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The 10 Best Science Documentaries to Watch on Netflix

The 10 Best Science Documentaries to Watch on Netflix

We show you the simplest science documentaries on Netflix that cover our world, feats of engineering, and far more.

Want to find out something from all of your Netflix watching? You don't need to go far to seek out quality content right the platform.

We've rounded up some of the best science documentaries on Netflix. These offer interesting facts, along side stunning sceneries and storylines. Since they're all between 45 to 90 minutes long, you can finish them in one sitting.

1. Blackfish (2013)

On February 24, 2010, one of SeaWorld Orlando's divers (Dawn Brancheau) was pulled into the pool by an orca whale, shocking the nation. This riveting documentary shows the life of the orca whale Tilikum and the prior events that led to him killing three people, including Brancheau.

The film is a deep investigative piece that sheds light on the behavior behind captive sea creatures. It also reflects on the ethical issue of capturing wild marine mammals, even though it's intended for educational purposes.

2. Mission Blue (2014)

Mission Blue offers a firsthand account from a witness to the changes in the oceans. Part biography and part science, this award-winning film follows the life of Sylvia Earle, a celebrated oceanographer, marine biologist, and explorer.

This documentary feels like a walk through the industrial revolution and the surrounding times. As the lands above rapidly changed, so have the oceans. And Earle was one of the many to witness this change. She talks about her experiences and her mission to protect the planet's blue ocean.

For more like this, we've rounded up some other great nature documentaries on Netflix.

3. A Plastic Ocean (2016)

The inspiration for this documentary came when the producer, Jo Ruxton, went on an expedition to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 1,500 miles out from San Francisco.

Instead of a giant mass of plastic that she expected to find, Ruxton found tiny plastic fragments in the ocean. Then, she set off on a four-year trip with Australian journalist Craig Leeson, free-diver Tanya Streeter, cetacean expert Dr. Lindsay Porter, and a team of international researchers to explore the issues of plastic in our oceans.

What they find in the oceans and in marine animals is sure to leave your jaw hanging.

4. Into the Inferno (2016)

Directed by Werner Herzog, a famous director of German cinema, this documentary follows volcanologist Clive Oppenheim. He studies active volcanoes and hopes to curtail their destructive impact on surroundings.

Their journey spans from Iceland to North Korea, chasing the scientific and magical side of active volcanoes. Along the way, Herzog describes the mystery and beauty behind these natural behemoths of destruction.

5. The Ivory Game (2016)

A thrilling documentary where a film crew goes undercover for 16 months to investigate the ivory smuggling trade. The film, shot across continents, shows elephants being poached for their ivory. This ivory is then smuggled to China, where ivory is prized.

By revealing astounding statistics, such as that 150,000 elephants were killed in five years, the film explores the nature of these giants and the group of people fighting against the ivory trade.

This documentary is investigative, informative, and paints a bleak future for the African elephants, which might face extinction in 15 years.

One piece of good news: the poachers in this documentary were sentenced to 12 years of prison in 2017.

6. Bill Nye: Science Guy (2017)

This documentary is for those who grew up watching the famous science show Bill Nye: The Science Guy. It's a biographical documentary showing Bill Nye's life, as an educator and science advocate, as he takes on the role of CEO at The Planetary Society. The society was started by his professor Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and Bruce Murray in 1980.

Throughout the film, Nye challenges creationist Ken Ham, who disagrees with his views on the climate. He's also faced with skeptics who claim he's just a television show host that's not qualified to speak on the global climate crisis.

7. Dream Big: Engineering Our World (2017)

This is an inspiring documentary revealing the marvelous world of engineering. Narrated by Jeff Bridges, the film follows the lives of four engineers working on different projects. It also shows the simple science behind building any structure,

With beautifully shot videos showing structural wonders, this 40-minute documentary will surely motivate you to get back to work.

8. Coral Chase (2017)

How about a documentary that slowly takes you into the world of corals and is determined to do something about climate issues?

This film describes the science of corals: what corals are, how they are formed and why they are important to us. It follows the former advertising agent who follows his love of diving to find out who the corals are dying for.

Thus a group of scientists, filmmakers and coral geeks embarked on a journey trying to portray coral bleaching: where corals die quickly due to warm water. They document the global coral bleaching event that caused extensive damage to marine resources.

9. Weed Man (2018)

This documentary keeps a close and personal eye on families who have used medical marijuana to protect their loved ones from cancer. Filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricky Lake have embarked on a six-year journey that follows the story of ordinary families who explore the benefits of cannabis for cancer treatment (instead of prescription drugs).

The film is a good starting point for those who want to know more about education and the effects of cannabis treatment. This provides a good starting point and of course at the beginning of the film intended for informational purposes only, viewers are advised to contact their doctor for more information regarding their personal treatment.

10. Dancing with Birds (2019)

This documentary shows the reunion of some of the supernatural birds in the world. Described by Stephen Fry with great 1960s music in the background, Dancing with the Birds is kid-friendly, fun and great shot.

We all know that birds use their decorative feathers and bright colors for mating purposes. In this documentary, you can see them in action. Take an afternoon to enjoy this light captivating, compelling movie that is sure to leave you with some puppies.

If bird music inspires you, we've compiled a list of the best music documentaries on Netflix.

Other great documentaries to watch on Netflix

The next time you want to learn more about science these documentaries will give you a great time but you don't have to stop there; Netflix has a huge store of documentaries waiting for you to explore.

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