Explorer
2011
(31)
Season 1

Season 1

1. Solitary Confinement

Apr 11, 2010
Alone... in a cell... 23 hours a day... for days, or even decades. Today, tens of thousands of Americans are subject to what may be the most extreme prison environment ever designed. Although the effects of isolation are largely unknown, in prisons across the country, convicts are placed in solitary confinement -- cut off from nearly all human contact. Some say solitary is the only way to handle the worst prisoners, but others claim it amounts to psychological torture more cruel than any physical abuse. From prisoners on the edge, to scientists making finds that are changing our most fundamental notions of ourselves, National Geographic looks at the science of solitary and discovers what it means to be absolutely and completely alone.

2. 24 Hours After Asteroid Impact

Nov 24, 2009
Travel back 66 million years ago when a meteor struck the Earth, wiping out three-quarters of all life on the planet. What happened in those first hours? Why did some creatures survive while nearly all others perished? Using computer graphics and real-world recreations, National Geographic reveals the likely effects of the catastrophic impact that changed the world forever and examines who won, who lost, and why.

3. Inside Guantanamo

Apr 5, 2009
The naval base at Guantanamo Bay secured a place in the annals of history when the first wave of detainees from America's War on Terror -- men dubbed "the worst of the worst" -- arrived in 2002. A symbol of freedom protected or freedom tragically betrayed, the controversies of Guantanamo embody the thorny issues of America's fight against an enemy that wears no uniform, has no address and will declare no armistice, and an administration's battle to keep prisoners beyond the reach of due process in American courts. The goings-on inside the wire encircling this highly classified camp have been a closely held government secret--until now. For the first time, National Geographic exclusively captures day-to-day life in the most famous prison in the world--exploring the ongoing daily struggle between the guard force of dedicated young military personnel and the equally dedicated detainees, many of whom are still in legal limbo after being held for seven years.

4. Easter Island Underworld

Jun 9, 2009
Deep beneath the legendary Easter Island, National Geographic undertakes a groundbreaking expedition to map a vast cave system utilized by the people who carved these iconic statues. Protected by sheer cliffs, narrow labyrinths and underwater entrances, many of the caves have not been explored for decades. Recently discovered human remains and telltale artifacts reveal details of the island's intriguing history and culture.

5. Secrets of Florence

Jul 22, 2009
National Geographic visits unearthed Roman theaters, medieval streets, and secret tunnels, bringing new light to Florence's lesser-known, dark history. Art detective and National Geographic Fellow Maurizio Seracini reveals history using a thermocamera to reveal long-lost architectural layers in some of the city's most famous landmarks.

6. Super Carrier

Nov 17, 2008
The U.S.S, Eisenhower is the pinnacle of aircraft carrier technology. The 97,000-ton steel monster boasts next-generation radar and combat capabilities and is run by 6,000 personnel. See it in action during her final trials before combat.

7. Man Vs. Volcano

Apr 7, 2011
National Geographic joins an international team of scientists on a mission to unlock the hidden secrets of Mt. Nyiragongo, an active volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The scientists' mission: to collect a fresh sample from the deadly yet mesmerizing lava lake at the volcano's heart—a sample they will use to predict the volcano's future eruptions and potentially help the 2 million people who live in its path. Along the way, a host of deadly obstacles threaten their expedition, from the rebel troops camping on the flank of the volcano, to the perils of a 2,000-foot vertical climb into the volcano, to the roiling lava lake itself.

8. Mystery of the Murdered Saints

Apr 19, 2011
For the first time, the Catholic Church is allowing scientific experts and historians to openly test the veracity of the remains of reported saints. National Geographic has exclusive access to the forensic investigation.

Deep in the crypt below the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia lie a set of bones believed to be those of two ancient saints, Chrysanthus and Daria. For more than 1,500 years they've been hidden away ... until now. Can science prove that these are a man and woman who were brutally executed by the Romans in the fight against a growing Christian faith?

9. The Angel Effect

Apr 27, 2011
A 9/11 survivor, an astronaut, and a blue hole diver all survived dramatically different traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories: each felt a mysterious presence that guided them to safety in their time of greatest peril. But what were these strange presences? Can they be explained? The devout call them guardian angels or divine encounters—others encounter a kind stranger. Could they have been angels? Phantoms? Or were their minds just playing tricks on them?

National Geographic delves deep inside this phenomenon to break down the barrier between science and the supernatural. When faced with life and death, the brain flips an "angel switch," and help arrives-at least for some. Dubbed the "Third Man Factor," hundreds have reported this mysterious phenomenon—and now, science is taking a closer look, zeroing in on the location and the mechanism in the brain they believe may be responsible for these visions.

10. Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes

May 10, 2011
The discovery of a human skull in the depths of Lake Superior begins a story that will take historian and author Brendon Baillod across two Great Lakes and a century of history. It takes him and a team of elite technical divers more than 20 miles off Milwaukee where they discover the wreck of one of Lake Michigans lost queens. It takes them to the remote waters of Lake Superior where they risk their lives to determine the identity of yet another lost ship. And it takes us into the forgotten life of a brave and stubborn woman who lived, and died, on these wild waters. Whether her presence cursed these lost ships, or a more earthly explanation can be found, the Great Lakes reputation as a graveyard for mariners stands firm.

11. Megapiranha

May 10, 2011
Piranhas—the stuff of nightmares and legends. They're infamous for how fast they can devour prey, and are known to attack in groups of up to 100.

12. Stormageddon

May 29, 2011
Massive floods in Australia and Pakistan. Deadly mudslides in Brazil. Epic drought and wildfires in Russia. Historic snows and bitter cold across North America. 2010 was one of the most destructive years in history.

Join National Geographic as we present the dramatic images and personal stories of this catastrophic weather year.

13. Taking Down the Mob

Sep 30, 2011
.It's one of the most explosive Mob investigations in New York City history, told by the detectives who hunted the mobsters involved—and two members of their own police force who were willing to kill for the Mafia.

14. Crime Lords of Tokyo

Oct 14, 2011
"Tokyo: orderly...modern...and seemingly safe. But this vast neon city hides a dark secret. For the millions who live here, it's something you don't see every day, and you may never encounter it face to face. For people on the inside, however, nothing could be more obvious than the power of Japan's infamous organized crime syndicates known as the Yakuza.
National Geographic takes you inside this secretive underworld to meet the real Yakuza—thugs and high-ranking bosses—plus the people who write about their every move, and the cops who track them down. Incredible personal stories and candid interviews reveal an organization both honorable and corrupt, violent and restrained, compassionate and driven by an insatiable greed."

15. Gang War USA

Oct 17, 2011
In Greensboro, North Carolina, an argument over a song playing on the jukebox at a Mexican restaurant ends with two brothers dead--shot dead at point blank range. The culprit is a member of the notorious transnational gang MS-13. How did a gang that started in Los Angeles, California in the mid-1980s end up responsible for the murder of two innocent men in Greensboro, North Carolina? The search for answers leads deep inside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). Could the American government's war on transnational gangs, ironically, be making them stronger and more deadly?

16. Murder in the Roman Empire

Oct 20, 2011
British investigators discover bones hidden under the floor of an old army barracks near the Scotland border. Preliminary observations indicate the victim may have been bound and was killed with blunt force trauma to the skull. But, this victim died nearly 1,800 years ago. Solving the mystery of who murdered a 10-year old child in 213 AD, Murder in the Roman Empire delves into the life of an ancient Roman garrison using forensics, archaeology, and criminal investigation. Could an individual soldier have taken advantage of deserted barracks to hide his crime? Or was there collusion among a group of soldiers?

17. Australia's Great Flood

Oct 27, 2011
A freak inland tsunami smashes through towns and cities, bringing widespread destruction and claiming lives across the Australian state of Queensland. Then cyclones batter the coastline, wreaking even further havoc. At the end, 22 people are dead and three remain missing. Australia's Great Flood captures the devastating 2011 flood as it happened, through the eyes of those who experienced it.

18. Hostage Crisis Massacre

Oct 28, 2011
"Hostage Crisis Massacre is the story of how one man armed with a gun created an 11-hour international media spectacle, played out live on television.
National Geographic goes deep inside the high-stakes hostage negotiation in Manila that offers stark lessons on what can go wrong when the police negotiators lose control and the media takes over."

19. Psychic Gold Hunt

Nov 17, 2011
Three psychics put a new spin on an old story - by searching for lost treasure using only the power of their minds. John, a remote viewer; Susette, a psychic; and Mike, a dowser, live in central California, an area with a history steeped in the legendary gold repositories of old Spanish Missions. The three of them believe they can locate treasure that's been hidden for nearly two centuries through strictly "supernatural" means. Will these paranormal techniques help them uncover a legendary stash of buried gold, or will their extrasensory visions come up dry?

20. How to Build an Ancient Man

Nov 23, 2011
A tuft of tangled human hair is dug out of Greenlands permafrost. From these 4,000-year-old threads of evidence, scientists attempt the impossible to be the first to reconstruct the identity of a Stone Age human being. From the scraps of DNA, an ancient face appears. But as they break into this genetic code, they find far more than they bargained for, and the discovery threatens to turn our long-held concept of how humans populated the earth, on its head.

21. To Catch a Smuggler

Nov 27, 2011
Fraudulent visas. Narcotics mules. Stolen art. Human trafficking. Illegal citrus. Its all part of a days work at JFK Airport. Explorer brings you an inside look at the operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Homeland Security Investigations special agents at the busiest international airport in the USA.

22. Marijuana Gold Rush

Dec 2, 2011
Despite the fact that cultivation of cannabis remains a federal offense, a new generation of "ganja-preneurs" hopes to cash in on the growing market for medical marijuana. In California, the Green Rush is in full bloom as growers, dispensaries, hydroponic nurseries, testing labs and insurance companies fight for a piece of this irresistible economic brownie. Marijuana Gold Rush enters the brave new business world of pot — where Manhattan execs have joined forces with old-school growers in Northern California to explore the real potential of this budding industry.

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