Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It is a celebration held every year on April 22nd during which people from around the world rally to demonstrate support for environmental protection. This year the celebrations cannot continue as usual due to obvious reasons.
Streaming platforms, however, have responded by adding some truly awe-inspiring documentaries Here is a list of documentaries you can watch.
Best Nature Documentaries on Netflix
With the perfect Earth Day message, Netflix collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund for this nature documentary that focuses just as much on climate change and conservation as it does on Earth’s natural beauty.
This is the most expensive documentary the BBC had ever commissioned at the time(2006) – and the first filmed in HD – this all-encompassing wildlife series is not only one of the best nature documentaries ever made, but some of the best television produced in any genre.
Planet Earth II
Ten years later the BBC upped the game yet again with Planet Earth II, their very first series filmed in ultra-high definition showcasing life in all shapes and sizes from all around the globe.
Night on Earth: Shot in the Dark
This Netflix Original is shot entirely at night in an interesting twist on the nature documentary. Using state-of-the-art, low light camera technology so we can actually see what’s going on, this nature series reveals in detail for the first time just what animals get up to at night – and they do a lot more than sleep. Exploring the nocturnal activities of animals everywhere from the oceans to the arctic, this is a wildlife documentary like you’ve never seen before.
As coral reefs around the world deteriorate daily, this documentary follows a team of divers, scientists, and photographers as they investigate why the important habitat is disappearing and how that could impact marine life. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, this Netflix original documentary is an alarming wake-up call that global warming has underwater effects too – and that a complex ecosystem might soon be gone forever.
Best nature documentaries on Amazon Prime
This documentary follows late filmmaker Rob Stewart as he exposes the billion-dollar illegal shark fin industry – and the politicians protecting it at the cost of the world’s shark population. It is a sequel to Stewart’s 2006 film Skarkwater – one of nature documentary’s great success stories as it resulted in shark finning being banned worldwide.
James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge
The blockbuster director has long been a fan of diving, having spent hours exploring the wreckage of the Titanic as research for his record-breaking film. This documentary sees him breaking yet another record, becoming the first person to solo dive to the Earth’s lowest point – the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a staggering seven miles below sea level. Helping design his submersible himself, this documentary makes riveting viewing as Cameron risks his wealth – and his health – to achieve his childhood dream.
How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears
This series sees the bushcraft expert examine the Wild West, adding a bit of history to his wildlife documentary as he explores how human expansion altered the land in the times of cowboys and Indians. With stunning scenery of mountain ranges, open plains and deserts, there are far worse ways to be educated in American history.
From Parrots to Elephants: Worldwide Animal Rescues
This feel-good series does exactly what it says on the tin, showcasing caretakers looking after endangered animals all over the world. Featuring everything from American farm animals to Asian elephants, this series proves all creatures great and small can make a good nature documentary. There’s also a great look at how locals in all corners of the globe are doing their bit for conservation.
This documentary features many scenic shots of the world-famous Niagara Falls – as well as a pro kayaker who dreams of paddling over it. Filmed over the course of a year, this sees Rafa Ortiz attempt the impossible with a little help from his friends – and an awful lot of practice.