National Geographic

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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  • Secrets of the Duomo
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    October 9, 2014

    The octagonal dome of the basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore has towered over the city of Florence for over 600 years. 375 feet tall and weighing in at 37,000 tons, it still stands as the largest masonry dome on earth and is the icon of Renaissance ingenuity. But Il Duomo isn't just big. It's also revolutionary. Until construction began in 1420, domes and vaults had always been built with the aid of support - scaffolding to centre and support the masonry until the mortar dried, or flying buttresses that held up impossibly high ceilings. Filippo Brunelleschi, an eccentric goldsmith-turned-architect, invented completely new machines to hoist materials into the cupola, technology that was so ahead of its time that it wouldn't be duplicated until the Industrial Revolution. He designed platforms and stairways so meticulously that only one worker died in 28 years of construction. And, most impressive of all, he engineered an elaborate puzzle of four million interlocked bricks to build his dome, vaulting the void without scaffolding, while laying bricks angled almost perpendicular to the ground. It's an engineering feat that has never been duplicated. And there's a reason why - Brunelleschi never revealed how he did it.

  • Game of Lions
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    September 27, 2014

    One out of eight lions survives into adulthood, and the males that do, enter into a game of kings, as each bloodline fights for its ultimate survival and right to win a pride. Those that do not survive are the noble offspring that fate or natural selection simply determines are dead ends in their particular family tree. Each survivor, however, is the result of hard battles won against hunger, attack by older males, and run-ins with different nomads all trying to win the ultimate prize: life.

  • Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes
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    July 5, 2014

    The discovery of a human skull in the depths of Lake Superior, USA begins a story that will take historian and author Brendon Baillod across two Great Lakes and a century of history. It takes him and a team of elite technical divers more than 20 miles off Milwaukee where they discover the wreck of one of Lake Michigan's lost queens and to the remote waters of Lake Superior where they determine the identity of another lost ship. This discovery takes us into the forgotten life of a brave and stubborn woman who lived and died on these wild waters. Whether her presence cursed these ships, or a more earthly explanation can be found, the Great Lakes' reputation as a graveyard for mariners stands firm.

  • Megastructures: Eco School
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    April 17, 2014

    Devastating forces of nature plague the countryside of Taiwan. The country's latest solution is simple but ingenious - A high-tech, net-zero, "Eco-School" that's more than just for teaching.

  • Hunt for the Shadow Cat
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    April 12, 2014

    The jaguar is considered the most mysterious and magnificent of all big cats. Ancient cultures considered them gods for their power, beauty and speed. But little is really known about this species that stalks the deepest jungles. Researchers have collected information about male jaguars, but half of the picture is missing as we know remarkably little about females. For the first time, Boone Smith brings his expertise to Central and South America as he teams up with Dr. Howard Quigley, who leads Panthera's Jaguar Program. They are on a mission to capture, film and attach sophisticated tracking collars on the cunning and elusive jaguars - including a female - in the jungles of Belize and the swamps of Brazil and finally enter the jaguar's secret lair.

  • Earth Overhaul
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    April 10, 2014

    A small number of scientists from around the world are attempting to fix the earth. One cloud expert is looking to the sky for the solution and in Bermuda a scientist is working to use algae. But this is just the beginning. Nobody knows tough fixes better than Sean Riley and he's on a quest to learn more about these technologies and if they're realistic. Riley checks on how chickens may save the world, contemplates sending mirrors into space in San Francisco, looks into artificial trees in NYC and many others because no idea is too far-fetched when it comes to fixing the earth.

  • Finding the Lost Da Vinci
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.