National Geographic‘s many nature, wildlife, cultural and scientific programs, documenting humans’ exploration, conservation and research, contribute to the realization of its stated mission: inspiring people to care about planet Earth. National Geographic‘s many nature, wildlife, cultural and scientific programs, documenting humans’ exploration, conservation and research, contribute to the realization of its stated mission: inspiring people to care about planet Earth.
National Geographic‘s many nature, wildlife, cultural and scientific programs, documenting humans’ exploration, conservation and research, contribute to the realization of its stated mission: inspiring people to care about planet Earth.
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Finding the Lost Da Vinci
November 30, 2013
One of the greatest mysteries of the art world is the disappearance of Leonardo da Vinci's The Battle of Anghiari. The masterpiece vanished 500 hundred years ago and after 36 years trying to track down the missing mural, scientist and art enthusiast Maurizio Seracini is on the verge of uncovering the hidden fresco behind the walls of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. Seracini is convinced he has cracked the case, and armed with modern technology, architectural diagrams, and years of accumulated research, he is spearheading a new effort to pinpoint the lost masterpiece - and staking his reputation on the theory that Leonardo's lost mural is hidden behind the walls of Vasari's fresco.
The Man Who Can Fly
November 23, 2013
Some think of Dean Potter as a real life superhero. He can climb the unclimbable, visualize the invisible and fly through the air with the greatest of speed. He is Batman, Spiderman and Superman wrapped into one man obsessed with a dream to fly. He has set the world record for height, distance and duration in a wing-suit, an outfit that allows BASE jumpers to soar like flying squirrels, reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour and land by deploying a parachute. Dean sets his sights on a breaking his own record. The location is the 9,000-foot Mount Bute. But before he leaps, he must perfect both his wings and technique. For that, he turns to scientists, engineers and the birds for inspiration.
World's Oldest Child
November 3, 2013
Dr Harold Dibble and a crew of archaeologists and students dig in the ancient soil of a small cave known as La Grotte des Contrebandiers near the Moroccan coast. As in previous seasons here and elsewhere, Dibble's team is looking for lithics - ancient stone tools created by people who died tens of thousands of years ago. But this year, they will find something quite different. A human skull. For Dibble it is a first. Prehistoric human skulls are extremely rare. Even more unusual - based on the size of this specimen it appears to be a child. Quite simply, it's the find of a lifetime. The archaeological team can't even tell if the child was a boy or girl, though they opt to call it 'Bouchra', a feminine name meaning 'good news'. But celebration quickly gives way to worry. Dibble treats every artefact he discovers with the utmost care, but now the science world is watching - the pressure is on. Our cameras are there to record as the skull is carefully excavated from the soil.
When Continents Collide
August 10, 2013
Three million years ago, the rise of the Panamanian land bridge connected the American continents and unleashed an astonishing animal encounter. The emergence of the narrow, 400-mile-long Isthmus of Panama is one of the most important events in Earth's history - and one of the least understood. In this new show, we reveal the story of how the area comprising the current-day Republic of Panama connected two continents - each with its own full-blown animal kingdom - separated two oceans, and transformed the world as we know it.
Lost Sharks of Easter Island
August 3, 2013
This hour special begins with high seas adventure as shark expert Enric Sala and his team of scientists and explorers set out from Chile and brave the tempestuous Southern Pacific Ocean. First stop, Easter Island - a land of mammoth ancestral stone statues and a population of people with a cultural memory full of catastrophes. Diving underwater reveals an ocean desert that the team are quick to document.
Quest for the Lost Maya
July 27, 2013
National Geographic Television's Quest for the Lost Maya addresses new findings about the Maya civilization. The Maya's soaring pyramids, monumental cities, and mastery of astronomy and mathematics have spurred generations of explorers into the jungles of Central America on a quest to understand them. In the past decade, researchers working in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula have made a series of startling discoveries that reveal a gaping hole in our understanding of the Maya. What we thought we knew about the Maya could suddenly turn out to be just half the story. Quest for the Lost Maya follows a team of archaeologists as they uncover evidence of a forgotten Mayan society in the Yucatán. Buried beneath an ancient pyramid deep in the Yucatán jungle, the team discovers an even more ancient royal palace complex. They unearth a massive stone acropolis that rises nearly 30 feet above the jungle floor and is crowned with a ceremonial platform the size of four football fields; it could have held thousands of people. And, nearly 300 feet underground, they discover cryptic cave paintings that may be among the oldest Mayan iconography ever discovered in Mexico. The educational resources on this page include video clips from the show, background text, and questions to engage students in learning more about these amazing discoveries, demonstrating how science and social studies intersect in reaching new understandings about ancient civilizations.
Science of Saints
May 4, 2013
A third century pair of Christian lovers is stoned to death by an angry mob. Now, 18 centuries later, in a rare collaboration between science and religion, the purported remains of these early Christian martyred saints will be exhumed by the Vatican and examined through the lens of science. Armed with cutting-edge forensic science and sanctioned by the Catholic Church, a National Geographic funded investigation opens the crypt and examines the evidence. Subjecting the remains to a battery of tests, including radiocarbon dating, DNA and 3D CAT-scan analysis, scientists will be able to pinpoint if they belong to the ill-fated martyrs. What might these remains reveal about how these young lovers lived and died? And are they actual third century relics - or clever fakes? What can 21st century science tell us about Chrysanthus and Daria? We join Italian pathologist Dr Ezio Fulcheri, one of the world's leading experts on the mysteries of the Incorruptibles, who has spent years examining saints' sacred remains. With modern science his team will embark on a forensic quest to examine the martyrs' remains. Will two complete skeletons - male and female - be found in the crypt? Will they show evidence of multiple fractures - consistent with execution by stoning, and so confirming the historic account? The precise nature of the skeletons' injuries may help to reconstruct the lovers' final moments. What did the martyrs actually look like? With sophisticated digital reconstruction, we'll gaze upon the faces of Chrysanthus and Daria. How does the Church declare Saints? We also shed light on the fascinating and mysterious process through interviews with secular historians, independent theologians and members of the Vatican's closely guarded Congregation for the Causes of Saints. We'll also turn to Fulcheri to ask: how does science interpret a miracle? The bones of saints, even the clothing they touched, are venerated by more than a billion Catholics worldwide. How are such relics confirmed? Many so-called relics are clearly fakes. The Catholic Church is more active in the hunt for false relics than most would imagine. The Vatican employs its own team of Priest-Detectives and forensic scientists to investigate and either confirm or deny the legitimacy of relics. Accompanied by Fulcheri, we will uncover the inner-workings of this mysterious team, as they separate forgeries from the real thing. We'll ultimately learn how Chrysanthus and Daria fare under this rigorous testing, and what the Church hopes to prove in this rare exhumation. The opportunity to film the testing and preservation of these relics is a once-in-alifetime event. When the bones of these ancient lovers have been returned to their shared crypt, they will remain undisturbed for centuries.
Blue Holes: Diving the Labyrinth
March 23, 2013
On a National Geographic expedition, a team of extreme cave divers and scientists risk their lives to explore the Bahamas' remarkable Blue Holes - flooded caves which contain the earth's first life forms as well as the fossils of long extinct animals... and even ancient humans.
Secrets of the Mediterranean: Jacque Cousteau
March 18, 2013
For more than half a century, famed explorer Jacques Cousteau filmed throughout the Mediterranean, offering the world a first glimpse into the mysterious realm under the sea. Now, his youngest son retraces his father's footsteps with renowned marine ecologist Enric Sala, comparing the Mediterranean today with imagery first captured by his father. Cousteau worried that pollution and overfishing would destroy the fragile sea. Now, the new generation of explorers will discover if anything has been saved - or if Cousteau's warning came too late. Their adventure begins in Marseille, where they dive in the exact spot where the legendary explorer first filmed. The contrast is striking. By referencing the original imagery, Sala estimates that the populations of some species of fish in the area have dropped by more than 90 per cent. The expedition has started with disappointment, but it's not over. During the course of coming weeks, the young explorers face adventure, frustration and excitement as they dive in the Mediterranean's few protected marine reserves. Here they encounter strange and wonderful species - underwater landscapes of breath-taking beauty populated by massive fish, ancient corals and one particularly curious octopus. But they also encounter poachers and developers, spear fishermen and a worried prince. By the end of their adventure they have a clear idea of how best to save the Mediterranean. Now they must convince the leaders of dozens of countries that line its shores that protecting this ancient sea is worth the effort.
Gulf Animal Rescue
March 9, 2013
When workers capped the Deepwater Horizon gusher, one long battle was finally over - but a new one had just begun... While the oil was still churning, biologist Mireya Mayor and cameraman Andy Casagrande raced to various locations in the Gulf to discover the unseen story of what was happening at the height of the disaster - and what the decisions made then mean to the surprising creatures whose lives still hang in the balance... Weeks after the explosion, as many as 60,000 barrels of oil still flow from the well each day, and rescue teams work against the clock to pull animals from the toxic mess. Mireya accompanies a bird rescue mission off of the Louisiana coast. The team is faced with one of many challenges - that capturing one bird could mean harming or killing others. In addition to birds that live in the Gulf year-round, an estimated eight million birds migrate through the Mississippi Flyway each year, many resting in coastal forests and wetlands of the Gulf coast. For these creatures, travelling between continents is now a more perilous journey. While birds are not easy to save, at least rescuers can find them. But what happens to the creatures beneath the sea? Unlike a tanker spill, oil from the rig originates at the sea floor, and is forced to the surface by intense geologic pressure. Planes spray dispersant to break apart the oil on the surface, and soon it sinks. Other dispersants are applied directly to the oil at the deep sea well head. Easily forgotten, the dispersed oil may ultimately come to rest on the sea floor or travel with the help of currents, its long term effects unknown. In the Florida Keys, Andy Casagrande cruises out on a fishing boat. The fear at the time was that oil could reach this pristine coast during hurricane season. Here, he learns about creatures that could become casualties of the spill. Bottom dwellers - such as the spiny lobster - not only could be toxic seafood for humans, but a tainted food source for sharks and other creatures. Meanwhile, Mireya heads out to sea again to search for turtles. Five of the world's seven sea turtle species spend some of their life in the Gulf, and many were threatened to extinction before the spill. Even if they are rescued and revived in aquariums, some have nowhere to go - the Gulf is their primary habitat. Dolphins also permanently reside in the Gulf, and may face the lingering after effects of the spill on their home turf. Mireya accompanies researchers and witnesses a population living in an Alabama bay. Looking for signs of dolphins in distress, the team knows that rescuing a half-ton creature would be extremely difficult. Whales, which also inhabit the Gulf's temperate waters, are also at risk. World-renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle provides frequent insight. She explains that the timing of the spill - during the spring, or spawning season - couldn't have been worse. Larvae and other newly-hatched animals are instantly at risk of being damaged or destroyed. Diverse microorganisms such as plankton - the bottom of the food chain - are also at risk. If they die, many creatures will too. Although oil is no longer flowing out of the well, the extent of the damage is still being studied. With this unnatural coexistence between a massive volume of oil and a vast life-system, the full impacts may never be known.