The BEST episodes directed by Peter Chinn

Driest Place On Earth
91 votes

#1 - Driest Place On Earth

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 6

The Atacama desert is considered the driest place on Earth. Since human records of the area began, some places have never received rain. But the records don't stop there--the Atacama is also the oldest desert in the world, and recently it has been dated to an amazing 150 million years old. Other research shows that the surface of this desert is also incredibly ancient, with boulders lying there that have not moved for over 23 million years--more than 50 times longer than it's taken for our human species to evolve. The soil is so dry, it has been used as a test bed for the Mars rovers. And though the desert was once thought to be completely lifeless, strange bacteria discovered there have given scientists new hope that they might find life on the red planet. Atacama is also home to the largest copper mine in the world. Inspect the riddle of the Atacama and uncover how this extraordinarily dry landscape was created.

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Black Holes
699 votes

#2 - Black Holes

How the Universe Works - Season 1 - Episode 2

Black Holes,the most powerful destroyers in the Universe, the most mysterious phenomena in the heavens. For years they were only speculation, now modern astronomy is proving them frighteningly real and showing that they may well shape everything we see.

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New York
117 votes

#3 - New York

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 5

It is one of the most man-made spaces on the planet, but everything in New York from the height of the skyscrapers to the way the subway was constructed to the position of the harbor is governed by the extraordinary forces that ultimately shaped this city. You can tell the geology of Manhattan at a glance by looking at the skyline. The skyscrapers of Midtown and Downtown are built on hard granite; the low-rise buildings in between are built on a soft, gravelly soil left over from the Ice Age. Learn how New Jersey and North Africa were neighbors 250 million years ago, how the rocks New York are built on are the remains of mountains that 450 million years ago were as tall as the Himalayas, and how Long Island is covered in rubble that remained as ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago.

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488 votes

#4 - Stars

How the Universe Works - Season 1 - Episode 4

The story of how stars were made by the Universe and how Stars then went on to engineer everything else in that very universe. They changed the Universe by spawning further generations of stars, then planets and eventually the building blocks of life.

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112 votes

#5 - Tsunami

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 9

Tsunamis are one of the most terrifying forces of nature, destroying all in their path. The December 26th Tsunami is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. What are the enormous forces that generate these catastrophic waves deep on the ocean floor? With 50% of the world's population living within a mile of the sea, this episode looks at what could happen in the future. East coast cities from New York to Miami face the threat of a truly colossal wave that could be generated by the collapse of an active volcano off the coast of Africa.

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151 votes

#6 - Krakatoa

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 3

On August 27th, 1883 a series of blasts on the island of Krakatoa culminated in a colossal explosion that blew the island apart in one of the largest eruptions in recorded history. We explore the underground forces that led to this extraordinary explosion that killed over 36,000 people and the devastation that it caused. But this is not just history because Anak Krakatoa (the Son of Krakatoa) is growing bigger and bigger and will blow again

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Great Lakes
116 votes

#7 - Great Lakes

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 7

Scientists seek clues to the formation of North America's Great Lakes, the largest expanse of fresh water on the planet; delving into an underground salt mine; investigating a fossilized coral reef; diving to the bottom of Lake Superior.

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142 votes

#8 - Asteroids

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 10

Asteroids might provide clues about the formation of early Earth; detective work uncovers that a big nickel deposit in Canada, vast oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and a gold mine in South Africa all resulted from asteroid impacts.

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145 votes

#9 - Yellowstone

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 8

Geologists evaluate Yellowstone National Park, one of the most dangerous geological features on Earth; the park is hit by 500 earthquakes in early 2009, raising concerns a super-volcano is beginning to stir.

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Loch Ness
95 votes

#10 - Loch Ness

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 4

Home to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, this lake holds more water than any other lake in Britain. It's only 10,000 years old, but billions of years in the making. Trace the extraordinary story of Loch Ness: from the three billion year old bedrock of Northern Scotland, to the giant glaciers that carved out the Loch. On this incredible journey we reveal that Loch Ness was once part of America, giant dinosaurs, suspiciously similar to the fabled monster once roamed the area, and that the entire region was engulfed by huge volcanic eruptions as Scotland was ripped from its birth place on the American continent. Could the mythical Loch Ness monster be a descendant of the dinosaurs, somehow surviving in the murky waters of the loch

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89 votes

#11 - Hawaii

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 12

The Hawaiian Islands are the most remote island chain on the planet. Emerging in the center of the Pacific, their origins have remained a puzzle for generations. Follow the story of the attempts to try and understand these beautiful, yet violent islands. It is a story of raging volcanoes, vast landslides, mega-tsunamis and strange forces emerging from the bowels of the planet. It reveals that Hawaii's Big Island is over 25 times bigger than Mt. Everest, that the entire Island chain is disappearing faster than any other land mass on Earth, and that volcanoes here might hold essential clues as to the inner workings of our planet.

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118 votes

#12 - Iceland

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 11

It is the largest and most fearsome volcanic island on the planet. We'll scour the island for clues, to address the mystery of what powerful forces are ripping Iceland apart and lighting its fiery volcanoes. Here, lava rips huge tears in the ground and new islands are born from the waves. Yet despite the active volcanoes, Iceland historically has been covered in and carved by ice. Fire and ice collide, locked in a titanic battle, as glaciers explode and cataclysmic floods decimate the landscape. But Iceland's volcanoes have had ramifications far beyond the shores of Iceland, causing climatic chaos and devastation across the planet; a fate which may one day happen again.

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Deadliest Earthquakes
44 votes

#13 - Deadliest Earthquakes

NOVA - Season 38 - Episode 1

In 2010, several epic earthquakes delivered one of the worst annual death tolls ever recorded. The deadliest strike, in Haiti, killed more than 200,000 people and reduced homes, hospitals, schools, and the presidential palace to rubble. In exclusive coverage, a NOVA camera crew follows a team of U.S. geologists as they enter Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. The team hunts for crucial evidence that will help them determine exactly what happened deep underground and what the risks are of a new killer quake. Barely a month after the Haiti quake, Chile was struck by a quake 100 times more powerful, unleashing a tsunami that put the entire Pacific coast on high alert. In a coastal town devastated by the rushing wave, NOVA follows a team of geologists as they battle aftershocks to measure the displacement caused by the earthquake. Could their work, and the work of geologists at earthquake hot spots around the U.S., one day lead to a breakthrough in predicting quakes before they happen? NOVA investigates compelling new leads in this profound scientific conundrum.

San Andreas Fault
242 votes

#14 - San Andreas Fault

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 1

The San Andreas Fault runs roughly 800 miles through some of the most valuable real estate in the world. The southern section hasn't had a significant quake for over 300 years and is now primed and ready for another "big one." This new series takes a trip along the most famous fault line in the world and examine the geology that gives it its immense destructive power. It's an investigation given new urgency by recent warnings from 300 of America's leading scientists about the death and devastation that a major earthquake on the fault could unleash on Los Angeles.

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Storm That Drowned A City
8 votes

#15 - Storm That Drowned A City

NOVA - Season 32 - Episode 14

The narration is melodramatic, some of the interviews feel stagy--but the footage of Hurricane Katrina and its horrendous aftermath is staggering. Hurricane Katrina - The Storm That Drowned a City, a NOVA special, begins a year earlier, when a team of scientists created a computer simulation of the destructive effect a powerful storm could have on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Though local officials took it seriously, the federal response was skeptical, and little was done to strengthen the city's protection. Using a combination of remarkable video of the developing storm and interviews with scientists, city residents (black and white), and member of the Army Corps of Engineers, Hurrican Katrina builds a compelling story of the disaster as it unfolded. Sophisticated graphics explain how hurricanes form and how the levees failed. The special touches lightly on the possibility that global warming may be exacerbating the intensity of hurricanes, but shies away from the political storm of the meager federal response to the devastation of New Orleans. The result is a vivid, detailed description of the natural disaster, but an incomplete portrait of the social one. --Bret Fetzer

The Alps
88 votes

#16 - The Alps

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 13

The jagged backbone of Europe, spanning seven countries and providing essential water to millions, the Alps are Europe's most important landmark. But how did marine fossils get here, seven thousand feet above sea level?

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The Deepest Place On Earth
234 votes

#17 - The Deepest Place On Earth

How the Earth Was Made - Season 1 - Episode 2

The Marianas Trench is the deepest place on earth, deeper than Mt. Everest is high. The trench is where the ocean floor disappears into the center of the earth. The pressures at this depth are 17 times greater than what it takes to crush a nuclear submarine. Only two men have ever been down the Trench, fewer than have set foot on the moon. Follow the daring missions into the abyss and explore the extraordinary geology that has created this deep scar along the ocean floor

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