Another Reason to Stay Home and Watch Nature Documentaries

Another Reason to Stay Home and Watch Nature Documentaries

Edith Zimmerman
Mar 24, 2017
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you've ever needed further encouragement to stay in and binge on animal documentaries (I have not), they've now been shown to be scientifically good for you:

Research from BBC Earth and the University of California has found that watching nature programmes [such as Planet Earth II] ... increased people's feelings of awe, contentedness, and joy.

The nature programs also "acted to reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress." More information on the research, commissioned by BBC Earth for their Real Happiness Project ("we pledge to bring you happiness through nature"), can be found on their website.

The Happiness Project team also built a video-generating Facebook bot that pulls together nature-documentary teasers according to your current nature-documentary needs. Here's a screen-grab from my recent exchange with it:

(Image credit: Edith Zimmerman)

I was satisfied with my results.

(Image credit: Edith Zimmerman)

(This doesn't translate so well in screen-grab, but the fluffy white animal is just one frame of the two-minute video the bot sent me.)

If you missed Planet Earth II the first time around, it's airing on BBC Earth now (depending on your location) and set to be released on DVD and Blu Ray in the United States on March 28 (for $29.96 on Amazon). Here's the trailer.

In the meantime, and for your health, here are the highest-rated nature documentaries currently streaming on Netflix (each with a five-star average and each narrated by David Attenborough):

1. Planet Earth: The Complete Collection (2006)

2. Life (2009)

3. Africa (2013)

4. The Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans (2001) (A new Blue Planet is on its way, too.)

5. Frozen Planet (2011)

6. Life Story (2014)

7. David Attenborough's Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (2013)

8. Tiger: Spy in the Jungle (2008)

I can also recommend PBS's recent "Spy in the Wild" series.


(Has anyone seen Titanoboa: Monster Snake?)

Related: "[G]et more out of Netflix with this collection of expert tips, hidden tricks, and third-party add-ons."

Created with Sketch.