WEIRD & WONDERFUL
DID you know that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the whole planet? If you want to know more cool and crazy facts about the world, then you’ll love TV show Weird But True! Presenters Charlie Engelman and Carly Ciarrocchi told us all about it…
SO WHAT’S WEIRD BUT TRUE! ALL ABOUT?
Charlie: So it’s a children’s educational science show. Every episode has a different topic and is kind of split into two parts. The first part is in our basement, where we learn about a subject, and then we go out on like a field trip and do some sort of activity that relates to this subject. We use paper art, sculptures, skits and costumes to explain things.
WHICH EPISODE ARE YOU REALLY EXCITED ABOUT US SEEING?
Carly: I’m totally excited for the scuba diving episode.
I had to learn to scuba dive to be on the show. It was a whole new adventure for me and there were times where it was truly magical and life-changing, and times where it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life!
DID YOU MANAGE TO KEEP YOUR COOL OR WILL WE SEE YOU FREAK OUT ON SCREEN?
Carly: You know something that’s really cool about the show is that they were able to use my authentic experience and being genuinely nervous about scuba diving. I think it shows you how learning something new can be scary but with a certain amount of preparation and courage you can do it.
WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING THAT YOU’VE FOUND OUT WHILE MAKING THE SHOW?
Carly: I don’t know if you know this, but scorpions fluoresce [glow] under ultraviolet light. So if you shine a UV light in a dark patch of grass where you think there might be a scorpion, that’s how you spot them.
Charlie: We had a cooking episode where we discussed what percentage of the world eats insects as part of their diets, and it’s much higher than you would expect. We had to eat a lot of insects during that section of the show. It was not good at all. There were these big water bugs that are 7cm long and we had to cover them in Tabasco sauce in order to give them extra flavour. We would bite them, give a thumbs-up to the camera, and then when our director said ‘cut’ we immediately ran over to the garbage and started spitting them out. It was crazy.
WHAT’S THE MOST AMAZING PLACE YOU WENT TO FOR THE SERIES?
Carly: We got to spend the night in a space that’s been created to simulate what it would be like to live on Mars.
Charlie: It’s the spot where NASA astronauts train and go for long periods of time to see what it would be like to live in space together. It’s on a volcano in Hawaii.
Carly: We also got to hike in the lava fields around that area in Hawaii, and that was just otherworldly. It felt like we were truly on a different planet.
CAN YOU TELL US ANY WEIRD BUT TRUE FACTS ABOUT YOURSELVES?
Carly: Here’s something surprising about me – my family has a mushroom farm.
Charlie: I’m a really terrific tree nerd. I really love trees and if you hand me a twig from the Midwest of the United States, I could tell you what tree it’s from!