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How the Earth Was Made S2 [Blu-ray]
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HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE: THE COMPLETE SEASON 2 peels back layers of rock, fills up river canyons, parts the oceans, levels mountains and volcanoes, and investigates fascinating geological formations to tell the story of how the earth was made.
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13 Episodes on 4 Discs, released June 29, 2010
"How the Earth Was Made" is the History channel's detailed look at specific areas of the planet and how they came to be shaped the way they are. The title of the series sounds like they would explain how Earth came into being with the Big Bang theory in one episode and boom! be done, but this is the second season so they've really stretched out individual landmarks.
This series starts off with places like The Grand Canyon and its carving by the Colorado river among other things, Mt. Vesuvius and its ability to possibly kill 3 million people in Naples if it erupts, and then in the third episode finally gets into the actual planet formation or "Birth of the Earth". Does this mean it wasn't covered in the first season?? Other great episodes include Sahara where you find out it was once covered in ice and grew lots of plantlife, and much more in the way of mountains, valleys, volcanoes in general, ice ages, and fascinatingly enough, the concentration of gold around the world.
The narrator sure knows how to make gradual evolution sound exciting! For example in the Grand Canyon episode, he mentions certain mountains were "shattered *dramatic pause* by VOLCANOES!" The end of each episode goes through the laundry list of clues the scientists found and conclusions they were brought to step by step in case you missed something. Evolution ought to be a slow, boring process but this format and narration makes it more exciting than the violent escapes of "Ancients Behaving Badly" that I reviewed not that long ago. This is a very interesting and educational series and will appeal greatly to those intrigued by our landscapes and captivated by its beauty and history.
the quality is excellent and it IS widescreen ( 1.78:1 I believe (the box doesn't say [and amazon says 1.33:1 -Wrong!] ).
Regardless, it fills my 52" HD with video that History Channel televised in HD.
So, for those (including me) who were wondering: IT IS GOOD!
My favorite episodes - surprisingly, I might add - are "Sahara" and "Death Valley." I thought I knew a lot about the Sahara, only to discover I knew almost nothing - certainly nothing about its 20,000 year cycle of monsoon activity. And, as to Death Valley, I couldn't imagine its geologic history being anywhere near as fascinating as it is. Of course it's one of the lowest and hottest points on earth; but the mantle beneath it is also the thinnest of anyplace on earth - and is being stretched even thinner. Even "Everest" opened all kinds of new windows on the planet, by showing not just how it was formed but how its formation affected almost everything else on the planet. GPS imaging proves Everest is still growing - as it proves the Rockies are shrinking, thanks to the forces of erosion plus the sheer weight of the mountains.
Though most of the subjects have had worldwide effects, only one - "Earth's Deadliest Eruption" - nearly extinguished all life on the planet. It was a particular type of volcanic eruption in Siberia that spewed lava and deadly gas for a million years and gave rise to what's known as "The Permian Extinction," when 95% of all living organisms became extinct. The series ends with another episode that might at first seem insignificant but becomes one of the most interesting forensic investigations: "America's Gold." It examines how gold deposits occurred in such quantity in both California and Nevada.
Though this series is more costly than some of the others currently being offered from The History Channel's archive, it's much newer - the last couple episodes are from 2010. And completely worth the cost. You don't just sit and watch, you actually learn enough geology that, by the final episodes, each time a certain configuration or rock or certain types of formations are shown, you think to yourself: "Aha! I know what that is and what it means!" Now that's cool.