As world travelers, mountaineers and explorers document the Earth’s beauty, we get to experience it vicariously through nature shows on Netflix and other streaming platforms. For decades now, the exploration and documentation of the many grandeurs of our planet has stunned audiences through nature documentaries.
Whether you’re more into informative documentaries or prefer a visual immersion into the planet’s ecosystems, you can travel the far reaches of the Earth without leaving home with nature shows on Netflix, Discovery Plus, and other streaming platforms.
Renowned historians like David Attenborough and extreme adventurists like Spencer Seabrooke have dedicated their lifestyle to preserving, exploring and embracing the natural world as well as educating the public about climate conservation. So if you’re a nature junkie, you’ll want to check out these nature shows on Netflix. But don’t worry – we’ve included some favorites on other platforms as well.
“A Perfect Planet” (Netflix)
This Earth science five part series on Netflix presented by David Attenborough highlights the brute forces nature has held since the beginning of time. “A Perfect Planet” highlights volcanoes, ocean currents, the sun, weather – and how we alone are responsible for preserving our planet.
Although the theme may seem like one you’ve seen before, the cinematography and relevant information on how present day Earth is holding up is powerful and mortifying, to say the least. Across five episodes, viewers will enjoy Attenborough’s iconic voice offering insight to some of the most unexplained parts of our planet.
“Pushing the Line” (Discovery Plus)
You ever wonder what it’s like to travel the world in your van with a group of friends or walk across a one inch rope hundreds of feet off the ground? The art of tightroping has evolved into what is now referred to as slacklining. If you prefer to do this between two cliffs, highlining is the term used.
This 30 day docuseries follows some of the best and most experienced names of the unorthodox sport, including Spencer Seabrooke and Andy Lewis, world record holders and top dogs within the world of highlining. Navigating their lines through picturesque and challenging locations across the American West, this crew of adrenaline junkies are willing to do whatever it takes to live their lives to the fullest – all while breaking world records. Modern day tightroping has never been more stunning.
“Life in Colour with David Attenborough” (Netflix)
Produced with today’s most innovative technology, this mini series delves into the world of colors and the science behind color’s use in nature. Observing the creatures of the world, David Attenborough actually stars in this series, and not just as the narrative voice over.
Attenborough himself details the significance of some of the most unusual and lively-colored animals on the planet. Destinations like central India feature the monstrous Bengal tiger, and rainbow hummingbirds in North America show off their headdress for mates. Though the series is only three episodes, Attenborough’s intimate approach makes this series unlike any other he’s produced.
One of Netflix’s most groundbreaking documentaries exposes the untold truths about the global fishing industry and the harm it reaps on the ocean and marine life. Produced by makers of the award-winning 2014 film “Cowspiracy,” this film offers insight on aquaculture, overviewing the cause and effects behind the global corruption rampant in the industry.
Director Ali Tabrizi puts into perspective the direct impact we humans have had (and still have) on the ocean and its ecosystem, while rejecting the idea of “sustainable fishing.” The documentary has received mixed reviews from critics and fishing advocates, but it’s worth taking a look and forming your own opinion on these heavily criticized industries.
“Shark with Steve Backshall” (Sky TV)
Haven’t experienced enough sharks on Shark Week? Don’t worry – Steve Backshall, British explorer, naturalist and writer, takes viewers into the open ocean to examine and celebrate the many wonders of this misunderstood predator. Putting the audience as close as one can get to these deadly kings of the ocean, Backshall presents the animal at its most natural state.
The show profiles more than 400 different types of sharks. From the most remote parts of the planet, viewers get to sink into the unknown abyss and sun soaked habitats that these animals thrive in. Because we’ve been losing a large portion of our shark population, Backshall dedicates this mini series to bringing awareness to the misrepresented predator.
“Secrets of the Whales” (Disney Plus)
From the crew behind National Geographic comes a show that plunges into the unique world of whales. Most people are unaware of how complex and intellectual whales actually are, but this epic journey reveals the secret lifestyle of the animals in a way you’ve never seen, detailing everything from their communication skills to the social structures of different whale species.
The team behind “Secrets of the Whales” immersed themselves in the world of whales across 24 locations over the span of three years. With an in-depth overview on the world’s largest mammal, the show goes into detail on species like orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals and sperm whales.
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