Homing Instinct of Monarch Butterfly (01:39)
The Danaus plexippus or Monarch butterfly is guided by the Sun and DNA in its 2400 mile migration to the oyamel fir forest of Mexico.
Introduction: Home: Wonders of Life (02:05)
A few precious ingredients make life on Earth possible. Mexico is made up of only 1% of the Earth's surface, yet its humid jungles and arid plains are home to 12% of all species.
Yucatán Peninsula Cenotes (02:11)
Rainfall seeps through porous limestone and creates vast water-filled caves. Biologist Olmo Torres Talamante studies these unique bodies of water.
Life Sustaining Water Source (02:29)
Cenotes provide water for the region's people and animals and are teaming with biological activity.
Water Content in Humans (00:26)
Plants, animals and humans are comprised of more than 50% water.
Water Bending Trick (01:39)
Without water, Earth could not sustain life. Being a polar molecule, water appears to bend next to a statically charged plastic rod.
Surface Tension of Water (03:18)
The predatory pondskater or Gerridae is able to live on the surface of water thanks to lattice-like structures in the water, created by hydrogen bonds.
Nutrient Distribution (01:11)
The polar molecules in water break apart substances like sugars and nutrients, enabling them to be carried into the cells of organisms.
Orion Nebula (03:07)
Made from hydrogen and oxygen, water is one of the most abundant molecules in our universe. See ice covered moons: Europa and Enceladus. Water has been detected on the Sun.
Clues to Origin of Earth's Water (02:59)
Earth began 4.54 billion years ago as a mass of molten rock. The perfect arc of Mexico's cenotes indicates a massive impact crater created 65 million years ago.
Oceans Filled by Comets (02:37)
NASA's deep impact probe photographed dust and ice coming from the comet Hartley 2. The ice had the same chemical signature as water from our oceans.
UV Sunlight (02:38)
The Copper Canyon Railway travels to Chihuahua. At this higher elevation, the Sun's rays are more damaging.
History of Damaging UV (01:08)
The Sun's lethal UV rays bombarded the planet. Its core was spinning faster and creating huge amounts electromagnetic heating of the plasma on its surface, which emitted energy in the higher frequencies.
Pigment Protects Against UV (01:35)
A rainbow of colors is created in our fruits and vegetables when pigments in their skin react to wavelengths of light.
Protective Qualities of Melanin (01:38)
Melanin is found in skin, shells and feathers of Earth's creatures. Frogs and spiny lizards use it for camouflage. Bonds in pigment vibrate rapidly and convert the Sun's harmful energy into heat.
Creation of Earth's Oxygen (04:36)
Photosynthesizing cyanobacteria get their green color from chlorophyll. It allows them to transform energy from the sun to chemical energy. The bacteria created oxygen on the Earth 2.5 billion years ago.
Circadian Rhythm (04:46)
Countless Butterflies hang from tree branches after migrating 2600 miles home to Mexico. They are guided by the sun and a molecular clock inside each antenna.
Celestial Clock (01:16)
Our spinning planet turns once on its axis every 24 hours and orbits the Sun once every 365 days.
Development of Multicellular organisms (01:54)
The history of the Mexican rancher goes back 10,000 years. It took 5 million years for humans to evolve from our ape ancestor and 3 billion for the first complex multi-celled life to evolve.
Lack of "Time" to Evolve (01:37)
Earth is the only planet where we have been able to study the evolution of life. Venus and Mars show signs of once having had water masses.
Ingredients Making Life Possible (01:10)
Our Journey through Mexico looked at life's necessities: water, oxygen, sun and time.
Creation Story Broadcast (02:27)
On December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 crew members were inspired by the sight of our planet from space and delivered this message.
Credits: Home: Wonders of Life (00:44)
Credits: Home: Wonders of Life
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