Skip to content

Episode 27: Out of Eden the Long Way

One of the big questions in the study of human evolution is the question of how our ancestors spread across the world.

Our species evolved in Africa and migrated around the world from there. Most people on earth today are mixed descendants of multiple migrations to different places.

Somewhere in almost everyone’s family history, whether it was last year or thousands of years ago, there was someone who left the place they were born and set out into the unknown, looking for a new life somewhere else. For most of humankind’s time on this planet, we all did it the same way. We walked.

Paul Salopek is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Explorer who is on an epic ten-year journey around the world on foot, tracing the path of early human migration out of Africa. Along the way he is talking with people and sharing their stories through his writing, and through educational programs for students. His project is called the Out of Eden Walk.

You can learn more at

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about how and when humans spread around the world. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!


Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at

Out of Eden Walk

Out of Eden Learn

Articles by Paul Salopek:

Articles about early human migration:


Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere


This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

We are also brought to you with support from, the internet’s leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We’d love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It’s the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

I [name], of [city, state ZIP], bequeath the sum of $[ ] or [ ] percent of my estate to L.S.B. Leakey Foundation for Research Related to Man’s Origins, Behavior & Survival, (dba The Leakey Foundation), a nonprofit organization with a business address of 1003B O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129 and a tax identification number 95-2536475 for its unrestricted use and purpose.

If you have questions, please contact Sharal Camisa Smith sharal at 

This will close in 0 seconds