40,000 years ago the steppes of Eurasia were home to our closest human relative, the Neanderthals. Recent genetic and archaeological discoveries have proven that they were not the dim-witted cave dwellers we long thought they were. In fact, they were cultured, technologically savvy and more like us than we ever imagined! So why did they disappear? We accompany scientists on an exciting search for an answer to this question and come to a startling conclusion... A climate change due to a cataclysmic event.
Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place, a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. But how? Join mineralogist Robert Hazen as he journeys around the globe. From an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback, he advances a startling and counterintuitive idea—that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but that microbial life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. It's a theory of the co-evolution of Earth and life that is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet’s story.
Our planet has amazing power, and yet that's rarely mentioned in our history books. This series tells the story of how the Earth has influenced human history, from the dawn of civilisation to the modern industrial age. It reveals how geology, geography and climate have been a far more powerful influence on the human story than has previously been acknowledged. A combination of epic story telling, visually stunning camerawork, extraordinary locations and passionate presenting combine to form a highly original version of human history" In the first episode professor Iain Stewart explores the relationship between the deep Earth and the development of human civilisation. He visits an extraordinary crystal cave in Mexico, drops down a hole in the Iranian desert and crawls through seven-thousand-year-old tunnels in Israel. His exploration reveals that throughout history, our ancestors were strangely drawn to fault lines, areas which connect the surface with the deep interior of the planet. These fault lines gave access to important resources, but also brought with them great danger.
Category:Science Duration:59:00 Series: How Earth Made Us
The series highlights the major events which have shaped the Earth's history and allowed life to flourish. Follow Dr Stewart's personal journey to some of the most remote places on the planet. The atmosphere is Earth’s protective layer, cloaking us in a warm, oxygen-rich embrace and shielding us from the cold hostility of space. It acts as a natural greenhouse, keeping the Earth 51 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it would otherwise be. Yet the atmosphere is also full of contradictions. It’s immensely powerful but at the same time highly sensitive. It’s destructive, yet it shelters us. It was created in part by the planet’s first organisms, and it continues to be essential for life.
Category:Nature Duration:59:00 Series: Earth, the Power of the Planet
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