episode.
6:13

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Sea of Cortez

Siena is a beautiful city in Tuscany famous for its Gothic architecture, medieval character and a centuries-old horse race called Il Palio. Find out what the Palio's all about -- and why winning it is a huge deal  -- in this episode.
6:46

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Sien Palio

Stonehenge, located on England's Salisbury Plain, is arguably the most famous stone circle in the world. Find out why this prehistoric monument rocks -- in more ways than one --in this episode.
7:38

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Stonehenge Rocks!

The Grand Canyon offers visitors a gorgeous, unparalleled slice of geology in action -- past, present and future. Explore the many layers of the Grand Canyon and take a walk in the sky in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:32

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: The Grand Canyon

Like its well-known Brazilian counterpart, Peru's Amazon region hosts a dazzling diversity of plant and animal life. Take a tour of the Peruvian Amazon in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:41

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: The Peruvian Amazon

The Tour de France is a grueling bicycle race that lasts for three weeks and winds its way through some of France's most formidable terrain. Who thought up this crazy race? Who participates in it? Learn more about the Tour de France in this episode.
6:25

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet: Tour de France

Japan is famous for its winter wildlife, especially of the feathered variety. Meet the strikingly colored red-crowned crane -- and watch its unique courtship dance -- in this episode.
4:50

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet:Hokkaido Crane Dance

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, which happens to be one of the happiest countries on the planet. It's not hard to see why -- from the famous flatbread to the ubiquitous bicycles, Denmark is uniquely cozy. Tune in to learn more.
8:36

The Cozy City of Copenhagen

Often called the "river of grass," the Everglades are extensive wetlands that depend on water to sustain a variety of delicate ecosystems. Learn more about the history, development, inhabitants and restoration of the 'Glades in this episode.
5:51

The Everglades: Florida's Wetlands

Hagia Sophia has gone through chameleon-like identity changes over the centuries. Find out why this unusual museum ranks among the Coolest Stuff on the Planet in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:02

The Evolution of the Hagia Sophia

Jaisalmer, India, is famous for its golden architecture, impressive fort and desert attractions. Tune in to learn more about the "Golden City" of Rajasthan in this episode of the Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:52

The Golden City of Jaisalmer

Every year, the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya hosts one of the most spectacular animal migrations on the planet. Find out why it's cool to follow the crowd in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:06

The Great Migration of Masai Mara

The Pacific Northwest is home to large communities of orcas, particularly British Columbia and the area around Vancouver Island. Learn more about these killer whales (that aren't whales at all) in this episode.
5:40

The Killer Whales of British Columbia

The lost Maya city of Palenque stunned the first outsiders who stumbled upon it in the rainforests of Southern Mexico. Take a virtual tour of this beautiful ruined city -- and discover what makes it so cool -- in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:37

The Lost City of Palenque

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are an integral part of Japanese culture. Learn more about the sakura season and Japan's centuries-old love affair with ephemeral white and pink blossoms in this episode.
5:11

The Magnificent Cherry Blossoms of Japan

The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is famous for many things -- gorgeous people and places, Carnaval, soccer, poverty and violence. Join Matt and Rachel as they explore the many facets of Rio in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
4:04

The Many Sides of Rio de Janeiro

Built around 2,000 years ago in the Nazca desert of Peru, the mysterious Nazca lines form thousands of drawings across the desert floor. Learn more about the Nazca lines -- and what makes them so cool -- in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:03

The Mysterious Nazca Lines

Agra Fort isn't as well-known as its famous neighbor the Taj Mahal, but this huge palace/fortress complex is just as cool. Take a virtual tour of Agra Fort's intricate architecture and colorful history in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
6:14

The Palace of Agra Fort

The lovely city of Venice has many nicknames, from La Serenissima (the most serene) to the Queen of the Adriatic. Take a virtual tour of Italy's famous "floating city" -- and learn some fascinating trivia along the way -- in this episode.
5:39

The Serene City of Venice

Straddling the Arizona-Utah border, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is famous for its dramatic rock formations and stark landscape. Find out why those features make it a favorite backdrop for Westerns in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:17

The Stunning Rock Formations of Monument Valley

Karnak is a sprawling, ruined temple complex near Luxor, Egypt that was built over a period of more than 1,500 years. Take a tour of Karnak's main temple -- and learn some fascinating trivia along the way -- in this episode.
5:33

The Temple of Karnak

Mount Fuji is the national symbol of Japan and an iconic landmark that's recognized the world over. Take a tour of Japan's beloved mountain -- and learn some surprising trivia along the way -- in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:58

The View from Mount Fuji

The Pantanal is a large wetland area located in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay that's teeming with plant and animal life. Explore the wild, watery world of the Pantanal with Matt and Rachel in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:51

The Wonderful Wilderness of The Pantanal

After 95 years of ferrying ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Panama Canal still plays an important role in international trade. Learn more about this cool canal's past, present and future in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:23

Trading Stories about the Panama Canal

Victoria Falls is a massive, stunning waterfall that straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. And, like Niagara Falls, it attracts plenty of daredevils. Find out why in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
5:06

Victoria Falls: A Daredevil's Paradise

The statues at Abu Simbel in Egypt are a testament to human ingenuity -- and ego. Find out what's so cool about Abu Simbel (and statues) in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
5:56

What's So Cool About the Statues of Abu Simbel?

If you like mud and you like architecture, this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet is a must-see. Join Matt and Rachel on a virtual tour of the world's biggest mud structure -- the Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali, West Africa.
4:13

What's so Great about the Great Mosque of Djenne?

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its extensive history, natural beauty and geological features. Join Matt and Rachel as they explore Yellowstone, from its geysers to its supervolcanos, in this episode of The Coolest Stuff on the Planet.
6:14

Yellowstone: The Beautiful and Geothermal

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Florida Beaches: The Hot Bodies of South Beach

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