Life's Rocky Start

What is the secret link between rocks and minerals, and every living thing on Earth? Airing January 13, 2016 at 9 pm on PBS Aired January 13, 2016 on PBS

Program Description

Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place—a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. But how? NOVA joins mineralogist Robert Hazen as he journeys around the globe. From an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback, he advances a startling and counterintuitive idea—that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but that microbial life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. It's a theory of the co-evolution of Earth and life that is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet’s story. 

Broadcast Credits

WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED by
Doug Hamilton
Edited by
Rob Tinworth
Camera
Brad Dillon
Torstein Dyrting
Dan Krauss
Blake Hottle
Bruce Liffiton
Yoann Le Gruiec
Jon Sayers
Keith Walker
Rich White
NARRATED BY
Jay O. Sanders
Associate Producer
Jane Teeling
Animation
Mitch Butler Explain-O-Graphics, LLC
Music
Chee Wei Tay
Sound Recordists
Rick Albright
Don Hale
Trevor Hope
Hayden Jackson
Renaud Natkin
Scott Osterman
Geoff Price
Rob Shire
Online Editor
Dave Bigelow
Colorist
Rob Tinworth
Audio Mix
Heart Punch Studio
Archival Material
Colin Legg Photography
Construct Films Limited, UK
Chris German, WHOI/NSF, NASA/ROV Jason 2012
Luke Allen Humphrey
Enrique Pacheco
Page Films
Tim Shank, WHOI/NSF/AIVL/HOV Alvin 2007
Stefan Sievert, WHOI/NSF/HOV Alvin 2014
Charley Voorhis
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Special Thanks
Richard Binzel
Lindy Elkins-Tanton
Roberta Rudnick
Mark Webster
Geoff and Faye Myers
Lisa Pratt
Kevin Robinson
Jason Dworkin
David Catling
Timothy E. Scheirer
Donald Lowe
Laurie Barge
Michael Russell
Conrad Labandeira
Nigel Hughes
Anand and Umed Maru
Constantino Schillebeeckx
MARUM, University of Bremen
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research
National Science Foundation
Dmitri Ionov
NASA’s Earth Observatory
Special Collections & Archives, University of California, San Diego
Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Ocean Exploration Trust, Inc.
Agnieszka Pajdak-Stos, Mark Schneegurt and Cyanosite
Dave Waters
Roberto Anitori
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Spencer Gentry
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
RESEARCH
Diane Toomey
SENIOR SCIENCE RESEARCHER
Caitlin Rotman Saks
ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER
Shraddha Chakradhar
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
RIGHTS MANAGER
Lauren Miller
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Michael H. Amundson
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCER
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julia Cort
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

A NOVA Production by Hamilton Land and Cattle, Inc for WGBH Boston.© 2016 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

Original funding for this program was provided by Google, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, The David H. Koch Fund for Science, The George D. Smith Fund and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

IMAGE:

Image credit (Calcite)
© Rob Tinworth

Participants

Jeffrey Bada
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Ruth Blake
Yale University
Peter Coveney
University College London
David Flannery
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Robert Hazen
Carnegie Institution for Science
John Valley
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Martin Van Kranendonk
University of New South Wales

Preview | 00:30

Full Program | 53:07

Full program available for streaming through

Watch Online
Full program available
Soon