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.
In the dark depths of the oceans, nearly 90% of all species light up the darkness from within. These creatures flash, sparkle, shimmer, or simply glow. Whether it’s to scare off predators, fish for prey, or lure a mate, the language of light is everywhere in the ocean depths, and scientists are finally starting to decode it. Discover surprising ways to harness nature’s light—from tracking cancer cells to detecting pollution, lighting up cities, and even illuminating the inner workings of our brains.
Earth is the most colourful place we know of. But the colours we see are far more complex and fascinating than they appear. In this series, Dr Helen Czerski uncovers what colour is, how it works, and how it has written the story of our planet - from the colours that transformed a dull ball of rock into a vivid jewel to the colours that life has used to survive and thrive". But the story doesn't end there - there are also the colours that we can't see, the ones that lie beyond the rainbow. Each one has a fascinating story to tell. Early Earth was a canvas for the vast new palette of the colours of life, with the diversity of human skin tones telling the story of how humanity spread and ultimately conquered the planet. Dr Helen Czerski explores the true masters of colour - which are often the smallest and most elusive - travelling to the mountains of Tennessee to witness the colourful mating display of fireflies, and revealing the marine creatures that can change the colour of their skin in order to hide from the world.
Category:Science Duration:58:00 Series: Colour The Spectrum of Science
It's a golden age for planet hunters: recently, they've discovered more than 750 planets orbiting stars beyond our sun. Some of them, like a planet called Kepler-22b, might even be able to harbor life. What would that life look like? Combining startling animation with input from expert astrobiologists, Alien Planets Revealed takes viewers on a journey of the imagination as we 'build' aliens from the ground up. What chemical building blocks will make up their genetic code? How will life get started and how will the exotic environment on a planet like Kepler-22b drive evolution? Bringing the creative power of veteran animators together with the latest discoveries in astrobiology, Alien Planets Revealed provides a glimpse of the creatures we might one day encounter beyond our solar system.
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