Episodes

  • The Big History of Everything

    Premiere Date:December 28, 2013 - 10:00-12:00AM ET

    This 2-hour special crisscrosses billions of years of time and space to show how everyone, and everything, is linked in one universal story. It weaves together science and history to reveal how an epic series of improbable events connect in order to make life possible–from the Big Bang to the rise of man and even our mysterious future.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • November 12, 2014 - 10:00-12:00AM ET
  • H2O

    Premiere Date:December 21, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    Water is the miracle molecule, and mankind has used its perfect properties to revolutionize our lives. It was our first superhighway, the lifeblood of civilization, and gives us 90% of all the power we use today. This episode reveals how the science behind water is the driving force behind history.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Silver Supernova

    Premiere Date:December 21, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    At critical moments in history, our second place metal was the most important metal on Earth. Big History reveals how silver's place in our minds was determined by the heat of exploding stars, and how this one metal saved democracy, gave us the dollar, and had a secret power to connect the world.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Rise of the Carnivores

    Premiere Date:December 14, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    Eating meat made us human…by giving us bigger brains, better tools, and spoken language. The human need for beef has driven history across the hemispheres, but how did we turn an ancient mega-beast into the cow we have today? Big History traces all the beef on earth back to a single prehistoric herd.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • The Sun

    Premiere Date:December 14, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    The Sun is our master and creator. It gives us our perception of time, controls our reality, and powers our lives. Big History sheds new light on our nearest star, revealing that ancient sun worship intersects with science, that our bodies are fine-tuned to the 24-hour day, and history is driven in unseen ways by the simple way we circle our star.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Deadly Meteors

    Premiere Date:December 07, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    Impacts from space have created our planet and just about everything in it. Like celestial supply ships, they brought in water, metal, and maybe even life. They made our moon and sculpted the geography of our planet, but just as they created everything we know, they will likely snuff it all out in a fiery burst of destruction.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Decoded

    Premiere Date:December 07, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    Secret codes run the world. The code of life, DNA, is the operating system for all organisms, which spawned intelligent life like us who eventually created codes of our own–language that allows us to talk and the alphabet that lets us write. We've even created an entire digital universe built of binary code that powers the machinery of the modern age. But is it possible that the universe itself runs on code?

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Mountain Machines

    Premiere Date:November 30, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    They form natural boundaries, dictate how we spread around the planet, create natural defenses, and control our weather. From the World War that began with a gunshot in the Balkans to the feuds of the Appalachians, mountains have also been flashpoints for violence. They provide minerals and metals that make civilization possible, and the water that feeds billions, yet we were never designed to live in their extreme environments. Without mountains earth would be desolate and uninhabitable, and scientists now believe that an invisible mountain range made life possible in the first place.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Pocket Time Machine

    Premiere Date:November 30, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    How does the cellphone in your pocket link to the Big Bang, the evolution of human memory, and even the Titanic disaster? Big History reveals how cosmic forces conspired to give us the tool that has revolutionized the planet. From the dial pad to the way we write phone numbers, there's a hidden science behind the cellphone.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Brain Boost

    Premiere Date:November 23, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    Behind that cup of coffee or tea is a global story that goes back to the collision that created the Moon and the evolution of plant and animal life. The key is the molecule that gives your morning cup its kick: caffeine, the most popular drug in history. This is the story of how a plant poison became our drug of choice, and stimulated revolutions around the planet.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • World of Weapons

    Premiere Date:November 23, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    Humans have small teeth and no claws or armor, so how do we project our power? Warfare has defined traditional history, but Big History digs deeper to reveal how it all began. We see how bat poop and ancient trees shaped the history of weapons, and link the gun all the way back to a change in our bodies that turned us into throwing machines.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Defeating Gravity

    Premiere Date:November 16, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    Flight takes more than wings. We need the right kind of air, the perfect materials cooked up over billions of years, and cosmic forces that are just right for us to leave the ground without tumbling off into space. Big History reveals how planet Earth is the perfect planet for flight.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Megastructures

    Premiere Date:November 16, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    From the Great Pyramid at Giza to the towering skyscrapers of today, humans have engineered massive constructions for at least 5,000 years. But why? How do biology and human emotions affect our desire to build gigantic structures? Why were the earliest mega-structures almost always pyramids? Why do people have the urge to build tall, and how do mega-structures on earth echo a basic principle embedded in the very structure of the universe?

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Gold Fever

    Premiere Date:November 09, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    This episode asks why mankind is gold crazy, and discovers there's a hard-wired reason we lust after it, and a microscopic explanation for why it shines. We reveal how the science behind our favorite metal drives men across oceans and continents, and how a difference in the way it's used in each hemisphere leads to a clash of civilizations.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Below Zero

    Premiere Date:November 09, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    Reveals how cold has the power to turn men into Barbarians, spark history's longest running war, and create the concept of race. After the heat of the Big Bang, cold creates the Universe and the planet as we know it. For thousands of years on Earth, cold controls the fate of our species by changing our bodies, our skin, and even the metals we use to fight our wars. When we finally take control of the cold, we learn to dominate the planet.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • The Superpower of Salt

    Premiere Date:November 02, 2013 - 10:00-10:30PM ET

    We all know that mankind can't live without air, food and water…the same is true of salt. The salt on your table is a key to unlocking the story of our planet and the cosmos. Big History reveals how this simple molecule underpins our civilization, launched wars, built monuments like the Great Wall of China, sparked revolutions from India to France…and it's even the substance that makes up our thoughts.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks
  • Horse Power Revolution

    Premiere Date:November 02, 2013 - 10:30-11:00PM ET

    The horse has been a revolutionary animal in unexpected ways. It has changed how we speak, what we wear, and sets the hidden limit for the size of our most massive empires. It's a story that spans the cosmos, from the Big Bang, to the Sun, to a changing planet that turned the horse into man's best friend in the animal kingdom.

    TVPG
    Upcoming Airings:
    • no upcoming airings in the next two weeks