Life has been evolving on Planet Earth for nearly three and a half billion years. In that time the process of natural selection has shaped creatures able to survive in virtually every corner of the planet, from boiling hot springs to the crushing pressures of the Marianas Trench at a depth of 11 kilometres. And in those three and a half billion years, the survivors have needed to move around their chosen habitat, avoid being eaten and find food themselves. Natural selection has been like an arms race, honing animals, giving them speed and agility to hunt their prey and ability to hide from their own predators. Just 10,000 years ago, as the world emerged from the last Ice Age, one species evolved the intelligence to manipulate the natural world as never before. Homo sapiens GÇô the wise man. And in the last few decades, those wise humans have realised that the answers to many of our technological problems can be found in the vast library of nature. Each program begins by identifying a selection of human problems, explores how nature has solved these difficulties, and then reveals how modern science has adapted natureGÇÖs solution to our own ends. In some cases, natureGÇÖs solution is still far beyond our capabilities and we have had to invent an ingenious parallel solution. The visual style includes blue-chip natural history, including time-lapse and ultra-slow motion, along with spectacular experiments, with scientists uncovering natureGÇÖs secrets and the engineers testing bold new designs. The stories are visually linked by the use of an elegant GÇÿLibrary of LifeGÇÖ set. Specially built and looking like a super-modern museum store, the set is packed with specimens and skeletons and can be extended to infinity with CGI GÇô to suggest the sheer scale of possibilities for inspiration from nature. This set also forms the backdrop for many of the experimental settings. EPISODE 1: SUPER-BODIES Richard Hammond discovers how the Cape vulture has inspired a flying submarine; how a giraffe's neck can stop a jet pilot losing consciousness; how a woodpecker's skull can safely protect a light bulb dropped from space; and how a South American butterfly holds the secret to making any mobile phone waterproof. EPISODE 2: SUPER-SENSES Richard gets buried in a Californian gold mine, attempts to talk to a rattlesnake by telephone, and is taken for a ride by a monster truck that drives itself. Along the way he encounters elephants who can talk to each other through solid rock; seals who use their whiskers to sense the shape, size, speed and direction of an object that passed over thirty seconds earlier; and a blind cyclist who is relying on fruit bats to get him safely down a twisting mountain bike trail. EPISODE 3: SUPER-POWERS Richard Hammond concludes his look at miracles in the natural world by discovering some incredible animal super-powers. Creatures that can create slime as strong as steel, survive massive extremes of temperature, and turn invisible. Animal super-powers that have inspired scientists and engineers to create brand new human inventions that could change the way we live. HeGÇÖll see how the huskyGÇÖs paw can help American footballers; how a strange eel-like creature with a skull but no skeleton might be the next best thing to a spider; how the kingfisher could revolutionise air-sea rescue; and how the cuttlefish has enabled a military tank to pretend itGÇÖs a small family saloon.
Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature
Richard Hammond discovers how animal's natural abilities have inspired human inventions
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