During these dire, worrying times, we need all the good news we can get right now. More positive headlines go to show how nature is taking a break for a modest rebirth. Animals are being spotted further than their usual habitats, pollution is tremendously decreased and oceans have even started to clear up. While we can only read about these incredible happenings from inside our homes, these documentaries available on Netflix will surely give you a greater appreciation for the wonders of nature — Tiger King not included.
1. Our Planet (2019)
This documentary was shot over the course of four years, and the team proudly has 10 Emmy nominations and two awards to show for it. What makes Our Planet stand out, is its inclusivity of the human race and how we are a factor of the health and population of other life forms around us. Many think this is the best work of famous historian and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough.
2. Night on Earth (2020)
The success of Our Planet led to the Netflix’s new nature series, Night On Earth, whom by the way has more than 45 nature documentaries credited to his name. If you’ve ever been up at 3am wondering what animals do at night, you’ll find the answers in this one. There are six episodes that follow animals active at night across various habitats using low-light camera technology.
3. Virunga (2014)
Caution: this documentary about gorillas is rather heart-breaking. The park rangers rescue mountain gorillas facing extinction, exposing the harsh realities of poaching and dirty tactics used by the British oil company Soco International. Virunga is an Oscar-nominated project between Netflix and Leonardo DiCaprio, the first of a multi-year partnership.
4. 72 Cutest Animals (2016)
How about one for the kids? 72 Cutest Animals is just as it sounds — no tears ahead, only laughs and smiles. There are 12 episodes that take a look at tiger cubs, monkeys, baby polar bears and more. For something less cute-sy, the 72 series by Showrunner Productions extends to 72 Dangerous Animals: Africa, and 72 Dangerous Animals: Asia.
5. You vs. Wild (2019)
You vs. Wild is the most outdoor adventure you’re going to get at home. It’s an interactive reality series where you as the watcher, select the next move to help adventurer Bear Grylls navigate through some tough terrains to survive and complete missions. It’s a bit like an adult Dora the Explorer with a whole lot of adrenaline.
6. Chasing Coral (2017)
Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski and his team work alongside The Ocean Agency to highlight a true tragedy that we haven’t always seen the reality of, coral bleaching around the world and the impact that climate change has on the coral reefs. The Emmy award-winning film took over three years to make with an impression to last for many years to come, and with it, overdue change.