A gooey slime that could be a terrorist's worst nightmare; an exacting art form requiring the help of millions of ravenous beetles; a devise so strange and destructive that its inventor allegedly destroyed it to avert a catastrophe.
A countdown of the top gizmos and gadgets featured on "Modern Marvels," from golden oldies to newfangled thingamabobs, including an electronic doodad that was once considered a threat to national security.
The Panama Canal is thought to be the 7th wonder of the modern world, but now to fit the worlds' growing fleet of super ships, the Panama Canal is getting a completely revamped; a look inside the billion dollar Panama Canal Expansion Project.
A computer-managed home in Colorado showcases the high tech gadgetry destined to inhabit every wall in the future; a network of walls with cutouts and Plexiglas windows reveal how pests and creepy crawlies of all kinds can congregate.
A pilot who builds his own jet-powered glider; canoe makers in Montana; a knife maker in Washington; craftsmen keep alive the ancient art of weapon making; Skulls International in Oklahoma City; handmade special effects.
The assembly and surprising history behind the airboat; a wild ride on a big-tired swamp buggy; local delicacies that bring new meaning to acquired taste; a massive engineering project to divert the mighty Mississippi River; pythons and alligators.
Chocolate-covered bacon; red and white Starlight Mints; the key ingredient that gives Lemonheads their sour punch; the surprising substance that puts the polish on Mike and Ikes; the amount of sugar in cotton candy.
The biggest stacked burger in the world at almost 250 pounds; a plus-sized Sicilian pizza that feeds almost 75 people; a 72-ounce steak that no real cowboy can resist; the seven-pound hot dog that's too big for a bun; a giant cupcake.
The historic one-armed bandits; cutting edge, computerized slot machines; some of the wackiest vending machines; binoculars at popular tourist sites; a unique company that collects and cleans the coins thrown into fountains.
The world's biggest and oldest flag manufacturer; inside the last US athletic shoe factory; the strangest form of alternate transportation; a hot toy company that believes it's imperative to keep their work here at home.
A Michigan company designs water bottles; the makers of bubble wrap share their secrets; workers conquer the challenge of packaging the world's largest crane; America's military goods and supplies are packaged.
High-flying workers who depend on rope to do their jobs safely; how window washers, rock climbers and bungee jumpers safely use ropes; dockworkers who rely on ropes around the clock; industrial chain links.
Brad Paisley and his crew of truckers on the road between Little Rock and Tulsa; the Ford F-150 tackles a devilish test course; the world's most nimble tow truck extracts a car from the tightest parking spot imaginable; Mack truck fanatic.
Thousands of tons of dirt transform a stadium into a Supercross course in Las Vegas; special mud helps pros grip baseballs; mud wrestling in Hawaii; adobe and rammed-earth homes; potting soil facility in California.
Each year in the U.S., 280 million hens lay 80 billion eggs, one of the world's most affordable sources of protein; charting an egg's journey from the henhouse to the breakfast table; how powdered eggs are manufactured.
The versatile and nutritious potato; the potato's mysterious origins in South America's Andes; potato knishes in New York City; farming exotic potatoes in Maine; large-scale potato production in Iowa and Pennsylvania.
The story of tuna, the most popular fish in the American diet; fishing and canning operations; a single tuna can net as much as $100,000 in the world's largest fish market in Tokyo; efforts to save the giant bluefin tuna tuna from overfishing.
Chrome hot rod; the Chrome Shop Mafia adds "bling" to truckers' big rigs in Missouri; Illinois' Arlington Plating Co. adds luster to auto parts; how Harley-Davidson puts chrome to work as both a decorative and protective feature of motorcycles.
Beans; converting soybeans into vegetable oils, flour and soy meal; Nebraska's Kelley Bean Co. cleans 80,000 pounds of dry beans daily; New England baked beans made by B&M; Italian chef Cesare Casella uses heirloom beans; hummus.
Hot and spicy items; Tabasco sauce made by McIlhenny Co. in Louisiana; McCormick & Co. spices from Baltimore; chili cook-off; capsaicin gives peppers tongue-burning heat; Michael Jordan's SolToro Tequila Grill in Connecticut.
Delivering everything from pizza to packages; how UPS transported China's ancient terra cotta warriors to a museum in Los Angeles; a submersible carrier ship delivers yachts; racehorses ride a special jet; New York City bicycle messengers.
The largest, strongest and most unique ships; an oceanography research vessel that can flip a full 90 degrees; one of the world's largest cruise ships; the U.S. Navy's newest and most advanced transport ship; green tugboat; fastest car ferry.
Tours of some of the world's finest whiskey distilleries demonstrate how different countries put their unique stamps on an ancient drink called the "water of life"; Jack Daniels; Jim Beam; Canadian Club; Jameson's; Glenlivet.
A large factory-fishing boat hunts down, catches and processes 300 tons of Alaskan pollock each day in the Bering Sea; the crew reveals the inner workings of one of the most sophisticated and complex vessels afloat.
Rats are some of the most dangerous, destructive and useful animals on the planet; an exterminator comes face to face with the rodents; hundreds of thousands of rats are bred and raised in a a high-tech facility.
Pyroman the life-size mannequin is exposed to more than 1,000 degrees F; steel workers suit up to beat refinery heat; coffee makers and hair dryers malfunction at Underwriters Laboratories; a friction lab tests aircraft and race-car brakes.
The history of ice cream ranging from the gelato of Italy and a 19th-century French process to today's frozen desserts; visiting Dreyer's, TCBY and Joy Cone Co. factories; Ben & Jerry's flavor innovations.
Bathroom technology; Kohler makes a digitally controlled shower complete with steam, music and LED chromatherapy; manufacturing sinks; "uncloggable" toilet; the engineering behind low-flow showers and toilets.
World-shaking crashes; efforts to make auto racing safer; the latest in motorcycle crash survival equipment; a sky diver survives falling 11,000 feet without a parachute; NASA's asteroid-tracking team; colliding subatomic particles.
How wheat feeds the world; wheat becomes everything from bread to beer; a custom harvester follows ripening wheat fields from Texas to North Dakota; exporting wheat; grinding grain into flour; Widmer Brothers Brewery; Wheatware.
Traveling some of the world's most dangerous roads, including Bolivia's "Death Road," California's fog-shrouded Highway 99, the road to Baghdad's airport and Colorado's Million Dollar Highway; highway safety; off-road drivers.
Learning about various fungal organisms that live in the human body, grow from the ground, float in the air, and help create some foods and beverages; professional remediators battle millions of green invaders in a moldy home.
Examining how frequently experts in various disciplines can hit their targets, including archers, sharpshooters and even a billiards player; the ancient world's ballista and trebuchet weapons; knife thrower; Cirque du Soleil's daring artists.
The celebration of Halloween has become a $6 billion economic powerhouse; the annual Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm; the production of monster makeup, masks and costumes; carving pumpkins; making fake blood; haunted house.
A celebration of the horse, the animal that helped mankind change the world; the thoroughbred racing industry in Kentucky; how a Minnesota logging company uses real horsepower; a Colorado program pairs horses and prison inmates.
The turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinners and one of the dumbest birds in the animal kingdom, but it has managed to survive since the dinosaurs; Butterball factory; turkey hunting; dining on turkey testicles and eggs.
Salt is a versatile substance with 14,000 known uses; visiting a salt mine under Lake Erie; an evaporation facility harvests ocean salt near San Francisco; a Florida restaurant offers 40 varieties of salt.
Americans visit car washes 2 million times per day at an annual cost of $25 billion; how car washes are built to clean, ranging from tunnel systems to in-bay automatics; visiting the biggest car wash facility in the United States.
The evolution of technology; how things now considered obsolete worked such as the typewriter, VCR, analog TV, vinyl record, film camera and brick-sized mobile phone, as well as products that superseded them.
Whether humans have the ability to possess superpowers; a man can strap on an exoskeleton and lift hundreds of pounds with little effort; Mr. Cyborg can control machines with his thoughts; flying like Superman.
Some activities occur only when the world is dark; fishermen use lights to lure squid to their nets; finding night crawlers in Toronto; military night-vision gear; police helicopter's Spectrolab spotlight; baseball stadium.
The complex logistics behind creating feasts for huge crowds; dining aboard a U.S. Navy sub packed with enough food for a 120-day mission; cooks prepare a "Victory Meal" for 1,000 Marines; feeding 69,000 NFL fans during a Philadelphia Eagles game.
Ice plays a key role in shaping history and makes its mark as an unusual tool of technology; how glaciers sculpted North America; how ice drilled from Greenland and Antarctica provides a climate chronicle; iceberg dynamics and dangers.
It traps a treasure of energy on the ocean floor, and confounds scientists still trying to solve why it's so slippery. We'll venture inside NASA's Icing Research Tunnel in Ohio, and then it's off to Salt Lake City's Olympic Oval which boasts "the fastest ice on Earth." Dive to the ocean floor to collect and analyze a unique form of ice called methane clathrates--cages of ice encasing pressurized natural gas. Scientists believe that if only one percent of the world's ice-entrapped methane could be harvested, it would more than double our current supply of natural gas. Other highlights include the search for extraterrestrial ice and a trip inside the studio of a chainsaw-wielding artist as he sculpts a masterpiece.
A visit to a rolling mill where aluminum skins for jets are made; aluminum is used to make reflective mirrors for telescopes at NASA; the process of making aluminum foil; why aluminum baseball bats are better than wood.
A look at the many uses of acid; the military harnesses acid to make explosives; at a sulfuric acid plant, acid takes the stain out of stainless steel and dissolves precious metals; the Heinz vinegar plant; acid-loving bacteria.
The supermarket has become one of the great success stories of modern retailing; bar coding and other technological advancements; the psychology of the supermarket, including the store layout, lighting, music, and aromas.