It’s a scary world out there, as we explore how everything on the planet – from humankind to glaciers – must be able to respond to threat in order to survive. Sebastian surprises Rutendo with a story of the time he lived in Japan and took up fencing, occasionally finding himself at the wrong end of a sword.

WWE wrestler and commentator Stu Bennett, better known as Bad News Barrett, is used to feeling the pressure in the ring. But away from that controlled environment, he has faced less expected threats, including an underwater close encounter with an enormous moray eel. He also shares his concerns – and hopes – for the future of a planet under its own kind of threat.

In Nepal, poaching of rare animals is a growing problem, threatening the ecosystem itself. Kumar Paudel is tackling this issue head-on, using folk music and videos to educate rural communities on the consequences of poaching, and meeting face-to-face with convicted animal smugglers, to try to make lasting change against the odds.

Lianna Zanette tells us about her work studying predator-induced fear, and how animals respond differently to threats depending on how they perceive their environment.

And Oskar Glowacki introduces heartrending sounds recorded inside glaciers which are dying as a result of climate change.


The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.

This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.

The researcher was Seb Masters.

The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.

Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.

The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.

Special thanks to:

Liana Zanette from The University of Western Ontario for sharing her research into the ecology of fear.

Interviewee Stu Bennett aka Bad News Barrett.

Kumar Paudel from Greenhood Nepal.

Oskar Glowacki from the Polish Academy of Science for talking us through and letting us hear his glacier recordings.

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