8 odd pods: extraordinary stories from atypical people, real-life explorers, and more

Society & Culture July 15, 2022

We’ve rounded up podcasts sharing atypical stories from all walks of life. And we promise, these wild podcasts are anything but boring. From real-life explorers, harrowing survival tales, and a series sharing intriguing people’s obituaries, these podcasts are 100% out of the ordinary. There are fantastical episodes, podcasts accepting anonymous strangers’ phone calls, guests spilling secrets for the first time, and dropping unbelievable stories from around the world.

There are episodes interviewing people you’ve possibly never heard about, experiencing things that might not happen to you like getting kidnapped by pirates or joining a cult. On “Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff,” hear about people making waves in history.

Different with Nicky Campbell

Listen to ‘Different with Nicky Campbell’

BBC Radio 5 Live’s “Different with Nicky Campbell” chats with an assortment of guests who live life on their own terms. Tune in for conversations with guests like a former cult member, a professional dominatrix, a professional person-finder, a witch, one of the world’s best forensic scientists, and more. Weekly episodes also unpack what it means to be different.

The Secret Room podcast art

The Secret Room | True Stories

Listen to ‘The Secret Room | True Stories’

Everyday people share bombshell secrets and unbelievable stories on “The Secret Room | True Stories,” hosted by Ben Hamm. In a recent episode, we heard Donna’s real life horror story when she visited a guy, got trapped in his basement for days, and wondered if he planned to kill her. Hear from guests like mortuary transporters and a military member who lost his career while on duty abroad. Agatha shared her experience getting raised by a cult, a ritual ceremony, and surviving a near-death explosion.

Lives Less Ordinary podcast art

Lives Less Ordinary

Listen to ‘Lives Less Ordinary’

BBC World Service presents “Lives Less Ordinary” and invites strangers to share their life stories on weekly episodes. Hear how Judith and her husband were attacked by pirates at a Kenyan resort and that Judith was held hostage for 6 months. In another episode, learn about a woman’s mission to combat witch hunters after she was blamed for killing her father with witchcraft. There are episodes detailing secret lives, unexpected circumstances, and give listeners a peek into experiences we might not ever have to live.

Conversations podcast art


Listen to ‘Conversations’

ABC Radio’s “Conversations” features fascinating people you’ve never heard about in daily episodes. Since 2005, the series has shared over 250 episodes with stories like Gary Lang dancing around the world, Julie Janson’s adventure stories while tracing her family’s ancestry, and Charles Masson’s spy trips.

Other People's Lives podcast art

Other People’s Lives

Listen to ‘Other People’s Lives’

Hosts Joe Santagato and Greg Dybec accept an anonymous phone call and share their conversations in weekly episodes. Hear how a woman and her husband make a living scamming sugar daddies, what it’s like to live with agoraphobia, and getting hired as “human furniture.”

Mobituaries with Mo Rocca

Listen to ‘Mobituaries with Mo Rocca’

Host Mo Rocca reads interesting people’s obituaries and shares why they matter on “Mobituaries.” Season 1 covered characters like an amazing entertainer from the 20th century, a Civil Rights pioneer, and sitcom characters’ untimely deaths. In episodes, Mo is joined by guests like Fred Armisen, Diane Warren, and Eric Foner. This series is presented by CBS News, Inc.

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast art

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People

Listen to ‘Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People’

Earwolf and Chris Gethard present “Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People,” where comedian/host Chris opens his phone line and accepts a random call for a one-hour discussion. Nothing is held back as Chris hears secrets, confessions, musings, and insight from his callers, as listeners are surprised every step of the way. Sometimes, Chris offers advice to the callers.

Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff podcast art

Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff

Listen to ‘Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff’

From iHeartPodcasts and Cool Zone Media comes “Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff,” a weekly series all about rebels, revolts, and people who want to break free. Episodes tackle layered stories filled with lessons and inspiration, and host Margaret Killjoy welcomes guests like Jamie Loftus to join the discussions. Recent episodes covered West Virginia coal wars, the space race, a non-binary icon in Revolutionary Era America, and more.

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