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NOVA; Mysterious Life Of Caves, The

08/07/2002

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Series
NOVA
Program
Mysterious Life Of Caves, The
Program Number

2910K

Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

Exploring Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, geologists Carol Hill and Dave Jagnow stumbled across a startling find - giant blocks of a mineral that conventional theories said shouldn't be there. This discovery set them on the trail of a radically new explanation of how certain caves form, involving microbes that live off toxic hydrogen sulfide gas and literally eat away the rock (since one of their byproducts is sulfuric acid). At the time of Hill and Jagnow's initial investigations, the idea that microbes could flourish in total darkness and help etch huge underground caverns was revolutionary. The quest to prove the theory has led scientists to the depths of some of the world's most spectacular caverns, including the more than 100-mile maze of passages in Lechuguilla, New Mexico, the longest and deepest cave known in the Americas, and the site of dazzling calcite and crystal formations. NOVA's crews, among the few admitted to this fragile and pristine underground wilderness, captured spectacular footage. Eventually the theory was confirmed at the bizarre Cueva de Villa Luz in Mexico, where the walls are dripping with sulfuric acid strong enough to burn human skin. This story of a hidden world of underground life and scientists with a maverick theory is a classic NOVA: a provocative idea, involving an adventure of discovery to some of the world's most spectacular locations.

Duration

00:56:46

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Genres
Documentary
Topics
Science
Citation
Chicago: “NOVA; Mysterious Life Of Caves, The,” 08/07/2002, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 11, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_17FD4889891E481D9249F54DF4092961.
MLA: “NOVA; Mysterious Life Of Caves, The.” 08/07/2002. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 11, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_17FD4889891E481D9249F54DF4092961>.
APA: NOVA; Mysterious Life Of Caves, The. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_17FD4889891E481D9249F54DF4092961
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