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Hidden Worlds 3D Caves of the Dead

   2013    History    3D
In the days of the Mayas, cenotes – deep, natural pits on the Yucatan peninsula - provided the only means of obtaining drinking water. But in the mythology of this advanced civilisation, these waterholes and caves were also the entrance to Xibalba – the underworld. All deceased were obliged to pass through Xibalba and wait there until they were called into heaven. It was a place in which one made sacrifices to the gods – objects of daily life, as well as bloody, human sacrifices. To this day, the relics of these acts are still in place preserved underwater for more than a thousand years. The entrance to the underworld begins at a dirty waterhole in the middle of the Mexican jungle overgrown and barely recognisable. But immediately after entry, a hall of breath-taking dimensions and beauty is revealed. As if they were sculptures, stalactites and stalagmites lend the underwater cave an almost sacred ambience. By now, one has succumbed to the fascination emanated by the world’s largest underwater cave system. We accompany four professional research divers to Yucatan – a team of specialists, able to squeeze their bodies through crevices and holes, barely larger than their bodies and who master dives that would push even the most experienced divers to their limits. With them, we penetrate worlds only a few people have ever ventured into. We encounter the remains of human victims, prehistoric fireplaces and primeval animal skeletons and undertake a dive, which takes us from the primeval forest to the open sea. We then enter Xibalba – the place of myths and the dead. In the days of the Mayas - a voyage of no return. Today, this is one of the greatest challenges one can face as a diver – the hidden world of the underwater caves of Yucatan – all filmed in 3D.

Walking with Cavemen: The Survivors

   2003    History
Nearly half a million years ago, the most advanced human yet roams Europe. Strong and powerful, Homo heidelbergensis are fierce hunters, use sophisticated tools and live in close-knit family groups. Over 200,000 years they become split into two populations by extremes of weather and environment and evolve separately into two very different species. In the North are the Neanderthals, whose physical power and resilience is the key to surviving in ice age Northern Europe. About 140,000 years ago, Africa is in the grip of a devastating drought, and something remarkable has happened to the descendants of heidelbergensis who live there. The combination of environment and chance has bred in them a unique ability that will change the course of human history. It will be this small band of southern survivors, perhaps numbering just a few tens of thousands, who will come to dominate the world and be known as Homo sapiens.
Series: Walking with Cavemen

Frozen Planet: The Last Frontier

   2011    Culture
The documentary series reveals the extraordinary riches and wonders of the Polar Regions that have kept people visiting them for thousands of years. Today, their survival relies on a combination of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science. Most Arctic people live in Siberia, either in cities like Norilsk - the coldest city on earth - or out on the tundra, where tribes like the Dogan survive by herding reindeer, using them to drag their homes behind them. On the coast, traditional people still hunt walrus from open boats - it is dangerous work, but one big walrus will feed a family for weeks. Settlers are drawn to the Arctic by its abundant minerals; the Danish Armed Forces maintain their claim to Greenland's mineral wealth with an epic dog sled patrol, covering 2,000 miles through the winter. Above, the spectacular northern lights can disrupt power supplies so scientists monitor it constantly, firing rockets into it to release a cloud of glowing smoke 100 kilometres high. In contrast, Antarctica is so remote and cold that it was only a century ago that the first people explored the continent. Captain Scott's hut still stands as a memorial to these men. Science is now the only significant human activity allowed; robot submarines are sent deep beneath the ice in search of new life-forms, which may also be found in a labyrinth of ice caves high up on an active volcano. Above, colossal balloons are launched into the purest air on earth to detect cosmic rays. At the South Pole there is a research base designed to withstand the world's most extreme winters. Cut off from the outside world for six months, the base is totally self-sufficient, even boasting a greenhouse.
Series: Frozen Planet

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

   2010    History    3D
A documentary by Werner Herzog, who gained exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity. Some of them were crafted as much as 32,000 years ago. The film consists of images from inside the cave as well as of interviews with various scientists and historians. Also includes footage of the nearby Pont d'Arc natural bridge.

Fire

   2010    Culture
Iain explores man's relationship with fire. He begins by embarking on an extraordinary encounter with this terrifying force of nature - a walk right through the heart of a raging fire. Fire has long been our main source of energy and Iain shows how this meant that the planet played a crucial role in Britain's industrial revolution, whilst holding China's development back. Along the way he dives in a mysterious lake in Oregon, climbs a glacier of salt, crawls through an extraordinary cave in Iran and takes a therapeutic bath in crude oil.
Series: How Earth Made Us
Life
Life

   2009    Nature
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds

   2012    Culture
One Strange Rock
One Strange Rock

   2018    Science
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
The Hunt
The Hunt

   2015    Nature
Conquistadors
Conquistadors

   2002    History