PhysicsGirl and the Moving Muddle Puddle [Ep. 97]

Play episode

PhysicsGirl Dianna Cowern is your average Forbes 30 Under 30, award-winning YouTube legend who got her start in a tiny Hawaiian school — which is to suggest that nothing about Dianna’s impressive career path is any sort of accident. With 2 million subscribers and over 150 million views, Dianna has become one of Science YouTube’s most prolific figures, and she’s inspired a generation of girls to go further in physics. Where would she be without that Neil deGrasse Tyson DVD series?!

Dianna had a series of teachers who helped drive her interest in physics, but the key might’ve been her own broad interests from music to tennis. Most everything in her life seems to combine into science communication, and it’s a solid example of ‘System 1 and System 2’ thinking.

But then it’s mud puddle time. Dianna made an excellent video showing the world’s only moving mud puddle, which is threatening parts of California en route to the Salton Sea. Is there any hope? Kevin thinks “there’s nothing you can do to stop it.” At 20 feet per year, it’s hard to disagree.

And it’s one more example of taking a seemingly-mundane subject and making it amazing, which Dianna does so well. She’s always excited, and part of that is because she’s talking to other people who are excited, too. Like making a cloud in your mouth, getting pumped about the ocean, or paving a way on YouTube for herself and others when there are dozens of reasons to quit. 

Congratulations to Dianna for getting back to surfing, and thanks to each and every one of our Patrons who make this show happen every week!



Join our Discord to talk with artists, creators, and fans of the finer things in online life:



The Invention of Friends (Dunbar’s Number):



Google Podcasts:




Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 

Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → 

“Created in the Unknown” theme by Basswaite:  

Theme by Mega Drive →  

Opening Animation: Kidmograph 

City Animation: Eric Langlay 


“The Create Unknown” is produced by Unknown Media. 



» Chat with us on DISCORD:  

» Follow us on TWITTER:  

» Follow us on INSTAGRAM:  

» Follow us on FACEBOOK:  


» View our website:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Join the discussion