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Simply the Best Documentaries

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In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: Son of God
Narco Cultura
Planet Earth II Islands
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy 1
The Silk Spinners
Banking on Bitcoin
The Spark of Life
Bush and Obama: Age of Terror
Life: Reptiles and Amphibians
Arabia
Curing Cancer
Amazing Ocean
The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin
Jerusalem
The True Cost
The Normans: Normans of the South
Walking with Cavemen: Blood Brothers
One Soldier Story: The Journey of American Sniper
Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It
Travellers Tales
The Birth of Rock
Legends of Flight
The Story of the Jews: In the Beginning
The Most Dangerous Band in the World. The Story of Guns N Roses
The Medici: Makers of Modern Art
Robots
Alien Technology
The 21st Century Race for Space
Top Science Stories of 2017
Magical Egypt
Eat Fast and Live Longer
D-Day: As it Happens (2)
Is the Force With Us
Conquistadors: The Fall of the Aztecs
Astrobiology
Cold War 2.0

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Sunken Ship Rescue
Sunken Ship Rescue 2015

Follows the epic operation to secure, raise, and salvage the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground and tragically capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13th 2012, killing 32 people. The wreck stretches the length of three football fields, weighs 45,000 tons, and lies half submerged on the site of a protected reef, with a 160-foot-long hole in its hull. Moving it from its precarious perch on the edge of an underwater cliff will be a huge technical and logistical challenge. Joins a team of more than 500 divers and engineers working around the clock as they attempt the biggest ship recovery project in history.

Category:Culture  Duration:53:26   

South Pacific Fragile Paradise
South Pacific Fragile Paradise 2009

The extraordinary wildlife, culture and history of this immense, fascinating ocean and its myriad islands are revealed in stunning detail. With its coral reefs, turquoise lagoons and dramatic oceanic atolls, the South Pacific is the archetypal paradise. It is still relatively healthy and teeming with fish, but it is a fragile paradise. International fishing fleets are taking a serious toll on the sharks, albatross and tuna, and there are other insidious threats to these bountiful seas. We look at what is being done to preserve the ocean and its wildlife.

Category:Nature  Duration:59:00   

Living Together
Living Together 2006

The documentary deals with the future of conservation. It begins by looking at previous efforts. The 'Save The Whales' campaign, which started in the 1960s, is seen to have had a limited effect, as whaling continues and fish stocks also decline. In the 1990s, as head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Richard Leakey took on the poachers by employing armed units. Although it was successful in saving elephants, the policy was detrimental to the Maasai people, who were forced from their land. The need for "fortress" areas is questioned, and the recently highlighted Raja Ampat coral reef in Indonesia is an example. The more tourism it generates, the greater the potential for damage — and inevitable coastal construction. Sustainable development is viewed as controversial, and one contributor perceives it to currently be a "contradiction in terms". Trophy hunting is also contentious. Those that support it argue that it generates wealth for local economies, while its opponents point to the reducing numbers of species such as the markhor. Ecotourism is shown to be beneficial, as it is in the interests of its providers to protect their environments. However, in some areas, such as the Borneo rainforests, the great diversity of species is being replaced by monocultures. The role of both religion and the media in conservation is argued to be extremely important. Contributors to the programme admit a degree of worry about the future, but also optimism.

Category:Nature  Duration:   

The Private Life of Plants Living Together
The Private Life of Plants Living Together 1995

The fifth programme explores the alliances formed between the animal and plant worlds. Attenborough dives into Australia's Great Barrier Reef and contrasts the nocturnal feeding of coral, on microscopic creatures, with its daytime diet of algae. Some acacias are protected by ants, which will defend their refuge from any predator. Besides accommodation, the guards are rewarded with nectar and, from certain species, protein for their larvae as well. Fungi feed on plants but can also provide essential nutriment to saplings (Mycorrhiza). The connection is never broken throughout a tree's life and a quarter of the sugars and starches produced in its leaves is channelled back to its fungal partners. Meanwhile, fungi that feed on dead wood leave a hollow trunk, which also benefits the tree. Orchids enjoy a similar affiliation. Lichens are the product of a relationship between fungi and a photosynthetic associate, usually algae. They are extremely slow-growing, and a graveyard is the perfect location to discover their exact longevity. Mistletoe is a hemiparasite that obtains its moisture from a host tree, while using own leaves to manufacture food. Its seeds are deposited on another by the mistletoe tyrannulet, following digestion of the fruit. The dodder (Cuscuta) is also parasitic, generally favouring nettles, and siphons its nourishment through periodic 'plugs' along its stem. The rafflesia has no stem or leaves and only emerges from its host in order to bloom — and it produces the largest single flower: one metre across.

Category:Nature  Duration:49:00   Series: The Private Life of Plants

 
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