National Geographic Documentaries

The WORST episodes of National Geographic Documentaries

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Go behind the scenes of life on our planet with National Geographic videos. Share the wonder of the natural world with educational animal videos for kids. Let National Geographic be your all-access pass with documentary videos about the U.S. State Department, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, or 9/11. Experience the past coming to life with culture and history videos, and engage more deeply with the present with science and nature.

Last Updated: 6/7/2022Network: National Geographic
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A Treasure Ship's Tragedy
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#1 - A Treasure Ship's Tragedy

Season 2004 - Episode 2 - Aired 3/18/2004

Almost 250 years after a vicious storm sent the Auguste cargo ship to the bottom of a Cape Breton Bay, causing a ship of millionaires to go down with their wealth in gold, a team of archaeologists and divers hopes to finally uncover the forgotten story of the shipwreck and raise a lost treasure.

Directors: Jane Armstrong
Vietnam's Unseen War: Pictures from the Other Side
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#2 - Vietnam's Unseen War: Pictures from the Other Side

Season 2002 - Episode 3 - Aired 2/5/2002

This powerful program features amazing, never-before-seen photos and personal stories of North Vietnamese war photographers as they relive their unforgettable experiences in the war. This is the companion to the new book Another Vietnam, an unprecedented view of the war in Vietnam from the perspective of Vietnamese photojournalists.

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Aftermath: Population Zero
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#3 - Aftermath: Population Zero

Season 2008 - Episode 31 - Aired 3/9/2008

What would happen if every single person on Earth simply disappeared? Gone. Not dead, just gone. This is the astounding story of a world we will never see. A world without people, where city streets are still populated by cars, but without drivers. Nobody to fix bridges, repair buildings or maintain power plants. After being controlled by humanity for millennia, nature reclaims the earth. But how would that work? How long would skyscrapers, nuclear power plants, and our homes last if abandoned? How would wild and domestic animals fare without us? Will the Eiffel Tower outlast the Statue of Liberty? Aftermath: Population Zero gives us a chance to see the impact of human beings by seeing how Earth would adapt without us. AKA: Aftermath: The World After Humans

Watch Now:Amazon
Dolphins: The Wild Side
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#4 - Dolphins: The Wild Side

Season 1999 - Episode 1 - Aired 2/13/1999

Dolphins are famous for their intelligent and playful ways, but perhaps less well known is their aggressive side. Dolphins: The Wild Side follows these mammals in the wild as they fight for mating rights, hunt for food, and clash with other dolphin species. Thanks to some brilliant underwater camerawork, we're treated to the sight of dolphins hydroplaning through 10 inches of water after fish, ramming one other in a quarrel over females, and evading a group of hungry orcas in Alaska. (Killer whales are actually part of the dolphin family, but they feel no compunction about feeding on their smaller cousins--not a scene for the squeamish!) But perhaps the most impressive part of this documentary are the scenes of a dolphin pod working in concert to trap a shimmering, mammoth school of sardines. Through calculated use of air bubbles, tail slaps, and sonic pips, the animals corral their prey and have a feast. The clever, and at times ruthless, nature of these mammals is on abundant display in this entertaining documentary.

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Bug Brother
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#5 - Bug Brother

Season 2007 - Episode 11 - Aired 5/27/2007

You might pride yourself on being clean and tidy around the home but the truth is you’re living with alien-like creatures. Every room, every cupboard, every nook and cranny is infested with little creatures of mass destruction. Dust mites, grain weevils, cockroaches and maggots, until now they’ve preyed on the fact that you can’t see them, but all that is about to change…Welcome to 24 hours in the Bug Brother house.

Directors: Jamie Robertson
Spartacus: Gladiator War
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#6 - Spartacus: Gladiator War

Season 2006 - Episode 11 - Aired 4/6/2006

In the true story of Spartacus, you'll discover how one man, fueled by a desire for his own freedom, led a revolution against the Roman Empire and became a hero even more compelling than the legend Hollywood created.

Directors: Tom Pollock
Ape Genius
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#7 - Ape Genius

Season 2008 - Episode 29 - Aired 2/19/2008

As new research continues to reveal that apes are smarter than previously thought, NOVA explores just what separates humans from the great apes.

Directors: John Rubin
Elephants: The Dark Side
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#8 - Elephants: The Dark Side

Season 2005 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/12/2005

Every year, hundreds of people are killed by elephants and the number of casualties keeps rising. We travel to India to find out why elephants, the world's favorite circus act, are becoming such a deadly problem.

Inside Iraq's Killzone
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#9 - Inside Iraq's Killzone

Season 2007 - Episode 23 - Aired 1/21/2007

Would you leave friends and family to voluntarily work in a war zone? Is six hundred dollars a day worth risking your life? Apparently it is for 25,000 international security contractors employed in Iraq today. Each and every day these tattooed and muscle bound civilians run a gauntlet of hidden dangers as they carry out critical missions to safeguard the Iraqi reconstruction effort and protect V.I.P.s. But the insurgents don't distinguish between civilian contractors and coalition forces. EXPLORER examines the grim reality of private security contractor in Iraq, where every mission could be their last.

Expeditions to the Edge: Lost in Space
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#10 - Expeditions to the Edge: Lost in Space

Season 2005 - Episode 3 - Aired 4/30/2005

On March 16, 1966, Neil Armstrong and David Scott launch into space aboard the Gemini 8 capsule. The mission is to rendezvous and dock with the Agena space module , a critical step in reaching the moon. Gemini 8 successfully docked with Gemini Agena target vehicle GATV-6 hours 34 min after liftoff. Because of problems with the spacecraft control system, the crew was forced to undock after approximately 30 min. The spacecraft-target vehicle combination had begun to encounter increasing yaw and roll rates. The crew regained control of their spacecraft by using the reentry control system, which prompted an early landing in a secondary landing area in the Pacific. No EVA was performed. The failure was caused by an electrical short in control system. Docking and re-rendezvous secondary objectives were not achieved due to the shortened mission.

Supercarrier: USS Ronald Reagan
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#11 - Supercarrier: USS Ronald Reagan

Season 2007 - Episode 16 - Aired 11/14/2007

The USS Ronald Reagan: the world's most advanced aircraft carrier. A floating piece of American territory. And a powerful weapon, swarming with planes, explosives, and thousands of the Navy's best crew. This formidable marine monster is also a mobile combat airport, perfectly designed for one task: to launch and retrieve legions of strike fighter jets anywhere in the world, on extremely short notice. And the 5000 men and women on board have to perform this task to perfection. Surrounded by roaring jet engines and dangerous weapons one mistake could mean disaster. From the Flight Deck to the cockpit to the Captain's chair, we're taking a behind-the-scenes look at the American military's ultimate weapon the Supercarrier: USS Ronald Reagan.

Pirate Treasure Hunters
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#12 - Pirate Treasure Hunters

Season 2008 - Episode 35 - Aired 1/13/2008

Follow the swashbuckling historical tale of notorious pirate Black Sam Bellamy as marine archaeologist Barry Clifford goes in search of his fabled treasures.

Incredible Human Machine
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#13 - Incredible Human Machine

Season 2007 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/21/2007

Incredible Human Machine takes viewers on a two-hour journey through an ordinary, and extraordinary, day-in-the-life of the human machine. With stunning high-definition footage, radical scientific advances and powerful firsthand accounts, Incredible Human Machine plunges deep into the routine marvels of the human body. Through 10,000 blinks of an eye, 20,000 breaths of air and 100,000 beats of the heart, see the amazing and surprising, even phenomenal inner workings of our bodies on a typical day. And explore striking feats of medical advancement, from glimpses of an open-brain surgery to real-time measurement of rocker Steven Tyler's vocal chords.

Watch Now:Amazon
Ten Days to Victory
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#14 - Ten Days to Victory

Season 2008 - Episode 12 - Aired 6/10/2008

Ten extraordinary days, ten ordinary characters, ten overlapping stories - coming from all points of the compass - bearing down to the same moment: the end of the biggest war the world has ever known. Combining large-scale reconstructions with traditional documentary storytelling, Ten Days to Victory evokes the climactic last moments of the Second World War. The program interweaves the stories of ten very different people caught up in the liberation of Europe from the grip of Nazi terror. Their diaries, letters and interviews provide a unique insight into the dramatic events of some of the most gripping and terrifying days in history. For these individuals, as for millions of others, the German surrender on 8th May 1945 marks the end of everything that has consumed their lives for six long years.

Cheetah Blood Brothers
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#15 - Cheetah Blood Brothers

Season 2007 - Episode 14 - Aired 12/25/2007

On Botswana's Linyanti Plains, a band of brothers reigns amongst the top predators. Three cheetahs: partners since birth, and one of the most efficient hunting forces on the plains. They hunt as a team, with Achilles in front, and Odin and Shiva flanking him on either side. The powerful trio have held their territory for over five years, until one day tragedy strikes. Achilles is killed by a cobra bite, leaving Odin and Shiva to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives. With the power of three broken they must adapt fast: learning to hunt as a twosome and defend their kills without the help of Achilles. Confounding their efforts is a host of scavenging predators: an injured leopard, a cunning hyena and a devious black backed jackal. Making matters worse, a lone male cheetah begins to trespass on their land. As the cheetah brothers regain their strength and efficiency, the lone male becomes a major concern. When they eventually corner him, a vicious fight breaks out. But then a remarkable transformation occurs – instead of killing the cheetah, they tolerate him. Day by day, the strangers gradually begin to accept each other, until one day – against all odds – the power of three is returned to the Linyanti Plains as a new coalition of cheetahs hunt together at last…

In the Valley of the Wolves
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#16 - In the Valley of the Wolves

Season 2007 - Episode 17 - Aired 11/4/2007

In 1995, the first gray wolves were transported from Alberta, Canada to Yellowstone National Park, to repopulate the sprawling landscape with the species, absent for more than 70 years. The following year, a second wave of wolves was brought to the park from British Columbia, Canada; five of them were released together, and they were named the Druid Peak pack. Since the arrival of those first immigrants, wolves have thrived in Yellowstone — and none more dramatically than the Druids.

Death of the Megabeasts
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#17 - Death of the Megabeasts

Season 2009 - Episode 20 - Aired 4/21/2009

A team of scientific detectives from around the world attempt to crack one of sciences most enduring mysteries - what killed the megafauna? Long after the extinction of the dinosaurs, extraordinary species of giant beasts roamed the earth, ruling the animal kingdom for hundreds of thousands of years. But suddenly, they vanished. Something happened which wiped them off the face of the planet forever. Recent discoveries could now help solve that mystery and offer insight into environmental problems today which threaten the world - and mankind.

Directors: Franco Di Chiera
Hyena: Bone Crusher Queens
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#18 - Hyena: Bone Crusher Queens

Season 2009 - Episode 33 - Aired 4/16/2009

Sharkville
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#19 - Sharkville

Season 2008 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/25/2008

While on a study in Sharkville, a shark-infested area off Africa's coast, shark expert Ryan Johnson made the discovery of a lifetime, great whites hunting at night. For the first time on film, witness this remarkable sight.

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21st Century Shark
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#20 - 21st Century Shark

Season 2008 - Episode 4 - Aired 12/30/2008

Mysterious in its movements, ferocious and feared, the Tiger Shark is a highly-adaptable hunter, swallowing up anything in its way. Sharks are suffering from human environmental pressures, so do these secretive monsters still deserve their killer reputation? Can these prehistoric predators fight to find their way in the 21st century? Examine the conservation and research efforts in South Africa, Hawaii and tiny Bimini Island that allow humans and sharks to coexist in the 21st century.

Colombia Hostage Rescue
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#21 - Colombia Hostage Rescue

Season 2009 - Episode 7 - Aired 3/4/2009

Uncover the strategy and details behind Operación Jaque – the masterwork in a series of Colombian intelligence endeavours and military operations aimed at suppressing powerful guerrilla militia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Through a series of ploys, Colombian officials tricked FARC leaders into releasing 15 politically significant hostages, including Colombian presidential-hopeful Ingrid Betancourt. Approximately 700 FARC hostages are still being held. Testimonies from high-tier military leaders, the intelligence agents who developed the operation, helicopter hostage rescuers, hostages and captured FARC members unravel this web of espionage. While Colombia's President and Defence Minister received accolades from around the world following the liberation, the hostage rescue has not been without controversy. Allegations of illegally using the International Red Cross emblem, media organisation logos and the filtering of the operation's video to Colombia's main TV network have tarnished the operation's successful tactics.

Inside the Living Body
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#22 - Inside the Living Body

Season 2007 - Episode 7 - Aired 9/16/2007

From our first cry to our last breath, our bodies undergo a continuous second-by-second transformation. Every move we make and every outside stimulus triggers a reaction through the skin, bones, organs, muscles and cells. We breathe, on average, 700 million breaths in a lifetime; an adult skeleton is replaced every seven to 10 years; we shed as many as 30,000 dead skin cells every minute; and the food we eat travels 30 feet (9 meters) on its journey through our bodies. This documentary takes you beneath the skin to reveal how our bodies evolve from birth to old age, and the amazing biological systems we need to thrive.

Directors: Martin Williams
Watch Now:Amazon
Cosmic Monsters
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#23 - Cosmic Monsters

Season 2009 - Episode 24 - Aired 4/25/2009

What begins as a star’s cataclysmic explosion in a violent supernova results in one of the most mysterious phenomena in our universe: a black hole. Black holes are the makings of science fiction, with fantasies of tunnel passageways that travel through space and time dominating the imagination. Nothing survives a black hole; it's gravitational pull twists space and time into a furious knot so strong that not even light can escape, making the likelihood of locating a passageway inside almost impossible. Are black holes a rare freak of nature or does the universe hide many of these mysterious phenomena? 125 billion galaxies make up the visible universe, with every major galaxy housing a black hole. Indeed, even our own Milky Way harbours a super-massive black hole, 50 million kilometres wide at the very centre of the galaxy. What role do black holes play in attracting matter together within the spider’s web of gas and galaxies? And, with their voracious appetites, what’s to prevent a black hole from wiping out solar systems like our own?

Unlocking The Great Pyramid
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#24 - Unlocking The Great Pyramid

Season 2008 - Episode 30 - Aired 11/14/2008

The Great Pyramid at Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World still standing and no one knows how it was built. For centuries archaeologists have been trying to figure out how ancient Egyptians moved huge stones to the top of the Pyramid

Egypt: Quest for Eternity
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#25 - Egypt: Quest for Eternity

Season 1982 - Episode 2 - Aired 2/3/1982

Take a spectacular journey to walk among the ancient ruins of one of history's great civilizations. Through the centuries, the ancient Egyptians created and constructed the most glorious monuments the world has ever seen. Explore the great temples of Luxor and Karnak. Cross the Nile to the Land of the Dead and enter the elaborately decorated tombs where the kings and queens are buried. Join Egyptologists as they unravel and interpret the riddles of Egypt's intriguing past.

Directors: Norris Brock
Watch Now:Amazon