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?
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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?
This episode 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.
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.
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
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.
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.