Science & Nature
Mediterranean: Life Under Siege
Explore the stunning but hostile Mediterranean ocean, where astonishing wildlife has adapted and endured: until now. Filmed over 2 years in 12 different countries, this landmark natural history documentary series looks at the threats faced by the Med’s creatures as they come under intense pressure from human activity. What can be done to protect these endangered ecosystems?
The Mediterranean Ocean is one of the true wonders of the planet. These crystal blue waters have borne witness to the evolution of the Earth’s lifeforms, the rise of ancient human civilizations and the birth of cities and seafaring. Millions flock to the Med every year to enjoy its natural delights. But this stunning ocean is under threat.
Global warming, intense fishing, increased maritime transportation and pollution are all taking their toll on the water and the creatures that live in and around it. What secrets have these specific species found to help them survive and flourish under intense human pressure? And what can be done to protect these endangered ecosystems?
Filmed over the course of two years in 12 different countries and drawing on the expertise of 50 scientists from across the world, this epic documentary saga shows the challenges faced by an endangered paradise on the brink. Focusing on the lifecycle of the animals threatened by human activity in the Mediterranean, the journey from birth to death is explored.
Loggerhead turtles battle the turbulent seas to reach the location where they were born so they can also lay eggs and hopefully help their species survive. Bluefin tuna dodge fisherman’s nets and vast container ships to spawn in one particular place, where their ancestors also bred. A free diving champion bonds with monk seals, who are now close to extinction and witnesses a precious seal pup attempt to reach maturity.
The brutality of life in the Mediterranean is also revealed. An aging flamingo, suddenly too old to complete an intricate courtship dance, is ostracized by the rest of the flock and left to die. Olive groves that have survived for thousands of years are suddenly at threat from the over-heating ground. And the effects of an enormous oil spill are still felt decades later as the animal population struggles to recover. But the documentary also highlights the people attempting to find solutions to these man-made problems. Scientists, ecologists and ordinary citizens of the Med, determined to help the animal and plant life of the region and change the way we think about the seas surrounding us.
Filmed in astonishing detail by some the world’s leading photographers Mediterranean: Life Under Siege showcases the true wonder of the ocean’s aquatic life while also revealing the extent that human activity has had on this iconic location
Last Flight of The Columbia
In February 2003, the space shuttle Columbia returned to Earth after a 16-day mission. But then disaster struck. Miles above the planet’s surface, the shuttle began to break apart. Mixing powerful and deeply moving footage with telling forensic analysis, this documentary reveals what really went wrong with space shuttle Columbia and how crew and ship could have possibly been saved.
Science’s Greatest Mysteries
Some of the biggest riddles and unknowns facing scientists today are investigated in this fascinating BBC documentary series.
Does science have all the answers? It seems as if the more we discover, the more problems emerge. Exactly how old is our universe? Why are the two sides of our Moon so different? How did iron from space end up next to the body of Tutankhamun? Why do we even exist? Across six episodes, this science documentary series delves into some of the most perplexing problems faced by science and tries to find some solutions.
Episode 1 – The Far Side of the Moon
Why is the far side of the Moon so completely different from the surface we see?In 1959, a Russian space probe took the first ever images of the far side of the Moon. The iconic pictures shocked the science world, revealing it to be completely different to the visible side.
This documentary explores the mystery of the far side of the Moon and follows three different theories attempting to make sense of it. New science, and old lunar samples, could unlock the mystery.
Episode 2 – Solar Superstorms
What damage could ferocious solar explosions wreak on our vulnerable planet? Ferocious explosions on the surface of the Sun can release clouds of electrically charged particles containing energy equivalent to millions of nuclear bombs. And when these particles reach Earth, havoc ensues. These solar superstorms have the potential to cause blackouts, satellite malfunctions and more. Understanding the mystery of these superstorms is required to ensure our survival.
Episode 3 – The Age of the Universe
How can there be a star that appears to be much older than the universe itself? In 1989, the space telescope Hipparcos focused on a single star. It then made an unbelievable discovery. Known as the Methuselah star, this celestial body appeared to be older than the universe itself. It led to some soul searching in the astronomical community as scientists realized that their estimations of the universe’s
age were potentially flawed. But could this mystery ever be solved?
Episode 4 – Tutankhamun’s Space Dagger
Why was a dagger made with iron from space found with the mummy of Tutankhamun? In 1925, explorer Howard Carter miraculously discovered the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Amongst the many treasures that were unearthed were a 12 pair of daggers lodged within the burial wrappings of the teenage king. Researchers
were shocked to find that the daggers appeared to be made from iron that came from space. But how did these ancient people achieve this?
Episode 5 – Is There Life on Mars?
Could the proof of life on the Red Planet help us to better understand life on ours? In 1996, the scientific community was rocked by the discovery of a meteorite. The object appeared to come from Mars and researchers claimed there were traces of fossils inside. The controversial find suggested that there was life on the planet, but others were far more skeptical. As Martian exploration has intensified, proof of life there could help us understand how life on Earth was established.
Episode 6 – Why Do We Exist?
The discovery of one particular substance could unravel the whole mystery of existence. Our existence doesn’t really make sense. When the universe was created, matter and a substance called antimatter should have obliterated each other. But that didn’t happen. If scientists can unravel the mysteries of antimatter, it could help us understand why there is life on this planet and possibly on planets elsewhere. But trying to study antimatter is a fiendishly difficult task.
Return of the Black Death
The discovery of 25 medieval skeletons in London could shatter the myths around the Bubonic plague and explain why it was so devastating in the past. While the disease is far less prevalent today, it still exists and still takes lives.
This fascinating documentary reveals how these ancient corpses could hold the key to understanding and possibly even eradicating this terrible disease.
Secrets Of The Bermuda Triangle
This fascinating 3-part documentary explores the mysteries surrounding our planet’s most notorious stretch of water: the Bermuda Triangle. Ships and planes have vanished without a trace in this half-million-square-mile expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and there’s plenty of theories as to why? From the plausible to the paranormal, from hurricanes to human error, ghosts to UFOs and sea creatures to time travel. What’s a myth and what could be true?