228 votes
One Strange Rock

One Strange Rock

National Geographic 2018

A mind-bending and thrilling journey that explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth – one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe.

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The 10 Best Episodes of One Strange Rock

One Strange Rock - S1E10

#1 - Home


Season 1 - Episode 10

There’s no place like home. We wrap up the whole series through the story of nasa’s most experienced female astronaut, Peggy Whitson, as she returns home to earth. We might possibly be the only intelligent life in the universe. Life is rare, complex life rarer, and intelligent life may be an evolutionary bad idea or dead end that is rarer still… and that means that it’s possible that we humans may be the only thing in this huge and amazing universe that can appreciate its strangeness with awe and wonder.

The episode was rated from 126 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E3

#2 - Shield


Season 1 - Episode 3

Earth protects itself from the sun. The David and Goliath story of Earth’s relationship with its greatest threat, our seemingly benign Sun. The Sun is the big violent boss of the Solar System throwing out devastating particles and energy. Without several shields, one generated by our unique planetary core, another by our atmosphere, and a third by our interconnected weather systems… life on Earth would never have survived.

The episode was rated from 228 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E1

#3 - Gasp


Season 1 - Episode 1

Our perfectly calibrated, breathing planet. For those privileged few who have seen Earth from space, the very first thing they notice is the thin blue line of atmosphere that clings to our planet and sustains life. The story of how the Earth creates and regulates that oxygen is mind-blowing. From snowflakes in the arctic to plankton, desert sandstorms, and rivers in the sky; an incredible chain of connections reveal just how incredible our home is. Everything connects so life and planet breathe together.

The episode was rated from 395 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E2

#4 - Storm


Season 1 - Episode 2

A planet sculpted from cosmic violence. Earth is a very lucky planet. It has ended up the right size and in the right place. This only happened because of violent cosmic collisions. The crazy thing is, if things had been even slightly different with more or less collisions, we wouldn’t be here. We discover the moments that could have destroyed us, but instead made our planet what it is.

The episode was rated from 279 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E5

#5 - Survival


Season 1 - Episode 5

Earth, the great killer. Without the cycle of death and sacrifice, from cellular to planetary, life would not be here. From the deaths of stars, to planetary scale mass extinctions and the sacrifice of individuals for a greater genetic good, this is the story of how life evolved hand in hand with death. Death drives evolution. It’s hardwired: from our cells to our landscapes, our colorful living planet is only possible thanks to it. Death leads to opportunity and biodiversity which ironically ensures life on the planet is never wiped out. It’s not enough for our planet to be habitable… it also has to be lethal.

The episode was rated from 182 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E8

#6 - Alien


Season 1 - Episode 8

The freak accident behind complex life. All life on earth started as single cell bacteria and stayed like that for 2 billion years. Successfully spreading across the planet. So even if we do find alien life, what are the chances of that life being complex – like us? Vanishingly rare… on our strange rock, it’s all down to a freak event, which accidentally happened when one cell ate another to create a kind of cellular power pack: mitochondria. This almost miraculous event transforms earth into a complex interconnected food web based on a competition for food. And at the top of the pyramid sits us humans.

The episode was rated from 143 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E6

#7 - Escape


Season 1 - Episode 6

We are all planets. Is it possible for intelligent life to escape destruction, be it from the planet or from ourselves? Or are we destined for extinction like 99% of all species before us? Our best chance of survival may be to escape from the land and build another colony elsewhere. But there are real barriers: space radiation, microgravity and bacteria within us will conspire against us. And our DNA is encoded for the conditions here on earth, so if we ever manage to colonize another planet, those that are born there will evolve into another species.

The episode was rated from 166 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E4

#8 - Genesis


Season 1 - Episode 4

Earth gives birth to life. The building blocks of life are common across the universe, but life is rare. What’s so special about Earth that it emerged here? Only here on Earth have we found the elixir of life; water in its three forms. But for life to emerge this isn’t enough… huge tides created by the proximity of our perfect Moon, plate tectonics, volcanoes and lightning mean the Earth is a dynamic planet. It’s a huge planetary chemical experiment, a bubbling cauldron that transforms dead minerals into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); the code for all life.

The episode was rated from 210 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E9

#9 - Awakening


Season 1 - Episode 9

Your brain is an anomaly. We tend to think that once the first life emerged it was inevitable that it would eventually evolve into us. But there is nothing inevitable about consciousness. For over 2 billion years no life on earth possessed a brain. And even today, 90% of life doesn’t have a brain. How life and our strange rock came together to create consciousness is a story of almost impossible and unnecessary coincidences….

The episode was rated from 130 votes.

One Strange Rock - S1E7

#10 - Terraform


Season 1 - Episode 7

Earth’s great paradox. For our planet to become inhabitable for life, you already need life. Ever since life emerged, microbes, plants and animals have all sculpted the planet’s surface and air in the strangest of ways; fish poop creates islands; dead animals create mountains; lichen drive continents. But life also has the power to destroy our world. We are changing the climate, but we are not the first to do so. Long before us, microbes froze the planet and almost wiped out all life. The difference between us and them is we are conscious of our actions.

The episode was rated from 143 votes.


Last updated: oct 04, 2021



Beautiful cinematography somewhat diluted by a primary school level narrative. Now if only we could drag the target audience away from their computer games to watch this.


Love that the stories are led by the experiences of astronauts, including the first African American woman, Mae Jemison. Love that its directed by Darren Aronofsky, as his signature editing style makes the imagery that much more compelling. But I hate that it's narrated (on blinding white screen background!) by Will Smith. Honestly. Whhhhhyyyyy??


Very nice documentary with a lot of info that for majority of people will be new (for me at least it was)


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