The world is a big place, and there is a lot of it that most of us will never see with our own two eyes. Thankfully there are plenty of passionate people willing to travel the world and document the amazing things they find. These nature documentaries are perfect for watching under a blanket to chill out to, or for learning a little about how we treat this planet of ours.
Who can resist the dulcet tones of Sir David Attenborough? The legendary documentary maker may be well into his nineties, but he’s still going strong, bringing amazing nature documentaries to the millions. His series, Our Planet, is done by the same people who brought us the groundbreaking Blue Planet and Planet Earth documentaries.
Our Planet focuses on the Earth as a whole and visits as many diverse landscapes and seascapes as possible. It draws attention to the problems facing the natural world, including animals facing extinction, while offering examples of how we can solve those issues.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Many people who chose to lead a vegan lifestyle do so to stop cruelty to animals, but also to reduce the impact that agriculture has on the environment. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret delves into how animal agriculture is impacting a range of topics, including deforestation, global warming, ocean dead zones and water use. The documentary is an eye-opening experience, and one that many people find a tough watch as the reality of animal agriculture’s impact hits home.
The Ivory Game
Leonardo DiCaprio co-produces this documentary, which is aimed at highlighting how deep-rooted corruption is keeping the global ivory trading business going. Most of us may think the time for ivory hunting is over, but The Ivory Game shows that it’s sadly still alive and kicking. The film spans 16 months as we see the filmmakers go undercover in the ivory trade to gain intel.
They believe the best way to combat the problem is to understand it better. Viewers will be gripped by the intense ride The Ivory Game brings them on as it often feels more like a thriller than a nature documentary. Despite the feeling of a Hollywood movie, this story is as real as it gets.
One Strange Rock
In many ways, the fact that there is so much life on Earth is a mystery. Will Smith has the narrating duties in One Strange Rock as eight astronauts share their thoughts on our planet. This series focuses on how Earth is both the most hospitable planet in our solar system, yet also one of the most lethal. It explores the idea of why mass extinctions have been necessary for the planet to survive as long as it has. Mostly it focuses on how life can thrive on Earth, often against all the odds.
Not every nature documentary is nominated for an Oscar, but Virunga was so impactful in 2014; it just couldn’t be ignored. The film details the struggle Congo faces in trying to control its rich source of natural resources. Virunga follows the people working in Virunga National Park as they try their best to conserve animal life against the odds.
We see how the mountain gorillas in Virunga have to face threats from humans, not only because of their ecosystem, but also people fighting each other. The documentary highlights how even a rich natural source can become a political battleground while highlighting the effects of corruption.
72 Cutest Animals
Sadly the reality of how natural habitats are struggling can be a bit much to take. Thankfully not every nature documentary focuses on the harsh reality of life, and instead, they try to bring smiles to people’s faces. 72 Cutest Animals brings a dose of cuteness that will make you forget your own name. Baby animals are the cutest, and there are 72 heartwarming types to choose from in this nature documentary.
These documentaries will unleash your inner nature lover, and open your eyes to new things from all over the world. Thankfully they are all streaming on Netflix right now, so you can begin the new year by learning how animals survive, often against the odds. Failing that, you can always binge on cute animals to lift your spirits.