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Squaring the Strange

Squaring the Strange brings evidence-based analysis and commentary to a wide variety of topics, ranging from the paranormal to the political.


Investigating ghosts. Debunking conspiracies. Dodging chupacabras.

If a claim seems strange, Ben and Pascual will try to square it with the facts.


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Sep 24, 2022

First Celestia gushes about "3,000 Years of Longing," starring Idris Elba as a sultry Djinn. Then Ben talks to us about the pirate life, which had a lot more worms than one might expect. What's the difference between a privateer and a buccaneer? Or a sloop and a four-masted mariner? We go into daily activities, reasons...

Sep 9, 2022

Part roadside attraction -- and apparently also part magnetic marvel, part harmonics and Ley Line energy well, part mystical creation of a stone-singer, part love letter, and part obsession, the Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, has baffled engineers and scientists for decades. Or so it's been said. What was the...

Aug 27, 2022

Yes, so our guest this episode is . . . Ben! We take a look at a few strange things in the news first, like "Hunger Stones" and a "Surprise Spanish Stonehenge"! (No one expects the Spanish Stonehenge!). Then we dive into some media literacy themes and lessons in Ben's latest book, "America the Fearful: Media and...

Aug 12, 2022

To our credit, we manage to not giggle like third-graders for most of the episode, as we discuss the strange belief that one's penis has gone missing, become smaller, or been switched out. A peculiar mix of superstition, body dysmorphia, and curse belief, Koro has many traits of a mass sociogenic illness (MSI) and...

Jul 29, 2022

This episode is special because all three of us have personal experience -- in Santa Fe, the Black Rock Desert, or Lewes, England -- watching giant effigies burn down in a symbolic cleansing ritual reputed to have dark, murderous roots. Yet this ubiquitous form of expression is also clever, satirical, and a way to...