Earth's Natural Wonders

From Sunday 4 October at 17:10

About the show

Life in an ever-changing landscape

Earth is full of beautiful sights and each continent has its own impressive locations. Yet across the world, a handful of places are in a completely different league. Some are famous, some are not; many are remote. We call them natural wonders and they are the greatest landscapes on our planet. Everest, the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, they seem to have little in common other than – literally – taking your breath away. But they share one other thing – these remarkable wonders were sculpted, etched or moulded by unimaginably powerful energies, unleashed by the earth.

This landmark series allows viewers to experience these landscapes and get caught up in the incredible stories of inhabitants who have adapted to – and evolved alongside – these mind-blowing environments. These include Sherpas risking their lives to craft a route through hazardous icefall on Everest, Indonesian fisherman working with whale sharks to net their catch in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, and families in Borneo who climb 90 metres or more with no safety nets to reach the treasure of the world’s biggest cave.

As well as showcasing the latest and very best science and natural history filmmaking, Earth’s Natural Wonders uses groundbreaking graphics and super time-lapse filming to reveal the dynamic forces that formed our planet’s wonderful landscapes and continue to shape our world.


Mount Everest is Earth's highest mountain and its peak stands at 8,848 metres (29,029ft) above sea level, the cruising height of an airliner. Over 200 people have died climbing it.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, is the tallest free-standing mountain on Earth. It is actually a dormant volcano, made up of three distinct volcanic cones – Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira.

The Amazon rainforest covers one third of South America's land mass. It is made up of 400 billion trees and is home to a 10th of all known animal species. One of these is the giant tropical bullet ant, whose sting is the most painful on Earth, hurting as much as 50 bee stings.

On the Malaysian island of Borneo lies Deer Cave, a vast cave that stands at 168 metres (551ft) wide, 220 metres (722ft) high and over 2.5 miles (4km) long. It is big enough to fly a jumbo jet through.

The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, is up to 17 miles (28km) wide and deep enough to stack the Empire State Building in three times over.

The mighty Zambezi river in southern Africa flows into Victoria Falls. Plunging 100 vertical metres (328ft), it is higher than Niagara Falls and twice as wide. It's the largest curtain of falling water on Earth.

The Ganges river delta is the largest in the world. It covers nearly a third of India and has the highest population of any river basin in the world, containing over 400 million people.

From Eastern Europe to Mongolia, the Eurasian Steppe straddles almost a quarter of the globe. It is the largest temperate grassland in the world.

The Sundarbans in Eastern India and Bangladesh is the largest single block of mangrove forest in the world. Its name can be literally translated as 'beautiful forest'. It may have derived from the Sundari mangrove trees that are found there in large numbers.

One fifth of all river water on the planet travels through the Amazon River in South America.

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