This new three-part series for BBC One follows Richard Hammond as he investigates the extraordinary super-powers of the animal kingdom and finds out how a multitude of amazing creatures are inspiring inventions at the very forefront of science. From South Africa to South America, Richard will travel the far reaches of the world to get up close and personal with both the tame and the wild and their remarkable abilities; from paragliding with Cape vultures to witnessing first-hand a pioneering operation on a giraffe. Along the way he’ll devise entertaining scientific experiments which will in turn explain the extraordinary workings of each of these phenomenal creatures’ specific capabilities. Richard also meets scientists and engineers who have transferred these extraordinary talents to modern technology, from a state-of-the-art suit for jet pilots to withstand higher G-force, to a water-repelling substance to apply to everyday objects, including a mobile phone and a tailored suit.
In this first episode, he 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.
S1E1 • 2012 • Nature
Richard Hammond continues his exploration of weird and wonderful animal abilities by focusing on super-senses, and discovers how those same animal senses have inspired some unlikely human inventions. 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 relies on fruit bats to get him safely down a twisting mountain bike trail.
S1E2 • 2012 • Nature
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 or even turn invisible. Animal super-powers that have inspired scientists and engineers to create brand new human inventions that could change the way we live. He discovers how the husky's 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 it's a small family saloon.
S1E3 • 2012 • Nature