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." Take 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.
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.
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.
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?
New York is one of the most man-made spaces on the planet, but everything 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. In this episode of HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE, viewers 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 dumped as ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago.
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.
Science show traces the origins of Earth's natural wonders.
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