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How the Earth Was Made

Premier :: 2009-02-10

Airs :: Tuesday 9:00 PM on History

Genre :: Documentary

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There's a lot of information in How the Earth Was Made, but perhaps the most interesting relates to time. Quite often, the numbers are so staggering that scientists refer to it as "deep time," an appropriate term when one grapples with the notion that our planet is 4.5 billion years old, or that the oceans were formed by rainfall that lasted literally millions of years, or that 700 million years ago, Earth was completely covered by ice that was a mile thick, with surface temperatures reaching minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other end of the scale are numbers that seem surprisingly small: for instance, it wasn't until 220 years ago that the accepted church doctrine regarding the planet's age (no more than 6000 years, according to the Bible) was seriously challenged and that the key to its past was found in rocks, not scripture, while the discovery that dinosaurs once ruled the Earth came considerably later than that. Using a combination of computer graphics and animation, various drawings and diagrams, photos, location footage, and expert commentary, this fascinating, 94-minute History Channel production takes us from the very beginning, when the planet was formed by meteors colliding in space, through numerous major events (including the appearance of water, granite, and oxygen) and mind-boggling catastrophes (such as mass extinctions caused by volcanic eruptions or the enormous meteor that wiped out 75% of all living things, including the dinosaurs, some 65 million years ago), right up to the present; there's even a glimpse into the future, when Earth will likely end up as barren and lifeless as Mars (no need to hit the panic button yet, though--a few billion more years will pass before that happens). Bonus features include additional scenes and a documentary entitled "Inside the Volcano." --Sam Graham

Latest Episode

Series 2 - Episode 13 - America's Gold
Aired - 02 March 2010

Episode summary:

In the deserts of Nevada, research analysts will examine sedimentary rocks, which have built up over many years, to reveal how extracting several layers of rocks can lead to the discovery of gold residing deep below the surface.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 2

+ Episode - 13 America's Gold Aired - 02 March 2010
+ Episode - 12 America's Ice Age Aired - 16 February 2010
+ Episode - 10 Mt. St. Helens Aired - 02 February 2010
+ Episode - 9 Death Valley Aired - 26 January 2010
+ Episode - 8 Everest Aired - 19 January 2010
+ Episode - 7 Ring Of Fire Aired - 12 January 2010
+ Episode - 6 The Rockies Aired - 22 December 2009
+ Episode - 5 Yosemite Aired - 22 December 2009
+ Episode - 4 Sahara Aired - 15 December 2009
+ Episode - 3 Birth Of The Earth Aired - 08 December 2009
+ Episode - 2 Vesuvius Aired - 01 December 2009
+ Episode - 1 Grand Canyon Aired - 24 November 2009

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