How the Universe Works

The WORST episodes of How the Universe Works

Every episode of How the Universe Works ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst episodes of How the Universe Works!

A users' guide to the cosmos, from the Big Bang to galaxies, stars, planets and moons: where did it all come from and how does it all fit together? A primer for anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered.

Last Updated: 10/3/2022Network: Science Channel
Birth of Monster Black Holes
30 votes

#1 - Birth of Monster Black Holes

Season 9 - Episode 9 - Aired 5/19/2021

New discoveries reveal an astonishing supermassive black hole that was born during the earliest days of the cosmos, and finding out how this giant grew so large so quickly may help to explain the very formation of the universe itself.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Search for a Second Earth
155 votes

#2 - The Search for a Second Earth

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired 9/3/2014

Is there another Earth out there with liquid oceans, rocky continents and life like us? Astronomers seek the answer with spectroscopy, direct imaging and telescopes. They hope to find evidence of atmospheres, magnetospheres and signs of life.

Watch Now:Amazon
Weapons of Mass Extinction
127 votes

#3 - Weapons of Mass Extinction

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 8/13/2014

Asteroids strike, planets collide, black holes blast out death rays, volcanoes erupt and ice engulfs the planet. These are the universe’s weapons of extinction. They’ve happened before - wiping out entire species, and they will happen again. Are we next?

Watch Now:Amazon
The End of the Universe
177 votes

#4 - The End of the Universe

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/16/2014

How and when will the Universe end? Gravity and dark matter are poised to annihilate the Universe in a big crunch. Expansion and dark energy may tear it apart. Or, a phase transition could kill us tomorrow in a cosmic death bubble.

Watch Now:Amazon
First Second of the Big Bang
136 votes

#5 - First Second of the Big Bang

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 7/30/2014

The first second of the Universe, the creation of everything when space, time, matter and energy burst into existence. It is the most important second in history, which seals the Universe’s fate and defines everything that comes after - including us.

Watch Now:Amazon
Aliens of the Microcosmos
32 votes

#6 - Aliens of the Microcosmos

Season 9 - Episode 4 - Aired 4/14/2021

New discoveries reveal the power of microscopic alien organisms.

Watch Now:Amazon
Jupiter: Destroyer or Savior?
169 votes

#7 - Jupiter: Destroyer or Savior?

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/23/2014

Beneath Jupiter's clouds lie our solar system's deepest secrets: from its violent youth, through the birth of life to the death of the sun. Scientists are discovering that the solar system, the Earth and every living thing exists because of Jupiter.

Did a Black Hole Build the Milky Way?
171 votes

#8 - Did a Black Hole Build the Milky Way?

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired 8/20/2014

What built the Milky Way? New research might now have the answer, revealing an unlikely hero. At the heart of our galaxy sits a super massive black hole, one of the most destructive objects in the Universe. Could it be our creator?

Journey From the Center of the Sun
145 votes

#9 - Journey From the Center of the Sun

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/9/2014

How does light escape from the sun? We take a journey from the centre of the sun, following the path of light. We witness its fiery birth from in the core, its 430,000 mile battle against gravity and magnetism, and its escape from the solar surface.

Watch Now:Amazon
Black Holes: The Secret Origin
87 votes

#10 - Black Holes: The Secret Origin

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 12/6/2016

Recent discoveries could explain how supermassive black holes grow so big, one of the universe's most mysterious questions. Neither dark matter nor cannibalism can fully explain these monsters, but the latest science might finally provide an answer.

Watch Now:Amazon
Hunt for Alien Evidence
43 votes

#11 - Hunt for Alien Evidence

Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/16/2020

The discovery of extraterrestrial life might face an impossible challenge: the physics of the universe itself; but using cutting-edge tech, experts might be on the verge of a groundbreaking find -- and the evidence could already be in hand.

Watch Now:Amazon
Is Saturn Alive?
137 votes

#12 - Is Saturn Alive?

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 8/6/2014

Saturn’s secrets are out. The ferocious weather, the evolving ring system and the discovery of active geology on Saturn’s moons has rewritten the textbooks. Scientists are looking for life on Saturn’s moons and they may have found it on Titan.

The Winds of Creation
278 votes

#13 - The Winds of Creation

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/18/2012

Destructive weather forces are symptoms of Earth's creative energy. In our quest to discover if we are alone in the universe, we shouldn't just look for worlds, we should look for weather; find that megastorm, and maybe we will find alien life.

Directors: Alex Hearle
Volcanoes - The Furnaces of Life
288 votes

#14 - Volcanoes - The Furnaces of Life

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/11/2012

Scientists are discovering volcanoes on worlds we once thought dead. From our nearest planetary neighbour to tiny moons billions of miles away, today we are discovering volcanoes on alien worlds. Are these worlds where, tomorrow, we might find life?

Directors: Alex Hearle
Hunt for the Universe's Origin
32 votes

#15 - Hunt for the Universe's Origin

Season 10 - Episode 5 - Aired 4/3/2022

Experts explore the elusive endeavor of determining the age of the cosmos.

Watch Now:Amazon
Megaflares - Cosmic Firestorms
265 votes

#16 - Megaflares - Cosmic Firestorms

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/1/2012

The Universe is a magnetic minefield. Spinning star systems crackle and explode, magnetic monsters rip worlds apart, star-quakes shoot beams of devastating energy, and galactic flamethrowers fire gamma-rays half way across the Universe. Will we find Earth in the firing line?

The Dark Matter Enigma
77 votes

#17 - The Dark Matter Enigma

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/31/2017

Dark matter is the biggest mystery of the cosmos. Scientists know that it has been vital to the universe since its birth, and new discoveries reveal that it could create black holes, cause mass extinctions, and might even shape life on Earth itself.

Watch Now:Amazon
Gravitational Waves Revealed
28 votes

#18 - Gravitational Waves Revealed

Season 9 - Episode 10 - Aired 5/26/2021

Gravitational waves are helping scientists explore the cosmos in revolutionary, new ways, and the discoveries they make are revealing the universe's greatest mysteries.

Watch Now:Amazon
Secrets of Time Travel
45 votes

#19 - Secrets of Time Travel

Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/30/2020

Time travel might be more possible than we ever imagined, and today, cutting-edge technology and the latest research into black holes and wormholes is helping experts get steps closer to discovering how to travel through time.

Watch Now:Amazon
Our Voyage to the Stars
136 votes

#20 - Our Voyage to the Stars

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired 8/27/2014

One day, a cosmic disaster will make life on Earth impossible. To survive, we must find a new home amongst the stars. Scientists are already developing new propulsion systems to take us to these distant worlds.

Watch Now:Amazon
Secret History of Mercury
70 votes

#21 - Secret History of Mercury

Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/13/2018

Mercury is a deadly world, facing attacks from the sun, comets, and other planets, and even though it's the smallest planet in the solar system, it has a dangerous secret a dangerous secret that might one day threaten life on Earth.

Watch Now:Amazon
Twin Suns: The Alien Mysteries
73 votes

#22 - Twin Suns: The Alien Mysteries

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/16/2018

Planets that orbit two suns instead of one might be deadly hell worlds, but new discoveries reveal that sci-fi star systems with binary stars might be optimal places for alien life.

Watch Now:Amazon
Uranus & Neptune: Rise of the Ice Giants
63 votes

#23 - Uranus & Neptune: Rise of the Ice Giants

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/6/2018

Uranus and Neptune are mysterious, icy worlds at the edge of the solar system; new discoveries reveal that these strange planets may have helped start life on Earth.

Watch Now:Amazon
Death of the Milky Way
62 votes

#24 - Death of the Milky Way

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/30/2018

The Milky Way is dying, and experts are investigating what's killing it.

Watch Now:Amazon
Strangest Alien Worlds
81 votes

#25 - Strangest Alien Worlds

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired 2/7/2017

A look at worlds much stranger than Earth. Some of these strange worlds don't have stars, others are made out of diamonds. Also: whether another Earth-like planet will ever be found.

Watch Now:Amazon

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