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Human Planet

Seasons: 1
Episodes: 16
User ratings: 20,066
Average rating: 9.1


Like all life forms, humanity partially adapts to types of natural environment, yet also tends to change them. Each episode examines how life differs for men and nature in some type of environment, from Arctic to desert and jungle, from coasts to mountains.

Episodes ratings graph

Season 1


Episodes details table

Oceans: Into the Blue
Nearly all human populations in coastal areas interact intensively with the sea. The food harvest is enormous, varied and obtained in various, sometimes ingenious ways, including cooperation with wild dolphins. Dangers and scarcity worsen for environmental reasons, climate change bodes even worse. Aquatic sports are also culturally important, sometimes even defining.
User ratings: 358
Average rating: 8.8
Deserts: Life in the Furnace
Deserts cover a third of the earth's land mass, yet harbor only some 300,000 inhabitants, many of which are (semi-)nomadic hunters/herdsmen, making navigation and adapted animals, such as camels, vital. The only 7,000 years old Sahara, the planet's vastest sand-pan, counts many tribes. The stony Gobi enjoys melting snow, wind-transported in all the way from Siberia, but also counts roaming wolves. In the most arid Araucana, capturing the rare precipitation is an extremely refined art.
User ratings: 298
Average rating: 8.6
Arctic: Life in the Deep Freeze
Although the barren Artic regions are most inhospitable, natives cultures, often (semi-)nomadic tribes, have adapted such as the Inuit and some Indians in North America and Greenland, Siberians, the Lapp in Finno-Scandinavia. Agriculture is impossible, but special techniques allow fishing and hunting. Perfectly adapted species serve as multi-functional prey or flock, draught-animal for sleds and inspiration.
User ratings: 298
Average rating: 8.8
Jungles: People of the Trees
Although a mall part of earth's landmass, tropical rain forests contain half the animal species, mainly on altitudes out of human reach, losing 100 a day, often undiscovered, trough rapid wood-cut, clearing for agriculture etcetera. The rare surviving native tribal jungle cultures go to great lengths to remain in ecological harmony with wildlife and cope with dangers and others challenges, such as hight, while basically eating what they can catch, from honey to tarantulas.
User ratings: 292
Average rating: 8.9
Mountains: Life in Thin Air
Life in the mountains demands elaborate adaptations, for despite the extreme biological diversity people often have little choice of meat supply, despite elaborate hunting methods such as nets in clearings to lure giant bats. In developed regions, modern technology helps control avalanches. Relative isolation comes at a price, as for health care, and leads to bizarre traditions, such as Buddhist 'air burial' which actually means relying on vultures to dispose of corpses before they spread diseases.
User ratings: 249
Average rating: 8.7
Grasslands: The Roots of Power
Grass lands cover vast plains, such as savanna, prairies and pampas. The many, almost indestructible grass species, for various types of soil and other conditions, feed huge herds, whose migrations are followed by many predators and (semi-)nomadic peoples, such as the Mongol master horsemen. Some still practice hunting-gathering, such as the Khoisan, or traditional 'natural' herd breeding, others as in Australia use technology to gain maximal control. Domesticating cereals and edible grazers was crucial in human history, leading to vast food surpluses and sedentary civilization.
User ratings: 243
Average rating: 8.6
Rivers: Friend and Foe
Man always was attracted by rivers, not unlike seas, for water, fishing, irrigation, transport. And he deals in many ways with their dangers, ranging from torrents, frost and perilous crossing to floods. Most lack moder technology, hence are reduced to minimal control, rather adapting to the tide then controlling it.
User ratings: 239
Average rating: 8.6
Cities: Surviving the Urban Jungle
Urban environments are man-made, so human design seems totally to overtake wildlife habitats. Yet animals abound in cities and suburbs, many as pets or working, but others exempt by religion or even able to pursue their natural life with some fancy adapting, as many animals do in the wild.
User ratings: 227
Average rating: 8.2
Behind the Lens: Oceans - Compressor Diving
User ratings: 41
Average rating: 8.6
Behind the Lens: Deserts - Camel Caravan
User ratings: 38
Average rating: 8.6
Behind the Lens: Arctic - Hunting Narwhals
User ratings: 37
Average rating: 8.8
Behind the Lens: Jungles - Tree Houses
User ratings: 35
Average rating: 8.8
Behind the Lens: Mountains - Golden Eagles
User ratings: 37
Average rating: 8.4
Behind the Lens: Grasslands - Lion Pride
User ratings: 34
Average rating: 8.8
Behind the Lens: Rivers - Mekong's Cataracts
User ratings: 35
Average rating: 8.6
Behind the Lens: Cities - Filming Collection
User ratings: 35
Average rating: 8.4
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